Nutrition in Pregnancy

  • Diet should be rich in fresh fruits, vegetables (make sure they are washed thoroughly) and well cooked meats
  • Water intake should be at least 8 glasses a day
  • Your body needs extra folic acid and iron, which can be obtained by taking a prenatal vitamin daily and fortified cereals
  • Weight gain during pregnancy depends on pre pregnancy weight, if you are of normal weight, total weight gain recommended in pregnancy is between 25 and 35 Lbs
  • Large fish such as Mackerel, Shark and Sword fish are to be avoided due to high mercury content. Shrimp, tuna, salmon and catfish have low mercury content and 2 meals per week are safe to consume.
  • Foods to avoid during pregnancy: Unpasteurized milk, soft cheeses, raw or undercooked meat
  • (online interactive diet planning program)

Travel During Pregnancy

  • The best time (relatively safe) time to travel in pregnancy is between 14 and 28 weeks.
  • Car travel: always wear seat belt, limit travel to 5-6 hours per day, take frequent breaks, and wear loose/comfortable clothing and foot wear.
  • Flight travel: keep yourself well hydrated, take frequent walks in the cabin, always wear seat belt when seated and avoid gas-producing foods and carbonated drinks

Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy

  • Morning sickness or sickness, nausea, vomiting, and food aversions are common during the first part of pregnancy
  • Tips to follow
    • Get plenty of rest
    • Avoid foods or smells that are bothersome
    • Eat 5 to 6 small meals per day instead of 3 large meals
    • Avoid spicy and fatty foods
    • Eat a few crackers as soon as you awaken to settle your stomach
    • Eat snacks high in protein (yogurt or milk)
  • Some herbal remedies
    • Ginger or ginger ale (soft drink)
    • Clove

How to Tell if Labor has Started

  • Changes to look out for are abdominal tightening that happens at regular intervals
  • Bleeding or spotting or brown mucous discharge
  • Fluid leakage from the vagina (water break)
  • Call your doctor if you have any of the above or concerns about your baby's movement

Ultrasounds During Pregnancy

You’ve probably already experienced a 2D (two-dimensional) ultrasound and know it can be an exciting and magical moment. A transducer is placed on your belly or into your vagina to send sound waves through your body. The waves bounce off internal organs and fluids, and a computer converts these echoes into a two-dimensional image (or a cross-sectional view) of the fetus on a screen.

With Doppler fetal ultrasound, your practitioner uses a hand-held ultrasound device to amplify the sound of the fetal heartbeat with the help of a special jelly on your belly.

For 3D ultrasounds, multiple two-dimensional images are taken at various angles and then pieced together to form a three-dimensional rendering. For instance, instead of just seeing a profile view of your baby's face, you can see the whole surface in a 3D sonogram (it looks more like a regular photo).

A 4D ultrasound is similar to a 3D ultrasound, but the image shows movement. That means like a video, in a 4D sonogram you see your baby doing things in real-time (like opening and closing your eyes and sucking your thumb).

Reasons for ultrasounds

There are many reasons ultrasounds in general are necessary during pregnancy, depending on the trimester, including:

Why 3D and 4D sonograms are performed

Medical practitioners use 2D and Doppler ultrasounds in uncomplicated pregnancies to examine the fetus, assess amniotic fluid and look for birth defects, among other reasons. Ultrasounds in 3D and 4D are performed only to closely examine suspected fetal anomalies, such as cleft lip and spinal cord issues, or to monitor something specific. In other words, 3D sonograms and 4D ultrasounds are not part of routine prenatal exams.

The safety of 3D and 4D ultrasounds during pregnancy

Studies evaluating the safety of ultrasound technology show mixed results. At this point, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says that while there are no known risks of ultrasounds for pregnant women, they should be used carefully and only for medical purposes. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), when ultrasound enters the body it heats the tissues slightly, which in some cases can create small pockets of gas in body fluids or tissues and that the long-term effects of this are unknown.

Given what we do know, experts (including ACOG and the FDA) say that ultrasounds should only be performed by a qualified medical professional when your practitioner deems them necessary for medical reasons. Currently, ACOG recommends that expecting women have at least one 2D ultrasound between weeks 18 to 22 of pregnancy, noting that some women may also have a first-trimester ultrasound.

Experts also discourage the use of any kinds of ultrasounds (2D, Doppler, 3D and 4D) for the purpose of creating a memento. That's because, in addition to potentially putting your baby’s health at risk, the technicians who perform commercial ultrasounds may not be able to address your questions and likely won’t have the expertise to be able to spot any problems with your baby’s development. What's more, some sessions last for 45 minutes — much longer than a medical scan. A long session (or repeat sessions, as some of these centers offer) can be intrusive and disruptive for a fetus who's using womb time to grow, develop and get the sleep he needs.

The same thinking goes for at-home Doppler ultrasound machines, which aren't nearly sensitive enough to pick up on fetal heartbeats until the fifth month of pregnancy (and the FDA requires a prescription to use them).

Remember: There will be plenty of opportunities to take photos and make memories when your baby is born. In the meantime, keep ultrasounds to a minimum.

Health information on this site is based on peer-reviewed medical journals and highly respected health organizations and institutions including ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), as well as the What to Expect books by Heidi Murkoff.

This is general advice for pregnancy; you must consult the physician for any concerns and clarification.

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