The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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The risk in skiing and ice skating is falling. This isn’t so bad in the first trimester, but after 20 weeks, when the uterus extends past the pelvis, falling on your abdomen could cause premature labor, separation of the placenta from the baby or a fetal injury. Moderate cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are fine.
And If I Have To Take Something?
If you regularly take a prescription medication for a chronic condition, ask your doctor how it may affect your baby or your pregnancy. Experts on high-risk pregnancies generally will tell you to continue taking your medication if your health depends on it. Here are some guidelines for common medical conditions:
Anxiety and depression Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs, such as Prozac and Zoloft, are now widely prescribed to combat anxiety and depression. These drugs haven’t been studied enough for doctors to know whether they’re safe in pregnancy. The criterion is whether you need them to survive.
Asthma and allergies Most medications (including steroids), whether taken in pill form or via an inhaler, are safe if used as prescribed. The one exception is certain decongestants, which should be avoided, if possible. If you must use a decongestant, do so under your doctor’s care. After all, if a mother can’t breathe properly, her baby could be deprived of oxygen, too.
Diabetes If you take an oral diabetes medication, physicians prefer that you switch to injectable insulin during pregnancy because the latter doesn’t cross the placenta.
Epilepsy Dilantin has been linked to birth defects, but most experts believe that the risk posed by not treating this seizure disorder is greater than the risk posed by the medication itself. Epilepsy patients should see their doctors about this before becoming pregnant.
Thyroid conditions Women who have underactive thyroids and take thyroid medication daily may safely continue to do so. Women with overactive thyroid conditions need to be monitored more closely.
Read Exercise Guidelines for a summary of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Guidelines for exercising while pregnant.