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12 Things Pregnant Women NEED To Avoid At All Costs

Along with weight gain, pains, and fatigue, there's a long list of things pregnant women need to avoid for themselves and the baby.

It is not always easy being pregnant. It causes weight gain, strange pains, constant fatigue and hormonal issues... in addition to a list of things that need to be avoided to keep both mom and baby safe during the pregnancy. There are tons of things that should be avoided. Some are more known than others. And even the ones which are common, not everyone knows to avoid.

Pregnancy, even though it brings on many things to avoid and give up, has its perks. Take advantage of not being able to move furniture, or be around harmful cleaners. Get help from others and enjoy this time to take it easy. Because once the baby comes life will be hectic for a while.

Take great care while being pregnant and indulge ins stress-free outings like mani/pedis. It can be easy to focus on the negative stuff and all of the things that need to be given up. But, it can also be fun and relaxing. Nothing can compare to feeling the baby moving and growing in one's belly. Remember, it is only 9 months. Anyone can give up something for that long. Whether it be a favourite hobby or just Tylenol.

12 Too Much Vitamin A Can Cause Birth Defects

While vitamin A is important for everyone, including pregnant women, too much can be detrimental to the babies development. It can cause disfigurement to the baby. Too much vitamin A in pregnancy has the potential to cause congenital birth defects; including malformations of the eye, skull, lungs, and heart.

Vitamin A is in many multivitamins and prenatal vitamins. A pregnant woman should avoid multivitamins or prenatal supplements that contain more than 1,500 mcg. Most prenatal vitamins have under 1500. The best way to get vitamin A while pregnant is through foods containing it.

Some foods containing vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, broccoli, butter, eggs and beef liver. The foods contain amounts of vitamin A that are unhealthy for pregnant women.

11 Tap Water Can Lead To Miscarriages

This one is going to sound crazy, and I had no clue about it when I was pregnant, but studies have found that drinking tap water while pregnant can cause miscarriage and poor fetal growth.

This is due to the fact that most tap water has chlorine in it. When chlorine is mixed with certain chemicals also found in some tap water, it can turn into chloroform. Then there are also places where water has been found with chemicals that can cause cancer. This can affect the mother and the unborn child.

While it may sound far fetched to some, it does happen. So it is best to avoid tap water, especially if you are pregnant. Should you need to drink tap water, boil it first.

10 Think Twice Before Grabbing A Sandwich

Not many pregnant women know that it is unsafe to eat deli meats during pregnancy. Who would have thought? Deli meat is similar to the unpasteurized juice. It contains bacteria and parasites that can cause a variety of illnesses that can be passed on to the baby, including meningitis and bacteremia (a blood infection).

Both of which are life threatening.

The only way it is safe to eat deli meat while pregnant is to make sure it has been steamed to 165 degrees right before eating it.The same goes for hot dogs, pre-cooked meats and meat you have cured yourself. Even in the fridge, the bacteria on them can grow. So steam them before eating.

9 Freshly Squeezed Juices Is A BIG No-No

Unpasteurized juice is a no no for pregnant women. Many may wonder how is it bad for pregnancy? Well, it can contain bacteria that can cause food poisonings like listeria and toxoplasmosis.

In the United States, 98% of juice sold is pasteurized and the juice that is not must contain a warning which states "This product has not been pasteurized and therefore may contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness in children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems."

Should a pregnant woman want to drink fresh squeezed, unpasteurized juice, they should first boil it for 1 minute to get rid of any harmful bacteria.

Getting food poisoning while pregnant can cause miscarriage, stillbirth and premature delivery. So it is best to stay away from unpasteurized juices.

8 Keep Nesting To A Limit

Heavy lifting and moving furniture are never recommended when pregnant, even if you are nesting and in the mood to decorate the baby's room.

Being pregnant causes hormonal changes which make connective tissue and ligaments looser which makes it easier to get hurt and can put too much strain on the mom and baby. And growing a big belly can cause one's balance to get thrown off easier, making it easier to fall or get hurt when trying to move furniture.

It is simply best for mom and child to let someone else do the heavy lifting and moving of furniture. Even sliding furniture around on the floor can be stressful and cause strain on mom and baby. Even though it seems so simple and that it would not do any damage. It really can.

