I am almost 2 months pregnant. I am completely thrilled, but also terrified. I am 34 years old, a bit overweight, and this will be our first child.
It seems that everything I touch, someone has to tell me it causes birth defects or going to cause me to miscarry. This site seems very reliable to answer questions, so please help me understand!
Lotion? Can I use lotion? What should I look out for in products?
Green Tea? I've been drinking decaffeinated green tea since coffee (decaf and regular) has become unbearably nasty with pregnancy. Will it really cause miscarriage?
Splenda? Saccharin is out, I don't do well with aspartame (causes me to get mild headaches) and my husband is diabetic, so we don't use sugar at all. Can I sweeten drinks with Splenda?
Left overs? I cannot seem to finish half of what I ate before I was pregnant (which was admittedly too much). So I have been saving half of my meals and eating them in a few hours when I get hungry again. I don't always have access to a microwave or stove to heat up things and sometimes they are sandwiches (not meant to be hot). Will these left overs (usually not more than 3 hours left over) make me or the baby sick?
These might be some of those false myths about pregnancy, but I would like some confirmation if possible. My first doctor appointment is not for 2 more weeks and I don't want to continue something that is harmful in this formative time!
As a dietitian, the questions I can answer from your list are the ones that are nutrition related. For other questions you should ask your OB/GYN. Never be afraid to give your doctor a call if you have questions or concerns whether you have had your first appointment or not!
Green tea is fine and will not cause a miscarriage. You do want to be careful of herbal teas and other herbal supplements as some can be harmful to the fetus. And you do want to make sure the tea is decaf!
As for Splenda the FDA has deemed this sweetener as safe for everyone, including pregnant women. There have been no studies to date that show any harm during pregnancy. Although Splenda is considered safe for pregnant and nursing moms, it is best to stick with whole foods such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, fat free dairy products and lean meats to ensure you are getting the necessary calories and nutrients that you need. It is not the time to worry about low calorie or no calorie foods, which is what these types of sweeteners are usually used in. Don't fill up on artificially sweetened foods and not have enough room left for whole nutritious foods. Though it is deemed safe it is still a good idea to use the product in moderation!
Food safety is very important during pregnancy because you are more susceptible to food-born illnesses. Food-born illness can definitely harm both mother and baby! As far as leftovers, it is vital to ensure you heat foods thoroughly, cook them thoroughly and cool them properly! Leftovers should be refrigerated quickly. If you eat lunch meats they should always be heated to the point of steaming. Lunch meats, including hot dogs, can contain a bacteria that is dangerous for pregnant women. Heating these meats will ensure you kill that bacteria.My suggestion is to buy my book, "The Everything Pregnancy Nutrition Book" (Adams Media 2005). It will help answer a lot of your questions about proper nutrition throughout your entire pregnancy. It will address food safety, do's and don'ts, etc.
Good luck with your pregnancy and don't do too much worrying! Relax and enjoy this time! Always ask your doctor whenever you have any questions!
-- Kimberly, RD LD
Kimberly A. Tessmer, RD LD has been a registered dietitian since 1992 and is also an Ohio licensed Dietitian. Her educational achievements include a Bachelor of Science in Technology (Dietetics) from Bowling State University in Bowling Green, OH. She currently owns and operates a consulting business called "Nutrition Focus" www.nutrifocus.net, in which she specializes and offers services in the areas of weight management, general nutrition, authoring, menu development and a variety of other services.
To date Kim has authored three books including "The Everything® Nutrition Book", "Tell Me What To Eat If I Have Celiac Disease", and "The Everything® Pregnancy Nutrition Book". In addition, Kim has written numerous articles for various health/nutrition web sites and magazines including Bally Total Fitness Magazine, Well and Healthy Women Magazine and Healthology.com, Inc as well as continuing education courses for www.care2learn.com. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association and the ADA Practice Group, Nutrition Entrepreneurs.