Many women hate the idea that being pregnant will stop them from doing the things they love to do. But many of our hobbies and talents may be risky and unintentionally put our unborn babies at risk. Amazingly though, many women continue their old ways and refuse to give up something they love, even if it is just for nine months. Those forty two weeks admittedly can feel like an awfully long time but why risk any harm to your baby for the sake of hopping on your surfboard that one time?
According to BabyCenter's Dr Deepi Gupta, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, "You should avoid any activity that puts you at risk of falling, losing balance, getting hurt or causing harm to you and your growing baby. As your belly grows, your centre of gravity changes. So you're more likely to lose your balance. Clumsiness is another side effect of pregnancy due to the fact that you're carrying more weight. And, your fingers, toes and other joints are all loosening due to pregnancy hormones. So, always consider the changes your body is going through and be cautious about any activity that puts you and your baby at risk. Learn more about which activities you should be avoiding."
Many woman run the risk by taking part in activities they have long loved. While they feel safe due to their experience, you just don't know what might happen. Would you do any of these 15 things while pregnant?
15 Jump From The Skies
Generally, extreme sports are considered a no go for pregnant women but skydiving seems to be something many women contemplate even when pregnant. Ordinarily, if you are a first time diver you will not be allowed to jump while pregnant but if it is not your first time at the rodeo then it's possible some diving instructors will jump with you.
Incredibly in 2005, Shayna Richardson, survived a drastic drop at 50 miles per hour when her parachute failed to open and she landed belly first on concrete. She suffered intense injuries but miraculously gave birth to a baby boy. Had she known she was pregnant, Richardson said she would not have jumped. Although Richardson and her baby were incredibly lucky, pregnant women need to realise the very real risks associated with sky diving while pregnant.
14 The Ride Of A Lifetime
There is no legitimate research published that suggests riding a roller coaster or any other high-speed rides at the amusement park are harmful during pregnancy. However there is also not a general consensus that they are completely safe, either. I'm sure there are reports of many pregnant women, or adrenalin junkies, who didn't think twice about getting on that ride, but it probably wasn't their wisest move.
Due to the rapid starts and stops and jarring motions on rollercoasters, the pregnant body endures quite a bit. The excessive amount of pressure on your abdomen may put your baby at risk. You may have noticed that parks and fairs display warning signs next to their bigger and scarier rides which advise pregnant women not to ride them.
According to AmericanPregnancy, "This rigorous activity creates additional jarring forces within the uterus that may lead to premature separation of the placenta from the wall of the uterus, which is called placental abruption."
13 Work Those Muscles
As we've talked about excercise, general excercises which you think are relatively normal and simple should be avoided while pregnant. These include stomach crunches and sit ups. By all means, continue a relatively relaxed excercise regime while pregnant but be concious of your body and your unborn baby and how moving your body will affect your little one.
Advice from BabyCenter states, "Sit-ups and crunches are generally fine in the first trimester, but it's best to avoid them afterward. (They'll be harder to do as your pregnancy progresses anyway.) In addition, lying flat on your back past midpregnancy tends to lower your blood pressure and may cause you to feel dizzy."
12 Like My New Ink?
Have an urge to get some new ink? Maybe you thought it would be a nice way to commemorate this beautiful time in your life. Well you might consider waiting until the baby is born before getting that new tattoo. While the risk with getting tattoos while pregnant is small, it is yet again another risk which can be easily avoided. The effect tattoo ink has on the unborn baby is still unknown but there are more serious risk factors at play.
According to Siobhan Dylan, OB/GYN for BabyCenter, it is not safe to get a tattoo while pregnant and primarily due to the risk of Hepatitis B. "Hepatitis B, a dangerous liver infection, and HIV/AIDS are two of many diseases that can be passed along through bodily fluids. This means you can catch these diseases if you get a tattoo from someone who uses a dirty needle. And it's possible for you to pass these diseases along to your baby while you're pregnant."
11 Soak It Up
It is quite clear that an expectant mum should completely avoid the use of hot tubs as the risk to the unborn baby is simply too great. Gone are the late night soaks in the garden hot tub on a warm summer evening. It's not too difficult to give up using the tub while your pregnant especially when you know how dangerous it actually is for a pregnant woman to allow her body temperature to rise so significantly. Save the hot bubbles for when baby is born and you need that relaxing time all to yourself.
