Avoid Harmful Substances
Medications — either prescribed or over-the-counter — during pregnancy are best kept to a minimum. While some are considered relatively safe, many are not and pose the risk of potential harm to your baby. Most doctors recommend the use of plain acetaminophen, such as Tylenol®, for headaches, fever or minor aches and pains. Be sure to discuss the use of any medications with your doctor early in your pregnancy.
Recreational drugs (marijuana, cocaine, crack, etc.) have been linked to miscarriages, stillbirths, low-birth-weight babies and birth defects. If you are concerned about your ability to completely stop using drugs, or have any other concerns related to medication or drug use, please talk privately to your doctor. Swedish’s Addiction Recovery Services Department offers a special program for pregnant women. For information, please call 206-781-6209. Seeking help now is crucial to your baby’s well-being.
Drinking alcoholic beverages during pregnancy is not recommended. The use of alcohol has been associated with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which results in babies who are abnormally small and tend to have some mental retardation and behavioral problems. Instead of drinking alcohol, try seltzers, fruit juice or soda water with a twist of lemon or lime.
Smoking during pregnancy has been associated with miscarriage, stillbirths, premature births and low-birth-weight babies. Recent research has also shown that babies and children who have mothers who smoke around them have more respiratory-tract infections and may have some growth retardation and learning disabilities. Therefore, quitting smoking is strongly recommended. Talk to your doctor about programs available to help you stop smoking.
Caffeine intake should generally be limited to no more than two servings per day. Remember, caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, chocolate, colas and some other soft drinks.
Other things to avoid during pregnancy include work requiring heavy lifting or overexertion; radiation, including X-rays; poisons or toxic fumes from aerosols, insecticides and paint; hot tubs or saunas hotter than 101 degrees; and eating raw meat, eggs or poultry. Because parasites in cat feces can cause toxoplasmosis in pregnant women, this is the time to have someone else clean the litter box.
Hear from two Swedish OBs and find out everything you need to know if you’re planning to get pregnant or just found out you already are!
Take a Tour
Click here for information about tours of our Childbirth Centers.
Grandparent class featured on the Today Show!
Watch a video about Grandparenting Classes at Swedish.
Click here to subscribe
One Patient's Story
Amazingly, her twin boys were born three weeks apart.