During the last trimester of pregnancy, women feel like they have been pregnant an entire lifetime. Exhaustion, a huge belly, and lots of other factors contribute to the feeling of just wanting it to be over already.
In the last couples of weeks, you can't wait to see your baby and your feet too! The last month of pregnancy can be very exhilarating with moms feeling excited that the pregnancy journey is just about to come to a halt. Another journey of motherhood is about to begin and even though the chances of having a miscarriage at this point is almost close to none, moms tend to be more diligent and careful. Most miscarriages tend to happen during the first trimester and in most cases, they are caused by factors that cannot be attributed to the mom’s actions.
The last trimester of pregnancy, especially the last weeks are not only full of excitement, joy, and anticipation, but there’s a chance you will feel worried, anxious and sometimes afraid. Bringing your baby into this world is the final and most crucial stage of the pregnancy. The mom cannot wait to see and hold her baby. Therefore, it would be bad if things got ugly at this point. In order for the mom to go through a smooth delivery, there are certain items she has to avoid that are regarded as toxic.
Below are 15 things that are deemed toxic during the last month of pregnancy.
15 Waterbeds Can Be A Hazard
Apparently chilling in a waterbed is not an option for pregnant women. Studies have shown that waterbeds are not safe for women carrying a baby in their womb. Those who sleep in a waterbed have an increased rate of miscarrying. The concern here is the temperature. It is not safe to overheat one’s body when pregnant. Studies have also proven that exposure to a temperature of 101 degrees for a long time can cause a miscarriage. It is, therefore, best to keep the temperature cool.
Electricity is used to heat the waterbed. It, therefore, omits a low frequency magnetic field (EMF). Some small studies show that when a pregnant woman is exposed to EMF, there is a higher risk of miscarriage and other birth defects. If you have a waterbed it is better to look for an alternative to avoid any risks of losing the child or having a child with defects.
14 Don't Eat Raw Papaya
This is something that should definitely be off your menu. Raw papaya has lantex and this can cause uterine contractions that can lead to a miscarriage. Raw papaya also contains pepsin which can cause fetal development problems. It is therefore advisable not to consume any raw papaya during the entire period of pregnancy.
There are also two teratogenic enzymes, chymopapain and papain in papaya and these can cause a miscarriage. It should, therefore, be avoided by women with a history of miscarriages.
Leaves and seeds of papaya are also not safe for consumption because they pose a risk to the unborn child.
During the last month, it can be particularly tricky; this is because it can induce labor. For this reason, it should be avoided. Fully ripe papayas are safe for consumption. However, research is yet to prove if they are completely safe.
13 Insect Bites Can Be Harmful
Most insect bites may be harmless during pregnancy, but some can pose a great health risk for both the mother and the unborn baby. The last month of pregnancy is very crucial and getting ill at this time could be very harmful to the unborn baby. A virus can be contracted from the insect and be transmitted to the unborn baby depending on the disease.
Various sources of these insects include ticks, fleas, mosquitoes and bed bugs. If an insect bite is unusual and you have no idea what caused it, it is best to check in with your doctor. Some diseases caused by insect bites can be transferred to the unborn baby while others cannot. Pregnancy complications can also be a result of the mother being sick. It is, therefore, necessary to take precautions like using an insect repellent. It should be applied according to the label instructions. If one does not want to apply repellents, just wear long sleeved clothes to cover areas exposed to insect bites.
12 Avoid Cleaning Products
Cleaning supplies are safe to use but the danger is in the toxic fumes they emit.
This could prove very toxic to the fetus. Some researchers claim that cleaning supplies such as air freshener and bleach used while a woman is pregnant are linked to asthma and wheezing in young children. Studies show that there is an increased risk of up to 41 percent of kids developing persistent wheezing. Asthma is not attributed to cleaning supplies only, but also other factors such as medications, smoking, infections and animal allergies. Cleaning supplies can be linked to causing asthma in children.
Not to worry though, if you love a tidy space and have no one to do it for you, you can use cleaning products by taking extra care during pregnancy. Make sure that while cleaning, there is adequate ventilation so that plenty of air can circulate the place one is working in. Also, wear gloves and cover your whole body to avoid any contact with the cleaning supply because it can be absorbed through the skin.
