Staying healthy during pregnancy is important for both the mother and her unborn baby. To achieve this, there are certain things the expectant mother has to avoid during pregnancy. These will guarantee the safety and complete development of your baby. In this article, we will discuss the Ten major things you need to avoid as an expectant mother. They are:
Smoking during pregnancy can harm you and your unborn baby. It also increases the risk to miscarriage. Apart from lung cancer and heart disease, smoking can cause premature birth of your baby, congenital abnormalities like cleft palate or cleft lip. Smoking during pregnancy also increases the risk of low birth weight, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and issue with the placenta. Due these effects on the foetus, smoking is a major act an expectant mother should avoid during pregnancy. It is advisable to stop smoking when you realize you’re pregnant. If you are struggling to quit smoking, contact your doctor or search for helpful resources online.
2. Self Medication
Self medication is not advisable for anyone including pregnant women. Expectant mother’s need to avoid some OTC and prescription drugs. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you are ill or experience some health challenges. Drugs like Pain killers, NSAIDs like Aspirin and Ibuprofen, ACE inhibitors, cold and flu drugs. These may be harmful to your baby.
Other important things pregnant women are advised to avoid during pregnancy include cannabis, heroin and cocaine. They can enter your baby’s bloodstream, cause congenital abnormalities and also make him addicted. Your baby may also have low birth weight and brain malformation.
Alcohol can cross the placenta and enter the bloodstream of your baby. Alcohol consumption has numerous adverse effects on your baby such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), mental retardation, poor growth and physical abnormalities. Your baby may also have behavioural problems and intellectual disabilities. It is therefore advisable to completely avoid alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
4. Hot Bath
This is a major thing to avoid during pregnancy. Anything that raises the temperature during pregnancy should also be avoided. Elevated body temperature in the first trimester can cause miscarriage and birth defects like brain malformation. Thus, avoid hot tub, steam rooms and saunas that usually have elevated temperature of about 104°F. A warm bath may suffice because they cool of pretty fast when they are not super hot.
5. Hair Dye
Some chemicals in hair dye and skin care products penetrate the pores of the skin and get into the bloodstream. It is good to look amazing during pregnancy but you have to watch out for some products you use. Skin care products containing Retinol and its derivatives like Retin-A and Retinyl palmitate are other things to avoid during pregnancy. This is because they can cause dangerous birth defects in your baby. Hence, you are advised to speak to your doctor or pharmacist before using hair and skin care products.
6. Wearing Stilettos
If you are asking whether you can wear heels during pregnancy, the answer is a No. Pregnant women are advised against wearing heels. This is because as your belly grows, your center of gravity changes. With this, you become unsteady and minor trips or falls may cause injuries to you and your unborn baby. As a pregnant woman, you are advised to wear flat footwears like flip-flops.
7. Certain Foods
There are some foods to avoid during pregnancy. Some women experience a change in taste and smell when pregnant. They may crave certain foods and reject others which make them feel ill or nauseous. However, some meals should be avoided notwithstanding their cravings. Such meals include: Raw egg, fish high in mercury like sharks and mackerels, soft cheese, raw meat and fish. Raw meats are avoided because they may be contaminated with salmonella or toxoplasmosis.
Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, cola, soda, tea and some over the counter drugs. It is not good for pregnant women because it increases the risk of miscarriage. Due to this effect, caffeine is a major product to avoid during pregnancy. You can switch from caffeinated drinks to decaffeinated or caffeine-free products. Water and fruit drinks are very good alternatives.
9. Sitting or Standing for Too Long
Staying the same place for a long time during pregnancy may cause certain problems like swollen ankles. Thus, it is inadvisable to stand or sit down for long. Take short breaks to walk around gently. This prevents swollen ankles and veins. You may decide to walk in and out of the house but do not ascend the stairs.
10. Wearing Tight Clothes
This is also very important to avoid during pregnancy. Expectant women are advised against wearing tight clothes because of their protruding belly. Wear elastic and loose clothes made of cotton or wool, they are known to give maximum comfort. Do not wear tight stocks when pregnant. They reduce the circulation of blood to the lower extremities thus, cause fluid retention and swelling of the ankle.
11. Lifting Heavy Objects
Heavy lifting may cause problems such as premature labour, miscarriage and pelvic damage. Always find someone to help lift heavy objects or do strenuous things for you. This reduces stress and risk of damage to you and your unborn baby.
12. Using Smartphones For a Long Period
Another thing to avoid during pregnancy is using smartphones for a long time. A smartphone is now part and parcel of our lives thus, may be difficult to do away with. However, pregnant women are encouraged to minimise their use of smartphones. This is because the radiation from it is harmful, thus affect the baby. It may affect the brain development of the foetus and also cause hyperactivity. Because it is almost impossible to do away with smartphones, pregnant women may reduce the risk of exposure to its radiation by
- Using it for short duration
- Placing it away from their abdomen and
- Turning off the wireless router at night.
These are some common, yet vital things to avoid during pregnancy. You are also advised to regularly meet a doctor for thorough body check up when pregnant. If you have any questions or need assistance, kindly contact us.