Recommendations and information provided by Fairfax OB-GYN Associates
Pregnancy Nutrition and Weight Gain
Eating for two? Actually, women need only 300-500 extra calories per day for a normal pregnancy.
The USDA’s simple icon below lets you envision relative portions of the basic food groups. As pregnancy progresses, women generally eat small amounts throughout the day, rather than large meals. Servings don’t have to be at one time! How does your diet compare?
We invite you to write down what you actually eat over the course of 3 days and bring it to your visit for discussion. This is especially important if you have any dietary restrictions.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has frequently asked questions about nutrition in pregnancy: Nutrition During Pregnancy
1) You can go to the following website to create a personalized guide to how many servings of which foods are right for you based on your height, weight prior to this pregnancy, and activity level. It’s called “My Plate Daily Checklist”, keep clicking until you see the blocks to input your numbers: Moms Daily Food Plan
2) Get some ideas of good food choices at: Moms Making Healthy Choices
3) The following will let you know the appropriate range for weight gain for you during your pregnancy based on your Body Mass Index: Pregnancy Weight Gain Calculator
Fish is a great source of nutrients for pregnant women. View the updated FDA fish advisory
Cord Blood Banking
We want every patient to make a fully informed and conscious decision on the option of umbilical cord blood and cord tissue preservation. Here are some important details:
- Cord blood is rich in stem cells.
- Stem cells from cord blood have already been used in the treatment of over 80 diseases in tens of thousands of transplants.
- Scientists are working on further uses for cord blood stem cells and cord tissue, such as in the treatment of heart disease and diabetes, which could offer potential future benefit to almost every family.
- Cord blood collection is an opportunity available only at the time of birth.
Read more about cord blood banking:
Parents’ Guide to Cord Blood Foundation
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists answers frequently asked questions:
Some well-known companies that offer fee-based cord blood banking:
No amount of alcohol is considered safe during pregnancy. See more details:
Smoking (even breathing second-hand smoke) can be harmful to you and your baby.
Get help to quit:
American Lung Assoc: Help to Quit
And please: No street drugs No medications without talking to us first (unless listed under 1st trimester, Safe Medications)
No hot tubs warmer than 100 F.
Habits are hard to break. Talk to us if you need help creating a healthier lifestyle. We can help!
Round Ligament Pain
This sharp pain in the lower abdomen on either side occurs from overstretching of one of the ligaments that attaches the uterus to the pelvic bones. It can often be associated with a movement (getting up from a chair, sneezing, rolling over in bed, etc.) that caused the uterus to tilt more to one side. Naturally changing position for comfort will usually resolve the pain within a few minutes.
Mayo Clinic: Round Ligament Pain
Exercise During Pregnancy
Fitness remains important for health during pregnancy. Walking, swimming, cycling, dancing, and yoga are some good options.
- Talk to us first if you have a medical or pregnancy complication.
- Drink water before, during, and after exercise to keep cool and hydrated.
- Reasonable intensity generally means a pulse below 140 beats per minute at the peak of exercise or the ability to talk or sing while working out.
- Avoid high impact exercises that may “bounce” your uterus, straining supporting ligaments and possibly affecting the placenta.
- Avoid sit-ups that can cause separation of the vertical abdominal muscles.
- Avoid skiing (snow or water), snowboarding, scuba diving, mountain climbing, sky diving, and other extreme sports.
Here is advice from the March of Dimes: Exercise During Pregnancy
Kegel exercises to tone the muscles of the pelvic floor are important for women throughout their life. These muscles surround the openings of the urethra, vagina, and rectum. A routine exercise of tightening these muscles can prevent leaking urine, heighten sexual response, and help avoid hemorrhoids. Squeezing the pelvic floor muscles for 10 seconds, done 10 times in a row with rest in between, 2-3 times daily, can dramatically improve their strength. We are happy to discuss them.
The Mayo Clinic has directions: Kegel Exercises
INOVA and others offer prenatal yoga classes: Inova fitness classes
Pelvic Rocks and Blood Circulation
Pelvic rocks (sometimes called pelvic tilts) are a simple exercise with many benefits:
- Blood flow improves because the weight of the baby is displaced from the pelvis, which can increase oxygen to the baby
- Pressure on pelvic veins is relieved, helping to avoid or reduce hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and swelling in the legs
- Abdominal and low back muscles are exercised gently
- Back ache is often relieved
- The fetus is encouraged to rotate to an optimal position
The exercise involves getting down on hands and knees, starting with the back flat like a table, gently raising the lower back slightly toward the ceiling, and then gently returning to the level back position. This gently rocks your baby. Performing 20-40 pelvic rocks at a time is easy and relaxing. If the wrists get sore, you can support your chest on a low stool or sofa instead, as long as the back is parallel to the floor and you can freely rock your pelvis.
INOVA Fair Oaks Hospital Tour
Go to the hospital website to sign up for a tour: Inova Fair Oaks – Maternity Tour
It is recommended that you register by about the 20th week of pregnancy and aim for a tour before 32 weeks of pregnancy.
One of our midwives teaches a basic, single day, childbirth preparation class that is packed with valuable information for expectant parents. Details and registration information are in her flyer:
For those who want more comprehensive training, there are local childbirth educators offering series of classes for a variety of methods. Their respective organizations have teacher search options:
Women may experience anxiety or depression during pregnancy, not just in the postpartum period.
If you are struggling with persistent, unexplained sadness, depression, worry, sleeplessness, or loss of appetite, please make an appointment and come in to see us. Together, we can assess the severity of your symptoms. Counseling and treatment are available. You don’t have to suffer alone.
If at any time you feel so distraught that you are thinking of hurting yourself or others, please call us and go to the nearest hospital emergency department for immediate help.
You can read more about perinatal depression at: NY Perinatal Depression
Preterm Labor Signs
Before 37 weeks, 6 or more contractions in an hour, leaking fluid from the vagina, unusual vaginal discharge, or low pressure in the pelvis like your baby is pushing down can be symptoms of preterm labor. Contractions may feel like menstrual cramps or low abdominal pain, like your tummy getting hard, or like an intermittent low back ache; diarrhea may or may not occur as well.
Drinking 1-2 big glasses of water may calm the contractions; resting on your side may help.
If symptoms of preterm labor continue after these steps, please call us.
The March of Dimes has more discussion at: Signs of Preterm Labor
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists answers frequently asked questions: Preterm Labor and Birth