Catherine Lunch, OB/GYN for BabyCenter, has said that, "Experts recommend limiting your use of a hot tub or sauna during pregnancy to less than 10 minutes at a time, or forgoing them altogether, especially in the early weeks. Sitting in a hot tub or sauna can raise your body temperature to a level that can be dangerous for your developing baby. Studies have shown an increased risk for neural tube defects in babies of women who had an elevated temperature before 7 weeks of pregnancy. These are serious birth defects affecting the skull or spine."
10 Still Climbing Those Rocks?
Aimee Roseborrough, an avid rock climber, continued to scale those rocks until she was 37 weeks pregnant on both of her pregnancies. The daring mum said she continued to climb because she was passionate about the excercise and she also said, "I do kind of get to forget that I'm so huge and, at times, uncomfortable ... it takes you to a beautiful place." But is the risk worth it when so heavily pregnant for such a dangerous sport?
While many deem the activity safe for a pregnant woman since the sport comes with all sorts of safety equipment and regulations, it's hard to put aside the fact that a Mum-to-be may be risking her unborn baby should a fall or accident happen. With proper precautions it could be possible for a pregnant woman to continue climbing but with any high risk sport, is it worth it?
9 Wrap Me Up
And while we are on the topic of excessive heat in pregnancy, it is best to give those seaweed wraps a miss for a while. Once again heat is your enemy here which ultimately should be avoided during pregnancy. Even though a seaweed who sounds like intended luxury as you suffered through the aches and pains of pregnancy, it's unlikely you I'll be allowed to get one by any practitioner.
As Catherine Lunch, OB/GYN for BabyCenter says, "A seaweed wrap is not a good idea during pregnancy because it usually involves heat and could raise your core body temperature dangerously high. Getting overheated may make you feel weak or even pass out. And an elevated body temperature—especially during the first trimester—can cause birth defects. You also typically lie on your back for a wrap, which is not a good idea in later pregnancy. Your uterus can press on the major vein that returns blood from your legs to your heart, causing dizziness and reducing blood flow to your baby."
8 Flatten That Snow With Your Board
Snowboarding more so than skiing is considered risky while pregnant because of the potential for falls but amazingly some women are unable to fight the urge to flatten the snow. As with any sport protecting yourself from injury is essential. When pregnant, you are responsible for another life, not just yours, but it ultimately all comes down to protecting your body. You may consider yourself to be safe but accidents do happen and the risk far outweighs the need to hit the slopes.
Mary Lake Polan, OB/GYN, says "As you get further along in your pregnancy, your sense of balance diminishes and your weight is distributed differently. So things that require good balance, like skiing, will be more difficult as you head into the third trimester.
Even though your baby is very well protected in the uterus (it usually takes a car accident or major trauma to harm the baby), if you're skiing and you take a fall or go hip first or belly first into a tree, you could fracture your pelvis or injure your uterus, endangering you, your baby, or both."
7 Cancel That Deep Sea Dive
Heading on holiday to the coast this late summer? Have a deep sea dive adventure booked? Pregnant? It may be best to cancel your diving experience as it carries a high injury risk for your developing baby. Pregnant women are advised to refrain from scuba diving as it can lead to risks for your unborn child. This warning also includes diving in hyperbaric chambers.
Gynecologist Joanna Stone told BabyCenter that the risks are high for a pregnant woman. "As you surface, air bubbles can form in your bloodstream, which can be very dangerous for both you and your growing baby." Researchers Heather Held and Neal Pollock conducted research on the risks and concluded, "The overall picture of the literature indicates that, while the effect may be small, diving during pregnancy does increase the risk to the fetus, and the consequences could be devastating to all involved. Appreciating these essential factors, the prudent course is to avoid diving while pregnant."
6 Spot Me! Weightlifting While Pregnant
We all love our time at the gym but there are some fanatics who are unable to stop their extreme excercise even while pregnant. Controversy erupted last year when seasoned weightlifter Lee-Ann Ellison, who began training for weightlifting figure competitions when she was just twenty years old, was spotted lifting weights as an expectant Mom. At 33 weeks pregnant she was still pumping weights and saw no reason to stop. Would you continue such a harsh body enduring excercise while pregnant?
