Have sex while you're pregnant? Dr. Liang Bartkowiak, an obstetrician at Altoona OBGYN said most pregnant women want to know whether it's OK to have sex when you're pregnant.
The answer is yes, even when you're nine months along. It's good for you and your partner and not harmful to the baby. Addressing concerns of many moms and dads-to-be, Bartkowiak said the baby doesn't feel a thing.
"It's not like the kid's going to come out and tap you on the forehead," she joked.
MirrorMoms.com photo by?Gary M. Baranec
Shawna Collins of Hollidaysburg is shown in May 2009. Her son, Rogan, was born July 3, 2009.
Need another incentive? Sex could even encourage labor if you're close to your due date, Bartkowiak said.
Sex is just one of many topics Bartkowiak broaches with her patients. She helps pregnant women and their families work through the common and not-so-common concerns.
"I've pretty much heard everything," Bartkowiak said.
Is it OK?to have sex??Yes
Around five weeks an at-home pregnancy test can determine whether you are pregnant.
Starting at about eight weeks into your pregnancy, morning sickness may strike.
By week 12, your baby has doubled
You should start feeling better around week 14 as morning sickness subsides.
Near 18 weeks, you may feel your baby start to move or kick. Don't be alarmed if you don't feel anything yet. Some moms, especially first-time moms, don't feel movement until later.
Week 20 is when you should undergo an in-depth sonogram to check for body parts, heart rate and you can even find out whether you're having a boy or a girl.
Around week 32 you may experience Braxton Hicks contractions, which is the uterus preparing for the real thing.
Week 40 is officially the end of full-term pregnancy, but don't be surprised if your little one chooses to stay inside a little longer.
One of the biggest complaints of pregnant women in the first trimester is morning sickness, which occurs anywhere from weeks eight to 16. While some women have severe morning sickness all night and day, other women are barely affected.
To stave off nausea and vomiting, Bartkowiak recommends eating small, frequent meals.
"When the body is trying to maintain a certain level of sugar in its system, that's why it's trying to promote the body to eat more often," she said.
Another tip is to not eat and drink at the same time - which can cause nausea because the stomach will fill too fast. Drinking tart drinks like lemonade or flattened ginger ale will help with nausea, as will salty food like pretzels and saltines.
Eating for two?
A common mistake made by pregnant women is overeating and gaining too much weight too quickly, which could result in gestational diabetes, large babies and difficult vaginal deliveries.
"Most people think they need to eat for two. In reality, they only need to eat 300 to 500 extra calories a day to grow a baby," Bartkowiak said.
The more nutritious the food, the better - fruits, vegetables and whole grains are all good choices.
Steer clear of ...
As we all know, alcohol and cigarettes are off-limits during pregnancy. But Bartkowiak said don't sweat it if you imbibed a little before you took the positive pregnancy test or treated yourself to a glass of wine after a hard day.
"We're not going to say 'Go home and drink.' But don't get freaked out," she said.
Food to stay away from includes fish with high mercury levels, such as tuna, shark and swordfish. Other fish like flounder or salmon are great choices because of the Omega-3 fatty acids. Watch out for farm-raised salmon, however, because the dioxins could cause birth defects and possibly cancer, Bartkowiak said.
All meat needs to be cooked well done and luncheon meats should be heated because of the possibility of listeria and e-coli. Soft cheeses are not good to eat in pregnancy either.
"This might cause a stillborn or baby edema. It's rare, but I've seen it before," Bartkowiak said.
There's no reason to stop exercising when you're pregnant. In fact, exercise is good for pregnant women and their babies, Bartkowiak said.
Things to avoid: lying flat on your back or lifting more than 40 pounds.
"I encourage patients to stay active as long as possible in order to facilitate an easier labor," Bartkowiak said.
Above all else, seek medical services as soon as you find out you're pregnant and don't hesitate to ask your obstetrician all your questions.