Pregnancy Dos and Don'ts

If you are a lucky expectant mother, then congratulations! That time is not far when you will be swooning over your newborn. For the next ten months, however, it is your body that deserves your careful attention. Of course you are aware of the usual no-no’s dictated by common sense when it comes to pregnancy; such as alcohol, smoking or even kick boxing. However, chances are that some of the instructions might have slipped your mind or you may not be up to date on the guidelines. Even if this is not your first time with pregnancy, you could stand to benefit from learning the guidelines again. This article presents some pregnancy dos and don'ts based on the expert opinion of ob-gyns.

Pregnancy Dos 

To know pregnancy dos and don'ts, you should be clear about what should do during pregnancy. Here we list the things you should do.

What to Do

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Go to prenatal checkup regularly

Regular visits to your doctor are crucial to maintaining the health of the mother and baby. With proper prenatal care and regular checkups you and your baby can be kept healthy and safe against diseases and illnesses since it will allow any potential issues to be discovered on a timely basis.

Take folic acid

Folic acid is essential during pregnancy if you want to protect the baby against certain birth defects. A daily intake of 400 to 800 milligram of folic acid is recommended for pregnant women. Make sure to include foods in your diet that contain the necessary amounts of folic acid or use vitamin supplements to cover the deficit.  

Eat healthy foods

Include a range of healthy foods in your diet because you and your baby need extra nourishment. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, cooked seafood and foods rich in calcium to ensure you get all the essential nutrients and minerals.

Have enough iron

Iron is one of the most vital daily nutrients for pregnant women because it can prevent anemia, which can be responsible for preterm labor and babies low in birth weight. Consult your doctor before taking prenatal vitamins or iron supplements.

Have enough water

During pregnancy, you will need to increase your fluid intake to ensure proper blood circulation and to keep away from dehydration that can harm the baby. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and substitute caffeine drinks with organic fruit and vegetable juices.

Keep moderate exercises

Physical exercise is advisable if you are pregnant women because it is good for your health and your baby’s. However, in case your doctor tells you to avoid physical activity for some reason you need to follow his/her advice.

Gain proper amount of weight

Doctors usually recommend pregnant women to gain a couple of pounds for health reasons. However, women need to be careful about gaining more weight than advised since it can lead to complications in pregnancy and also because the extra weight can be difficult to lose after the baby has been born. 

Wash your hands

Stay clean to maintain health and particularly wash your hands regularly. It is even more necessary to wash your hands after you have handled raw meat or after a trip to the bathroom. You don’t know what kind of germs you might be feeding your unborn baby if you are negligent about keeping your hands sanitized.

Get enough high-quality sleep

Try to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. While lying down, rest on your left side to ensure proper blood flow throughout the body and prevent swelling. If you have trouble falling asleep place pillows under your belly and between legs to get into a comfortable position for sleeping.

Set limits on certain activities

Control the things that stress you out and learn to say no to certain requests that require spending time and valuable energy. You might need to limit certain activities during pregnancy to conserve your energy. Do not hesitate to ask others for help.

Treat health conditions

Your health problems from before pregnancy will need to be treated or constantly monitored so their effects on you and your baby’s health can be minimized. If you are diabetic, you will need to be extra careful about keeping your blood sugar levels in control. Similarly, high blood pressure patients will need to monitor their blood pressure regularly.

Be careful with medications

Medical consultation prior to stopping previous medications or before taking new ones is especially recommended for pregnant women. This is because any type of medication, be it over-the-counter, prescription or even herbal may contain certain substances that can be dangerous for the baby.

Get a flu shot

Flu can be very harmful for pregnant women and in certain cases may even result in hospitalization. Therefore, to avoid future complications, it is absolutely crucial that you ask your doctor about getting a flu shot.

Ensure safety when traveling

Make sure you wear your seat belt properly when on a journey. Fasten the lap strap across your hips and under your belly, while the shoulder strap of the belt should go between the breasts and on the side of the belly. Ensure the seat belt is fastened and fitted properly before the journey starts.

Join a parenting class

Expectant mothers can benefit greatly by joining a parenting or childbirth class. It gives them an opportunity to learn from others undergoing similar conditions and to pick up useful new tips about coping with pregnancy and parenting.

The following video explains more on keeping a healthy diet during pregnancy and maintaining a healthy weight gain:

Pregnancy Don'ts

To further know pregnancy dos and don'ts, you should also be well-known what should don't do during pregnancy. Here we list the things should avoid.

What Not to Do

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Drink

Absolutely avoid alcohol during pregnancy because it can damage fetal development and lead to long lasting birth defects. Consuming even a little alcohol especially when you are undergoing your first or second trimester can irreversibly harm the baby.

Smoke

Smoking is another absolute no-no for pregnant women. Smoking may lead to low birth weight, preterm labor, miscarriage and various other complications, which is why doctors try to assist and encourage pregnant women to quit the habit.

Take drugs

Do not take any sort of medications during pregnancy without consulting your doctor first. Drugs may contain certain substances, the consumption of which can put you and your baby at risk.

Use hot tubs

Avoid using hot tubs and very hot water for taking baths. It can endanger the baby’s development and increase the risk of miscarriage.

Handle cat litter

If you own a cat, avoid handling the litter since it can cause a disease called toxoplasmosis, which can harm the brain and eyes. In case you cannot have someone else clean out the litter, put on clean gloves before the task and thoroughly wash your hands afterwards.

Eat high mercury fish

Avoid eating fishes that have been exposed to contaminants like mercury because it can harm fetus development. However, some species of fish are safe for consumption during pregnancy for the health benefits they provide.

Get in touch with harmful chemicals

Stay away from pesticides and paints at all costs since exposure to these can pose a serious risk to the developing baby. Commercial, aerosol paints and pesticides are more dangerous than household paints.

Drink caffeine

Avoid consuming caffeine-containing drinks during pregnancy because caffeine has drug-like properties that can damage your unborn child.

Use feminine products

Use of female hygiene products that are scented can increase your chances of a urinary tract infection or yeast infection, so try to avoid these.