What To Avoid During Pregnancy for the Health of Mom and Baby
After the excitement of finding out that she is pregnant, pretty much the next thing on her mind is: will my baby be healthy? She then tries to find out what foods she should avoid because they may harm her baby, or what exercises are safe to continue to do while pregnant. She examines virtually every aspect of her life in order to determine what she needs to avoid in order to have a healthy pregnancy.
Most obstetricians, midwives and other obstetrical caregivers will tell a woman that during pregnancy she needs to avoid:
· Abuse (emotional, physical or mental)
· Drugs of any kind prescription or non-prescription without the approval of the doctor caring for her pregnancy. Obviously if she has a medical condition and is taking medication for her obstetrical caregiver will verify that what she is taking is safe for her to take during pregnancy. She must also avoid any herbal, or other dietary supplements during pregnancy unless cleared by her obstetrical doctor as well as any street or recreational drugs especially Ecstasy and Marijuana, and Methamphetamine.
· Hazardous substances including mercury
· Smoking any tobacco product
She needs to avoid alcohol because if she continues to drink alcohol in any amount while she is pregnant she is risking her baby’s physical and mental health. The baby can be born with physical and or mental birth defects. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a serious condition that the baby can develop if the mom drinks alcohol while pregnant. FAS are the leading cause of mental retardation and are preventable by avoiding alcohol while pregnant.
If she smokes any tobacco products she needs to quit preferably before becoming pregnant because the chemicals from smoking tobacco products can cause the baby to lack the oxygen needed and will cause the baby to grow more slowly and also to gain less weight than the typical baby gains in utero. The act of smoking while pregnant has been linked to pregnancy complications including preterm birth.
She should avoid over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, prescription and non-prescription drugs, herbal preparations and street drugs especially those named previously in this article because these drugs and herbal remedies can cause birth defects or babies who are born with low-birth weight. If you take or have taken any of these before or during this pregnancy speak with your doctor or other medical professional caring for your pregnancy to be sure that there is no harm being done to your baby.
Certain medications are especially harmful during the early weeks when your baby’s body is forming including Accutane, a acne drug, Soriatane a psoriasis drug and Thalomid a drug used to treat multiple myeloma and is used to treat certain AIDS or leprosy cases.
Abuse during pregnancy is harmful for both the mom-to-be and her unborn baby. Any kind of abuse is never ok pregnant or not; but abuse especially physical abuse can place the unborn baby in grave danger because it can lead to physical injuries, premature birth and also low-birth weight.
She should avoid hazardous substances such as cleaners, paints, pesticides, and solvents, lead in water and paint, carbon monoxide, mercury, paint thinners, benzene and formaldehyde. These substances can cause birth defects and also increase her risk for miscarriage.
She should avoid rodents including hamsters, mice, guinea pigs, rats etc., because according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rodents can carry diseases and harm your baby. Especially harmful is the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, which is an infection that can cause severe illness to an unborn child.
She should avoid if all possible extremely high levels of stress because such levels can contribute to low-birth weight in full-term babies or preterm birth and premature babies. Events that may be creating severe stress include loss of a job, death of a loved one or close friend, and divorce or loss of a close relationship.
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