7 This Also Means Cleaning The House Too Much

Every day it seems we are hearing how unsafe the chemicals around us are, especially in some pretty common household cleaners. Bleach is being linked to cancer now, which is scary because I know many of us use it.

A pregnant woman would have to be around the chemicals and inhale them for a decent period of time to have it adversely affect the developing baby. It may seem far fetched to some, but it does happen. There are a wide variety of cleaners now that are safe and don't have harmful chemicals in them so it's best to use those when pregnant, just to stay on the safe side.

Also, vinegar is a great cleaning agent and there are many recipes for DIY household cleaners.

6 Stress Affects The Baby, So Controlling It Is A Must

Stress can be bad for anyone, pregnant or not. It can cause heart attacks and strokes, so it's not something to be messed around with. And while it can be hard to avoid at times, it can really take a toll on a developing fetus.

Trying to stay stress-free, or have reduced stress while pregnant is advised. We all know pregnancy itself can be stressful, so try finding something to help reduce stress, like prenatal yoga, or meditation.

Chronic stress can lead to developmental issues in a fetus as well as long term effects down the road. Behavioral disorders have also been linked to stress during pregnancy. Should one feel guilty of being stressed, don't? Simply try to find ways to control it.

5 Quit Any Dangerous Hobbies... NOW

Contact sports should be avoided when pregnant for obvious reasons. There is a risk of falling and injuries that could be life threatening to the baby. And I know it is hard to give up something you love when pregnant, but the safety of the baby (and mom!) are of the utmost importance.

I had to give up riding when I was pregnant and it was really hard to do. I know women that have continued certain sports and activities, but the risk was too great for me. I would never have been to live with myself if I got hurt or caused my daughter injury.

There are plenty of other ways to get moving and active while pregnant that is not dangerous.

4 Cleaning Up After The Pets

Many people have cats as pets in the home. I personally have 2, and they are great and adorable, but I hate the nasty litter box. When they are bigger I will send them to the barn. While the litter box and cat feces are absolutely disgusting, it is also harmful to a pregnant woman and her unborn child. Toxoplasmosis is a major concern when handling cat feces. Toxoplasmosis can cause death and poor fetal development.

Some doctor's even go so far as to advise their pregnant patients to get rid of their cats while pregnant. However, there are ways to keep your cat and still have a safe pregnancy. Either get someone else to empty and handle the litter box, or wear disposable gloves and washing your hands after.

3 Stocking Up The Medicine Cabinet

It is safest to not take any over the counter meds while pregnant unless instructed to by your doctor. The dangers of the medicine are that it can get into the placenta and infiltrate the babies bloodstream.

The first trimester is when the baby is at the greatest risk of its development. Taking over the counter medicines can cause deformities and abnormalities, development issues and even miscarriage. It is not easy to for go some medicines when pregnant.

Being pregnant causes heart burn, head aches, and other ailments, but the risk associated with OTC medicines are simply not worth it. During the second and third trimester, OTC medications can cause damage to the nervous system as well as breathing problems.

2 It Can't Be Said Enough - Stay Away From Raw

Raw meat, sushi, undercooked meats and fish containing mercury are all dangerous for a pregnant woman and her unborn child. It has even been reported recently that people are getting worms from eating sushi, and that definitely wouldn't be good for a developing fetus. Undercooked and raw meat are known to be great hosts for a variety of bacteria and diseases.

Eating these foods can cause toxoplasmosis as well as salmonella. These illnesses are dangerous even when one is not with child, but the risk of death increases during pregnancy. It is also very dangerous for the unborn child and can cause death to the baby as well. It is best to give up the sushi, and undercooked meats for the 9 months and indulge after the baby comes.

1 Certain Underwater Activities

Most people would think that it is a total no brainer to not scuba dive when pregnant. There are many that have done it though and were not aware of the dangers that it causes for the baby. The baby is not protected from the nitrogen bubble which can cause harm to the baby. There is still research being done and just how bad the nitrogen and compressed air at great depths can affect the developing fetus.

There have been studies done on the matter, but the findings and the studies themselves are limited. However, one study conducted found that women who quit scuba diving while pregnant had no birth defects while some of the women who continued to snorkel reported birth defects.

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12 Things Pregnant Women NEED To Avoid At All Costs