Questions And Answers

It’s Common to Have Pregnancy Concerns

There are so many changes taking place in your body during pregnancy. As a result, it’s common for women to have pregnancy concerns throughout each trimester. Below you will find some common discomforts that women experience at different stages of pregnancy. They can include nausea, headaches, swelling and varicose veins.

Be sure to mention any worries about your pregnancy to your obstetrics team and for any emergencies, contact (828) 253-5381.

I’m Feeling Sick

  • Sinus/Allergies/Colds
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Sore Throat

These problems can be worse in pregnancy. Therefore, they can cause an increase in mucous secretions, dry mucosal membranes and increased symptoms. However, antibiotics won’t help. Below are some suggestions to ease these symptoms.


  • Increase fluids, use humidifiers, use saline nose spray
  • Can use decongestants like Dimetapp, Tylenol Cold & Sinus
  • Can use antihistamines like Claritin, Benadryl, and Zyrtec
  • Mucinex (regular or DM version) can help mucus drain.
  • Get your flu vaccine!

Water is great for hydration and, therefore, one of the the best expectorants for cough and easing those symptoms.


  • May use Robitussin or Triaminic
  • Drink water
  • Call if you have a fever and a productive cough
  • Get your flu vaccine!

Headaches during pregnancy can often be caused by hormonal changes, dehydration, congestion, and allergies. Because of this, tension headaches are common for many pregnant woman as well. 


  • Increase water and eat small frequent meals throughout the day
  • Rest adequately
  • Pregnant women can use Tylenol and/or Tylenol PM
  • Pregnant women can use treatments under Sinus/Allergies/Colds (see above)
  • Heat, stretching, acupuncture, meditation, and massage therapy can also be used

Nausea and vomiting are very common symptoms women experience during pregnancy.  Consequently, it’s usually associated with pregnancy concerns given its frequency.  This usually occurs in the first 12 weeks (1st Trimester), but can last longer.  Your baby will be fine, even if you cannot eat very much during this time.  However, the goal is to prevent dehydration during your pregnancy.


  • Increase you’re intake of fluids; you can hydrate very well by taking 1 sip every 10 minutes, be sure to include fluids with electrolytes as well.
  • Eat 5-6 small meals a day, increasing protein
  • Avoid spicy or greasy foods and anything that is hard to digest
  • Separate solids from liquids
  • Eat crackers one half hour before getting out of bed
  • You can try teas… raspberry, ginger, etc and ginger root capsules
  • Emetrol, Dramamine, and Meclizine are safe to use during pregnancy
  • Acupuncture, meditation, and massage therapy can be used
  • Call if you cannot tolerate anything by mouth. Also keep appointments so that your doctor can determine if you are becoming dehydrated or if any weight loss is approaching, concerning or at dangerous levels
Sore Throat

A sore throat during pregnancy is usually caused by nasal drainage into the throat. However, they can also be caused by viral infections, in which case, antibiotics won’t help.


  • Decongestants like phenylephrine (Tylenol Cold and Sinus) can help decrease drainage.
  • Warm saltwater gargles
  • Throat lozenges and Chloraseptic are okay during pregnancy

I’m Having Aches and Pains

  • Hemorrhoids
  • Nosebleeds
  • Leg Cramps
  • Backache
  • Varicose Veins/Spider Veins
  • Swelling

Hemorrhoids during pregnancy can be caused by increasing uterine pressure, venous dilatation, constipation, and heavy lifting. Therefore, there are a few suggestions we recommend to avoid them below.


  • Avoid constipation (See Constipation recommendations)
  • Avoid heavy lifting during pregnancy
  • You can use Tucks pads, ice packs (no heat), and Anusol/ Preparation-H
  • Call Laurel OB/GYN (828.253.5381) if they are blue in color and painful

Nosebleeds are often caused by dry nasal passages and worsened by vascular changes in pregnancy.


  • Pregnant women can use saline nose spray 3-4 times daily
  • Use a humidifier if you’re experiencing dry nasal canals
  • Zycam nasal spray gel is okay to use
  • Apply vaseline jelly to the lower nasal septum
Leg Cramps

Pregnant women are susceptible to leg cramps when they are dehydrated and not getting enough liquids. 


