While you probably already know about the things you should do during pregnancy such as ensuring a healthy diet including adequate folic intake and prenatal checkups, do you know what things you should avoid during pregnancy? There are many, but what follows is a list of a few things which you might want to avoid.
1. Eating too much seafood
But how much is too much? There is still some controversy, but most experts agree that somewhere between 6g – 12g per week is safe. However, it is still advised that you choose fish lower in mercury such as salmon, crab, shrimp, and canned light tuna. Shark and swordfish are two examples of fish to avoid, due to their higher mercury content.
2. Exercising heavily
This is especially important if you were not very active before getting pregnant. If this is the case, you will need to start exercising slowly. Even just beginning a regular walking program can improve your endurance before the birth of your baby.
If you are more conditioned and you exercised prior to pregnancy, you will likely be able to continue your exercise routine. However, you will want to avoid high-impact exercises, contact sports, and other sports/activities where there is a risk of falling. Weight lifting is generally safe in a low-risk pregnancy, but you do not want to be lifting too much weight and straining.
You never want to exercise to the point of exhaustion or overheating, as this can be dangerous for your baby.
Always check with your physician before beginning or continuing any exercise program, as there are times when exercise is not recommended during pregnancy.
3. If you have oral sex, your partner must not blow air into your vagina
This can result in an air embolism, an air bubble that develops in a blood vessel of the body. If this air bubble makes it to the heart or lungs, it can be life-threatening.
4. Do not have sex with people whose sexual history is unknown
When you do not know someone else’s sexual history, it is never a good idea to have sex with that person. Not only do you risk contracting a sexually-transmitted infection (STI), your unborn baby does too.
If your partner possibly has genital herpes, you should avoid sex with your partner during the third trimester. Also, avoid oral sex if your partner gets cold sores. This is because an infected mother can transmit the herpes virus to the baby during vaginal birth, and herpes is very serious in newborns. If you do have herpes sores or you feel an outbreak coming on before the birth of your baby, a cesarean section will be necessary.
5. You should not smoke or breathe in second-hand smoke
It is known that tobacco smoke increases the chances of having a low-birth-weight infant, one who is at increased risk of dying from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), and other medical complications for both the mother and baby.
6. You should not drink alcohol
Alcohol is the only cause of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, a completely preventable disorder. Children exposed to alcohol in utero can have a wide range of disorders ranging from identifiable facial features to less obvious, but serious, learning disabilities and impairments in reasoning, to name a few.
There are many things that you need to avoid when pregnant. A few of these have been discussed above and can help ensure that the baby you have is as healthy as possible when born.