Pregnancy, though the most beautiful journey of a woman’s life, can bring its own challenges and repercussions. There is a tiny life growing inside you, who calls for your undivided attention and love. Your body goes through various hormonal changes, which can leave you exhausted and frustrated at both physical and emotional levels. As an expecting mother, you required to be extra careful about your and your baby’s health. And you can do that by taking some basic precautions related to your diet, activities and your overall well – being.
Select Your Diet Carefully
Raw and Undercooked Food
Undercooked meat, eggs, fish, raw sprouts and cake dough must strictly be avoided during this phase as these may contain viruses and bacteria. Also make sure that you wash vegetables and fruits thoroughly before eating to get rid of the pesticides and insecticides sprayed on them. It is advisable to consume peeled carrots, apples and other such fruits and vegetables.
Fish and Seafood
While fish and seafood should form a part of your diet during pregnancy, however you must refrain from the ones that contain high mercury level. Swordfish, king mackerel, shark and tilefish are among some of these. Also see to it that you do not consume greater than 12 ounces of cooked fish per week.
Luncheon Meat and Hot Dogs
These foods may contain bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes that causes listeriosis. This bacteria is hazardous for the baby as well as the mother. It may lead to miscarriage. Listeriosis may also be present in processed seafood and meat, unpasteurized milk or dairy products.
Caffeine is not considered good during pregnancy as it can cause sleep problems, anxiety and irregular heartbeat. It is especially harsh on the baby and may cause birth defects or premature birth. Apparently, many of you may not be able to give up on the consumption of tea and coffee completely, however it is essential to lower the consumption substantially. Certain varieties of herbal tea are also not considered healthy for pregnant ladies – you should consume these only after consulting with your doctor.
Alcohol and Smoking
Alcohol in little amount can hamper with your baby’s growth in the womb and even after birth. If consumed in larger doses, a pregnant woman stands the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. Ideally, you should completely refrain from alcohol during pregnancy or at the most restrict it to a small drink once a week. Smoking is equally toxic and has a similar adverse impact as that of alcohol. Hence, quitting smoking as early as before conceiving is recommended.
Go Easy on Activities
You may have that adventurous streak, however, this is not the time to indulge in extremely adventurous sports such as bungee jumping, mountaineering, hot air ballooning and similar others as most of these put you at a risk of falling and hurting yourself. The more your bump grows, the more difficult is for you to maintain the balance. You must also refrain from picking up or moving heavy objects as these may cause strain on your lower back and abdomen and lead to complications.
You may take up light variations of exercises, walking, swimming, cycling or any other activity as long as they don’t come in contact with your stomach or overheat your body. If not sure which exercises are right for your pregnancy, taking a medical advice is the best way to do it.
Also make sure you stop any kind of exercise or physical activity in case you experience breathing problem, vaginal bleeding, heavy fluid discharge, dizziness, muscle weakness, reduced fetal movement or headache. You must consult your gynecologist immediately in case of any of the mentioned problems.
Indulge in Sexual Intimacy with Care
While you may have sexual intercourse with your partner during pregnancy, it is suggested to refrain from the same during the first trimester as this is a very critical phase. Secondly, you must abstain from indulging in the act if you suffer from placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta stoops down to cover the cervix. Those pregnant with twins, triplets or more are also suggested not to have any physical relationship during pregnancy.
It is also advisable not to indulge in sexual intercourse during pregnancy in case you have a history of miscarriage or a possible threat of the same, a history of pre-term labor or symptoms suggesting pre-term labor, weak cervix or unexplained vaginal discharge or bleeding.
If you indulge in oral sex then your partner must not blow air into your vagina as this can lead to air embolism, which is dangerous for you as well as the baby. Anal sex must also be avoided during pregnancy. Besides, your gynecologist may advise you to refrain from having sex in case there are certain other complications in your pregnancy.
Avoid Contact with Environmental Pollutants
Exposure to high level of air pollution or explosive sounds may affect your pregnancy. In severe circumstances, they may cause premature birth, preeclampsia, low birth weight baby and other health problems for the mother.
Don’t Prolong Hot Tub Baths and Saunas
Hot tub baths and saunas can raise your body temperature and lead to dehydration, which is a threat to your baby’s health. These are thus a big no during pregnancy.
Other Safety Precautions
- Take your prenatal vitamins regulalary.
- Stay well hydrated by taking plenty of water and healthy fluids.
- Follow good hygiene habits, especially in public places.
- Take medicines only after consulting your doctor.
- Be careful during travel, find out what on – board and stay facilities can you avail as an expecting mother.
- You may trip on high heels, avoid wearing them as far as possible.
Besides these general precautions that must be taken during pregnancy, you may be required to take certain other measures depending on your individual case. Consult a good gynecologist and follow her advice, diligently to stay healthy and safeguard the life nurturing inside you.
Remember, the best precaution is to stay calm. Pamper yourself, read good books or simply indulge in any activity that makes you feel relaxed and good from inside!