11 Fish For Dinner Is A Serious No-No
Pregnant women are advised to consume 2 to 3 servings of fish in a week because they contain vital nutrients that include omega 3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins and minerals. On the other hand, some fish species are not safe to consume while pregnant since they are considered high mercury fish. They include swordfish, shark and king mackerel and tuna. The FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency advise pregnant women to avoid such fish because of their adverse health effect on the fetus.
Mercury can damage the brain and nervous system of a fetus. However fish with low levels of mercury is safe. They include shrimp, tilapia, salmon, catfish and cod. Fish from local water bodies can also be harmful. It is, therefore, safe to check advisories for those local rivers, lakes or streams on a local website for fishing regulations. Raw fish is also not recommended for pregnant women since they are easily affected by foodborne illness and parasites.
10 Leave The Cat Litter To Dad
Cats are adorable pets to keep at home. They are also undeniably very fun to have and keep you very entertained. However, there is one task that is unpleasant if you have a cat at home and that is cleaning out the litter box. Getting pregnant can easily get you off the task. A cat can transmit a parasitic infection known as toxoplasmosis through cat waste. This infection is especially dangerous to a pregnant woman because it may infect the placenta and the fetus.
It is particularly harmful during the last months of pregnancy because it can lead to a miscarriage, stillbirth or damage the baby’s nervous system.
Not to worry though if you are a cat lover. You do not have to get rid of your cat. Just get somebody else to do it or if it is not possible, just do it by yourself. Wear gloves and a mask and make sure you disinfect afterwards. Make sure that the litter box is cleaned every 24 hours and this should do it.
9 Make Sure Your Eggs Are Properly Cooked
Avoid eating raw or under-cooked eggs because they may have the salmonella virus. When you buy eggs, they might not necessarily be contaminated, but improper handling may lead to contamination. Salmonella causes food poisoning and it is therefore not recommended to eat raw eggs while pregnant. During pregnancy, the immune system is usually weaker and easily affected by bacteria. This bacterium causes the mother to have severe diarrhea and vomiting, headache and abdominal pain. This can affect the unborn child directly because of the severe loss of fluids through the mother. It can also cause stillbirths and premature delivery.
To keep away the virus, the eggs should be stored safely and thoroughly cooked. They should be kept in the fridge and they should not come into contact with other foods. Eggs with broken shells should not be consumed due to bacterial exposure.
8 Be Cautious With Prescription Medications
Some prescriptions are not safe during pregnancy. It is always important to ask your doctor what to take when you fall ill. Certain prescriptions can be very harmful to the unborn baby, hence the need to be very cautious on what you take. Medicines to avoid during pregnancy include aspirin and ibuprofen.
Aspirin: Taking high doses of aspirin can cause a miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy.
In the later stages of pregnancy, taking aspirin can delay labor and increase the risk of the baby developing lung and heart problems.
It can also cause bleeding problems for both the mother and the unborn child.
Ibuprofen: It is a painkiller, but when pregnant it can prove fatal for the baby. During the last weeks of pregnancy it can delay your labor. It is known to reduce the amniotic fluid quantity. It can also increase the risk of having heart problems, which can lead to high blood pressure in the fetus.
Other medicines to avoid during pregnancy include Isotretinoin, Thalidomide and herbs.
7 Exposing Yourself To Pesticides Can Be Harmful
Exposure to chemicals is obviously not safe for women carrying unborn children. The exposure of pesticides to a pregnant woman can cause the fetus to be born with autism. Autism is obviously not precipitated, only one factor, but pesticides can be one of the factors that can cause it. Agricultural chemicals are known to be very toxic, and unborn babies are especially vulnerable. Chemicals can disrupt brain development of the fetus. Pesticides operate by destroying the nervous system of a weaker organism.
In a study conducted by a professor of epidemiology, Irva Hertz Picciotto, at the Mind Institute at the University of California, possible developmental problems in the unborn are linked to exposure to pesticides. Studies also show that women in their third trimester of pregnancy, who live near areas where pyrethroids are sprayed, increased the risk of the fetus having development issues and autism. So, it is advisable that the mom-to-be is not exposed to pesticides during the last month (or any time really) of pregnancy for the health of the fetus.
