The world is run by rules, by things you should and should not do. It has its purpose. Laws exist so that we all can live in peace and safety, and if you break those rules there are consequences. Mothers have rules for their children so that they are safe and grow up into respectable adults one day. However, it could be argued that no one has more rules to follow than a woman who is pregnant.
Once she sees those two pink lines, she knows her world has just changed and hopefully for the better. She is going to carry this baby and do everything in her power to nurture it while it is still growing inside of her. That means there are certain rules she must follow. A lot of women know the normal rules, rules like no drinking and to stay off roller coasters.
However, there are a lot of other items she must stay away from. Some of which she may not even know about. Some of them are an absolute no and need to be avoided at all costs, while some of them are OK, but in moderation or at the best discretion of mom and doctor.
It can all be a little overwhelming and confusing, so we have compiled a list, a cheat sheet if you will, of all the common items that can pose a health risk for the growing baby and mom.
20 Cat Litter Is A NO
A lot of people in the world have pets, and they become a part of our family. This message goes out specifically to all the pregnant women who own a cat. One of the downsides of having a cat is changing the litter, and if this is not your favourite chore than I have some good news: someone else needs to change that for you.
Pregnant women should not be changing out cat litter because there is a possibility of contracting something called toxoplasmosis.
Toxoplasmosis can pose a risk to the growing baby, so mom should not be changing litter. If she has absolutely no choice, she should be wearing gloves and a face mask to prevent her from inhaling any urine.
19 Paint Is A NO
One of the best parts of pregnancy is getting everything set up for the baby’s arrival. Setting up the nursery is both fun and it helps mom relax and feel like she is prepared. There is no harm in mom setting up the nursery, but she should not be painting. If no one is around to do it for her, she should invest in a painting company to complete the job.
Paint is made differently now and there is not that much of a risk in breathing in toxic chemicals as there once was.
However, the smell can still be strong, and the risk lies in mom inhaling fumes, getting dizzy and fainting while completing the job.
18 Second Hand Is A NO
Unfortunately, there is only so much in this world that we have control over. We know that we can not smoke when we are pregnant, and most women do quit when they find out they are expecting. However, that doesn’t solve the problem that she will need to go out of her house and she may encounter other smokers in public.
While we would like to think most people are considerate, and they are, some either don’t notice you or don’t care.
This is why it is important for an expectant mom to steer clear of anyone who is smoking.
Second hand smoke can be just as dangerous to your growing baby.
17 Raw Food Is A NO
It is just common knowledge that no one should be eating raw food, it will make them sick. This is especially important for women who are expecting. All food must be well cooked in order for a pregnant woman to eat it. Eating foods that are not well-done can carries the risk of contracting Listeria
A person who is not pregnant can eat these foods and be fine, but that is because their immune system is operating normally.
A woman who is pregnant has a weakened immune system, so she is much more prone to getting sick which can also pose a risk to the baby.
16 High Heels Are A NO
We all want to look our best when we are pregnant, and that is because we don’t exactly feel our best during those 9-months. However, high heels should be avoided when pregnant and should never be worn. That’s right, time to pack those guys away for a little bit. High heels don’t seem to pose much of a risk, but they can.
When you are pregnant, your center of gravity is thrown off by your growing belly.
That means that no matter how skilled you are at walking in heels, you could still risk a fall that could injure yourself and your baby.
Looking good is just not worth it.
15 Hot Tubs Are A NO
This picture looks relaxing and even I wish I was there right now, but mom-to-be will just have to wait. It seems like torture because there are so many aches and pains of pregnancy that could be cured by soaking in a hot tub or even a hot bath. This can be a risky activity and mom will have to settle for a lukewarm bath if she wants to soak at all.
When we sit in hot water, it raises our internal temperature.
Normally, this is not a problem, unless you are carrying a little baby that doesn’t want to get too toasty in there. Hot tubs are a little more dicey than hot baths because their temperature stays at the same level; whereas a bath will slowly cool down.
14 Stress Is A NO
Stress is something we have to deal with every day. It can come from anywhere. It can come from your work, your partner or your family. We deal with it on a daily basis and then move on. We each have our own coping strategies when it comes to stress. If you are pregnant it is especially important that you stay away from stress.
Stress can have a lot of impact on your health. It can increase your heart rate, raise your blood pressure, and cause flares of anxiety, which can affect the baby. If there are certain people in your life that you know trigger your stress, it may be a good idea to stay away from them.
13 Manicures Are A NO
Pregnancy is also a time when it is important for mom to splurge on herself, because that is hard to do when the baby is here. Many women want to know if they can go and get their nails done while they are pregnant, and a normal manicure is harmless, you just have to be careful of the fumes and ventilation.
A gel manicure is a hard no when you are expecting. A gel manicure uses special chemicals that cure under a UV light and harden. It is the preferred method of getting nails done because it lasts the longest, however, these chemicals can absorb into your body and bloodstream and can affect the baby.
12 Aspirin Is A NO
Pregnant women may seem like they have super powers, with the ability to grow a baby and all that, but they are not super human. They can still get sick, and they do because they have a weakened immune system. When a pregnant woman gets sick she is desperate to know what she can take to make her feel better or just get through her day.
A lot of over-the-counter medications are fine when you are pregnant, but aspirin should be avoided at all costs. If that is all you have in your medicine counter, you may need to brace the world to get some Tylenol.
