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Enjoying Pregnancy

DURING PREGNANCY

General Questions


Can I be pregnant and still get my period?

Well, no, you can't get your period once you're pregnant — once your body starts producing the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and your pregnancy is established, your menstrual cycle is interrupted and normal periods stop. But you may have bleeding or spotting during pregnancy that can seem like a period.
Some pregnant women have what's called "implantation bleeding" that can happen around the time their period is due, and they may mistake that bleeding for a period. This spotting may be caused by the fertilized egg burrowing into the blood-rich lining of the uterus, a process that starts just 6 days after fertilization, and it's generally a lot lighter than a typical period — just a day or two of very light spotting.
If you're pregnant and you're not sure when your last period started, this can make establishing a due date difficult for your healthcare provider. If you have any doubts, your provider can feel how big your uterus is with a pelvic examination and estimate how far along you are. In most cases, your provider will also order an ultrasound before the middle of your pregnancy to measure the size of your developing baby and clarify exactly when the baby is due.


Morning Sickness


What is morning sickness?

"Morning sickness" is really a misnomer. (In fact, the technical medical term is "nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.") For some pregnant women, the symptoms are worst in the morning and ease up over the course of the day, but they can strike at any time and last all day long.


What are some cures for morning sickness?

Here are some tips that may make you more comfortable:
  • Stay away from strong smells and foods that make your stomach queasy. When cooking, open a window or use the exhaust fan to get rid of odors
  • Keep a diary to find out which foods cause the worst reactions
  • Listen to your body. Ask yourself what foods and beverages might ease the nausea. Consider different flavors, textures, aromas, and temperatures. Keep some of these foods at home and at work so you are able to react immediately
  • Eat and drink whatever stays down. It is important to stop the nausea, then move on to feeding the body nutritiously
  • Eat 5-6 small meals a day
  • Stay well hydrated and drink fluids throughout the day. Experiment with ginger ale, ginger tea, lemonade, lemon tea, fruit juices, water with lemon, and carbonated beverages
  • To help with early morning nausea, have a light snack before getting out of bed. Try crackers, dry cereal, potato chips, lemonade...whatever sounds good to you to eat
  • Avoid foods that trigger a bout of nausea. This could be greasy and fried foods, gas-forming foods, or spicy foods

Nutrition: Food & Drink Issues


How much caffeine can I drink?

Research is inconclusive on the harmful effects of caffeine on a developing fetus. It is known, however, that caffeine passes quickly through the placenta to the baby. The FDA and most health organizations recommend that you don't drink or eat foods with caffeine while pregnant, or at least limit your intake to 300 mg per day (2-3 servings). There are about 65-135 mg of caffeine in brewed coffee. Remember, caffeine is also found in tea, sodas, and chocolate.


Exercise


How can I strengthen my back?

Pregnancy can be harsh on ligaments and joints because of the added weight your body supports. Your back may be one of the major areas where you'll notice the ache. Regular stretching and exercise help offset these effects by improving flexibility, strength, muscle tone, and reducing the incidence of lower back pain. Click below for gentle exercises and stretches to alleviate back pain.


What exercises are safe to do while I'm pregnant?

Times have changed - women are now encouraged to stay active and fit during pregnancy. There are many safe activities you can enjoy while keeping fit during your pregnancy (unless your doctor has prescribed otherwise).
  • Swimming. This is a great activity because it helps strengthen your whole body and is a great cardiovascular exercise. Plus, it's low impact, it helps support your weight, and it keeps you cool. One thing, it's probably not a good idea to dive into a pool, especially later in your pregnancy
  • A brisk walk. Walking is safe and effective, even if you're new to exercise. Jogging is also okay in moderation if you did it before you were pregnant. You'll want to avoid overheating and make sure to drink plenty of fluids. Plus, remember that are more off balance now, so be extra careful not to fall


I'm too tired to exercise.
Feeling fatigued while pregnant is normal. Make relaxation a priority, getting in rest whenever you can. However, too much rest can increase fatigue, while exercising can give you more energy. Exercise slowly, not to the point of exhaustion. Try to break up your exercises into 2-3 short sessions a day if that helps you make it happen.


Safety

Is the influenza vaccine safe during pregnancy?

The influenza vaccine is recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists " ...in the second and third trimester during the flu season, and women at high risk for pulmonary complications regardless of the trimester."[1].
Studies of influenza immunization of more than 2,000 pregnant women have demonstrated no adverse fetal effects associated with influenza vaccine. Pregnancy and lactation are not contraindications [2,3].


Can I highlight my hair?

The effects of chemicals in hair dyes on a developing fetus are unknown. Some doctors recommend that women should avoid any kind of hair dyes while pregnant, or at least minimize use, especially during the first trimester. Highlighting or streaking your hair involves less scalp contact with dye, so it might be safer. Always use latex gloves and don't leave dye on longer than necessary. This will minimize skin contact and the level of absorption. If you do dye your hair, consider vegetable-based products like henna.

Note: The information in these FAQs has been compiled from reputable sources, which we have cited for each question. Sanita sal does not hold responsibility for the accuracy of the content, nor any behaviors taken with regard to the FAQs.
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