During Pregnancy FAQs

How can I start sleeping better during my pregnancy?

Regular exercise and relaxation activities, such as stretching, yoga, and deep breathing can aid in sleeping well during pregnancy. Some women find that drinking a glass of warm milk before bed helps them sleep and avoiding foods that contain caffeine. If you are experiencing issues with your sleep while pregnant, then please book an OBGYN appointment with Dr. Hill at his office in Youngstown so he can address any concerns that you may have.

How can a lack of sleep affect my pregnancy?

New research suggests that women who don’t get enough sleep during pregnancy may have higher risks of developing pregnancy complications including:

Preeclampsia, or high blood pressure

Gestational diabetes

Longer labors and higher rates of cesarean section, particularly among women who get fewer than six hours of sleep over the course of 24 hours [1]


[1] Johns Hopkins Medicine, “Get a Good Night’s Sleep During Pregnancy”, accessed May 3, 2021,


Why am I having issues sleeping during pregnancy?

Many factors can contribute to women not sleeping well during pregnancy, including fluctuating hormone levels, nausea, leg cramps, and frequent nighttime urination.

How should I sleep during pregnancy?

If you normally sleep on your back, it’s safe to continue during your first trimester, but as your bump gets bigger and heavier it will be more comfortable to sleep on your side. By the third trimester, sleeping on your side is the safest position for your baby as it helps prevent the risk of stillbirth. If you sleep on your side with your knees bent, it will help reduce the amount of pressure on your uterus and help you to breathe better.

What do I do if I get cramps during pregnancy?

If you are experiencing cramps during pregnancy, there are a few things to consider. Cramps during pregnancy are normal but can scare the person experiencing them. Cramping is simply a response to any change in the uterus. If you are experiencing bleeding accompanied by cramps during pregnancy, set up an appointment to see Dr. Hill right away.

How long can I work into my pregnancy?

The answer to how long you can work into your pregnancy is different for every woman and is dependent on your complications and the development of your baby. Most women are able to work until their due date. If complications do happen, Dr. Hill could suggest bed rest for the health of you and your baby.

Can I travel during pregnancy?

Unless complications prevent this, it is safe for most women to travel up to 36 weeks pregnant. Just make sure to take precautions, such as using a seatbelt under your hips, bringing snacks to prevent nausea, and carrying a copy of your medical records. Always consult with Dr. Hill before traveling late in your pregnancy.

Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?

Yes, it is safe to have sex during pregnancy as long as you don't have any complications preventing it. If you are concerned about having sex during pregnancy, call Dr. Hill and schedule an appointment today.

Why am I experiencing tingling or numbness?

You may experience a tingling sensation or numbness during pregnancy. This is because as your uterus grows, your body retains more water. This constricts some nerves and causes numbness. You may experience numbness from this in your arms, feet, and legs.

What happens if I get an infection during pregnancy?

You can still get sick while you’re pregnant. The flu, colds, upset stomach, fever, and even STD’s can all happen during pregnancy. It is important not to take over the counter medications for these while pregnant. Call Dr. Hill to schedule an appointment or ask any questions about what to do next.

Why am I experiencing frequent urination?

Frequent urination is very common in pregnant women. Urination will become more frequent the farther into a pregnancy you are. If urination is ever painful, changes in color or odor, or is accompanied by a fever, you may have an infection. If this happens, call Dr. Hill right away to schedule an appointment.

Why am I having difficulty sleeping?

Many pregnant women have difficulty sleeping because it is hard to get comfortable in your changing body. There are some things that can help relax you and help you sleep better, like taking a warm bath before bed, sleeping on your side with a body pillow, or relaxation exercises.

Is it safe for me to exercise during pregnancy?

It is safe to exercise during pregnancy if you exercised prior to getting pregnant. You need to make sure your heart rate does not exceed 140 during exercise. Exercising while pregnant can actually help strengthen muscles that you may need during labor. If you didn't exercise before pregnancy, it's okay to walk and swim in moderation.

What are the benefits of exercising during pregnancy?

Regular exercise during pregnancy can benefit you and your baby.

  • Reduces back pain
  • Eases constipation
  • Promotes healthy weight gain during pregnancy
  • Improves your overall general fitness while strengthening your heart and blood vessels
  • Helps you to lose weight after your baby is born

What are some safe exercises that I can do during pregnancy?

There are a few exercises that are safe for most pregnant women. With any exercise during pregnancy, be sure to stay hydrated and avoid becoming overheated. This is especially important in the first trimester.

  • Walking During Pregnancy – Brisk walking is a full-body workout that is easy on the joints and muscles
  • Swimming During Pregnancy – The water supports your additional pregnancy weight to help you avoid injury and muscle strain
  • Stationary Biking While Pregnant – Since pregnancy can affect your balance, a standard bicycle is risky to ride during pregnancy. A stationary bike should be chosen instead.
  • Prenatal Yoga or Prenatal Pilates – Yoga reduces stress, improves flexibility, and encourages stretching and focused breathing, which is beneficial for pregnancy

Is it safe to get a 3D or 4D ultrasound?

