Lifestyle Modifications in Pregnancy

Lifestyle Modifications for Pregnancy

During pregnancy, we recommend the following lifestyle changes to benefit the health of you and your baby.  

Food Related Modifications:

  • In general, there is no standard recommended weight gain. It is based on your ideal body weight and starting weight.
  • We strongly encourage you to visit the FDA's website, , and navigate to the pregnancy page. The FDA will have the most current information on food safety (including fish safety and any food borne infection outbreaks).
  • No smoking.
  • No recreational drugs (marijuana, cocaine, LSD, heroin, meth., etc.) 
  • No alcohol, beer or wine. 
  • Caffeine – up to 1 (8oz) cup of coffee per day, or up to 2 (12oz) sodas 


  • No hot tubs over 98.6°. No saunas. 
  • Continue to exercise at your current level, or begin walking – this will help with your labor and delivery and help you return to your pre-pregnancy weight faster.
  • Refrain from abdominal exercises and activities where you could fall and cause abdominal trauma. 
  • Yoga and similar excercises are also encouraged
  • After 20 weeks of pregnancy avoid excercising while lying flat on your back.
  • Sleeping on your side is preferred after 20 weeks (either side). 
  • Begin Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor.
  • Maintaining sexual relations is OK unless otherwise noted by your provider.


  • Travel is permitted without restrictions before 36 weeks. If traveling by airplane, please walk around every 1-2 hours. Take a copy of your prenatal records with you when traveling. 
  • Painting is OK with adequate ventilation. 
  • Remember toxoplasmosis precautions: no litter box changes, no gardening without gloves, no cleaning of open sandboxes and no eating raw meat. See the FDA website for more details. 
  • Hair coloring and highlights are fine during pregnancy. 
  • Manicure and pedicures are also safe.


  • Heating pads can be used after 12 weeks for 15 minute intervals, but refrain from using them directly on the abdomen. 
  • A flu vaccine is recommended regardless of your due date. 
  • No douching.
  • Prepare yourself and your partner for labor and delivery. Classes are available GBMC. Call GBMC Parent Education at 443-849-2229 or click here for their website which is full of helpful information.
  • Fetal Kick Counts (after 28 weeks) : If you are concerned that the baby is moving less than usual, we ask that you monitor fetal kick counts. After eating a meal, sit down and count how often you feel the baby move in one hour. The baby should kick or move atleast 10 times. If the baby moves less than 10 times in the first hour, count for another hour. If there is still decreased movement, please call the office or on-call physician.

Common Remedies for Morning Sickness:

  • Avoid triggers for nausea and vomiting such as stuffy rooms, odors (perfume, smoke), humidity, noise, quickly changing positions and brushing teeth after eating. 
  • Eat small, frequent, low fat, high carbohydrate meals. Eat before or as soon as you feel hungry. 
  • Fluids – cold, clear, carbonated, or sour (especially ginger ale and lemonade). 
  • Try aromatic therapy – especially lemon, mint or orange. 
  • Acupressure wristbands, acupuncture and hypnosis have also been found effective. 
  • Pharmacological treatment may be necessary for patients with extreme nausea and vomiting. Please call us if no home remedies aer helping.

When to call us after business hours (410-823-1120):

  • If you think you are in labor. This includes contractions every five minutes consistently, for 1-2 hours or leaking of fluid. (Please call us before heading to the hospital…we need to let them know you are coming.) 
  • Severe dehydration 
  • Heavy bleeding 
  • Fever above 101 (if not OB related, please go to PCP or Patient First)
  • Pain on urination 
  • Decreased fetal movement or no fetal movement (after 28 weeks) 
  • Sudden swelling, especially if accompanied by a headache or visual changes 
  • Dizziness or fainting 

* Please feel free to call the office anytime during business hours for urgent and non-urgent matters.

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