During your pregnancy, you may at times face minor problems that require care. It is the best philosophy to use little or no therapies, and the following guidelines are provided so that you may safely treat yourself while exposing your baby to the minimal amount of danger. The guidelines below are simply that – guidelines. If you have any further questions, please call the office. Again, we feel that these suggestions are the safest ones to follow, but we cannot guarantee that they are 100% safe.
ALLERGIES/CONGESTION: Plain antihistamine; such as plain Chlor-Trimeton, Sudafed, Benadryl, Claritin, Mucinex, Alavert, and any Tylenol Sinus Products. Most other medications contain both a decongestant and an antihistamine. Decongestants can constrict the blood vessels in the placenta, therefore, it is best to avoid those and take a plain antihistamine. Read labels carefully. If experiencing shortness of breath or difficulty breathing you need to be seen in the ER.
BACKACHE: Avoid sway-back posture, sleep on your side with a pillow under your upper knee, avoid heavy lifting (nothing over 20 pounds) and lifting with your torso. Practice pelvic rocking exercises. Use a heating pad and Tylenol in moderation. Wear a maternity support belt-Mommy Belt (available at Baby’s R US, Target, and most Maternity Shops.)
BUG BITES: Use non-medicated skin creams or plain calamine lotion, or benadryl lotion.
COLD AND FLU: Drink plenty of fluids and get extra rest. Plain Robitussin, Triaminic, Chlor-Trimeton, Tylenol Flu, and Vick’s Vapor Rub can be used. One to two Tylenol every 4-6 hours for fever or headache. Extra Strength Tylenol may also be used (one or two tablets every 4-6 hours). A vaporizer is helpful in the winter. It is also safe to use cough drops and chloraseptic throat spray. If you have a fever over 101.4 then you need to be seen in the ER. It is completely safe to use Tamiflu if prescribed for Flu symptoms, and Flu shots are recommended including the H1N1 injection.
CONSTIPATION: Consume plenty of fluids (especially juice), raw vegetables, fruits, and brans. Try a glass of prune juice at bedtime. If needed, use Metamucil, Fibercon, Citracel, and Benifiber. Milk of Magnesia, Colace, or Ducolax may be used as directed if the problem persists.
DENTAL CARE: Avoid x-rays unless absolutely necessary. Inform the technician that you are pregnant, and shield your abdomen with a lead vest. Plain local anesthetic (without epinephrine) may be used for dental fillings after the first trimester. If you need pre-medication prior to your dental work, penicillin drugs are safe. If you are allergic to penicillin may use Clindamycin.
DIARRHEA: Clear fluids followed by a bland diet. Avoid dairy products, fruits and vegetables until you are better. If no improvement after 36 hours, use Kaopectate as directed. If unable to tolerate fluids an ER visit is necessary to rule out dehydration.
DIET: The four food groups with extra protein, iron and calcium. Avoid junk food, sodas, and alcohol. Drink 6-8 glasses of fluid each day. Consume 3-4 servings of protein and calcium each day.
EXERCISE: Your usual or less; walking, swimming, biking, low-impact aerobics, or a pregnancy class. Pulse should not exceed 140-150. Avoid activities with a potential for injury such as skiing, skating, rock-climbing, water skiing, and horseback riding, 4-wheelers, motorcycles, and amusement park rides. Note: Avoid hot tubs and saunas.
HEADACHE: First try quiet rest, fresh air, fluids, or a heating pad to the neck. If no improvement, Tylenol (2 every 4-6 hours) or Extra Strength Tylenol (1-2 every 4-6 hours) can be used. Call if headache persists. DO NOT use aspirin, Aleve, or any ibuprofen products, such as Advil or Motrin. Do not use any over the counter Migraine medications.
HEARTBURN/INDIGESTION: Eat frequent small meals, avoid spicy, greasy foods. Eat your evening meal well before bedtime. Use Mylanta, Maalox, Zantac, Tagamet, Prevacid, or Rolaids as needed. Gas pain may be relieved with Gas-X or Mylicon.
HEMORRHOIDS: Relieve constipation (see above). During your second and third trimester, you can use Tucks, Anusol, and Preparation-H (plain) sparingly.
INSECT REPELLENT: Try Skin So Soft from Avon, avoid sprays.
NAUSEA/VOMITING: This is quite common during the first trimester. Try Ginger-ale, small meals or snacks; crackers when you wake up in the morning. Salty foods, such as chicken or beef broth, are often well-tolerated. Gatorade is a good nutritional fluid to try. Papaya Enzyme from a health food store is often helpful (2 tablets after each meal). Also, you can buy Emetrol over the counter at a pharmacy. This is a safe medication (syrup) which can relieve symptoms. Should the nausea and vomiting become so persistent that you are unable to function and/or keep down most of what you are trying to eat or drink, you should call the office or go to the ER.
PAINTING: Outdoor painting is fine; latex paint is probably safe indoors if all windows are open.
POISON IVY: Plain calamine lotion or benadryl lotion. Call if severe.
SORE THROAT: Try Cepacol or other mild over-the-counter lozenges and/or hot salt water gargles, or Chloraseptic Spray. If severe, or accompanied by fever, call your family doctor for a throat culture.
TRAVEL: First and second trimester travel is usually not a problem if your pregnancy has been without complications. Make sure you can stretch your legs frequently and drink lots of fluids. Extensive travel is not recommended beyond 32 weeks. Please discuss individual circumstances with the doctor.
VARICOSE VEINS: Wear maternity panty hose, or support hose. Try to wear shoes with good arch support. Take frequent breaks to take pressure of lower extremities. Prop feet up above heart level when possible.
YEAST: Avoid synthetic underwear, pantyhose, or tight pants which inhibit ventilation. Intercourse should be avoided if you are having symptoms. Try reducing your intake of sweets and refined carbohydrates. If you feel you have an infection, you may use over the counter Monistat. If symptoms persist call the office and schedule an appointment for cultures.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT THE OFFICE WITH ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS.
Our office is open 5 days a week. We answer our phones beginning at 9 a.m. Monday though Friday. We forward our phones to Thompson’s Answering Service from noon until 1 p.m. for lunch and again at 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Phones are forwarded at noon on Friday.