6 Say No To Deli Meat
During the last month of pregnancy, the immune system is weak and susceptible to foodborne illnesses. Cold cuts of deli meat are very delicious but they can contain Listeria bacterium. Even when the meat is kept under cold temperatures the bacterium still thrive. Listeria bacteria causes Listeriosis, which is known to cause problems for pregnant women such as premature delivery, infections, miscarriages or even death of the newborn. If the nervous system of the pregnant woman is affected after contracting the disease it can cause seizures, altered mental state and stiff neck.
If the craving for deli meat is undeniably strong, make sure you reheat the cold cuts by steaming or grilling them.
Foods rich in vitamin C can be taken along with deli meat to prevent nitrates from converting to carcinogens. It is, however, safer to avoid them completely especially during the last weeks of pregnancy.
5 Don't Pain The Nursery
With all the excitement about a new member of the family, expectant mothers like painting their unborn babies’ room. However, it is not safe for the pregnant woman to breath in paint fumes. It could pose a risk to the unborn child. It is best to limit exposure of paint fumes. Paints are petroleum-based products that can pose health risks if inhaled too much. Studies show that exposure to paint fumes increase the risk of having a miscarriage and the baby being born with birth defects and learning problems.
If painting is necessary have someone else do it. Precautions still need to be taken whether or not you are painting. Choose paints that have lower levels of solvent. They are usually labeled ‘low VOC’. Make sure there is adequate ventilation in the room to avoid inhaling too many paint fumes. Avoid eating in the room to prevent accidental consumption of the paint.
4 Throw Out The Cup Of Coffee
You have not slept well during the night and need a cup of coffee to keep you feeling fresh for the day, but you are concerned whether it will affect your unborn baby. During the third trimester it is crucial to monitor your caffeine intake. The American Pregnancy Association claims that caffeine consumed is directly passed to the fetus through the placenta.
High intake of caffeine has been associated with low birth weight, a risk of miscarriage and in few cases, heart defects.
For women who cannot bear the thought of living without coffee, moderate caffeine intake does not affect pregnancy length or birth weight according to Bodil Hammer Bech, MD, PhD. He also says that it is advisable that pregnant women do not drink any more than 3 cups of coffee daily because high levels of caffeine in the body can cause fetal death.
3 Lighting One Up Is Never Okay
During all stages of pregnancy, it is dangerous to smoke, whether first hand or second hand smoke. The effects of smoking will not be noticed when the baby is born, but as the baby ages, they will start showing. Did you know that when one smokes 10 a day there is an increased rate of a miscarriage by 1.2 times?
It is known that smoking during the first trimester causes long-term health effects for the fetus. Smoking during the last month of pregnancy is also harmful because it is associated with low birth weight. As the baby ages, the effects will start to be noticed. Effects such as lung-related illnesses and certain forms of cancer.
Other complications include babies being born too small and even stillbirths. It is therefore important for a mother to quit smoking if she knows she wants to get pregnant or immediately after she discovers that she is pregnant.
2 Drinking Is Not Advised
Almost everyone knows the rule, ‘No consumption of alcohol during pregnancy’. One wonders, can alcohol have any effect when the baby has already developed? Well, yes it can! Alcohol is harmful at any level of pregnancy to the fetus. There is an affirmation that heavy and even moderate drinking can cause fetal damage, including miscarriage, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.
Studies are still being conducted on whether light drinking is harmful during the last trimester.
Some doctors advise that one should completely avoid alcohol, while others claim that light drinking is not likely to harm the baby.
Because it is unknown which levels are safe, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the CDC and the U.S Surgeon General advise against pregnant women consuming any alcohol.
Pregnant women who consume a lot of alcohol can give birth to children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Conditions for this disorder include delayed speech, learning disabilities, small head, strange facial features and many more.
1 Break The Habit
You should definitely not be taking any form of illegal substances if you want to give birth to a healthy child or even a live one. Illegal substances are so far, one of the most dangerous things you can put into your body when you are pregnant.
Different types of illegal substances affect the unborn baby in almost similar ways. It is proven that taking any during pregnancy directly affects the fetus. Taking such things during pregnancy increases the chance of birth defects, stillborn births, underweight babies and premature babies. They can also affect the child’s attentiveness, as well as the ability to remember.
Cocaine’s effects on the unborn baby may last through its entire life. Babies born to cocaine smoking mothers have physical and mental problems. The National Institution of Drug Abuse claims that as they grow, the children show deficits in information processing, concentration and cognition performance. Taking any form of substances during pregnancy is extremely toxic for the fetus.