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Things you should avoid during pregnancy

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Things you should avoid during pregnancy
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You are not ill or suffering from a fatality when you are pregnant.  Nevertheless there are some activities that you should stop when you are expecting a child.  You should remember that by avoiding these activities you are protecting yourself and also your future child.  

Drinking alcohol

Everyone knows that drinking alcohol can be dangerous for your health. However during pregnancy, this risk is even greater. Alcohol can enter into the placenta and affect the fetus.  As a result your baby can develop fetal alcohol syndrome.

This intoxication can lead to:

  • Physical anomalies 
  • Stunted growth 
  • Intellectual handicaps 
  • Reduced limb coordination 
  • Behavioural problems 
  • Developmental delays

Most specialists recommend completely avoiding alcohol during pregnancy. 

Eating certain types of food

Although it is common for pregnant women to want to eat certain types of food in particular, some foods are not recommended.

  • Cured meats or prepared salads which can contain listeria bacteria which is a fatal bacteria for the fetus;
  • Non pasturised products can also contain listeria but can also cause food poisoning;
  • Fish with high levels of mercury like shark, swordfish or even mackerel. A fetus that is exposed to mercury could developed brain, hearing or visual problems;
  • Raw meat or fish can carry salmonella or toxoplasmosis.  These two infections can be fatal for your child.
  • Raw eggs;  found in raw cake batters could also carry salmonella.

Drinking too much caffeine

Just like alcohol, caffeine can pass through the placenta wall and contaminate the fetus.  This can cause a miscarriage or you can give birth to your child when it is very weak.
Today it is recommended that pregnant women don’t drink more than 200 to 300 grams of caffeine per day.  This is the equivalent to about a cup or a cup and a half of black coffee.

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©️ Dejan_Dundjerski / iStock

Practicing risky sports and going to theme park attractions

Physical contact sports like football or boxing are to be avoided during pregnancy.  These sports can lead to a detachment (or tearing) of the placenta or the premature birth of your child.

After the first trimester, it is also advised that you should avoid skiing, snowboarding or climbing.  These are sports where there is a greater risk of falling.  The centre of gravity for a pregnant woman changes which only increases the risk of falling.

In addition, theme park attractions are not recommended for pregnant women. The sensation is not good for the baby’s heart but also for the placenta which also risks being torn. This could result in the death of the fetus.

Continuing intense sports

Some types of exercise should be avoided such as bungee jumping and abdominal exercises on your back. However walking, swimming and squats can be beneficial for your physical health when you are pregnant.

So that you are sure about the sports that you practice is a good idea to speak with a doctor or a sports coach.

You can also read:Swimming and pregnancy: A great sport to ease pregnancy pains

Cleaning cat litter

If you have a cat you know what you need to do to change the cat litter.  When you are changing the litter micro-particles of dust get into the air.  These particles can contain toxoplasmosis.  If the mother contracts this, she risk transferring the illness to her child who could develop:

  • intellectual handicaps 
  • brain damage 
  • blindness
  • eye lesions.

Carrying heavy bags

You can often need to carry heavy bags.  Nevertheless when you are pregnant, lifting heavy objects can increase the risk of:

  • pulling a muscle
  • developing a hernia 
  • encouraging premature labour
  • led to development problems for the child like a low weight at birth 

Continuing to smoke

Smoking is dangerous for the mother and for the child.  As well as increasing the risk of cardiovascular problems and developing cancer, smoking can:

  • Encourage a premature birth 
  • Create congenital abnormalities, such as cleft lip or cleft palate
  • Increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • Develop placental problems 

You should also remember that passive smoking can have an impact on the mother and the baby’s health.

You can also read: How to stop smoking during pregnancy

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© AntonioGuillem / iStock

Self prescribing medicine

Some medicines should not be taken during pregnancy.  You should speak with your doctor to avoid any risks.  
Some medicinal plants can be harmful for the fetus as well.  Avoid self prescribing medication and always ask a doctor if you are safe to take a certain medication.

However take care of yourself during pregnancy

If something is good for your body then it is good for your child.  Taking care of yourself means that you can continue doing most of your activities just by making sure that you take certain precautions. Remember that you can ask your doctor for advice to avoid any risks to your baby’s health.

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