Is it safe to ...?
August 31, 2010
If you're an expectant mom, it is only natural to have questions during your pregnancy. And many of those questions likely concern the safety of your baby and yourself. Below are some common “is it safe to” questions I hear from my patients.
Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy?
Exercise is a key foundation for healthy living and this principle certainly applies during pregnancy as well. There are some precautions you should keep in mind, however, when you're expecting:
- Your back can be extremely fragile, so you should avoid twisting movements of the lower back.
- Weight increase due to pregnancy puts more pressure on your hip and knee joints. I recommend exercises that take the stress off of your joints while still providing a good workout, such as spinning, stationary biking or elliptical training.
- During workouts, it is important to include proper warm ups and cool downs.
- Maintain adequate hydration during workouts.
- Avoid recreational exercise that could result in a fall, such as horseback riding or skiing.
Many women find yoga to be an excellent source of stretching that also can relieve some aches and pains that naturally occur during pregnancy.
If you follow a demanding exercise regimen or are very physically active, you should consult with your physician for additional guidelines and/or modifications to your pregnancy exercise regimen.
Is it safe to color my hair during pregnancy?
Hair coloring is fine during pregnancy. I recommend, however, going to a salon or using salon quality dyes.
Is it safe to use acetaminophen during pregnancy?
Acetaminophen (used in Tylenol) is the mainstay of pain and fever control during pregnancy. However, you should not exceed 4000 mg within a 24-hour period. Aspirin and ibuprofen should be completely avoided. If you are experiencing significant pain that is not resolved with Tylenol, you should consult your physician for evaluation.
Is it safe to receive vaccinations during pregnancy?
Vaccinations are extremely important during pregnancy. However, some vaccinations are safe during pregnancy and some are not. Your obstetrician should review a history of your vaccination status to determine which vaccinations – if any – you should receive. The two vaccinations most frequently administered during a pregnancy are a tetanus shot (in case of a cut) and the influenza vaccine, or the flu shot, which will now be combined with protection against H1N1. Because of the severity of illness that can occur during pregnancy, pregnant women are considered high risk and it is recommended that all expectant moms be immunized.
Is it safe to go into a whirlpool or hot tub when pregnant?
Hot tub use during pregnancy should be avoided, because the heat may impair neurologic function of the developing baby. If the temperature in your hot tub or spa can be adjusted down to body temperature, then it is safe to use . Your in-home bathtub or whirlpool is also safe to use, because the temperature is not maintained at hot tub temperature-levels and more of your body and chest are exposed to air, creating a natural radiator effect which helps to avoid overheating.
Is it safe to travel on airplanes while pregnant?
There are no concerns about the health of the baby while flying, and most airlines will allow you to fly commercially until about 36 weeks of pregnancy. When flying during pregnancy, however, several precautions should be taken to limit risks for the mother. For instance, the risk of blood clots is higher during pregnancy and pregnant women should always avoid prolonged sitting. If you fly internationally and have very long flight times, it is wise to consult with your physician to see if any other precautions should be taken to prevent blood clots. Maintaining adequate hydration is also important during long travel periods. And I recommend to my patients that when they fly, to go to the bathroom prior to getting on the aircraft since airplane lavatories seem even smaller to expectant mothers.
These are just a few of the pregnancy-related questions my patients ask. You should always consult with your physician about any questions or concerns you may have during your pregnancy. We are here to help you and answer any questions, especially regarding the safety and health of you and your baby.