Care for You

We at CHI St. Francis Health want to make sure you take care of YOU during your pregnancy. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Medication safety during pregnancy

It's a fact: Everything you eat, drink or swallow during pregnancy possibly could affect your baby. Don't play a guessing game where medications are concerned. Ask your physician or other health care professional about taking any medication or dietary supplement. As far as alcohol and nicotine are concerned, most experts advise avoiding them during pregnancy.

If you require meds: If you have a condition that requires medication, discuss it with your health care professional. Some medications may be stopped during a critical stage of the baby's development, then used again safely later.

Med safety: Remember not to assume a product is safe during pregnancy just because it doesn't require a prescription. Also, don't stop or start any medication without asking your healthcare professional.

Colds or flu: For cold and flu symptoms, use a humidifier, drink plenty of clear liquids, gargle with salt water and get extra sleep. Be sure to wash your hands frequently.

Managing discomfort during your pregnancy

Are you feeling tired? Irritable? Nauseated? These are some of the fairly common discomforts of pregnancy and should be viewed more as nuisances than something to worry about. Of course, you should call your physician or healthcare professional immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms, including severe pain, blurred vision, vaginal sores or bleeding. To feel more comfortable, try the following:

  • Eat frequent, small meals throughout the day to ease nausea. Eat a few unsalted crackers before bedtime and when you first wake up.
  • Drink eight to 10 glasses of water daily to moisturize dry skin, relieve constipation and reduce swelling in your ankles, feet and hands.
  • Relieve fatigue by taking short naps or by sitting down for 15 minutes and putting your feet up.
  • Expect and accept mood swings. Share your feelings with others.

Pregnancy and your skin

Don't despair over your skin! Acne, dry skin, varicose veins and darkened patches of skin around your eyes, nose and cheeks are common skin-related changes during pregnancy. A dark line may appear down the middle of your abdomen. It's also a common, but harmless, pregnancy-related skin change.

To keep your skin healthy:

  • Wear sunscreen and a hat in the sun. Your skin is more sun-sensitive and may burn more easily during pregnancy.
  • Take your prenatal supplement every day, in addition to eating a well-balanced diet that includes whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
  • Ask about skin care products to control or reduce pregnancy-related skin irritation. Soap substitutes and moisturizers may be recommended.
  • Put your feet up to reduce varicose veins. Report any unusual skin changes such as yellowing of the skin (jaundice), blistering, severe itching, rashes or moles that change in color or size to your health care team.

Pregnancy and sleep

Many things now will probably disrupt your sleep. Don't give up. There's a lot you can do to slumber more peacefully. One of the best things is getting regular exercise early in the day. Try these other sleep tips:

  • Discuss your sleep concerns with your physician or healthcare professional. There may be times when your health care professional recommends a specific sleep position. But in general, you should sleep in the position most comfortable for you, but preferably not on your back.
  • Prop pillows between your legs or behind your back for comfort. Ask your physician or healthcare professional about pregnancy pillows.
  • Avoid exercise and caffeine before bedtime, and try relaxation techniques.
  • Make sure you're getting enough calcium and potassium if you have leg cramps. Wear support hose all day, avoid snug shoes and sit as often as possible with your feet up.

Notice: The information contained on this webpage is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. The Expert Knowledge Network and Saint Francis Healthcare Campus assume no responsibility for how this information is used. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained on this page is intended to be for medical diagnosis or treatment.