Getting a 3D ultrasound or 4D ultrasound is considered just as safe as getting a 2D scan. This is because the images in a 3D ultrasound and 4D ultrasound are made up of sections of two-dimensional images converted into a picture, plus the power of intensity is the same as it is for 2D scanning. However, it is not recommended to get a 3D ultrasound or 4D ultrasound purely for a souvenir, because it means you are exposing your baby to more ultrasound waves than is medically necessary. Some private ultrasounds can be as long as 45 minutes to an hour, which may be longer than the recommended safety limits.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) report there is no reliable scientific evidence showing that ultrasound (2D ultrasound, Doppler ultrasound, 3D ultrasound4D ultrasound) is harmful to a developing fetus, but they caution it’s possible some damaging effects could be discovered in the future.

Have I gained too much weight during pregnancy?

Weight gain during pregnancy varies, depending on your weight before you get pregnant. Healthy weight gain for women of normal weight is 25 to 35 pounds, for overweight women, 15 to 25 pounds, and for obese women, 15 pounds. If you feel like you have gained a lot of weight during pregnancy, ask your OBGYN if your specific weight gain is unhealthy for you.

Will I be able to control my bladder as usual after my pregnancy?

During pregnancy, bladder control may decrease the closer you get to your due date. After about six weeks to three months of having this issue, most women notice an improvement. Kegel exercises help to strengthen the pelvic muscles that stop urine flow. Clench these muscles 10 times, three to five sets a day. If there is an ongoing problem, consult your OBGYN.

Will I be stretched out down there after giving birth?

No, your vagina naturally stretches during baby delivery, but then goes back to its normal size afterward. If you are concerned about this, do Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic muscles. To identify these muscles, clench the same muscles you use to stop your urine in mid-stream. Do a set of 10 repetitions, three to five times a day.

I have a lot of discharge during pregnancy. Is that normal?

Yes, it is normal. Discharge during pregnancy is due to an increase in blood flow to your pelvic area and pregnancy hormones. If your discharge is painful, burning, itching, has an odor, or is very watery – it could be an infection, or your water may have broken. In this situation, it is best to call Dr. Hill right away. Also, if you are bleeding or spotting during pregnancy, it is best to contact Dr. Hill immediately.

Is it normal to have bad gas and indigestion during pregnancy?

Yes. Pregnancy hormones cause changes that affect your gastrointestinal system. Nausea (morning sickness) and bloating occur in 85% of women early on during pregnancy. Acid reflux and indigestion can occur later in pregnancy.

Will I have a bowel movement during my baby delivery?

It is possible if your bowel is full at the time you are pushing. However, do not worry about this because the baby delivery is about the health of you and your baby. As medical professionals, we respect the patient’s dignity in all moments of the birthing process!

What can I do to make my digestion better during pregnancy?

For constipation during pregnancy, add more vegetables, fruits, and food with fiber – as well as drink a lot of water. Milk of magnesia or a stool softener can also help. To decrease heartburn during pregnancy, avoid acidic and spicy foods. Eating smaller and more frequent meals can also help. If your digestion issues do not improve during pregnancy, your Obstetrician/Gynecologist may suggest taking calcium carbonate.

What foods should I avoid while pregnant?

During your pregnancy, there are many foods that you should avoid eating for your health and the health of your baby.

  • Raw meat and shellfish – These can be contaminated with salmonella
  • Deli meat – These can contain listeria which can be life-threatening to your baby
  • Fish with high levels of mercury
  • Smoked seafood – This refrigerated, smoked seafood could be contaminated with listeria
  • Raw eggs – These can pose a risk of salmonella
  • Unpasteurized dairy – These products can contain listeria
  • Soft cheeses – Some imported soft cheeses can have listeria

What foods should I be eating during pregnancy?

  • Dairy products – During pregnancy it is important to consume extra protein and calcium to meet the needs of the growing fetus
  • Legumes – These are excellent plant-based sources of fiber, protein, iron, folate, and calcium
  • Eggs – These are a great source of high-quality protein and fat, while also packing many vitamins and minerals
  • Broccoli and dark, leafy greens– These contain many of the nutrients pregnant women need such as fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, iron, folate, and potassium
  • Berries – These are packed with water, healthy carbs, vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants that may help pregnant women increase their nutrient and water intake

What if I have uterine fibroids and become pregnant?

Asymptomatic small or medium-sized uterine fibroids alone are unlikely to present a significant risk to a pregnancy. However, fibroids may increase in size as a result of increased levels of hormones and blood flow to the uterus during pregnancy. The growth of uterine fibroids may cause discomfort, feelings of pressure, or pain. Large or multiple fibroids can increase the risk of:

  • Cesarean Section (C-section)
  • Breech Presentation
  • Placental Abruption
  • Preterm Delivery

Contact Obstetrician/Gynecologist Dr. Hill if you have uterine fibroids and become pregnant.

Are you pregnant and searching for an OB/GYN? Book an appointment with Dr. Hill today online or by calling the office at 330-746-7007. New prenatal patients receive a free designer diaper bag at 36 weeks pregnant!

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