Q & A with Heather Harrison

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Common Pregnancy Questions:

Can I exercise?

When you are pregnant you can continue to exercise with the activities that you were previously involved in. It is recommended to exercise 30 minutes, 5 days per week when pregnant as usually will improve pregnancy, labor, delivery, and recovery outcomes. Not the best time to pick up a new activity but continue to do what you normally did. Listen to your body if you feel crampy or just don't feel good during or after probably would be good to try a different activity. Take high impact activities to low impact and stay active.

Can I sleep on my back?

Trust me-when you shouldn't be sleeping on your back, you will know it because you may get dizzy, lightheaded, or feel your heart racing. The concern is the inferior vena cava that can be slightly compressed by the enlarging uterus. Usually when it starts to be uncomfortable is about 28 weeks, some a little sooner and some later. Again, listen to your body.

When can I find out what gender I am having?

Usually by 18-22 weeks you can tell if you will be decorating in pink or blue. Typically the first complete ultrasound is done during this time period. Just hope your little one is cooperative and not being shy when it's time to take a peak.

What can I take for a cold?

This is often specific to how far along you are in your pregnancy. You can always take Tylenol and Benadryl. It is okay to take a decongestant (Sudafed), mucolytic (Mucinex) and antihistamine (Claritin) after your first trimester (i.e. after about 14 weeks) for a short time period for symptom relief (i.e. less than 1 week). Always talk to your physician first, as there might be a situation with your pregnancy that may alter your medication choices during pregnancy.

When should I feel my baby move?

On average, you should be able to feel your baby move between 18-22 weeks. First time moms often are a little later at 20-24 weeks.

Can I drink soda and caffeine?

It is okay to drink soda, but it should not be your only source of fluids. I recommend for every can of soda you have 2 equal amounts of water (i.e. for 12 oz can of soda, have 24 oz of water).

How long can I expect to have morning sickness?

Morning sickness, which is never just in the morning, usually peaks around 9-10 weeks and usually has improved or resolved by 15 weeks. Rarely, some women have nausea that lasts their entire pregnancy. If you are having trouble keeping down fluids and vomiting several times per day, you should see your provider. Over the counter remedies for nausea- you can try Unisom, Vitamin B6, and ginger.

Is spotting normal?

Occasionally spotting is normal in pregnancy. Often, it is seen after intercourse, or increased or vigorous activity. If cramping is present and spotting is increasing, please see your health care provider.

Is it okay to have sex during pregnancy?

It is okay to have sex during pregnancy. It will not hurt the baby. Occasionally, there are conditions that arise during pregnancy that may require pelvic rest, but your provider should let you know if that is a concern.

Common New Baby Questions:

My baby sneezes and hiccups a lot. Is that normal?

Sneezing and hiccups are very common the first 2 months of life. This is the baby's nervous system working well to adapt to it's new environment. It is not hurting the baby and there is not much you can do to make it better. Just give it some time.

My baby was pooping several times a day, but now goes several days without a bowel movement, is that normal?

Newborn babies seem to poop every time you feed them the first few weeks. Eventually it has to slow down. Sometimes you will find that breastfed babies may go several days without a bowel movement after a few weeks-months old. As long as they are not uncomfortable and when the bowels come out and they are nice and soft, you can continue to monitor. If your baby goes more then 5 days without having a bowel movement, or seems uncomfortable, or there are other concerns, make sure to contact your provider to discuss treatment options.

How much Tylenol can I give my baby?

Tylenol dosing is based on weight. You can use Tylenol at any time after the baby is born. It is recommended to hold off on ibuprofen (Motrin) until the infant is 4-6 months old. I would recommend having some Infant Tylenol on hand. For infants up to 4 months, usually dosing is the 0.4 ml and 4-8 months 0.4 ml and 8 -12 months 0.8 ml. Again this depends on weight, so if you're infant is smaller or larger for their age, check with your physician for dosing.

When should my baby sleep through the night?

Most infants by 6 months and 16 lbs should be able to sleep through the night. You can try different tactics to get them to sleep. Sometimes you have to let them cry it out a little.

When is a fever too high?

If the infant is less than 2 months old and has a fever greater than 100.4, the infant should be seen by their provider. Infants less than 2 months old have not received immunizations to protect them against some childhood illnesses. After 2 months, it is not so much the height of the fever as much as is the infant taking fluids, and is the fever responding to ibuprofen and Tylenol. If the fever persists more than 3 days or if the infant is not taking fluids and has decreased urine output, then should be seen by provider.

Why does my baby have acne?

It is very normal for newborns to have baby acne. This is most common between 1-3 months old. It is just your infant getting use to this new environment it is living in. Changing, bathing, or lotion habits do not make a difference. They just have to grow out of it.

How do I take care of the umbilical cord?

Usually just using warm water on a q-tip to clean at the base and around the umbilical cord is all you need to do. Most umbilical cords fall off between 5-14 days.

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