It is so important while pregnant to take care of yourself. There are so many things you should do and so many you should not. There are also so many chances of judgment being passed on you for what you do or don’t while pregnant because everyone has their own expectations. Everyone has their own idea of what is healthy, not healthy, and down right unacceptable during pregnancy.
It is important, first and foremost, to remember you should know what’s right and what works for you.
The following are all suggested dos and don’ts for a safe and healthy pregnancy….
Regular doctors visits are very important. Taking prenatal vitamins and having a regular check up helps prevent any complications. When I found out I was pregnant with my son one of the first visits revealed I had developed Hypothyroidism. Having a low hormone due to a thyroid not working correctly can affect a pregnancy severely, including causing miscarriage. Had I not been going to the doctor I would not have found out and started working with the doctor to regulate my thyroid hormones to have a safe pregnancy.
Try to Get Lots of Sleep
I know sleep while pregnant, especially during the third trimester, can be a challenge. Try to get extra sleep when you can. The more well rested you are the better your body performs everyday tasks, which includes growing a baby.
Staying active during pregnancy is very important. Working out should be changed and managed to be safe for pregnancy, but generally if your body could handle it before pregnancy then it can during. Limit the way you workout during the third trimester. No laying on belly, no fast paced running or jogging that may cause you to trip and fall, etc.
Sex during pregnancy is an amazing way to connect with your partner, most likely it is more intense during pregnancy, and sex lowers blood pressure. All can be great benefits during pregnancy.
Relax, Take a Bath
Remember self care. Take a bath and relax. Just remember not to have too hot of water. While pregnancy you should never soak in a hot tub or sauna and water in a bath should never be warmer than 102 degrees. It should not be hot enough to raise your body temperature.
Get the Flu Shot
The flu shot and other vaccinations offered while pregnant can be of great benefit to you and the baby. Sick while your bodies immune system is compromised can cause great harm. During pregnancy your immune system does not work as strong as before, this can make pregnant woman more susceptible to cold and flu.
Visit The Dentist
During pregnancy your hormones are high. This hormone rise can cause your gums to swell and bleed. Often times making you more susceptible to cavities and gum disease. Also, if you have bad morning sickness during pregnancy, throwing up often, can cause damage to your tooth enamel.
Sleep on Side During Third Trimester
During the third trimester it is important to sleep on your side. The weight of the baby can cause harm otherwise. Even better, is to sleep on your left side. This is to increase blood flow and sleeping on your right hand side can put pressure on your liver.
Smoking during pregnancy can cause low birth weight. This can cause health problems, possibly causing baby to be sick and have to stay in the hospital longer. Smoking around the baby after birth can increase the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Also, second hand smoke has been seen to cause an increased risk of other health concerns to babies, including increased risk of ear infections.
Don’t Drink Alcohol
Alcohol passes from the mother to the baby during pregnancy through the umbilical cord. Alcohol can cause all kinds of health issues for the baby including miscarriage, stillbirth, and physical and intellectual disabilities.
Don’t Eat Raw Meat
Eating raw meat, undercooked steak, chicken or others, can have a higher risk of contaminants like salmonella. With a slower immune system during pregnancy these contaminates can have a greater effect on the pregnant mom and unborn baby.
Don’t Eat Seafood
All seafood is not unsafe. Generally sushi is okay given it has cooked meat and a fish type that has low mercury levels, such as shrimp, scallops, sardines, salmon, and tilapia. Fish with high amounts of mercury include Marlin, Swordfish, Halibut, and Tuna.
Don’t Eat Deli Meat
Listeria is a risk for deli meat and this is why it’s recommended not to eat during pregnancy. Personally, I ate lunch meat while pregnant with both babies and had no issues. But you never know and it may be better to be safe, than sorry.
Don’t Eat/Drink Unpasteurized Milk (Products)
When milk is pasteurized it is boiled at high temperatures. This kills off many toxins, like listeria. When milk is unpasteurized there is a higher risk of taking in those toxins.
Don’t Drink (a lot) of Caffeine
Caffeine is not an absolute no-no while pregnant. However, you should limit the amount of caffeine you drink while pregnant. The March of Dimes recommends a pregnant woman should not drink more than 200mg of caffeine a day. This can mean different things for different drinks. Look up caffeine content in your favorite drinks.
Don’t Clean a Cat’s Litter Box
There is a parasitic infection called Taxoplasmosis. This parasite can be transferred through cat poop. So if you must clean a cat litter box while pregnant you should wear gloves and other protective gear, and wash thoroughly after.
Don’t Eat for Two
I made this mistake with both my pregnancies. It really is not necessary to eat more then your usual while pregnant. You should definitely eat healthy foods but you do not have to “eat for two.” Often doing so can mean excessive weight gain. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy can cause blood pressure issues. Also, the more weight you gain during pregnancy, the more you have to lose after the babies birth. I’m still 30 pounds over where I was before having my first born and it’s been 3 years.
Don’t Take NSAID Pain Relievers
Generally it is believed that NSAID use after 30 weeks can cause harm to the baby. Instead of getting into detail here with medical information I am linking this article about NSAID use.
Pregnancy, especially a first, can be so overwhelming. There is so much to know and understand. Try to understand what you can and take the safety measures you feel are right.