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Top five pregnancy questions answered

When you are expecting, there are always a million different questions, and depending how you ask, a million different answers. Below are answers to five of the most common pregnancy questions I've been asked during my practice as an OB/GYN. 

Q: Is it safe to dye my hair during pregnancy?
A: I'm often asked this question at my first OB visit with a patient, especially from women who are pregnant for the first time. Limited exposure to hair dye or hair products during pregnancy is essentially very safe. There is a limited absorption from that dye to the scalp but this is unlikely to cause any harm. Getting your hair dyed or highlights touched up once or twice during pregnancy should be very safe.

Q: Can I drink a cup of coffee in the morning?
A: Absolutely. In fact, it's okay to have one or two cups of coffee. However, drinking coffee or caffeine all day or taking supplements with caffeine in it can be dangerous. There is some evidence that shows high levels of caffeine can be dangerous during pregnancy, leading to possible miscarriage in the first trimester. However, the type and amount of caffeine that gets consumed in a daily cup of coffee, or even two, is less than 200 to 300 milligrams, which is safe.  

Q: Is shellfish and seafood safe to eat during pregnancy?   
A: Yes, women should consume healthy fish products during pregnancy. It's a great source of protein, iron, zinc, and other crucial nutrients needed for your baby's growth and development. In fact, the omega-3 fatty acids that are very prevalent in fish are excellent for baby's brain development. Some type of seafood should be avoided in large quantities during pregnancy, but most fish are fine. Those that should be avoided are large, predatory fish such as swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish.

Q: Can I still exercise?
A. 
Yes and it's important to stay healthy by exercising throughout your pregnancy. However, be sure to first discuss your exercise plan with your doctor. Certain activities that have a higher risk of injury such as downhill skiing should be avoided. 

Q: Am I allowed to fly?
A:
Air travel is fine for most women with a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy. The general recommendation is to stop flying at 36 weeks to prevent going into labor early. If you do fly, be sure to get up, move around and stretch when you can and drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.  

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