Everyone has their own opinion on what women are allowed and not allowed to do during pregnancy. Some choose to follow old wives’ tales, while others follow only those practices backed by science. To simplify your search on what you should and should not do, we have compiled a list of things to avoid during pregnancy.
1. Avoid smoking or inhaling secondhand smoke during pregnancy
Cigarette smoke can be very harmful to your baby as it can block the delivery of vital oxygen and nutrients to the fetus.
2. Avoid consuming raw food
Raw meat or vegetables can bring unwanted bacteria into the body. Examples include eggs, which could carry salmonella bacteria or raw meat, which can carry toxoplasmic parasites.
Harmful bacteria which enter the body can infect a pregnant woman’s intestines. The infection can result in congenital disabilities or miscarriages in the worst cases. So if you’re pregnant, it’s best to avoid salad or sushi!
3. Avoid excessive caffeine intake during pregnancy
Excessive intake of caffeine can cause dehydration during pregnancy. This may result in malnutrition in babies. Besides coffee, caffeine can also be found in tea, soda, chocolate and energy drinks, so it is best to skip these during pregnancy.
4. Avoid taking medication without a doctor’s prescription
If you fall sick while pregnant, check with your physician before taking any medication. Medication may bring some adverse side effects to your pregnancy and your baby; therefore, it is best to ensure your medicine is safe.
Furthermore, overdosing on medications could cause pregnancy complications. Ensure that the dosage with which you take your medication is appropriate and prescribed by your doctor.
5. Avoid consuming seafood with high mercury content
Some seafood such as shellfish, shrimp, salmon and tuna may contain mercury. Mercury content in seafood is caused by industrial pollution dumped into the sea. Although not all seafood will have dangerous levels of mercury, pregnant women are still advised to limit, if not avoid, the consumption of mercury-prone seafood during pregnancy.
Pregnant women should consume no more than 7 ounces of seafood per week. Consuming seafood is OK, as long as it’s within the advised portion.
6. Avoid consuming food that can trigger allergies
Do you have any history of food allergies? During pregnancy, avoid consuming food to which you are allergic to prevent disruption to your baby’s fetal growth. To ensure that you are avoiding food that can trigger your allergy, take an allergy test in your early stage of pregnancy.
7. Avoid consuming unpasteurized milk
Pasteurization is a necessary process where food is heated to kill off bacteria. For example, unpasteurized milk can carry disease-causing microbes and cause toxoplasmosis in pregnant women.
This could easily result in pregnancy complications, such as vision or hearing loss in infants. Therefore, when taking dairy products during pregnancy, ensure they are pasteurized.
8. Avoid embarking on a weight-loss diet during pregnancy
Consult a doctor first if you need to maintain your weight for health purposes during pregnancy. Nutrition during pregnancy must be optimal. Therefore going on a weight-loss diet may not be ideal at this time. Should you need to maintain your current weight to ensure a healthy pregnancy, consult with your doctor first.
During pregnancy, women must ensure a healthy and well-balanced diet. So eat healthily – not too much or too little!
9. Avoid consuming alcoholic drinks
Alcohol enters the blood and can penetrate the placenta, harming the fetus. In addition, alcohol damages the fetal nervous system and brain during development. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that alcohol can cause disorders in children at birth, such as low IQ and slow growth.
10. Avoid using a sauna
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that saunas can inhibit fetal growth. In addition, when using the sauna, blood pressure decreases, slowing the distribution of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus. This can trigger low weight at birth, miscarriage, and even congenital disabilities.
11. Avoid using chemical facial treatments during pregnancy
During pregnancy, it is best to avoid chemical and laser facial treatments. Radiation waves from a laser can inhibit the growth of the spinal cord and fetal nervous system. Some chemicals can also be harmful to pregnant women.
Alternatively, women should use natural treatments or beauty products recommended by obstetricians. Make sure the ingredients are safe and natural!
12. Avoid using products with hazardous chemicals
Hazardous chemicals can be found in many daily products. Examples include fluoride in toothpaste, SLS in soap, and parabens and retinol in skincare products.
When pregnant, you must be more careful about which chemicals you come into contact with. Long-term use of chemicals that are not recommended can endanger the mother’s health or the fetus in the womb.