The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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You know you should eat right, avoid alcohol and tobacco, and put your career as a trapeze artist on hold until after the baby’s born. You might even know what kinds of fish you can safely eat. But how well-versed are you in the finer points of building a healthy baby? Take our quiz to find out, then check out our answers that will turn you into a maternity maven.
Circle your answers, then turn the page to find out how pregnancy-savvy you really are.
1) Why should you seek prenatal care early in pregnancy?
a. to detect the baby’s heartbeat
b. to get an accurate due date
c. to monitor existing medical problems
d. both b and c
2) As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, you should discontinue any medications you may be taking.
3) Toxoplasmosis can be dangerous during pregnancy. Which of the following does not increase your
risk of contracting it?
a. eating undercooked meat
b. touching cat feces or soil that
contains traces of cat scat
c. touching dog feces
d. drinking unpasteurized milk
e. eating raw eggs
4) How much folic acid should you take daily when trying to conceive and during early pregnancy?
a. 400 micrograms
b. 800 micrograms
c. 1 milligram
d. 5 milligrams
5) Which of the following cosmetic products and treatments should be avoided during pregnancy?
a. prescription acne medications
b. hair dye
c. nail polish
d. self-tanning lotions
6) Which of the following does not increase your risk for going into labor prematurely?
a. gum disease
b. sexual intercourse
c. prolonged standing
d. vaginal infections
e. none of the above
7) Even though liver is loaded with important nutrients such as iron, you should limit your intake of this organ meat when you’re pregnant.
8) It’s OK to get a flu shot when pregnant, even in the first trimester.
9) If you’re overweight to start, you should gain just 10 to 15 pounds during your pregnancy.
10) Experts recommend limiting caffeine intake to 300 milligrams daily during pregnancy. Which of the
following contains the lowest amount?
a. 1 cup Häagen-Dazs coffee ice cream
b. 8 ounces coffee
c. 2 Excedrin tablets
d. 8 ounces hot chocolate
e. 16 ounces decaf Starbucks coffee
Here are the correct answers. They’ll tell you just how much you know, and what you could stand to learn a thing or two about.
1) answer: d
Many doctors and midwives like to see women early in pregnancy so they can gather information to be used at the end: namely, the baby’s due date. Why is an accurate due date so important? “About a week past the due date, the placenta may start to break down, so we want to make sure the baby’s heart rate is OK and that there’s enough fluid around him. If not, we may need to induce labor,” says Pamela Berens, M.D., associate professor of OB-GYN at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. “If a woman has a perfect 28-day cycle, getting an accurate due date isn’t much of an issue,” Berens adds. “Otherwise, we can do an ultrasound to date the pregnancy, and that’s the most accurate way to do it in the first 12 weeks.” Having an accurate due date is also important when it comes to fetal screening, according to Mayri Sagady Leslie, R.N., C.N.M., director of the University of California, San Diego, Nurse-Midwife and Birth Center. “The AFP [alpha-fetoprotein] test is time-