Pregnancy Precautions

Pregnancy Precautions Keep You and Baby Safe

Your personal journey through pregnancy is an opportunity to learn, relax and embrace the excitement of welcoming your new baby into the world. While your entire pregnancy is about healthy lifestyle awareness, it is especially important throughout the first trimester of pregnancy to be particularly aware of certain factors that will play a crucial role in how your baby develops.

During the first three months, all of your baby's organs are forming. This developmental stage is sensitive to certain foods and medications. As your pregnancy continues, you will want to understand what signs to look for that baby is developing optimally. While it may be overwhelming at times to stay on top of so much new information, please know that our caring team is here to help you all along the way and answer any of your questions.

Dietary Considerations

  • Seafood. While fish and seafood are an excellent source of essential omega-rich fatty acids, they also may contain high levels of mercury and certain bacteria that can be harmful to fetal development and the mother.
    • If you eat non-commercial fish caught in local waters, be aware of local advisories
    • Avoid consuming raw fish such as sushi and ceviche, shark, tilefish and king mackerel
    • Limit the amount of tuna you consume
    • Avoid processed fish available at fast food outlets
  • Caffeinated foods. Caffeine is a stimulant that may interfere with fetal growth and development. We suggest significantly limiting your intake of caffeine throughout pregnancy to avoid anxiety, irritability, and hormonal fluctuations. Babies born to mothers who consume large amounts of caffeine throughout pregnancy may also exhibit mood fluctuations as well as irregular heartbeat and sleeping concerns. Caffeine containing foods include:
    • Coffee and tea
    • Colas
    • Energy drinks
    • Chocolate
  • Alcohol. While dozens of studies have been performed showing a small amount of alcohol may be safe, no one actually knows how much is safe to consume while pregnant. Because babies born to mothers who drink throughout pregnancy may suffer from FAS (fetal alcohol syndrome), we suggest avoiding alcohol throughout pregnancy. Signs and symptoms of FAS may include cognitive issues, failure to thrive, and delayed development.
  • Important general dietary considerations
    • Avoid cold cuts and hot dogs - they may contain a bacteria known as listeria as well as nitrates
    • Avoid processed packaged foods with synthetic ingredients including food dyes
    • Always wash produce and cutting boards very well

Medications & Dietary Supplements

At your first visit, we will discuss medications and supplements you are taking. If you have been prescribed a medication or dietary supplement from another provider, please ask them to prepare a note describing its use so we can determine together if it is appropriate to use throughout pregnancy. We recommend certain medications for relieving general pregnancy discomfort.

Hot Tub and Sauna Use

Because of over-heating concerns, we generally discourage the use of hot tubs and saunas. Consult with us during each trimester whether their use is safe for your personal circumstances.

Because it is our commitment to keep you and baby safe, when questions arise, we want to hear from you. Give us a call through our BABY LINE at 803-799-BABY (2229).


For over 50 years, our practice has provided gynecological and pregnancy-related services to women in the Columbia SC area of all ages. By offering comprehensive women's health services in our offi...
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