ABC News medical contributor Dr. Jacques Mortiz said that the negative response to Ellison's weightlifting was unwarranted as what she was doing was "okay," but he added that there are some limitations and precautions which must be taken when partaking in such an activity while pregnant. He said, "The main thing with all exercise is listen to your body. "Things have changed a lot in terms of what [pregnant] women can do in exercise."
5 Surely She's Not Surfing?
Bethany Hamilton, the incredibly inspiring one armed surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack (whose story was subsequently turned into a movie), received criticism for continuing to surf while she was pregnant. She defended her decision by saying, "Giving birth may be one of the most physical events a woman goes through, so being active and keeping muscles alive and ready is what I believe we need to do." While she has a point, we have to question the risks of continuing such a powerful sport while expecting a baby.
Dr. Daniel Roshan, an ob-gyn with NYU Langone Medical Center, countered her argument with, "Surfers have a chance of falling in the water, and hitting big waves can cause trauma to the abdomen." He did not deny that exercise is important for expectant mums but the impact of that exercise should be monitored to keep your baby and you safe. Have you surfed while pregnant? Did you weigh up the risks before hitting the waves?
4 Run Baby Run
So you're an accomplished runner and have successfully completed various marathons and events but all of that was when you weren't pregnant. There are numerous risks with running a marathon while pregnant including dehydration and accidental falls. The risks are not worth it but there are women who wouldn't dare miss an annual event even if they were pregnant.
Running has many advantages for your otegnsnt body but moderation is key and excessive excercise is not ideal. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists made the following statement as regards running while pregnant.
"Continuing to run or do other aerobic activity during pregnancy for 30 min on most days of the week can reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling; prevent or treat gestational diabetes; increase your energy; improve your mood; improve your posture, muscle tone, strength and endurance; help you sleep better; and improve your ability to cope with labor pain. If you were a runner before you became pregnant, you often can keep running during pregnancy, although you may have to modify your routine.”
3 Mary, Mary How Does Your Garden Grow?
Gardening while pregnant is an enjoyable and relaxing form of excercise for you that should not have any major affect on your unborn baby. However, with all things in life, gardening also comes with various risks for pregnant women. You don't need to stop gardening while pregnant but you do need to be overly cautious and change your routine a bit. Always wear gloves to avoid parasites. Wear a hat, drink water and take breaks to avoid dehydration. Although if you're like me, you will be too nervous about the risks and put a pause button on your garden until the baby is born.
The biggest risk is toxoplasmosis which is an infection you can get from a microscopic parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. According to BabyCenter, "Although the infection generally causes a mild, symptomless illness in people with healthy immune systems, it's risky during pregnancy because the parasite may infect the placenta and your unborn baby."
2 Blood Drive
Giving blood is an essential part of our lives as blood stocks often invariably run low. Many women give blood on a monthly basis and have done for many years. For those who are religious about their local blood drive, not giving blood may seem like a terrible thing to do but if you are pregnant it's advised that you do not give blood until your baby is born and to wait a number of weeks before going to your local clinic.
Jennifer Shu, Pediatrician for BabyCenter, clarifies that "Pregnant women are not eligible to donate blood according to the American Red Cross, which also advises waiting at least six weeks after giving birth. Although the amount of blood in your body increases by about 50 percent during pregnancy, you and your growing baby need it for optimum health and nutrition."
1 A Gentle Canter Or Something More?
At your first hospital appointment, you are often told by your doctor that cycling should be avoided while pregnant especially as you enter the second and third trimesters. But does that include the likes of similar excercise such as horseriding? Yes, in fact, even more so as the risks with horseriding are even greater. While the first and foremost risk of horseriding is the potential for falls which can greatly injure not only the mother but the unborn baby there are more severe risks.
D. P. Nguyen, editor of Hip Chick’s Guide to PMS, Pregnancy and Babies, clarifies that a "reason that doctors warn against horse riding while pregnant is because the motion of jostling while you’re on a horse can potentially increase your risk of placental abruption – a pregnancy complication that occurs when the placenta detaches from the uterus too early. This can be a devastating and deadly complication for the unborn baby, especially if he/she has to be delivered too early."
Sources: BabyCenter; MyPregnancyBaby; LiveStrong; BellyBelly; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; WhatToExpect: AmericanPregnancy