11 Shovelling Snow Is A NO
Here is the deal, I live in Canada. The rumours are true, we get a lot of snow in the winter and it has to be cleared. The only way to clear the snow is by shovelling and this is a job that should be left to someone else when a woman is expecting. Shovelling snow can be tough for anyone, and there have been a lot of injuries related to the activity.
The biggest risk is that of mom taking a fall on a patch of ice that is hidden beneath the snow. The other risk lies in the fact that shovelling is hard on the back and arms, areas that are already going to be sore for mom. It is also quite the workout and we don’t need mom-to-be getting too short of breath.
10 Wi-Fi Is A MAYBE
We are now onto the items that may be a problem, in other words, women should be careful when handling these items as nothing has been proven yet. This one may seem a little weird, but there is being done about its possible effects. We live in a world that is focused on technology, and with that has come Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and fitness trackers.
Researchers are trying to see if there is a link to using these items and harm coming to the baby. The end result is that we are not sure if there is any harm in using these items, so we should all just be careful.
9 Vitamin A Is A MAYBE
There is nothing pregnant women focus on more than eating healthy when they are pregnant. They understand that everything they put into their bodies will have some effect on the baby and they want it to be a good effect. Prenatal vitamins are encouraged for every pregnant woman to take the moment she finds out she is pregnant. Women are told to start taking them even when they are trying.
Women do not need to take any additional vitamins when pregnant and this includes vitamin A. If you live in a developed country, there is more than enough vitamin A in the foods you eat and too much of this substance has the chance of causing birth defects.
8 Teeth Whitening Is A MAYBE
We all want that perfect smile, even when we are pregnant and there are a lot of teeth whitening products on the market now that promise to give you just that. Pregnant women should avoid any and all teeth whitening products when they are pregnant. These items contain chemicals that, if swallowed, could cause harm to the baby.
This is another one that is not conclusive, as researchers do not know exactly what these effects could be. They are advising women that it is always better to be safe than sorry. The reason some of these are inconclusive is because testing can not be done on pregnant women to see if there are any adverse reactions.
7 Household Cleaners Are A MAYBE
The world does not stop when we are pregnant, but we wish it would. There are still everyday tasks and chores that need to be done. Pregnant women still have to clean the house, but should they be careful of what products they are using? The short answer is, yes! Stronger cleaning products, like bleach, have the ability to cause some harm when breathed in.
Mom can still clean, but she is better suited to use products that are more natural. If she wants to go the most natural way possible to avoid any inhalation of chemicals, she should stick to vinegar and baking soda.
6 Training Is A MAYBE
Nothing changes more during a pregnancy than a woman’s body. It is a part of the package deal if you want that sweet little baby. However, now is the time you give yourself a little break from working out for the sake of your baby.
It is true that there is a level of exercise is OK and encouraged when you are pregnant but not heavy lifting.
When a person does heavy lifting, it puts a lot of strain on the abdomen. Always ask your doctor before you do any kind of exercising when pregnant.
5 Yoga Is A MAYBE
Speaking of exercises, yoga is an exercise that a lot of people love and that is probably because it appears to be so gentle on the body and calming to the mind. Yoga is an exercise that should be avoided when pregnant, but that only stands for normal yoga.
If mom wants to take part in yoga when she has a bun in the oven she needs to look into specific classes for her.
She needs to find a prenatal yoga class which is specifically designed for expectant women. Another bonus is she may make some new mom friends in the class as well.
4 Lifting Is A MAYBE
We have another section on lifting here and that is because it is a big maybe in the what a pregnant woman should stay away from category. We already covered that pregnant women should not be partaking in any heavy lifting at the gym, but where is the line between what she can and can not lift?
If mom has older children at home, she is probably fine to continue to lift them when they want to be carried. Of course, every action should be run by a doctor before hand. However, as long as mom feels fine and comfortable she is probably OK to lift her older children up.
3 Running Is A MAYBE
There is a big reason why running, or jogging, is in the maybe category and that because it applies to women who want to start to run during their pregnancy. If you were an avid runner before you got pregnant chances are you will be fine to continue to do so. This is not the time to take up running if you have not done it much before.
We are all off balance when we are pregnant and if you are not used to the motion of running there is a higher chance of you falling. Like everything, even if you ran before it is always a good idea to clear it with your doctor before.
2 Bike Riding Is A MAYBE
If a woman loves to ride her bike, she should consult her doctor before she hops on for a ride. Chances are if she is early in her pregnancy there will be no reason she has to stop. As she gets further along, she may need to store the bike away until after the baby is here.
As the pregnancy progresses, the belly grows. This can throw her off balance, and riding a bike requires a good sense of balance. If mom took a topple off the bike when pregnant it could be harmful to both her and baby.
1 Waxes are A MAYBE
This is a big issue for a lot of women out there, so we need to make it very clear that this is a maybe. When a woman is approaching delivery, she may begin to become self-conscious about how she looks ‘down there.’ She is about to have doctors, nurses and her husband staring at that area for a long time. She also is unable to shave properly due to her growing belly.
She may be tempted to go and get a professional wax done. She may want to think twice about that. While this may not cause any damage to the baby’s health, it will be a lot more uncomfortable than it normally would. That area is more sensitive when pregnant, so she is bound to be in some pain which may or may not be necessary.