10. Fats and Sweets

You may need to be cautious with fats and sweets, unless you’re underweight and need to gain some weight. Many of these foods are high in calories and low in nutritional value. Eat them sparingly.

Instead of selecting a food with little nutritional value, like potato chips or cookies, choose a piece of fruit, some cheese or a slice of whole wheat bread with a little peanut butter. You’ll satisfy your hunger and your nutritional needs at the same time! Some fats and sweets you may choose, and their serving sizes, include the following:

• sugar or honey—1 tablespoon

• oil—1 tablespoon

• margarine or butter—1 pat

• jam or jelly—1 tablespoon

• salad dressing—1 tablespoon

Watch your intake of peanuts and peanut butter. Research shows eating a lot of peanut products during pregnancy may increase your baby’s chances of having asthma.

11. You Should Also Know

Fifth Disease

Fifth disease, also called parvo virus B19, was the fifth disease to be described with a certain kind of rash. (It is not related to the parvo virus common in dogs.) It is a mild, moderately contagious airborne infection and spreads easily through groups, such as classrooms or day-care centers. About 60% of pregnant women have previously had fifth disease—that means 40% are at risk. However, you have only a 10% chance of being infected after exposure.

The rash looks like reddened skin caused by a slap. The reddening fades and recurs, and lasts from 2 to 34 days. Joint pains are another symptom. There is no treatment. Fifth disease is most harmful to baby during the first trimester.

If you believe you have been exposed to fifth disease, contact your healthcare provider. A blood test can determine whether you previously had the virus. If you haven’t, your healthcare provider can monitor you to detect problems in the baby. Some problems can be dealt with before baby is born.

12. Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder that causes digestive and breathing problems. It causes the body to produce sticky mucus that builds up in the lungs, pancreas and other organs, which can lead to respiratory and digestive problems. Those with the disorder are usually diagnosed early in life.

We are now able to determine whether there is a risk of having a baby with CF. You and your partner can be tested before pregnancy to determine if either of you are carriers. A test can also be done in the first and/or second trimester of pregnancy to see if the baby has cystic fibrosis. Medical experts urge Caucasians to have the CF test. It’s the most common birth defect in this group. Screening is also recommended for others at higher risk for CF, such as Ashkenazi Jews. The screening test uses a blood sample or a saliva sample.

For your baby to have cystic fibrosis, both parents must be carriers. If only one parent is a carrier, the baby will not have CF. A carrier does not have CF. You could be a carrier even if no one in your family has CF. You could also be a carrier if you already have children and they do not have CF. Your chance of carrying the gene for cystic fibrosis increases if someone in your family has CF or is a known carrier.

Screening for Cystic Fibrosis. Screening for cystic fibrosis is often offered to couples as part of genetic counseling. One test available is called Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Complete Test. It can identify more than 1000 mutations of the CF gene. A panel that screens for 23 CF mutations is the recommended test.

If both of you carry the CF gene, your baby will have a 25% chance of having cystic fibrosis. Your developing baby can be tested during your pregnancy with chorionic villus sampling around the 10th or 11th week of pregnancy. Amniocentesis may also be used to test the baby.

Some CF gene mutations cannot be detected by the current test. This means you could be told you don’t carry the gene, when in fact you do. The test cannot detect all CF mutations because researchers don’t know all of them at this time. However, unknown CF gene mutations are rare.

Late-night nutritious snacks are beneficial for some women. However, for many women, snacking at night is unnecessary. If you’re used to ice cream or other goodies before bed, you may pay for it during pregnancy with excessive weight gain. Food in your stomach late at night may also cause heartburn or indigestion.

If you believe cystic fibrosis is a serious concern or if you have a family history of the disease, talk to your healthcare provider. Testing is a personal decision you and your partner must make.

Many couples choose not to have the test because it would not change what they would do during the pregnancy. In addition, they do not want to expose the mother-to-be or the developing fetus to the risks of CVS or amniocentesis. However, testing is recommended so care can be provided to baby after birth.

13. Exercise for Week 12


Lie on your left side, with your body in alignment. Support your head with your left hand, and place your right hand on the floor in front of you for balance. Inhale and relax. While exhaling, slowly raise your right leg as high as you can without bending your knee or your body. Keep your foot flexed. Inhale and slowly lower your leg. Repeat on your right side. Do 10 times on each side. Tones and strengthens hip, buttock and thigh muscles.


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