  • Increase your water intake
  • Drink liquids with electrolytes like Gatorade, Pedialyte or coconut water
  • Stretch (especially before going to bed)
  • Exercise regularly and stretch
  • Increase calcium to recommended daily dose with diet or Tums
  • Increase Potassium in your diet with bananas or figs can be used

Backaches are caused by increased weight, postural changes, and pressure from a growing pregnancy.


  • Avoid lifting and high heels while pregnant
  • Maintain good posture
  • Physical therapy and chiropractors can help
  • Exercise and stretch regularly; use back exercises
  • Sleeping with a pillow between the knees, such that the upper hip and knee are on the same level can help
  • Use a maternity belt- available at Motherhood, BuyBuyBaby, and Amazon
  • Can use heating pad, Tylenol, or ice packs to lower back
Varicose Veins/Spider Veins

Varicose veins (spider veins) can be caused by increased pressure from pregnancy and increased venous dilatation.


  • Avoid tight clothes
  • Avoid squatting or standing at length
  • Wear support hose- full length is better than knee or thigh high. These are available at Motherhood, Amazon, or local drug store
  • Wear a maternity belt – available at Motherhood, Amazon or BuyBuyBaby
  • Elevate your feet above the level of the heart when resting
  • Call Laurel OB/GYN if you experience redness after warmth, palpable clot, chest pain, or shortness of breath occurs

Swelling is most common in late pregnancy. Women who are on their feet for long periods of time or in hot weather may experience swelling more.


  • Increase your intake of water and electrolytes
  • Avoid salty foods
  • Elevate feet above the level of the heart when resting
  • Exercise
  • Avoid squatting, sitting, or standing at length
  • Wear support hose- Full length is better than knee or thigh high and are available at Motherhood, Amazon, or your local drug store
  • Wear a maternity belt – available at Motherhood, BuyBuyBaby, or Amazon
  • Call Laurel OB/GYN if you’re experiencing redness after warmth, a palpable clot, chest pain, shortness of breath, or other swelling concerns during pregnancy

I’m Having Digestion Issues

  • Constipation
  • Frequency of Urination
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn and Indigestion
  • Diarrhea

Constipation during pregnancy can be caused by the hormonal changes of pregnancy.


  • Increase water. You need 64-96 ounces daily.
  • Increase fiber in your diet (try a cereal each morning with > 3 gm fiber)
  • Exercise regularly and stretch
  • Fiber therapy- Metamucil, Fibercon, or Citrucel
  • Colace and Milk of Magnesia can be used
Frequency of Urination

Caused by a growing pregnancy pushing on the bladder. This may be worse in the 1st and 3rd trimester.

Recommendation: Call if it is accompanied by burning, pain, blood, or fever


Nausea and vomiting are associated with common pregnancy concerns throughout the first trimester.  However, nausea can last longer in some pregnancies. Your baby will be fine, even if you cannot eat very much during this time. The goal is to prevent dehydration.


  • Eat 5-6 small meals a day, increasing protein
  • Avoid spicy or greasy foods and anything that is hard to digest
  • Separate solids from liquids
  • Eat crackers one half hour before getting out of bed
  • You can try teas… raspberry, ginger, etc and ginger root capsules
  • Emetrol, Dramamine, and Meclizine are safe to use
  • Increase fluid intake including drinks high in electrolytes like coconut water and Gatorade
  • Acupuncture, meditation, stretching and massage therapy can be used
  • Call if you cannot tolerate anything by mouth, be sure to keep regularly scheduled appointments with your obstetrician so your doctor can discern if weight loss is dangerous or dehydration is occurring.
Heartburn and Indigestion

Heartburn and indigestion can be caused by hormonal and physical changes during pregnancy that slow down the digestive track. Therefore, we recommend the following steps.


