So, she's having a baby and that’s great, she's over the moon. But things are going to change. From now on the fetus comes first – much of what mom-to-be does will have an impact on the fetus, and ultimately the baby’s health. Trying to decipher the dos from the don’ts during pregnancy can be a minefield. There’s so many things you’ve got to abide by – or should if you want to give yourself the best possible chance of having a healthy baby.
But for moms, especially new moms who are in the dark with this parenting and pregnancy malarkey, it can seriously tough. Your body’s going through changes and you just want to do anything that could possibly make you more comfortable. This could mean reverting back to your old lifestyle – certain habits that you’ve cut out now that you’re trying to be a responsible soon-to-be mother.
For some women it could also mean a 360◦ lifestyle change; no more going out on the lash, partying to all hours.
A lot of pregnant women take all of this in their stride and are determined to do everything possible to ensure their pregnancy progresses without a hitch. But for some, whether it’s naivety or just seriously not having a clue, this isn’t the case.
Plenty of women do dumb things whilst pregnant – things that are a definite no no and that could endanger the fetus’s health and the baby’s wellbeing when he/she pops out. These are 15 of the dumbest things pregnant women can do:
15 Getting A Gel Manicure
Many women take frequent trips to the nail salon during pregnancy. They want to feel good about themselves during the weird and wonderful time of pregnancy, which is hard to do for many women. So, a visit to the nail salon is a perfect solution. If you’re prone to treating your nails to a bit of TLC, there’s one type of treatment that you should stay away from. Gel manicures shouldn’t be on your beauty treatment list while you’re pregnant. It’s because of the chemicals in the gel polish, which can be pretty toxic. The gel formulas consist of pretty toxic compounds – they’re not great for you anyway, but you should be particularly wary of them since you’re carrying a baby. The worry isn’t that when the gel’s applied, that it’s going to seep through the nail and the compound will get absorbed into the skin – although absorption could happen through the nail bed. It’s also the UV lamp, which is used to set the gel, which could cause issues, such as hyper pigmentation.
14 Getting Those Chompers Gleaming
Being pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t look your best. In fact, looking and feeling good about yourself is perhaps even more important during pregnancy – it can help distract you from all those little niggles and discomfort that you’re going through and just have an effect on the way you act.
Nowadays, many people get their teeth whitened. Whether the whitening’s done at a specialist place or at home using over-the-counter teeth whitening kits, it’s a massive thing to do in this day and age. That’s because nothing’s better than a beautiful gleaming smile, and when that smile’s showing a set of stunningly white gnashers, it’s even better.
But we just don’t know what potential harm the chemicals in these teeth whitening products and solutions could do to an unborn baby. It’s a grey area, but it’s an activity that the majority of medical professionals would warn you to steer clear from. Chemicals in such products can corrode tissue cells; ingest some by accident and it could have dire consequences.
13 Get A Facial
Here’s more on beauty treatments, this time it’s facials that should be off your list. When pregnant, the skin’s more sensitive as a result of hormonal changes. Your skin stretching also plays a part in the sensitivity, which could get really irritating. Rashes, heat rashes, red marks, pigmentation, wrinkles, dryness or just a general uncomfortable itchy feeling – these could all be issues with your skin during your pregnancy. The use of chemicals – any type of chemicals, harmful or not – could only serve to exacerbate the issue. This goes for pretty much anything that can be applied to the skin; lotions, perfumes, creams and the substances salons use when applying facials. The chemical peels, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, or alpha hydroxy acids that are used in facial treatments could be seriously harsh on the skin; they may feel relaxing and like they’re doing the job at the time, but if you’re experiencing skin irritation, they’re only likely to make matters worse.
Unless the salon’s using some strange new facial scrub or solution, it’s unlikely the chemicals are going to seep through the skin and affect your fetus. But if you’re experiencing skin irritation, it’s just a dumb thing to do; by getting a facial you’re doing something that’s making your problem worse.
12 Assume Your Partner Wants To Get It On In The Sack
You’ve probably heard plenty about sex during pregnancy. Pretty much every scientist involved in this kind of research has said that it’s actually a good thing to do; pregnancy sex can ease your discomfort, actually help your body feel better and just help you sail through your pregnancy that much smoother. But some men, and couples, just don’t want to have pregnancy sex – it’s not for everyone. Guy’s shouldn’t not want pregnancy sex for fear of hurting the baby – that’s been disproven and the baby’s thoroughly protected in the womb. It’s just a preference some guys have, that they find it a bit weird when their kid is growing inside you. This is especially the case if your unborn baby’s beginning to kick – you can understand why that might be weird for some people.
