Typical patient questions about lifestyle

Obie Editorial Team

Many of my patients ask me about lifestyle issues and pregnancy, especially about exercise, alcohol, caffeine, and artrificial sweeteners. Here are my straight-forward answers:


When there are no other medical contraindications, I would recommend in pregnancy regular moderate exercise but try to avoid more strenuous,  vigorous, sustained exercise. Exercise in pregnancy helps attain health benefits while minimizing complications. Women in the first trimester of pregnancy who are engaged in sustained, high-intensity activity might consider lessening their exercise until after 12 weeks’ gestation. 


Drinking alcohol while trying to get pregnant decreases fertility.  The American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends limiting alcohol consumption to less than 2 drinks per day while attempting conception

Alcohol use in pregnancy increases risks of fetal complications. We don't know at which point alcohol is unsafe, so the safest recommendation is to not have any alcohol during pregnancy. 


While trying to get pregnant and during pregnancy it is recommended to limit caffeine to under 200 mg/day. One cup of coffee (8 oz) has up to  150 mg, and one cup of tea about 60 mg caffeine. A can of pepsi or Coke have aup to 50 mg caffeine. Read HERE more.

Artificial Sweeteners

Moderate amount of artificial sweeteners (eg, Aspartame, Sucralose, Stevia)  appear safe, but Saccharine should not be used in pregnancy.