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FAQs for Expectant Mothers

Over-the-counter medications that are okay to use during pregnancy:

  • Pain – Tylenol (acetaminophen) through the entire pregnancy, Aspirin 325mg, Ibuprofen and Aleve are okay weeks 14-32, if recommended by doctor.
  • Allergy – Pseudoephedrine (if blood pressure is normal), Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec.
  • Colds – Robitussin, Nyquil, Benadryl, Theraflu, Tylenol Cold & Sinus, Zicam, Mucinex.
  • Heartburn/Indigestion – Tums, Rolaids, Mylanta, Gaviscon, Pepcid 20mg two times per day,  Zantac two times a day, or Prilosec (over the counter)
  • Stool Softeners – Colace, Metamucil, Citrucel, Benafiber, Miralax
  • Anti-Nausea – Ginger, Vitamin B6, Sea Bands, small frequent meals, Cinnamon

Prescription medications that should be discussed individually with your doctor:

  • Diabetes – Insulin   
  • Antibiotics
  • Anti Nausea    
  • Thyroid Replacement
  • Anti Depressants   
  • Antihistamines
  • Blood Pressure   
  • Other


  • Weight gain – 15-35 lbs., depending on pre-pregnancy weight.
  • Calories – Approximately 2000-2500 per day, depending on pre-pregnancy weight.
  • Prenatal vitamin – Daily
  • Calcium – 800-1200 mg per day.
  • Fish – Limit 1-2 servings per week. Avoid shark, swordfish, fresh tuna and large ocean fish.
  • Caffeine – Limit 1-2 servings per day.
  • Diet soda – Limit one per day.
  • To prevent food poisoning, avoid all non-pasteurized dairy products and make sure you purchase fresh lunchmeat.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids – 300 mg per day. This is important to help with spinal cord and brain development.
  • Water – At least eight, 8 ounce glasses every day (64 ounces total per day).


Low-impact only – DO NOT OVERHEAT

  • Walking and swimming are great exercise. Recommend walking for 45 minutes more days than not at a pace that feels like work, but allows you to carry on a conversation.
  • No lifting more than 15-20 pounds after 20 weeks.
  • No high-impact sports such as: aerobics, water skiing, horse back riding, snow skiing, hot yoga.
  • Low-impact jogging and aerobics are okay, if currently participating in these activities.
  • Avoid sports where you could get hit by a ball (such as baseball, basketball, and volleyball).


  • Hair – Yes, in a well ventilated room without using the hood.
  • Tanning beds and tanning sprays – Do not use these, but tanning lotions are okay to use.
  • Nail acrylic – Okay in well-ventilated salons.
  • Manicure/pedicure - Yes
  • Waxing – Okay
  • Travel – Safe to travel until 36 weeks along, outside the US up to 34 weeks, unless otherwise discussed with your doctor. On a car trip or plane trip, be sure to get up and move around every 2 hours to prevent blood clots.
  • Sexual intercourse – Yes, as long as you are not experiencing vaginal bleeding.
  • Smoking – No.
  • Alcohol – No. There is no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy.
  • Hot tubs, whirlpools – No.
  • Physical therapy, chiropractic care and massages – Discuss with your doctor.
  • Painting, staining, varnishing – Okay if in a well-ventilated area.

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