FDA/EPA recommends pregnant women avoid fish that contains high levels of mercury such as:
- King mackerel
- Tilefish (also known as golden or white bass or snapper)
- Spanish mackerel (from Gulf of Mexico)
Pregnant women can consume up to two servings per week of fish that are lower in mercury. These include:
- Shrimp - avoid raw fish and shellfish
- Canned light tuna - avoid white albacore tuna
Heat up luncheon meat before you eat it to prevent Listeriosis, an illness caused by bacteria. Pregnant women are 20 times more likely than healthy adults to get Listeriosis. Avoid raw meat and foods made with unpasteurized milk, including soft cheeses such as feta, brie, camembert, blue-veined cheeses and Mexican-style cheese such as queso blanco fresco. (Source - You & Your Baby: Pregnancy by Dr. Laura Riley, OB/GYN)
Limit to 300mg per day, about 2 cups (total) of coffee, tea or pop. Some studies show caffeine is associated with low birth-weight babies when more than 2-3 cups is consumed.
Many women worry about taking prescription drugs while trying to conceive, or during the early stages of pregnancy. However, you should never stop taking prescription medications without consulting your health care provider first. Speak to your health care provider immediately about your medications.
Before you start exercising, get your health care provider's approval. Your health care provider will probably say yes, unless your pregnancy is considered high risk. If you already exercise, stick to the routine you followed before you became pregnant. If you haven't exercised recently, start slowly and choose an activity that won't be too strenuous on your body.
You will see your health care provider a lot during your pregnancy. That is why it is important you choose someone you enjoy and trust. Most pregnant women have 10 to 15 prenatal visits.
Usually an expecting mother will visit her health care provider every four weeks during the first 28 weeks, then once every two weeks until 36 weeks, and then weekly until the baby is born. However, the number of times you visit your health care provider may vary because of your medical history or pregnancy complications.
The ultimate goal of your prenatal appointments is to see how your pregnancy is proceeding, and to make sure that you and your baby are healthy. It is also an opportunity to provide you with any information you may want or need, and to answer any of your questions or concerns. Your health care provider will then check your weight, urine and blood pressure; check the position of your baby; measure your abdomen, listen to your baby's heartbeat; and perform other exams or tests as needed.
After your health care provider is done with the physical examination, he/she will then review their findings with you. It is important to understand what normal changes to expect as your pregnancy proceeds and what warning signs to look for. To have a healthy baby it is important to make appropriate lifestyle choices, such as healthy nutrition and avoiding alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
Most women find their prenatal appointments are over in 10 minutes. While sometimes disappointing, this is a sure sign you and your baby are healthy and right on track. If you are concerned you are not getting enough time to accurately voice your feelings to your health care provider, write down a few questions or concerns before you go into your appointment to make sure you get all of your questions or concerns addressed. By doing this you will be more likely to remember to ask any questions or share any concerns with your health care provider.