Prenatal Care | Common Questions During Pregnancy | Texas Health
Common Questions during Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a very exciting time, but also comes with a lot of questions.
  • Can I drink caffeine?

    According to the American College of OB/GYNs, “although there have been many studies on whether caffeine increases the risk of miscarriage, the results are unclear. Most experts state that consuming fewer than 200 mg of caffeine (one 12-ounce cup of coffee) a day during pregnancy is safe”.

    Below is a list of typical amount of caffeine in common drinks:

    • 8 oz of brewed coffee is about 137 milligrams of caffeine
    • 8 oz of instant coffee is about 76 milligrams of caffeine
    • 8 oz of brewed tea is about 48 milligrams of caffeine
    • 8 oz of instant tea is about 26-36 milligrams of caffeine
    • 12 oz caffeinated soda is about 37 milligrams of caffeine
    • 1.45 oz of dark chocolate is about 30 milligrams of caffeine

    Source: American College of OB/GYNs

  • How often will I visit my care provider?

    It is very important to schedule and go to all prenatal appointments, even if you feel good. As long as you are doing well, your visits will be:

    • Months 1 through 6 — About once a month. Some visits may be a phone call from an office nurse.
    • Month 7 (32 weeks) through about month 8 (37 weeks) — Every 2 weeks. These visits will be shorter than your first appointment. There will not be as many tests done at each of these visits.
    • Months 9 (37 weeks) through birth — About every week

  • How much weight will I gain?

    Each woman and pregnancy is different, but in general the American College of OB/GYNs recommends that:

    • Women who are underweight pre-pregnancy with a BMI less than 18.5, have a recommended range of total weight gain between 28 and 40 lbs.
    • Women who are normal weight pre-pregnancy with a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9, have a recommended range of total weight gain between 25 and 35 lbs.
    • Women who are considered overweight with a BMI between 25 and 29.9, have a recommended range of total weight gain between 15 and 25 lbs.
    • Women who are considered obese with a BMI over 30, have a recommended range of total weight gain between 11 and 20 lbs.

  • What warning signs should I be concerned about?

    Call your health care provider right away if any of these happen to you. It could mean something is not right and you need help right away:

    • Chills or fever over 100.4 °F
    • Swelling of hands or face or feet
    • Any bleeding from your vagina
    • Swelling of hands or face
    • Changes or blurring of vision
    • Severe or continuous headaches that are not relieved by Tylenol®
    • Stomach pains that do not go away after heat and rest, or after a bowel movement
    • Throwing up for 24 hours
    • Painful or burning urination
    • Your baby stops moving
    • Fluid coming out of your vagina
    • Bleeding from nipples, rectum, bladder, or coughing up blood

    More Warning Signs:
    • If you have stomach cramps more than 5 or 6 times in an hour and you are 3 weeks or more before your due date, call your health care provider.
    • Pain, light cramping, and “stretching pains” in early pregnancy are normal. If this gets very painful, call your health care provider.
  • How do I count kicks?

    Later in your pregnancy, the American College of OB/GYNs recommends that you should feel at least 10 kicks, flutters, swishes, or rolls within 2 hours. You will likely feel 10 movements in less time than that.

  • Can I travel during pregnancy?

    You can travel safely by car, boat, plane or train through much of your pregnancy. After 36 weeks of pregnancy, airlines request that you not fly and your doctor may ask you to stay within driving distance of the hospital. Before week 36, a few simple precautions will keep you safe on your journeys.

    Airplane Travel

    According to the American College of OB/GYNs, traveling by air is safe until week 36. Metal detectors at the airport security checkpoints do not harm fetuses. When you fly, ask for an aisle seat so that you can stand up and walk around whenever possible and reach the bathroom easily. If you must travel in your second or third trimester, be sure that you will be able to stand up and walk around at least every two hours to reduce swelling in your feet and legs.

    Consult Your Physician

    Schedule an appointment before you leave and take a copy of your medical records with you. If you plan to be away for more than a couple of weeks, ask your doctor for the name of a doctor in the area you are visiting, in case of emergency. In additional, if you are traveling out of the country, talk to your doctor. Depending on where you are going, you may need immunizations you can't have during pregnancy.

  • What is the correct way to wear a seatbelt when pregnant?

    Always wear a seatbelt when driving or riding in a car. Place the lap belt as low as possible across your abdomen, against your upper thighs, and the upper belt across your shoulder and between your breasts. Adjust both parts of the belt to fit snugly.

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