Do’s and don’ts for a safe and healthy pregnancy

Now that you’re carrying precious cargo, you’re probably wondering how to keep your baby safe during your pregnancy. No need to go overboard, but a few simple adjustments can make a difference. Think of it as practice for the next 18 years or so. If you’re ever unsure whether or not something is safe, ask us! No question is too small. Make sure you’re registered on so you can email your doctor’s office anytime — and count on a speedy reply.

What to avoid during pregnancy

Certain things aren’t good for you at any time, but the list grows a bit longer when you’re expecting. Some things are still totally OK. You can travel through most of your pregnancy, and you don’t have to change your beauty routine. Wearing makeup, coloring your hair, and using nail polish are safe for moms-to-be. Just make sure to open a window when you paint your nails or color your hair — that’s a good idea whether you’re pregnant or not.

Things to avoid:

  • Alcohol, drugs, and tobacco, because they pass through the placenta to the baby
  • Too much caffeine (none is best, but up to 12 ounces of coffee per day is safe)
  • Sushi, and any other raw or undercooked meat, chicken, fish, or eggs
  • Heavy lifting
  • Hazardous chemicals, including some you might find in everyday household cleaners (now’s a great time to try some “green” cleaning alternatives — you might never switch back!)
  • Handling kitty litter — it releases fumes that can be harmful to your baby
  • Taking hot baths and getting in hot tubs
  • Using tanning beds

Ask us before you take medication

At your first prenatal appointment, let us know about all medications (prescription and over-the-counter), vitamins, homeopathic remedies, herbs, and home remedies that you take. We’ll let you know if it’s still safe to take them.

Safe travels!

In the middle of your pregnancy, you may feel great, have lots of energy, and be able to enjoy a relaxing vacation — free of strollers and diapers. So why not hit the road? If you’re having a healthy pregnancy, it’s generally okay to travel through your second trimester. Here’s how to make the most of your getaway.

Planning your trip:

  • Tell us where and when you plan to travel. We’ll let you know if it’s a safe place to be while you’re pregnant, and give you any vaccinations or booster shots you may need.
  • Stay away from high altitude destinations. Higher altitudes have less oxygen, which might make you feel sick or tired.
  • Carry your doctor’s contact info with you, and learn how to get care away from home.
  • Make sure the drinking water and fresh produce are safe. If you’re going somewhere where they might be unsafe, tell us. We’ll help you plan ahead.

Getting there:

  • Road trip? Stop every 2 hours to stretch. If you travel by plane or train, get up and move around often to keep your blood flowing.
  • Make sure the drinking water and fresh produce are safe. If you’re going somewhere where they might be unsafe, tell us. We’ll help you plan ahead.
  • Wear your seat belt to protect you and your baby. Position it low on your lap, below the baby, and not across your stomach.

Once you arrive:

  • Plan to relax. Being pregnant can tire you out, so rest when you need to.
  • Carry healthy snacks with you, and eat every few hours to avoid low blood sugar.

Before you book

Many airlines don’t let you fly when you’re more than 36 weeks pregnant, and cruise ships might not let you board after 24 weeks. Check before you book to avoid a last-minute let down. Then start packing, and have a great trip!

Ready to get maternity care?
Find a hospital or care provider near you.