Although pregnancy is such a happy time for most women, it can also be quite a restricting time. There are many things you need to avoid during those 9 months and beyond if you choose to breastfeed and that’s without my 10 Things To Avoid When Pregnant.
While this is all for good reason, it’s fair to say, for some, life becomes pretty boring.
Many things to avoid are common knowledge, like smoking, drinking alcohol, taking drugs, the usual. However, there are also quite a few that are not so common and may even surprise you. These are the ones I want to focus on in this post.
If you’re interested in other reads relating to pregnancy, check out 5 Pregnancy Side Effects No One Talks About
This is 10 Things To Avoid When Pregnant.
Avoid hot baths
We all love a nice hot bubble bath at the end of the day, but did you know that pregnant women should really avoid hot baths?
Not only can increasing your body core temperature cause overheating which could then lead to dizziness & fainting. But a significant rise in your core temperature could also impact your baby’s development, particularly within the first 12 weeks.
Unfortunately, the same rule applies when it comes to hot tubs and saunas. Both of which should be avoided completely.
Don’t drink too much Caffeine
Did you know drinking too much caffeine when pregnancy can cause fetal growth issues which can lead to low birth weight and at the extreme, even miscarriage.
The recommended amount is no more than 200mg of caffeine a day. This includes all types of caffeinated drink & food. So not only do you need to watch your coffee and tea intake but also things like Coca-Cola & chocolate, which also contain caffeine, should be monitored.
Avoid second-hand smoke
Not only is smoking during pregnancy dangerous for your unborn baby but you also need to be careful of second-hand smoke. Being exposed to second-hand smoke can cause low birth weight and birth defects.
Remember to be careful once the baby is born too, newborn babies exposed to second-hand smoke are at an increased risk of SIDS.
Don’t eat certain foods
There are many foods that should probably be avoided in pregnancy but there are some that are a NO NO! These include raw meat & fish, raw eggs, soft cheese & unpasteurized dairy. This is due to the various contaminations they could have, such as, listeria, toxoplasmosis & salmonella which could be life-threatening to your unborn baby.
You should also avoid fish that are high in mercury, these include king mackerel, shark, swordfish. Tuna also contains mercury but at a lower level, so while it’s fine to eat, you should make sure you have it sparingly.
Avoid wet paint
Paint is a lot less toxic nowadays than it has ever been. And while the risk from household paint is low, spending large amounts of time in a room with wet paint should be avoided. Although paint is no longer as dangerous, it is still toxic to some degree and there is no way of knowing how toxic it may be.
If you are redecorating before the baby arrives, it’s best to find someone else to handle the painting. If that’s not possible, make sure you keep the area well ventilated and you have regular breaks away from the room you are painting.
Avoid Contact Sport
Contact sport should absolutely be avoided while pregnant. Not only are you more at risk of falling and being injured but there is also an increased risk of placental abruption. Placental abruption is when the placenta is separated from the uterine wall. It’s a severe condition and can cause preterm labor, pregnancy loss, and stillbirth.
Light exercise during pregnancy is encouraged but listen to your body. If it becomes uncomfortable or painful, then you should stop and try something lighter after a few days rest. Walking, swimming and squats are all fine.
Don’t change the litter tray
Do you have a cat at home who uses a little box/tray? If your pregnant you really shouldn’t be the one to change the litter. Cat feces can carry a rare parasitic disease called toxoplasmosis. If passed onto an unborn baby can cause all kinds of problems, including:
- Brain damage
- Eye damage
- Learning disabilities
If you absolutely have to clean the tray yourselves, make sure you wear gloves and thoroughly wash your hands afterward.
Avoid heavy lifting
Hormones during pregnancy cause your ligaments to loosen in your joints and pelvic floor. Heavy lifting puts extra strain on these areas and is, therefore, best avoided. Problems that can occur are:
- Stress incontinence
- Back and pelvic pain
- Prolapse womb
If you have young children while also pregnant be careful when picking them up. Toddlers may be able to climb into a car seat themselves and you could have them stand on a chair before you pick them up.
If possible leave any heavy lifting around the house to your partner, family or friends.
Don’t stand for too long
Like heavy lifting, regular long periods of standing can put a strain on those loose ligaments which can cause pelvic and back pain. But it can also reduce blood flow to your unborn baby which can lead to a reduction in that much-needed oxygen and nutrients reaching your baby.
If you have a job that requires you to stand for long periods, you may need to talk with your boss about the issues it can cause during pregnancy and try to find a way around it.
Avoid wearing stilettoes
Having to give up those stunning heels during pregnancy may be heartbreaking, but it’s probably for the best. Due to those loose ligaments, wearing high heels will put extra strain on your already weakened pelvis.
You also tend to be clumsy during pregnancy and due to the shift in your center of gravity you’re more prone to falling over. Unfortunately, wearing high heels will only increase this risk.
You may think those beautiful heels are still comfortable but as the day wears on, they are likely to feel more and more uncomfortable as your feet tend to swell much more during pregnancy. And that’s if they still fit you at all. Did you know that your feet can actually increase in size, particularly during the third trimester?
The take away
There are many things you have to cut back on or cut out altogether during pregnancy. This can make pregnancy feel like a lonely and restricting time. But, when you consider the health benefits of those 10 Things To Avoid When Pregnant, it’s all completely worthwhile. And, it’s only while you are pregnant, you can go back to enjoying many of those things once the baby has safely been delivered into the world.
For more advice on pregnancy, the NHS website has some great resources, including a due date calculator NHS/Pregnancy
Do you have any tips on what to avoid when pregnant? What have you struggled to avoid yourself? I’d love to hear your stories.