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Pregnancy: Common Questions

There are plenty of myths and “old wives’ tales” about pregnancy. You may need help separating fact from fiction. On this sheet, you’ll find answers to a few common questions. If you have other questions, talk with your healthcare provider.

Pregnant woman sitting on exam table, talking to doctor.

Will working harm my baby?

In most cases, working throughout your pregnancy is not harmful at all. There may be concerns if the job involves dangerous machinery or chemicals, lifting, or standing for very long periods of time. Talk with your healthcare provider and employer about your particular job and pregnancy.

Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?

Yes, unless you are specifically advised not to by your healthcare provider.

Why can’t I change the cat litter box?

Cats carry a disease called toxoplasmosis. In adult humans, it shows up as a mild infection of the blood and organs. If you are infected during pregnancy, the baby’s brain and eyes could be damaged. To be safe, have someone else change the litter. If you must handle it, wear a paper mask over your nose and mouth. Also, wear gloves and wash your hands afterward.

Which medicines are safe?

No prescription or over-the-counter medicine is safe for everyone all of the time. But sometimes medicines are needed. Be sure your healthcare provider knows you are pregnant. Then use only the medicines they advise you to take.

Is it true that I can overheat my baby?

Yes. To prevent making your baby too warm:

  • Don’t sit in a Jacuzzi. A long, warm bath is fine, but not in water over 100°F (37.7°C).

  • Exercise less intensely if you feel tired. Base your workout on how you feel, not on your heart rate. Heart rates aren’t a good way to measure effort during pregnancy.

Can I lift and carry safely?

Yes, if your healthcare provider doesn’t tell you otherwise. Learn to lift and carry safely to prevent injury and reduce back pain during pregnancy. To protect your back:

  • Bend at the knees to bring the load nearer.

  • Get a good grip. Test the weight of the load.

  • Tighten your belly. Exhale as you lift.

  • Lift with your legs, not with your back.

  • Carry the load close to your body.

  • Hold the load so you can see where you are going.

What if I get sick?

Most people get sick at least once during pregnancy. Talk with your healthcare provider if you do. Most likely it will not affect your pregnancy. Get plenty of rest and fluids and eat what you can. Talk with your provider before taking any medicines.

Online Medical Reviewer: Donna Freeborn PhD CNM FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: Heather M Trevino BSN RNC
Online Medical Reviewer: Irina Burd MD PhD
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2022
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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