The Do’s and Don’ts in Pregnancy

Posted On: September 25, 2020 By Nathan D. Fox, MD

When it comes to navigating pregnancy, it can be difficult to find the right, reliable information. The truth is that there’s a lot of misinformation and myths about what to avoid or incorporate into your pregnancy plan, and it can even cause some anxiety trying to keep it all straight. Although your obstetrician or maternal fetal medicine specialist will be your best source of information, here are some things to make sure to keep in mind as you begin planning. 

Do Make Sure You’re Getting the Right Nutrition 

Making sure both your body and your baby are getting everything it needs is important. Taking supplements like folic acid, iron, vitamin D, and calcium can go a long way in helping ensure a healthy pregnancy, especially if you struggle with eating regularly or achieving a varied diet. Your doctor can make sure you know the right amounts to take. Additionally, you should eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and increase your calorie intake according to your BMI and your baby’s needs. 

Don’t Have Too Much Caffeine 

Contrary to popular belief, small amounts of caffeine during pregnancy don’t seem to affect outcomes. This means less than 300mg per day, or about two 8-ounce cups of brewed coffee. However, it’s best to get the opinion of your doctor who can take a look at your unique medical history and diet, as well as help make sure you’re taking in a safe amount of caffeine. 

Do Get Plenty of Exercise 

Keeping your body healthy and strong can ensure a successful pregnancy. Although you should be careful not to overdo it if you or your baby have certain health conditions, it’s important to exercise regularly to keep your own health in good shape. In fact, this can also help with certain symptoms like mood, achiness, and keeping off weight gain. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that you get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week (or 30 minutes of activity 5 days a week, for example). 

Don’t Smoke 

Smoking cigarettes and vaping are harmful to your health even outside of pregnancy, but it’s extremely important to stop if you’re pregnant (or even before). That’s because smoking cigarettes is strongly associated with pregnancy loss and life-threatening complications for your baby. There’s currently little information available on the effects of vaping during pregnancy, so it’s best avoided. 

Do Know Which Foods to Avoid 

There are certain foods that pregnant women should avoid, including raw and undercooked meat, unwashed fruits and vegetables, and unpasteurized dairy productsSushi that is prepared in a clean and professional kitchen is usually safe. It’s actually recommended that you try to eat between two and three servings of fish per week that is rich in DHA and low in mercury for nutritional benefits. We offer nutrition services at our New York City office if you need help navigating your diet during pregnancy. 

Don’t Restrict Travel, Intercourse, or Pool Use 

It can be common to find sentiments about avoiding things like airplane travel, sexual intercourse, or even swimming when pregnant. You should know that these activities are generally safe for pregnant women to engage in. If you’re concerned about these activities, your doctor can make a recommendation based on your baby and your medical history. 

Schedule Your Appointment 

Our team of award-winning doctors are here to help. To learn more about the right pregnancy plan for you, we invite you to contact our New York City office by calling or filling out our online form. 

For more information, please visit the links below. All information is provided by Dr. Nathan Fox and/or Emily Oster.

Healthful Woman Podcast: “Expecting Better: Dos and Don’ts in Pregnancy” – with Emily Oster

Publication: Dos and Don’ts in Pregnancy: Truths and Myths


Carnegie Imaging for Women blogs are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace certified professional care. Medical conditions vary and change frequently. Please ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding your condition to receive a proper diagnosis or risk analysis. Thank you!

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