Pregnancy is a time of significant change in a woman’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Being pregnant also comes with many questions even the most experienced mom might be wondering. Women want to understand how their lives can continue as usual and what parts need to change for the time being.
We put together a list of common pregnancy questions and their answers to guide you through your nine months and beyond.
Common pregnancy questions
Can I drink coffee while pregnant?
Drinking coffee during pregnancy is okay when consumed in moderation. Coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant and diuretic, linked to complications like miscarriages, preterm birth, and low birth weight in some studies.
Therefore, it's best to limit your overall caffeine intake every day. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends no more than 200 mg per day. Keep in mind other drinks, foods, and medications contain caffeine, so you need to take those into account when calculating your daily intake.
Be sure to communicate with your doctor how much caffeine you are consuming for guidance in making healthy decisions for you and your baby.
Can I dye my hair while pregnant?
While research is relatively limited, most studies have found that semi-permanent and permanent dyes are not highly toxic and safe to use during pregnancy.
However, there are a few precautions doctors recommend:
Wait till the second trimester of pregnancy.
Take care of your scalp to keep it as healthy as possible. While it does a great job at limiting toxins that get into your bloodstream, the healthier your scalp is, the better job it can do.
Dye your hair in a well-ventilated area
Don't leave the dye on any longer than needed or suggested.
Follow the directions on the instructions carefully.
Always patch test a small area to ensure you don't have an allergic reaction.
Wear gloves if you are putting the dye on your own hair
Rinse your scalp thoroughly after treatment
Consult your doctor before dying your hair if you have certain skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.
Can I take melatonin while pregnant?
Between the constant need to pee, changing hormones, and anxiety about protecting the baby growing inside, insomnia is prevalent in pregnancy. Research shows that 46%-78% of women experience a sleep disorder during pregnancy. If this is you, don't reach for melatonin supplements just yet.
Natural melatonin levels rise during pregnancy, and a standard dose of the supplement can elevate up to 20 times the normal levels. Certain studies performed to evaluate the effects of melatonin during pregnancy suggest that increased melatonin may potentially cause adverse effects. However, there hasn't been enough research to conclude whether the supplement is safe or not in healthy pregnancies.
If you have trouble sleeping during pregnancy, it is recommended to talk with your doctor about alternative options.
Can I take Tylenol while pregnant?
While pregnancy is known for giving you a glow, it can also unfortunately bring about pains here and there in different parts of your body. The good news is, you don't have to suffer through nine months of this; there are painkillers safe during pregnancy.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the most common pain reliever doctors recommend to pregnant women to treat fevers, headaches, and muscle and joint pain.
You should always take the lowest dosage for the shortest time if possible. Always consult your doctor before starting any medication, including Tylenol and other over-the-counter pain medicines.
Can I drink while pregnant?
It's strongly suggested not to consume alcohol at any point in your pregnancy. No amount or type of alcohol is considered safe to drink while pregnant.
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can cause numerous complications for the baby as it develops in the womb, leading to long-term medical concerns and congenital disabilities known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, please reach out to your doctor or contact the following resources:
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration( 1-800-662-4357 )
Can I have sex while pregnant?
Yes, sex during pregnancy is typically fine, thanks to the amniotic fluid in your uterus protecting your baby. However, you should discuss with your doctor about sexual activity if you are experiencing preterm labor, placenta issues, or other complications.
Fluctuating hormones, a growing body, increased fatigue, heartburn, nausea, and other pregnancy side effects can change your comfort level and sex drive. There are other ways of intimacy if your pregnancy has you feeling "not in the mood". Talk with your partner to find ways to connect.
Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I am pregnant?
Now, the question everyone is itching for an answer to.
According to the CDC, pregnant women are at an increased risk of developing a severe illness from COVID-19 as opposed to those who are not expecting. Also, contracting COVID-19 while pregnant increases your risk for a preterm birth and stillbirth as well as experiencing a host of other pregnancy complications.
Due to these increased risks when pregnant with COVID-19, the CDC recommends that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant are greater than its potential risks.
Simply put, your concern while pregnant should not be focused on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine, but rather on doing what you can to protect yourself from contracting the infection.
The CDC also asserts the following:
Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant will not lead to a COVID-19 infection
Early results are encouraging in terms of the safety of receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech) during pregnancy.
Early results indicate that receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy reduces the risk of infection
Vaccinating while you're expecting can help encourage the growth of antibodies to protect your baby
Can I get a tattoo while pregnant?
Due to a lack of research, the answer to this question isn't always cut and dry. However, there are risks involved that you should take into consideration. These risks include:
Infection- Anyone who gets a tattoo done by someone using contaminated or dirty needles has a chance of catching a bloodborne disease, like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). A pregnant woman can pass these onto her baby, either in utero or during birth, causing health complications.
Toxic ink- Tattoo ink may contain harmful metals like mercury, arsenic, and lead, which can be detrimental to your baby, especially during the first trimester. Exposure to toxic metals can affect the baby's brain development and lead to miscarriage or stillbirth.
Skin changes- Your body constantly changes during pregnancy, including your skin. From stretching to accommodate your growing baby to dark spots and melasma, your tattoo may not look the same after your baby is born.
Not being able to receive an epidural- Though rare, there is a chance getting a tattoo on your lower back during pregnancy will prohibit you from getting an epidural during labor. You wouldn't be able to receive this standard anesthesia if your tattoo appears to be infected.
We encourage you to speak with your doctor to make the best decision for you.
In conclusion, only you and your doctor can determine what is best for your baby. Always talk with them about concerns and questions you have regarding your pregnancy and your baby.