So, don’t take it for granted that your other half will be gagging for it whilst you’re pregnant. A lot of women do just that and push the issue which causes friction in their relationship.
11 Take Care Of The Pets
Only one aspect of this is dumb. Taking care of your cat is fine, but cleaning out the litter tray should definitely be crossed off your to do list or palmed off on someone else – I’m sure you won’t be complaining about that!
It’s just that your furry feline friend has an important role to play in the spread of the parasitic toxoplasma gondii. This parasite causes the disease toxoplasmosis which can be lethal for your unborn baby.
Other small animals such as rodents and birds actually carry the disease. But these are animals that cats eat. If it eats an infected animal, the cat will be a carrier of the parasite. It won’t really have any effect on the cat, but when the cat goes to the toilet it can shed millions of the parasite, potentially for weeks after eating the infected animal.
So, in your effort to keep busy, active and help out around the house, don’t take on the litter clearing duties.
10 Chill Out In A Hot Tub
When you’re pregnant this could actually be the one thing that you really want to do. When stressed, aching, uncomfortable, who wouldn’t want to while away the hours and dose off in a hot tub? It sounds like heaven, right? You relaxing in a hot tub whilst your other half waits on you hand and foot. It might sound like heaven, that’s because you should only do this in your dreams. Although it might be tempting, it’s one activity that definitely needs to be avoided. That’s because the whole point of a hot tub is to get you all hot and sweaty, which can be relaxing after a workout for example. But stay in the tub for a prolonged period of time and it could raise your body temperature. A raised core body temperature is not only dangerous for you, it could be very dangerous to the fetus, especially during the early developmental stages of the pregnancy.
9 Satisfy The Urge To Be An Adrenaline Junkie
I’ve mentioned that moderate exercise during pregnancy is all good. Pregnancy sex is also fine. In these situations, things will be jiggling around, moving around quite a bit. So why is it that visiting an amusement park and going on rides is out of the question? Well, the obvious answer is that certain rides – you know, those rides that are super-fast and super scary and that make you want to piss your pants and heave up the contents of your stomach – just put too much strain on the body. But some people might argue that even if you’re being moved around quite a lot, the fetus will still be protected. That’s true but only to a certain extent. Compare it to a car accident. You may not be hit by a car directly, but if one hits your car, it’s going to result in some jerky, sudden movements, as is the case with certain amusement park rides. These sudden movements associated with roller coaster rides could cause the placenta to rupture or separate from the uterine lining. If this happens prematurely it could be seriously detrimental to your pregnancy.
8 Pop Pills
A lot of pregnant women make this mistake. They think that because it’s over-the-counter medication, that it’s safe to consume and always will be, provided the correct dosages are followed of course. But that’s certainly not the case; it’s not the case if you’re on other medication which could be affected due to different chemical interactions, or if you’re pregnant. I’m not saying all OTC products have to be avoided; just speak to your doctor or the pharmacist at the very least to get clued up on what’s ok and what should be avoided.
Remember, medication you take will pass into your blood stream – if it’s that type of medication – and will therefore be passed to the fetus. Everything you take will be passed through the placenta to the unborn baby, so if you’re thinking of taking some over-the-counter medication, even if it’s just flu or cold medication, consult your doctor first.
7 Get Cleaning
If you’re stuck at home all day, on maternity leave and are just waiting for your baby to make an appearance, it can be brilliant just doing nothing – sitting at home with your feet up watching trash on TV. That’s sheer bliss for many women. But it can soon get pretty boring and you could soon start to get restless. What do a lot of women do when they’re bored, at home and don’t really have anything to do? They get out the cleaning products.
Cleaning while you’re pregnant isn’t a dumb thing to do, as long as you don’t overexert yourself and try and be superwoman of course. But cleaning using products, sprays and solutions ladened with chemicals, certainly is. Sprays that are made up of toxic chemical substances shouldn’t really be used anyway, but they should be eradicated from your household if you’re pregnant; breathe in the toxic fumes and they could potentially harm your fetus.
6 Wear Fitness Trackers
Firstly, exercising – strenuously that is – and trying to lose weight shouldn’t feature in your plans whilst you’re pregnant. A little bit of moderate exercise is great to stay fit and healthy, but don’t overdo it. Today, in modern society, whether it’s at the gym or just out and about on your lonesome, exercising is no longer solely about exercising. Sure, it’s the primary objective – at least it should be – but people want to look good doing it and get all types of gadgets, smart watches, activity trackers to enhance the experience.
