With so many people giving their opinion on what to do and what not to do during pregnancy, it becomes hard to determine what is fact and what is fiction. Below is a list of some of the more important factors to consider in regards to pregnancy do’s and dont’s.
Food during pregnancy
Certain foods need to be avoided during pregnancy. Listeria, which is caused by uncooked meats, some seafood, unpasterized milk and soft cheeses, can cause birth defects, miscarriages and stillbirth.
Toxoplasmosis, is a disease which is contracted by contact with cat feces. It is spread by a parasite which can lead to miscarriages, stillbirth and birth defects.
Smoking during pregnancy is definitely a no no. It has been linked to a low birth weight, miscarriage and premature birth in many different studies. Second hand smoke poses the same dangers during pregnancy, and should be avoided at all costs.
Some studies on caffeine during pregnancy have led to the conclusion that the two do not mix well together, as caffeine may increase the possibility of miscarriage and low birth weight. On the other hand, other studies have shown no link between the two. Obviously an excessive amount of caffeine is a bad idea regardless of pregnancy. An excessive amount of caffeine is generally regarded as over 300 milligrams per day. If you stay well clear of this figure, caffeine during pregnancy is less likely to cause problems.
Safety around the house
There are many hazards around the house for pregnant women, but almost all can be easily avoided. If you still insist on doing all the house work yourself, try to stay clear of aerosol cans, industrial strength cleaners and fumes from paint, solvents and strippers. All of the above have been linked to birth defects and other pregnancy complications. It also pays to take it a little easier around certain parts of the house such as stair cases.
Keeping a moderate body temperature during pregnancy (especially during first trimester) is important as it may lead to birth defects. It is a good idea to keep an eye on your temperature during exercise and keep your fluids up. Things such as saunas and hot baths are not recommended during pregnancy.
Alcohol and drugs
To be safe with alcohol during pregnancy it is probably best to avoid it altogether, as there is no safe level of consumption. It can have detrimental affects on an unborn child. In comparison to a fully grown woman, a baby is very small, so you could imagine the potential damage to the baby if the mother was drunk or even tipsy. Drugs during pregnancy have been shown to have a negative effect. Drugs such as cocaine have been shown to hinder the development of a baby’s vital oxygen and nourishment, leading to complications such as birth defects and even an addiction in the child itself.
Exercise during pregnancy is recommended for most women, but only at a moderate pace. Women who participated in high impact exercise, weight lifting, contact sports, high altitude training or scuba diving before pregnancy, will have to readjust their routines. Walking is highly recommended for at least the first two trimesters, as it can help your body withstand the rigors of labor and delivery more easily.
The do’s and don’ts of pregnancy are different for each woman and each pregnancy. The above information is not a medical opinion and should not substitute a professional medical opinion. Always consult your doctor or care provider before making any major decisions before, during and even after pregnancy.