Written by Liza John
So, you have confirmed that there is a bun in your oven and simultaneously reached your wit’s end trying to do everything right. Worry not, pregnancy does not mean that you have to stop doing everything that you once enjoyed. If you are not having a high-risk pregnancy and some tasks desperately need to be done, be sure to take necessary precautions.
Think of these changes as a short hiatus for the baby to grow and develop healthily in your womb. From hair products to lifestyle habits, pregnancy demands a lot of sacrifices from the mother. Here are a few things to keep an eye on while you are expecting.
No studies have been able to determine a safe level of alcohol for expecting mothers. Thus, it is better to be safe than sorry and to avoid alcohol during the pregnancy and breastfeeding period.
Alcohol travels through the placenta and reaches the baby quickly, and certain amounts of alcohol can cause fetal alcohol syndrome.
Alcohol may cause brain damage and other developmental delays. Consuming alcohol during pregnancy can also lead to miscarriage and stillbirth.
Be it prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, or hard drugs, all of them increase the risks of health problems during pregnancy.
Remember to consult an expert before taking painkillers or OTC drugs, chances are they may pass through the placenta and affect the organ systems of the fetus as well.
If you have a substance abuse problem, confide in your doctor or midwife to get the necessary help.
Expecting women may have weird cravings during pregnancy. But some foods expecting mothers should stay away from, include:
- Deli meats
- Food with the possible presence of mercury
- Unpasteurized dairy products
- Unwashed produce
- Soft cheese
- Raw sprouts
- Undercooked or raw meat, fish, or eggs
A restriction for undercooked or raw food is placed because they may contain salmonella, E. coli, or listeria. Pregnant women are prone to infections from these bacteria and the fetus may face developmental difficulties like blindness due to the infection. Making use of pasteurized dairy products and washed produce for cooking can prevent them to an extent.
Even though light exercise can help the pregnant body to cope with the changes and relax, exerting yourself too much can cause trouble. It can range from muscle spasms to miscarriage. Refrain from taking part in contact sports or events where there can be an injury to the abdominal region.
If you are an athlete and need to stay in the loop, consult with your obstetrician before proceeding. Nonetheless, experts generally advise expecting parents to sign up for yoga or spin class to get the required exercise.
Pregnancy may have given you glowing skin, or it might have left you drained. It is safe to pamper yourself a bit at the salon but try to stay away from chemical peels and procedures involving heat. Avoid getting hair dyed during this time because pregnancy might change how the hair reacts to the chemicals.
In addition, try to stay away from saunas, acupuncture treatments, and massages. These may seem perfect to help you relax but can be hard on the pregnant body if not careful. Also, stick to flats or flip-flops during pregnancy because footwear with high heels can take a toll on the ankles as well as the spine.
Most importantly, stay away from smoking and second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke has toxins and carcinogens that can adversely affect anyone who is exposed to it. The same goes for paint fumes and certain cleaning agents.
Stressful situations are hardly good for anyone, and a fetus is no exception. The cumulative effects of stress can make your body go into hyperdrive during pregnancy. This can result in weight gain, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other conditions. It is equally important to take care of one’s mental health like physical health during gestation.
Being responsible for more than yourself is a tiring task but good parenting starts once that pregnancy test signals positive. It seems like a lot of restrictions to keep in mind, but hang in there, it is going to be worth every bit. A few months after the little one has debuted, you can get back to the sushi, roller coasters, and saunas. Always ask an expert on what the recommended course of action is and have a safe pregnancy.