Pregnancy is a special time in your life and you definitely want to make it as safe as possible. The main factor here is to avoid certain things, which can cause deformities or similar issues. Between 3 and 5% of babies are born with defects, (1) but this number can be increased if the mother doesn’t avoid teratogenic factors.
Over the last decade, many different types of researches were conducted in order to make pregnancy safer and reduce the possible effect. Now, every single mother can minimize the risk and protect her baby. All of the following things should be avoided during pregnancy, according to the combination of the mentioned researches.
10+ Things to Avoid During Pregnancy
Diet with low amount of folic acid
During the first trimester, folic acid has a huge role on baby forming. It can prevent the risk of Spina Bifida (defect) (2) and it can protect baby from several other issues. Prenatal supplements are highly recommended. Each dose will provide 500 micrograms which are needed for daily usage. Additionally, folic acid can be obtained from grapefruits, green vegetables, and liver.
Listeria is caused by bacteria in some types of foods. It can cause stillbirth and several other problems! You can find it in food that wasn’t stored properly and in seafood. Unpasteurized milk and ice cream may also contain it. In some, rare cases you can be exposed to listeria from cheese and sushi. Make sure you eat fresh and organic food during pregnancy.
Fish with high amount of mercury
When consumed in higher amounts, mercury can cause defects of the nervous system of the unborn baby. As such, some fish, which is high in this element must be avoided at all cost. This applies to marlin, sharks, swordfish and some species of tuna. Other fish is recommended to eat during pregnancy.
Avoid alcohol at all cost
Most mothers believe that a small amount of alcohol is harmless. After all, her body will filter it and remove from the blood, before it reaches the baby. However, a human placenta is incapable of filtrating and removing alcohol from the bloodstream. It means that a baby will be exposed to alcohol, regardless of the amount you just drank.
Medication usage during the pregnancy is a trick in the lack of a better word. Ideally, you won’t take any of them, simply because some of them are useful for you, but they may have a negative effect on the baby. Even if you are already taking medications, planning to start or use common ones occasionally, there is a potential risk. As such, we must add several points which will help you eliminate the mentioned risk.
- Always take the medications according to precise instructions. The most common are after a meal or in the morning on empty stomach.
- Don’t use medications unless it is mandatory. The best pregnancy won’t involve any medications whatsoever.
- Get consultations with a healthcare provider if you must take some medication.
- Make sure to have consultations even if you are planning to take common medications (aspirin or etc.).
Just because of a manufacturer claim that their product is natural, it doesn’t mean it actually is. Most of them are not properly tested and some can even cause severe complications, especially to a baby! Ask a healthcare provider for the advice and make sure to mention the specific product. The best thing you can do is to skip this kind of therapy during the pregnancy.
Drugs (even recreational)
All mothers who use any kind of drugs, even occasionally, during the pregnancy they will have to stop! The substances and the effect of the drugs will cause premature birth, miscarriage, the low weight of a baby, placental abruption and a variety of other complications. The only solution is to visit local hospital where you can get professional help.
Nicotine and cigarettes
Cigarettes are the worst thing you can use during pregnancy! They are rich in nicotine, what we all know, but they also contain more than 100 toxins. All of them are harmful to babies. Mothers who smoke while they are pregnant usually give birth to smaller babies who are prone to asthma! They also produce less milk. Important: A therapy which uses nicotine as a smoking therapy must be avoided as well, due to the fact you will still have a daily intake of this toxin!
Drinks with caffeine
Coffee is usually considered as the main drink when it comes to caffeine, but it isn’t the only one. Experts claim that 200 milligrams per day of caffeine is safe and can be consumed during pregnancy. A single cup of coffee has 130 milligrams, so it is definitely safe if you are a coffee addict. In addition, make sure not to consume more than 1 liter of Coca Cola or more than one energy drink.
Higher body temperature
Luckily for all of you, this factor is the easiest to eliminate. Mother’s body must not get a higher temperature than 39 degrees Celsius! This is especially important during the first part of the pregnancy. Higher body temperature may cause damage to the fetus. The bottom line here is that spending a lot of time outside, warm baths and hard physical activity must be avoided at all cost. If you live in an area where the temperature is high, make sure to spend most of the day inside.
Domestic violence is usually kept as a secret by a family and un-reported. A bad thing is the fact this has two side effects on pregnant mothers. The first one is stress, which affects your unborn baby and can cause severe mental complications. The second one is a physical injury of the placenta and fetus. Every solution that can prevent or eliminate domestic violence, especially during pregnancy is a good solution. Interesting: Younger couples, those who didn’t plan a baby and those who use drugs and alcohol experience domestic violence more often.
Cats aren’t generally dangerous for pregnant women, but feces (3) which contain Toxoplasmosis will have a negative effect. They cause parasitic diseases, which affect humans as well. Even worse, they are easily transmitted to the human’s body. Just in case, avoid any contact with cats, especially with their litter box! Ideally, you won’t even have a cat during pregnancy, but if you have, make sure she gets a regular check by a veterinarian.
Diseases and illness
Obviously, it isn’t possible to prevent illness during pregnancy. However, most mothers believe that their immune system is stronger during this period of time. In reality, it isn’t. Your body will have to protect you and a baby, so it will be active on two fronts. As such, this makes it less effective in a battle against viruses, bacteria, and germs.
The best and one of a few things you can do is to avoid contact with people who have a common cold, who are sick or who were sick a few days/weeks ago. Washing hands and trying to live in a clean environment is also more than just important.
Two most common and the most dangerous infections, which usually have a negative effect on a baby are Chickenpox and German measles (rubella). Viral infections which are dangerous as well include STDs, Cytomegalovirus, Toxoplasmosis, and Parvovirus. Addition: Most common STDs are syphilis and herpes!
Toxins from the environment
This is usually one of the most dangerous factors which most new mothers have no idea about. We determined that paint fumes, X-rays, lead and fumes from cleaning chemicals are the most dangerous. Sadly, this factor cannot be generalized, so the only thing you can do is to always ventilate a room, in a case you have been using cleaning chemicals and to read the details on them as well.
If you believe that seatbelts are dangerous for pregnant women, you are wrong. They can protect you and your baby from severe injuries, in a case accident happens. All pregnant women should wear a seatbelt while travelling by car, bus, airplane or any other way of transportation. Keep in mind that you will have to place is correctly, which is by placing it below the stomach. Don’t place it across it! Wearing a seatbelt may be uncomfortable, but it is a safety precaution.
The bottom line
As you can see, most of these factors are common in everyday life of new mothers. Combined, they will have a catastrophic effect on the pregnancy. Avoiding all of them is highly recommended by healthcare providers, experts, and even more experienced mothers! The main thing to remember is that all of these factors can be easily avoided and eliminated from your life. All you have to do is to make a few changes to your lifestyle and to keep in mind that you are a pregnant woman, so you need to take care of you two. Eliminating just a few factors from the list is important and recommended as well. The more the merrier.