Pregnancy planning

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: David Perlstein, MD, MBA, FAAP
    David Perlstein, MD, MBA, FAAP

    David Perlstein, MD, MBA, FAAP

    Dr. Perlstein received his Medical Degree from the University of Cincinnati and then completed his internship and residency in pediatrics at The New York Hospital, Cornell medical Center in New York City. After serving an additional year as Chief Pediatric Resident, he worked as a private practitioner and then was appointed Director of Ambulatory Pediatrics at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx.

Early Pregnancy Symptoms Slideshow

Quick GuideOvulation & Fertility Pictures Slideshow: Facts to Help You Get Pregnant

Ovulation & Fertility Pictures Slideshow: Facts to Help You Get Pregnant

Should I exercise when pregnant?

Exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle and is recommended for healthy pregnant women who have uncomplicated pregnancies, with a few exceptions. You should always discuss your exercise program with your doctor. Recommendations from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology state that pregnant women who have an uncomplicated pregnancy should participate in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most, if not all, days of the week. However, there are some sports with an increased risk of trauma to the abdomen that should be avoided. These include ice hockey, kickboxing, soccer, and horseback riding. Scuba diving should also be avoided in pregnancy since it poses a risk of decompression sickness ("the bends") to the fetus.

Is it safe to have sexual intercourse during pregnancy?

For most women, sex during pregnancy is safe. Your doctor may recommend avoiding sexual intercourse if you have certain conditions or risk factors. These include prior preterm labor, multiple miscarriages, infection, bleeding, amniotic fluid leak, and placenta previa (low placenta). Pregnant women should not have sexual activity that would put them at risk for contracting a sexually-transmitted disease (STD).

Is air travel safe for pregnant women?

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, occasional air travel in pregnancy is considered safe, and there are no data to show that air travel adversely affects pregnancy outcomes for occasional travelers. Most airlines allow women to fly up to the 36th week of gestation. Women who have high-risk pregnancies and are at risk for preterm labor or who may require emergency care should avoid air travel. It is generally recommended that pregnant women traveling by air take precaution to decrease their risk of developing blood clots (thrombi) in the extremities. The use of support stockings, frequent ambulation, and remaining well hydrated can help reduce the risks of developing a blood clot in the legs during long flights.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/12/2016

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