In this article you will read 20 things to avoid in early pregnancy to protect your baby and to have a healthy pregnancy.
Every woman will rejoice when she hear about her pregnancy, especially if she has her first pregnancy. She will be very excited and feel great joy for the child who will come after several months.
Once you find out that you’re pregnant, You have to be careful and avoid many things that can cause miscarriage, or just hurt you and your baby.
By knowing the list of 20 things to avoid in early pregnancy, you’ll enjoy a healthy pregnancy and ensure the safety of your unborn baby.
BUT, first of all, you should CONSULT your doctor in every concern you may have.
A list of 20 things to avoid in early pregnancy:
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to children being born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, which is a variety of motor, behavioral and cognitive difficulties.
Using advances in MRI imaging technology, researchers compared in detail the regions of the brains of children who have fetal alcohol syndrome with those who were not exposed to alcohol during pregnancy.
The result, published in 2011, indicates that alcohol exposure during pregnancy can negatively impact the (gray matter) part of the brain.
You may have read that a glass of wine once in a while isn’t dangerous for a pregnancy, or that once a women is in the third trimester of pregnancy, any alcohol she drinks isn’t likely to effect her baby, because by that point the baby is fully developed.
But research has shown that there’s no time during pregnancy when it’s safe for a woman to drink, nor is there an amount of alcohol that’s safe.
Approximately 20 to 30 percent of women use tobacco during pregnancy. Tobacco is one of the things to avoid in early pregnancy because it is a high risk to the baby.
Smoking during pregnancy can lead to several effects:
- Premature birth.
- Damage to the umbilical cord.
- Low birth weight.
- Sudden infant death syndrome.
- Future obesity.
3- Too much Caffeine:
According to the American college of obstetricians and gynecologists (ACOG), a (moderate amount) of caffeine during pregnancy defined as less than 200 milligrams per day.
This amount doesn’t be a major contributing factor in miscarriages or preterm birth, according to ACOG.
This is about the same as 2 mugs of instant coffee.
High levels of caffeine in pregnancy can result in babies having a low birth-weight, which can increase the risk of health problems in later life. Too much caffeine can also cause miscarriage.
Caffeine is normally found in tea, coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, cold & fluremedies and some soft drinks like cola.
4- Nervous tension is one of the things to avoid in early pregnancy:
Some stress during pregnancy is normal, just as it is during other times of life. But if the stress becomes constant, its effect on you and your baby lasting.
When you are stressed, your body will send out a burst of cortisol and other stress hormones. If you can deal with your stress and move on, your stress response will recede and your body will go back into balance.
But if you didn’t deal with your stress, then your body will act as inflammatory response.
Inflammation, leads to poorer pregnancy health and developmental problems in babies.
Some studies has connected between high chronic stress in pregnant women and the lower birth weight and delivery earlier. It also effects the baby brain development.
It also effects the baby’s intelligence, and the brain development.
So, if you feel yourself very stressful, try to calm down your self and be more relaxed.
You can go on a short trip, walk, eat some dark chocolate, lesson to your favorite music, pray, read a book or any thing else that help you to be relaxed.
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5- Vitamin A:
Vitamin A is an antioxidant that is essential for a healthy pregnancy. It’s one of many nutrients that plays a critical role in many things like:
• It prevents anemia.
• Supports metabolism during pregnancy.
• Bones, teeth, skin and vision development of the baby.
• Helping the body maintain homeostasis.
But the balance is important, you shouldn’t over consume vitamin A. Consuming too much of this vitamin may leads to birth defects.
The recommended dose of vitamin A in pregnancy for women is up to 2565 IU daily.
According to the American pregnancy association, if you ingest too much of vitamin A, especially in the first trimester, there is a risk of birth defects in foetus and the baby will likely to born with complications in the head, heart, brain or spinal cord.
Well, I don’t want you to be panic.
If you want to consume the right amount of vitamin A during pregnancy, just make sure to be on a healthy diet and DON’T take vitamin A supplements.
6- Having medications without consulting your doctor:
During pregnancy, you will probably have some cold, sore throat or headache. In these situations, you might choose not to take any cold and flu medicines, pain killers or any other non-prescription medicines for the safety of your baby.
If you decide to take something, you will need to check whether it’s safe, as you would for prescription medicines.
However, do not take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain killers such as ibuprofen and aspirin, which can cause complications to your pregnancy.
Paracetamol is usually recommended as a safer choice than ibuprofen. But first you should check the reason of the pain with your doctor or midwife.
7- Using your smartphone for long periods of time:
Cell phone radiation exposure during pregnancy impacts fetal brain development and may cause hyperactivity.
But we all needs smartphones in our daily life. It’s difficult to live without a cellphone these days.
So, if you are pregnant, or trying to be pregnant, there are some tips to reduce cellphone radiation exposure:
• Don’t hold a smartphone directly up to your head. Try to use the speaker during your call.
• Keep you smartphone away from your abdomen.
• Turn off your wireless router at night to minimize exposure to radiation.
8- Cat litter:
If you have a lovely cat, you shouldn’t clean the litter box, it is one of the hazards around the home you should avoid in early pregnancy.
Have someone else do it if possible.
This because cat litter can carry a parasitic infection called toxoplasmosis.
If a pregnant women had this infection, she will notice many symptoms like: fever, aching muscles, tiredness, feeling sick, swollen glands and sore throat.
9- Hair dye:
Being pregnant don’t mean you can’t have fabulous hair.
Many experts advise mothers-to-be to wait until around the beginning of second trimester.
Once you get the OK from your doctor to book the salon appointment, you may want to reconsider which service you get.
Root touch ups and root to tips color change are considered single-process color, this means dye is applied to the hair and scalp, where the pores in your skin soak up the chemicals.
