Answer: Do this. Don’t do that. Wait, no, do this! Don’t do that! It seems that the list of things you should and shouldn’t do in pregnancy just keeps getting longer. Here are some key dos and don’ts: DO: Exercise. Light to moderate exercise during pregnancy is good for you, strengthening your back and abdominal muscles, improving your balance and helping to speed your recovery after delivery. (See more about this in question 4 below.) Have sex. Unless you have a high-risk pregnancy and your doctor has advised you against it, sex during pregnancy is safe. The baby is cushioned by your amniotic fluid. Especially in later pregnancy, though, avoid lying flat on your back during sex; the uterus can compress the veins in the back of your abdomen and leave you lightheaded or nauseous. Wash your hands before preparing food, before meals, after handling raw meats, and after using the bathroom. Clean house. Sorry, most household cleaning products, including bleach, are safe for use during pregnancy. Just be sure the room is well ventilated, read warning labels, and avoid mixing chemicals (like ammonia and bleach) — good advice for cleaning safety whether you’re pregnant or not. Travel by airplane — sometimes. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says that the second trimester is the safest time for air travel, when you’re at the lowest risk of miscarriage or premature labor. Generally, if you have a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy, there’s no special risk posed by commercial air travel. (ACOG recommends that pregnant women stop flying at 36 weeks’ gestation.) Be sure to stay hydrated during the flight by drinking plenty of fluids, and keep your seat belt on! And no matter whether you’re traveling by car, train, bus or plane, get up and move around every so often, and be sure to stretch your legs and back. See your dentist. Preventive cleanings and annual exams are a very good idea during pregnancy, as your rising hormone levels can cause bleeding gums and irritation. Since gum infections have been associated with preterm births, keeping your mouth healthy is important. DON’T: Change the cat’s litter box. No, this isn’t just an excuse to get out of an icky task; cat feces can transmit an infection called toxoplasmosis, which can lead to severe problems in newborns, including low birth weight, jaundice, mental retardation, and convulsions. Use saunas, hot tubs, and tanning booths. Excessive heat can be harmful to the baby, and has been linked to spinal malformations. Paint. Let somebody else paint the baby’s room; pregnant women shouldn’t be exposed to toxic substances and chemicals, which include paint and cleaning solvents. Get an X-ray. Unless you absolutely have to, avoid tests like X-rays and mammograms while pregnant, because they can be dangerous to your growing baby. If you absolutely must have an X-ray, make sure that your doctor or dentist knows you are pregnant so they can take extra precautions. Ride the Great American Scream Machine or the Tower of Terror. Though no studies have been done to document this, there is concern that the rapid stops and jarring forces of rides like this could cause placental abruption (premature separation of the placenta from the uterine wall). Play it safe and stick to the Ferris wheel until the baby’s born.