  • Avoid spicy, greasy foods and foods with fat or are hard to digest
  • Chew food slowly and don’t overeat
  • Eat small, frequent meals
  • Don’t lie down after eating; elevate the head of your bed
  • Can use Maalox, Mylanta, Mylicon, Tums, Pepcid AC, or Prilosec

Diarrhea during pregnancy can be caused by stomach viruses, however, it’s very important to avoid dehydration. Below are some tips on easing symptoms:


  • Increase fluids to avoid dehydration
  • BRAT diet – bananas, rice, apple sauce, toast
  • Pregnant women can use Imodium AD
  • Call if diarrhea persists after 2 doses of Imodium

I Have Other Pregnancy Concerns or Considerations

  • Exercise
  • Yeast Infections
  • Intercourse
  • Dental Work
  • Insomnia
  • Diet

During your pregnancy, usually, you may continue the same exercise program you had prior to becoming pregnant. However, it is always best to consult with your doctor about any exercise you plan to do during pregnancy


  • Decrease exercise as needed for comfort in pregnancy
  • Don’t try to train for a new level of exercising
  • Make sure you can still talk through your exercise (if you are too winded to talk, you should probably stop.)
  • Try not to lift more than 25 pounds
  • Don’t exercise while lying on your back
  • Try to avoid exercises that test your balance (skiing, tennis, horseback riding)
  • The goal is to avoid dehydration or falling during exercise
Yeast Infections

Yeast infections can be very common in pregnancy, however, if symptoms become concerning you can always contact your provider. Symptoms include white clumpy vaginal discharge, itching, and burning.


  • Can use Monistat/Femstat 3 or 7 day treatments (although applicators may be contraindicated if you are at risk for preterm labor or if you have certain placental condition so please call our office if you have any concerns prior to use).
  • Wear loose fitting clothes and cotton undergarments
  • Dry off completely after bathing; may use a hair dryer to decrease moisture
  • Change out of moist clothes quickly after exercise, swimming, etc.
  • Call if discharge is yellow, green, or has a foul odor, or continues despite treatment.

Consensual intercourse and sex is okay anytime during pregnancy, unless your physician has recommended otherwise.

Other Considerations:

  • Vaginal tissue can be more dry during pregnancy so lubrication may be used to increase comfort during intercourse
  • It is common to spot and/or contract for up to 3 days after intercourse. Call the Laurel OB/GYN office if bleeding requires more than a pantyliner or if it lasts beyond 3 days. Always call us if you have contractions that do not release.
Dental Work

You can have your teeth cleaned, have fillings, teeth pulled, and x-rays if they shield your abdomen. They can use local numbing medicine and certain antibiotics. However, make sure you tell your dentist you are pregnant and let us know if he or she would like a note from us. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that can put you at increased risk for periodontal disease and for tender gums that bleed easily. This is a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. Because of this, it is best for your health if you maintain good dental hygiene during pregnancy.


Insomnia is very common in late pregnancy, however, there are some ways to ease this symptom. 


  • Exercise regularly, stay active in the day
  • Try relaxation techniques… for instance, warm bath before bed, decrease stimulus in bedroom (for example, no TV), meditation, stretching before bedtime
  • Can use Benadryl, Tylenol PM

Diet can have a large impact on the health of your pregnancy. Therefore, the American College of OB/GYN makes the following suggestions:


  • Add 100-300 cal/day to your diet. 300 calories is equivalent to a small snack. For example, ½ peanut butter and jelly sandwich and 1 glass low fat milk)
  • Daily amount of Grains – 6 ounces
  • Vegetables – 2 ½ cups
  • Fruit – 1 ½ – 2 cups
  • Meat/Beans – 5 – 5 ½ ounces
  • Normal weight gain for underweight person – 28-40 pounds
  • Normal weight person – 28-35 pounds
  • Overweight person – 15-25 pounds
  • Obese person – 15 pounds
  • With twins – 35-45 pounds
  • Avoid unpasteurized cheese/milk, raw/undercooked meat or fish. Avoid deli meat unless it has been re-heated until steaming.
  • Avoid the following fish: shark, king mackerel or tile fish. If eating tuna, eat canned albacore light tuna. Limit fish to 2 meals per week.

