8} a Studies have not shown the flu vaccine to pose risks to a pregnant woman or her baby. In fact, because pregnant women are at increased risk of flu complications, ACOG recommends that all women receive the flu shot before or during pregnancy, regardless of trimester. “It’s dangerous for pregnant women to get the flu because it can progress to pneumonia,” Filkins explains. Fever is another concern, as animal studies indicate that there is a higher risk of neural-tube defects with an increase in body temperature. Fever also can cause uterine irritability, which can lead to preterm labor. If you have a fever of more than 101˚ F, Filkins suggests calling your doctor right away.
9} b Gaining too much weight puts you at risk for developing gestational diabetes and having an overly large baby and, perhaps, a Cesarean section. But gaining less than 15 pounds can lead to a too-small baby. Overweight women should aim to gain 15 to 25
pounds; normal-weight women, 25 to 35 pounds; and underweight women, 28 to 40 pounds. The recommendation for obese women was recently lowered to 11–20 pounds. See our BMI calculator for How Much Weight Should I Gain?
10} d Caffeine in moderate amounts has not been shown to increase the risk of miscarriage or birth defects, so if you’re used to your morning cup of java, go ahead and enjoy it. But beware—caffeine can lurk in unexpected places:
- 8 ounces coffee: 65–200 milligrams
- 2 Excedrin tablets: 130 milligrams
- 8 ounces hot chocolate: 3–13 milligrams
- 1 cup Häagen-Dazs coffee ice cream: 58 milligrams
- 16 ounces decaf Starbucks coffee: 25 milligrams