by Tasneem Dhinojwala
There are a number of things a pregnant woman should be cautious of, or avoid during pregnancy
You are going to be a mom soon, in some months you will be holding your little bundle of joy! But, these 7 things that you do on daily basis should definitely be avoided while you are pregnant, especially for those who are experiencing a troublesome pregnancy. It is a time for both physical and psychological changes. To first-time to-be mothers, every passing acquaintance will leave a word of advice. So then what is it that expecting mother should do and what should she avoid? Here is a list of seven things that one needs to avoid on a daily basis.
1. Watch what you eat:
The most important and the oft-repeated advice that any pregnant woman comes across is with regards to what to eat and what not to eat. While most of it is based on superstition and hearsay, some of the foods are definitely to be avoided during pregnancy. Here is a list.
- Raw and deli meat: Raw or not properly meat has the risk of carrying infections. It is best to avoid such food during pregnancy. Deli meat too has the risk of being contaminated. Bacteria and listeria from such meat pass through the placenta and infect the fetus.
- Raw eggs: Raw eggs pose a risk of salmonella infection. Thus it is best to avoid food that might have raw eggs in it.
- Fish containing a high level of mercury: Even if your taste buds demand it or your baby craves for it, it is best to avoid sea fish like tuna and mackerel that might carry high levels of mercury. Instead freshwater fish is a better option.
- Unpasteurized dairy products and soft cheese: These can contain listeria, so it would be best for expecting mothers to watch what they eat.
- Caffeine intake: The most important part to remember is that caffeine crosses the placenta. While you may require those cups of tea and coffee for stimulating your body and mind, your growing baby does not. But if taken in moderation it does pose a threat. Another point to note is that apart from tea and coffee, caffeine can be found in chocolates, sodas and certain over the counter medicines.
2. Avoid medicines as much as possible:
While there are some medications that should be totally avoided during pregnancy, it is also advised that a medicine free pregnancy will save the growing baby from any untoward harm. So it is best to avoid over-the-counter medications or self-prescribed supplements without consulting the doctor.
3. Passive smoking:
Most of the expecting mothers know that they shouldn’t smoke during their pregnancy and feeding period. But it is also important to avoid being passive or secondhand smokers. Secondhand smoke carries the risk of about 4000 cancer-causing chemicals. It also carries the risk of premature delivery, miscarriage, low birth weight, learning or behavioral issues in the growing up years and sudden infant death syndrome.
4. Do not drink, not at any cost:
Alcohol passes the placenta and the umbilical cord. It can harm the baby’s developing brain and organs. It can also lead to miscarriage, premature delivery, stillbirth, birth defects, brain damage. Therefore it is best to avoid any drink that can contain alcohol.
5. Wearing stilettos:
As the belly grows during pregnancy, the center of gravity also changes. This can lead to unsteadiness of the feet at times. Wearing stilettos or unstable heels carry the risk of falling down. Flip flops, wedges, and platform heels are more comfortable during such times. Comfortable footwear will also help in the problem of swollen ankles and feet.
6. Avoid standing or sitting for too long:
Both these positions if continued for too long during pregnancy can cause a lot of problems, like varicose veins and swollen ankles. Taking a short break is required. If you have been sitting for too long, then get up and walk around. And if you have been up on your feet for a long time, then sitting back and relaxing with your feet up is something that you must do.
7. Stay away from over-exposure to X-rays and harmful radiations:
Too many abdominal x-rays should be totally avoided during pregnancy. The harmful radiation puts the fetus to the risk of birth defects and even cancer like leukemia later in life. Also stay away from any machines, home appliances or transmissions emitting radiation as it can lead to abortion, birth defects and genetic defects in babies.
Don’t get perturbed by the long list of do’s and don’t’s. It is just a matter of nine months so that you have a trouble-free pregnancy and the end result is of a healthy and happy baby in your arms.
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