What Not to Do While Pregnant

You will hear a lot of advice about what to do and what not to do during pregnancy. It can be a little overwhelming and even unsettling at times. But for the health of your baby and yourself, there are certain things and activities that need to be avoided.

What Not to Do While Pregnant 

1. Don’t Eat These Foods

The primary reason to avoid certain kinds of food is to reduce the risk of infection.

  • This list of food includes sushi, clams, mussels or any other kind of uncooked seafood. 
  • Meat that is uncooked or undercooked has the risk of carrying toxoplasmosis or salmonella.
  • Similarly, deli meat should be avoided because it can contain listeria, a bacterium that can be life-threatening to the fetus.
  • Raw eggs, unpasteurized milk, and soft cheeses should also be avoided during pregnancy because of similar risks of infection.

2. Don’t Drink Too Much Caffeine

Having too much of caffeine is on the list of what not to do while pregnant. Caffeine is a stimulant that can cross the placenta. As your baby's metabolism is still developing, too much caffeine can cause harm to the fetus. Coffee can increase your heart rate and blood pressure, which has bad influence on both of you and your baby. Doctors allow around 150-300 mg of caffeine per day from all sources. Do not exceed that amount.

3. Don’t Take Certain Medications

Many medications can cause damage to the development of the baby. No medications should be taken during pregnancy unless cleared by your physician or explicitly prescribed by your doctor. Even seemingly harmless medicines such as ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin can do harm to the fetus.

4. Don’t Wear Stilettos

Those lovely stilettos that you love wearing should be wrapped up and kept in storage until you have delivered your child. The center of balance changes as your belly grows, and wearing stilettos increases the risk of falling. If you have to wear them, wear the ones with heels less than 3 inches.

5. Don’t Stay in the Hot Tub or Sauna

What not to do while pregnant? You may feel surprised when you see this one. Being pregnant is tiring and a relaxing time in the hot tub sounds great. Unfortunately, staying in the hot tub has been found to be very damaging for the developing fetus as it can raise your core temperature.

Doctors recommend taking a warm shower instead of a hot tub to help you wash away those aches and pains. 

6. Don’t Change the Kitty Litter

This is important for all the cat owners. Pregnant women run the risk of contracting toxoplasmosis from cat feces, and even though the chances are slim, it is advisable that they avoid changing cat's litter. Have someone else change out the kitty litter once you are pregnant or wear gloves while doing it yourselves.

7. Don’t Breathe Secondhand Smoke

The harmful effects of smoking while pregnant are well recognized. Most people are aware of the risks of smoking, but not all of them realize that second-hand smoke is almost as dangerous as smoking itself.

About 4000 chemicals are released in second-hand smoke, including some that are linked to the occurrence of cancer. Smoking around a pregnant woman is an absolute no-no and breathing in second-hand smoke should be avoided as much as possible.

8. Don’t Drink

Drinking during pregnancy should be avoided. The alcohol can pass through the placenta and umbilical cord, causing irreversible damage to the fetus. Drinking during pregnancy has been associated with the occurrence of premature births, brain damage, stillbirths, miscarriages, etc.

9. Don’t Sit or Stand for Too Long

What not to do while pregnant? Sitting in the same position or standing for a prolonged period of time should be avoided during pregnancy. Continuous pressure on one part of the body can affect the circulation, cause swollen ankles and legs, and exacerbate deep vein problems. Take short breaks and move around during your pregnancy.

10. Don’t Do Extreme Exercises

A moderate amount of exercise is encouraged during pregnancy, but anything that requires extreme exertion should be avoided. Ensure that your heart rate does not go above 160 beats per minute, as high heartbeat rate can have an adverse effect on the amount of oxygen being transported to the fetus and may cause brain damage.

11. Avoid X-Rays

X-ray radiation can cause a lot of damage to the developing fetus, especially in the first trimester when the process of organogenesis is going on. X-ray exposure can cause malignancies, birth defects and mortality in the fetus if care is not taken.

If exposure to X-rays is a must and has been advised by your doctor, then the belly should be protected by a lead apron so that the least amount of exposure occurs.

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