8 Things to Avoid During Pregnancy 

By Patrick Banks

Posted 8 months agoHEALTH

Pregnancy is an exciting journey filled with new experiences and possibilities. However, it also comes with its own unique set of challenges. It’s a time when you need to take care of yourself and your growing baby. And while pregnancy doesn’t mean you have to stop living your life, certain precautions should be taken to ensure your baby’s health and well-being. So read on as we explore eight things you should try and avoid during pregnancy.

1. The Illusion of Control

Firstly, it is important to understand that unexpected complications can still occur no matter how many parenting books you read or how careful you are. Some things will always be out of your control. For example, birth injuries can happen due to medical negligence or errors. When such unfortunate situations arise, instead of dwelling on what you could have done differently, you should focus on what you can do now. 

For instance, you should immediately consult experienced birth injury lawyers when dealing with a birth injury. These professionals specialize in cases involving medical malpractice and birth-related injuries. They are equipped to deal with insurance companies and healthcare providers to secure a fair settlement for your damages. Compensation can include coverage for medical expenses, ongoing care, lost wages, and emotional trauma.

Pursuing legal aid for birth injury claims is also necessary forholding healthcare providers accountable for their actions. By seeking legal recourse, you contribute to improving medical practices and preventing similar incidents from happening in the future.

2. Smoking

Obviously, smoking is a big no-no during pregnancy. It’s harmful not only for you but also for your baby. Mothers who smoke are at a greater risk of preterm delivery, one of the leading causes of death among newborns.

Babies whose mothers smoke also have a much higher risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. In fact, they are 3x more likely to die from SIDS than babies born to non-smoking mothers. SIDS is a heart-wrenching tragedy, and it’s something every expectant parent should take very seriously.

If you’re a smoker, now is the time to seriously consider quitting. Your healthcare provider can help, and there are support groups, hotlines, and medications that can assist you in going smoke-free.If your spouse or other family members smoke, it’s essential to communicate with them about the importance of quitting. Or, at the very least, tell them to smoke away from you.

3. Heels

High heels might be a go-to fashion statement for many occasions, but when you’re expecting, they can pose unnecessary risks. As you advance through your trimesters and your baby bump grows, you’ll notice your body constantly adjusting to accommodate the new life inside you. You’ll gain weight, and your center of gravity will shift. During this time, wobbling around on stilettos may not be the best idea as it increases the chances of losing your balance and taking a tumble.

Start going out in flat sandals and flip-flops. And remember, wearing flip-flops doesn’t have to be the end of your fashion flair. These versatile and comfortable shoes can be an integral part of your maternity wardrobe.

4. Alcohol

There’s no sugarcoating it: when it comes to alcohol and pregnancy, there is simply no safe amount or type of alcohol consumption. The reality is that any alcohol you consume while pregnant can harm your baby’s development and lead to lifelong problems. Here are some of the difficulties that can arise due to prenatal alcohol consumption:

• Memory loss

• Difficulty controlling emotions

• Difficulty understanding and following directions

• Shorter-than-average height

• Learning difficulties (especially with Math)

• Low IQ

• Sleeping problems

• Higher vulnerability to depression

Alcohol consumption also increases the risk of stillbirth, miscarriage, preterm delivery, and SIDS. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so avoid alcohol altogether during pregnancy.

5. Over-Exercising

While exercise is undoubtedly great for you and your baby, it’s essential to strike a balance and be mindful of your body’s changing needs. Avoid high-impact activities or strenuous workouts that can put excessive stress on your body.

Instead, consider incorporating gentle exercises into your routine, as they can help keep you fit and promote overall well-being without straining your body. Some excellent options include:

• Walking

• Jogging

• Swimming

• Pilates

• Prenatal yoga

• Pelvic floor exercises

You should also be cautious when lifting heavy weights during pregnancy. This isn’t the time to try and break your personal deadlift records; leave those feats for another day. Lifting heavy items, whether at the gym or in everyday life, can strain your back and place additional pressure on your abdomen, which is not advisable. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you must lift something outside of your usual workout routine, use your legsand not your back.

6. Caffeine Overload

Too much caffeine can be a bad thing, especially during pregnancy. While you may thrive on those high doses of coffee to power through the day, your baby’s metabolism is still developing. 

One of the most concerning risks associated with excessive caffeine consumption during pregnancy is the increased likelihood of miscarriage or preterm birth. Caffeine can also play a role in disrupting your sleep patterns, potentially leading to pregnancy-related insomnia. 

So, what’s a safe caffeine limit during pregnancy? Limiting your daily caffeine intake to about 200mg is generally recommended. To put this into perspective, that’s roughly equivalent to a 12oz cup of coffee. However, it’s crucial to remember that caffeine isn’t exclusive to coffee. It is also present in tea, chocolate, sodas, and certain medications.

7. X-Rays

It’s usually advisable to avoid getting an X-ray while you’re pregnant. Exposure to ionizing radiation can lead to congenital disabilities, potentially causing learning and intellectual disabilitiesin the child.

If there is a serious medical reason for an X-ray during pregnancy, you should consult your doctor or dentist about utilizing the lowest possible radiation exposure levels. Your healthcare provider may even recommend an alternative imaging method that doesn’t involve ionizing radiation.

8. Believing Everything Online

In the age of (mis)information, where everyone has an opinion, and the internet is brimming with advice, you’ll find a broad spectrum of recommendations and conflicting information scattered across various platforms. You may stumble upon a YouTube video telling you acupuncture is a fantastic and safe choice during pregnancy. Apregnancy book you picked up at the local bookstore might warn you to avoid acupuncture at all costs, citing potential risks.

You need to maintain a clear focus on your healthcare provider’s recommendations. Stick to their advice, and don’t hesitate to ask them questions when needed. They can offer personalized guidance and help you navigate the do’s and don’ts specific to your situation.

Conclusion

It’s just nine months – a relatively short span in the grand scheme of life. Soon enough, you’ll be free to indulge in those things you temporarily put on hold. But for now, remember that it’s a precious time to take care of yourself and your baby. By avoiding potential risks and making thoughtful choices, you’re ensuring a healthier start for your little one and a brighter, safer future together.

About the author Patrick Banks

Patrick is a Berlin-based dating advisor, motivational speaker, a huge fitness and vegan diet enthusiast and the main editor at Wingman Magazine, specialised in men's health. His ultimate goal is to share with men around the world his passion for self-development and to help them to become the greatest version of themselves. He believes a healthy body and successful social interactions are two main keys to happiness.

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