I Have Pregnancy Related Symptoms

  • Fetal movement
  • Cervical Checks
  • Vaginal Bleeding
  • Leaking Water or Water Breaking
  • Leaking Breasts
  • Contractions
  • Mucus Plug
  • Bloody Show
  • Other Considerations & Pregnancy Concerns
Fetal movement

After 28 weeks of pregnancy, it is important to count fetal movement daily


  • Pick a time when you are not distracted
  • Pick a time when the baby is usually active (often this is after a meal)
  • Call if you are unable to get this amount

Count fetal movements and make sure your reach ten counted movements before 1 hour has passed. (If you get to ten before an hour has passed, you can stop counting.) .

Cervical Checks

Your provider will check your cervix around 35-36 weeks as a baseline assessment. This may also occur whenever you feel that you might be in labor.

It is common to have spotting for up to 3 days following a cervical check.  It should not be more than a pantyliner amount.

Vaginal Bleeding

There are multiple reasons that a woman might bleed during her pregnancy. However, some are normal while others are concerning.  Please call if you experience bleeding and we will help decide if it is worrisome or not.

Women will often having spotting up to 3 days after intercourse or after a cervical check. However, it should not be more than a pantyliner amount.  Any heavy bleeding should be evaluated by your provider. Please contact Laurel with your pregnancy concerns about bleeding.

Leaking Water or Water Breaking

Call anytime you think that you are leaking amniotic fluid, usually associated with a constant trickle or gush of fluid.

Leaking Breasts

Leaking breasts during pregnancy can be a normal occurrence. However, please discuss with your doctor at your next scheduled appointment to confirm that the discharge is normal.


  • Avoid stimulating the breast and do not try to express the milk. This will only make you produce more and can cause contractions.

Contractions can be normal in pregnancy, however, some can be a sign of labor or preterm labor. “Practice contractions” can be normal in pregnancy. This may happen if a woman was active, has become dehydrated or following intercourse.


  • Call if contractions are painful, more than 6 in an hour, continue to increase in intensity and do not resolve with rest and hydration.
  • You can try to relieve practice contractions by drinking a lot of water and taking a lukewarm bath. Make sure the water is not hot enough that it causes you to sweat.
  • Call if any bleeding occurs with the contractions
Mucus Plug

During pregnancy, the cervix is covered by a glob of mucus that is referred to as the mucus plug.  As a result, it helps protect the baby by literally plugging the uterus. This helps prevent bacteria and other forms of infection from breaching the cervical barrier. 

As the third trimester is nearing its end, the cervix begins to soften and dilate open.  This opening causes the mucus plug to slowly release.  It is a sign that the cervix is preparing itself but is not really an indicator that labor is soon to occur. 

Further, this process may also result in the “bloody show.”  For more information, see below.

Bloody Show

Bloody show refers to vaginal discharge that occurs at the end of pregnancy.  This is blood-streaked mucus that women usually see when they are having strong and regular contractions.  Furthermore, it can be a sign of labor. 

Contact your provider if you see this.

Other Considerations & Pregnancy Concerns

Other Pregnancy Concerns & Considerations:

  • Avoid hot tubs, saunas, and tanning beds
  • Self tanning creams are safe (if they do not contain retinol)
  • Your skin is more sensitive in pregnancy, so it is important to increase your sunscreen;
  • Avoid smoking/ tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, caffeine, and dieting
  • Register at the hospital
  • Register early for childbirth classes (by 20 weeks). Call (828) 213-8113.
  • Your insurance should cover a breast pump, you will receive a form from the office at your 24-28 week visit.

Do You Have a Pregnancy Concern or General Question?
Send Us a Message!

Call our office at (828) 253-5381 to schedule an appointment for prenatal checkups if you’re pregnant and for any pregnancy concerns you may have.

    About Laurel OB/GYN

    Laurel OB/GYN serves women of
    Western North Carolina as an
    independent obstetrics and
    gynecology practice in Asheville.


    Mon-Fri: 8:15 AM – 5:00 PM
    Closed: Sat-Sun

    41 Oakland Rd, Suite 200
    Asheville, NC 28801

    Call: 828-253-5381

    Fax: 828-253-9087

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