Wearing a fitness tracker is a great way to monitor your activity levels throughout the day, but these modern gismos should be avoided if your pregnant – perhaps not avoided, just not used constantly. Although the radio frequency levels in these activity trackers are low, it’s better to take precautions with a wireless tracker whilst you’re pregnant. Don’t leave it clipped to your pants or anywhere near your baby bump for prolonged periods of time; clip it to your wrist or use an old-school pedometer which would still do the job.
5 Rant And Rave
You’re pregnant, your hormones are going haywire and your body’s going through numerous changes. Sometimes this can all get a bit too much and you just want to let it all out – all that frustration that is. If you’ve got someone at home on whom to vent your frustrations and discomfort, that fine – he/she should understand, as long as that person’s your partner and not your child that is. They’ll get what you’re going through, are likely to let you rant and rave and take it with a pinch of salt. But sometimes, when everything just gets too much, pregnant women let loose and expel a torrent of abuse on anyone, and this can cause problems. It could be someone on the subway, at your local supermarket; anyone who rubs you up the wrong way will feel your wrath! In this situation, hopefully people will see you’re pregnant and will not escalate the matter, but some people aren’t that understanding; put your foot in it in public and you may get abused back, which would only enhance your stress levels.
4 Get A Massage By An Untrained Person
This is an odd one that a lot of pregnant women probably do, not knowing that it could potentially have dire consequences.
There’s nothing wrong with going to a spa or health and wellness centre or something like that and pampering yourself, getting a spa treatment and a massage while you’re at it. Massages can be relaxing at the best of times, but while you’re pregnant and your body’s all out of shape and the rigors of pregnancy are getting to you, it can be a truly beautiful experience. If this is what you like to do and if this is your way of relaxing, keep getting those massages. But ensure you’re getting massaged from a trained professional, and let he/she know that you’re pregnant of course.
A dumb thing to do is getting a massage from an untrained therapist or even from your hubby at the end of the day. He’s only trying to help, but now you have an excuse to visit a professional instead. It’s just that certain techniques can trigger uterine pressure points, which if you’re far along, could cause you to have contractions, even if your baby’s not ready to pop out.
3 Be Up And About All Day
Here’s another one of those ‘wrapped in cotton wool’ points. Now, there’s no reason to be a couch potato during pregnancy – you’ve got a reason to be one but you don’t have to be. Being active, getting out of the house, going for walks and partaking in moderate exercise are good for you and the developing baby. But it’s important not to overdo it. I’ve mentioned that as a pregnant woman, balance and coordination are thrown off a tad due to the natural changes that your body’s going through and has to adapt to. This could result in you being clumsier than usual, and therefore increases your risk of having some sort of accident. But just generally being up and about all day, just being on your feet, could have an effect on your health and therefore the health of your baby. Standing for long periods of time could cause you to have varicose veins or even edema – swelling or inflammation due to the abnormal flow of fluid. This can cause increased pressure on your joints and can result in swelling of the feet or legs.
2 Load Up On Deli Meats
There’s something comforting about having your favorite sandwich, stuffing all your favorites in between two slices of bread. If you’re prone to your lunch meats, like a lot of us are – cold cuts and processed meats – you have good taste. But it’s important to lay off the deli meats while you’re pregnant.
By deli meats, I mean either; whole cuts (cooked, cut and sliced meat), sectioned (reformed bits of meat), processed (usually contained some meat by-products). You should choose a different sandwich filler when pregnant.
Have some processed ham and it’s not a certainty that it’s going to affect yours or your baby’s health. But there is a risk, and as a pregnant woman, why take that risk? In thousands of cases each year, the consumption of deli meats results in individuals getting infected with the bacteria, listeria. Get this nasty little bugger inside of you and you’ll get listeriosis which could result in miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, low birth weight, and several other life-threatening complications.
1 Try And Lose Weight
As a pregnant woman, you’re going to put on weight, that’s a given and is just part and parcel of being pregnant. You’ve got to come to terms with the weight gain, which won’t be permanent by the way, and not worry constantly about your figure which will in all likelihood go back to normal soon after you’ve given birth. You’re carrying a developing baby, and as your baby continues to develop and grow inside you, the scale will continue to go up.
But one thing you certainly shouldn’t do is try and lose weight. By all means do some moderate exercise now and again to stay fit and healthy, but losing weight shouldn’t be your primary concern – it shouldn’t be a concern at all if you’re pregnant. Diet down and you could starve your fetus of some of the essential nutrients it needs to pop out and subsequently develop as a healthy baby.