10 Things Women Must Avoid During Pregnancy
A pregnant mother always wants the best for her unborn child. Birth defects and deficiencies can be very damaging both to the mother and the child; defects are not only present upon delivery of the child, some may be detrimental to the child’s growth and development and cause the child to be sickly later in life. To avoid these birth defects, here are ten things that pregnant women should stay away from:
1. Must Not Smoke!
Smoking is bad for the health and it can be very bad for pregnant women and their unborn infants. Other than firsthand smoke, second hand smoke should also be avoided. Pre-term births can be a painful consequence of inhaling cigarette smoke. The same could also cause spontaneous abortion, low birth weight in full term babies and even fetal death. Other than these grim effects, inhaling cigarette smoke can also have a number of developmental repercussions, like causing blood vessels of the fetus to constrict resulting in reduced oxygen supply to the fetus’ brain. Many would-be mothers still smoke despite warnings.
2. Must Not Consume Alcohol!
When the mother is drunk, the baby also gets the booze. This means that mothers should stay away from any form of alcohol because unlike adults who can maintain a certain level of alcohol in their bloodstreams, fetuses do not have this safe level. When a fetus is exposed to alcohol, the duration at which it is exposed affects the damage to the fetus. Exposure time is directly proportional to the number of problems that may develop like CNS dysfunction, skeletal deformities, pre and post natal growth deficiencies, facial malformations, organ damage, and the worst, metal retardation from Fetal Alcohol syndrome. The risks for the child are great, nevertheless, some mothers still keep on drinking.
3. Must Avoid Kitty Litter!
Stay away from kitty litter. Pregnant women who insist on cleaning cat litter boxes themselves can get a strange parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, which in turn can lead to still births, birth defects, and ectopic pregnancy. If pregnant women have had a cat for a long time, they may develop immunity to toxoplasmosis, but it is always best to have kitty checked by an animal doctor.
4. Must Not Consume Uncooked Meat And Seafood!
Other sources of the same parasite that causes toxoplasmosis are raw and undercooked meat and seafood. Pregnant women should stay away from these foods and opt for cooked meats. Other than the parasite mentioned these food items can also carry salmonella and coliform bacteria which may cause still birth, miscarriages or even fetal brain damage.
5. Must Avoid Some Fishes!
Fish is safe, but pregnant women should stay away from these critters because many kinds of fish like shark, swordfish, and tuna may contain industrial chemicals that are usually found in local waters. These chemicals include mercury and methylmercury which can be very harmful to the fetus’ developing brain.
6. Must Not Have Direct Contact With Toxic Chemicals!
Pregnant women should know well and stay away from pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and other toxic chemicals because these can be very harmful to the unborn child depending on the duration the child is exposed to these chemicals. These harmful chemicals can cause a delay in the child’s development especially if exposure occurs during the first trimester. These chemicals are widely used in the US and so it is very difficult to avoid them. Make sure that you clean your vegetables well before you eat them or go organic!
7. Must Avoid Hot Temperature!
A drastic rise in the mother’s body temperature can harm the fetus inside, especially if the temperature rises to above 102 degrees. While adults are able to adapt to these temperatures because of external cooling mechanisms, fetuses do not have this ability yet. Pregnant women should try their best to be healthy so as to avoid developing a fever. They should also avoid strenuous exercise and working outdoors on hot summer days.
8. Must Avoid Electric Warming Blankets!
Pregnant women should avoid electric warming blankets and the hot tub as well, based on the previous precaution that internal body temperature should not go beyond 102 degrees to keep the fetus safe.
9. Must Avoid Heavy Exercise!
Pregnant mothers should avoid physical injury themselves to keep their child-bearing integrity at top condition. They should avoid risky sports activities like hockey, skiing, athletics and other risky sports as these may cause injuries and internal bleeding that may in turn result to a miscarriage or fetal bone injury. Avoid any blunt impacts to the abdomen, if in case something like this happens, go to your doctor immediately. Light exercise can be beneficial to pregnant women, though.
10. Must Stay Away From Electro Magnetic Appliances!
Cells are very sensitive in fetuses and even low exposure to strong electro magnetic fields can cause considerable damage. It is for this reason that women should avoid x-rays especially during the first trimester. The television can also be source of these fields, and so are microwaves and electric blankets; so, it would be wise for pregnant women to avoid these appliances.