Once you find out that you are expecting, it’s vital that you take great care of yourself, both for your own wellbeing and your baby’s. To stay healthy, here are some things that you should do your best to avoid during pregnancy.
For starters, it’s essential that you understand which foods are off-limits while you have a bun in the oven. Deli meats should be avoided at all costs as they can be contaminated with listeria, bacteria that could cause a life-threatening infection for your baby. Soft cheeses, unpasteurized dairy, and refrigerated, smoked seafood could also have listeria. Then, raw eggs, as well as raw meat and shellfish, come with the risk of salmonella while fish with high levels of mercury is also best avoided. Although lean proteins, healthy fats, and fresh veggies and fruits are all safe, you can also consult with your doctor or nutritionist.
Something else to avoid is beer, wine, and liquor. When you consume alcohol, it can quickly reach your baby through the placenta and umbilical cord and affect the development of your little one’s brain and organs. Other risks include birth defects, premature birth, miscarriage, and stillbirth.
Just like alcohol, caffeine can also reach the baby and affect its development. However, you might be glad to hear that you can still consume 200-300mg of caffeine per day. Any more than that can be harmful to the fetus and result in low birth weight or risk of pregnancy loss. Just remember that caffeine can also be found in chocolate, sodas, and even some medicines.
Smoking not only puts you at a higher risk of lung cancer and heart disease but it can also cause problems during and after pregnancy. If you don’t stop smoking as soon as you get the good news, you could be facing premature birth, issues with the placenta, congenital abnormalities, and sudden infant death syndrome. Moreover, you should also avoid exposure to secondhand smoke as it’s nearly as bad as smoking.
It might come as a surprise but ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory drugs are a no-no during pregnancy. Some cold and flu meds that contain specific ingredients are also off the table as they could harm the fetus. If you have some mental health concerns and are already taking certain medications, it’s best to consult with your physician to see which ones are safe although many antidepressants and mood stabilizers are usually deemed okay.
Illegal drugs are always dangerous but they can be especially harmful during pregnancy. In addition to congenital abnormalities, stillbirth, and pregnancy loss, you are also at risk of putting your newborn through neonatal abstinence syndrome.
While it’s recommended that you stay active during pregnancy, certain types of exercise are not suitable for this period. For instance, bouncing and jumping, sudden changes of direction, jerky movements, and exercises such as sit-ups should be avoided. On the other hand, walking, swimming, and even squats can be beneficial as sitting or standing in the same position for too long can cause vein and ankle problems.
Lifting Heavy Things
Pregnant people are also recommended to avoid any heavy lifting. This activity can increase the risk of hernia and pulled muscles as well as result in preterm labor and low birth weight.
On the one hand, relaxing in a hot tub or sauna can seem like a nice way to pamper yourself. On the other, you need to know that experts avoid environments where you can overheat as they can lead to congenital abnormalities.
You might want to decorate the nursery before your little one arrives but it’s best to steer clear of paint while pregnant. While paint toxicity depends on the paint type and it’s difficult to measure toxicity levels, it’s still better to find someone else to handle this part.
Changing Kitty Litter
If you have a cat, you know that changing the litter is a regular chore. However, it’s best that someone else does it instead of you in order to avoid the risk of toxoplasmosis. If you pass it to the fetus, your newborn could develop blindness, eye damage, brain damage, and intellectual disabilities.
Keep in mind that your center of gravity will change as your belly grows. With that in mind, kitten heels, platforms, and wedges lower than 3 inches will be your best friends, and you might even find yourself wearing exclusively flip-flops.
You will get a lot of advice during pregnancy. The most important thing is knowing how to be selective and only following those that will help you stay healthy.