For a safer alternative, try techniques where color is painted directly on to the hair shaft. For example highlights, lowlights, frosting and streaking.
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Stay away from the perfumes counters in the mall. The smell of 4000 perfume products colliding will cause you to convulse.
A new study completed at the Columbia center for children’s environmental health found that women reporting perfume use had a 2.3 times higher urinary output of phthalates, suggesting that perfume is a significant source of exposure. This is specially true for pregnant women.
The other problem with most modern perfumes, regardless of how expensive, is that they contain anywhere from 3000-5000 chemicals and over 80% of these chemicals haven’t been tested for human safety.
I know that every woman loves perfumes but your baby’s health is more important. So it’s preferable to avoid using perfumes or you can save it for special occasions.
All pesticides are poisions, there are some studies that shown that exposure to these chemicals at very high level during pregnancy may play a role in miscarriages, preterm birth and birth defects.
If you need to have your home or yard treated with pesticides during your pregnancy, you should take these safety tips to save your baby’s life:
• Do not do it yourself.
• Stay out of the house while treatment with pesticides, and for several hours afterward.
• If only your yard is being treated, close all windows and turn off the air conditioning so that the fumes won’t be drawn into the house.
• If your house is being treated, make sure that chemicals are used only where needed. Remove all food, dishes from area being treated. Then when you want to clean the house after treatment, you should wear rubber gloves to minimize skin contact with pesticides.
12- Canned food products:
Bisphenole, phthalates, polyvinylchloride and hexachlorobenzene are some of the compounds which are used in canned food for lining and preservative purposes.
Impact of such chemicals is not constrained only to the mother but also effects the foetus.
Chemical exposure from such canned foods may result in miscarriages, or severe complications including premature deliveries and preeclampsia by altering hormone levels.
There are more and more risks of the canned food to the pregnant women and her baby.
So you shouldn’t consume canned food products and eating just fresh or frozen fruits.
13- processed meat:
Lunch meats and hot dogs can be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes between the cooking and packaging process.
The centers for disease control (CRD) estimate that pregnant women are about 20 times more likely to get sick from this bacterium, and it can pass from mom to baby through the placenta.
In severe cases it can cause miscarriages, premature deliveries or death.
So you should avoid lunch meats, deli meats and hot dogs during pregnancy.
14- Eating soft cheese:
There are some types of cheese you should avoid during pregnancy:
• Soft, mould-ripened chesses, such as brie, camembert and chevre cheese.
• Blue-veined chesses, such as danish blue and stilton. Semi-soft chesses like Havarti.
All hard cheeses are generally considered safe to eat.
The problem with these soft cheeses is that some types of them made from raw milk.
The food made from raw milk can carry disease-causing organisms, including a bacterium called Listeria monocytogenes.
The infection of this bacteria can be devastating and even deadly for unborn babies.
15- Raw eggs & raw meat:
Eating soft-boiled or raw eggs while you are pregnant is not recommended.
That’s because of the risks of salmonella in raw eggs and raw meat.
If you eat an egg containg salmonella, you may experience abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, chills, fever and headache within 6-72 hours after consuming it.
So, you should avoid eating ice-cream and mayonnaise as well because raw eggs is one of it’s ingredients.
16- Fish rich in mercury:
Fish that contain higher level of mercury include:
• Orange roughy
• Southren bluefin tuna
eating this fish during pregnancy, can cause real problems for you and your baby.
Several studies found that mercury along with other toxic metals can cause learning disabilities and impairment and reduction in IQ.
Mercury also has an effect on the fetal nervous system.
So it’s better to stay away from fish rich in mercury during pregnancy.
17- Herbal teas:
There are some herbs you have to avoid during pregnancy like:
• Sage tea, which may leads to high blood pressure and miscarriage.
• Parsley tea, which effects the development of the foetus and increases the risk of miscarriage.
• Hibiscus tea.
• Lobelia tea contains nicotine.
• Poopy seeds tea.
• Senna leaves tea.
• Aloe tea, which leads to premature deliveries.
• Green tea, which is high in caffeine and reduces absorption of folic acid.
• Cinnamon tea, leads to miscarriage.
• Rose hips.
• Yellow dock.
• Dong quai.
But there are many types of tea that’s safe for pregnant women like:
- Real tea, limit your intake to 8 ounce cups per day.
- Red raspberry leaf tea.
- Peppermint leaf tea.
- Ginger root tea.
18- Carrying heavy projects:
Women should avoid lefting heavy projects while pregnant.
Generally, it’s agreed that pregnant women can lift items that weight 25 pounds or less.
There are many risks of lefting heavy projects during pregnancy, like miscarriage, premature labour, or pelvic damage, depending on the pregnant situation.
So, you have to avoid as much as you can carrying heavy weights, and try to find an alternative solutions for that.
19- Wearing tight clothes:
It’s very important to let your body breathes in all times specially during pregnancy.
The California Pacific center’s women and infants center points out that wearing tight fitting clothes, especially at the waist, can lead to heartburn.
The pressure from tight clothing can bush on the stomach and force the contents upwards, creating heartburn.
Wearing tight and unbreathable clothes can also leads to an increase in vaginal yeast infections. It also causes pain in abdomen, chest and arms.
Another effect of wearing tight fitting clothes is that it reduces circulation.
When you wear tight clothes in the limbs, such as the arms and tights, it can cut off blood circulation and create a numbness or tingling sensation.
20- Wearing heels:
Womens always wonder whether they can wear heels during pregnancy, specially in the parties or special occasions.
The answer for their question is that (No), you are not allowed tl wear heals. You can see here in details 6 reasons why you shouldn’t wear heels during pregnancy.