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20 Little Things Pregnant Women Do That Can Affect The Baby

Motherhood is a wonderful joy that translates to a lifetime of worry. A new mother worries about the diaper bag, the tiny falls and everything else that has to do with the baby. She tries as much as possible to ensure that the baby has a 100% safe life and has everything she needs. This control starts as soon as mom realizes she is expecting. Those trips to the gynecologist are meant to ensure that the baby is doing fine and so is the mother.

Even though the rules on what one can and cannot do during pregnancy are many, they are worth following because what matters, in the end, is a healthy baby. Most people think that the only thing one needs to do when pregnant is to eat well and avoid falling over. The truth is, what a mother needs to do goes beyond her menu because even the little lifestyle habits that one swears by could pose a problem to the baby. No mother wants to learn that something innocent she did while pregnant caused a problem for the baby.

This is why it is a good idea to avoid doing these little things!

20 Eating Unpasteurized Milk Products

For those of us who live on the farm, milk is in plenty straight from the cow or goat. We are the people who brag that our milk is fresh with no additives. It is the farmer's milk that is homegrown and homemade. This is well and good and it is a great thing to be able to eat what one produces, not only as a relief to our pocket but also because we know exactly how we have handled the milk. Unfortunately, this homegrown milk is not recommended for the pregnant woman.

According to the Baby Center, “During pasteurization, dairy products are heated to a high temperature to [get rid of] microbes that may cause [illness]. Because raw milk is not pasteurized, it can carry [problem]-causing microbes. One of the most worrisome of these is the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause an infection called listeriosis.”

19 Painting the Nursery

The baby is almost here and mom just realized that the nursery is not the right shade of blue or pink or that she prefers her child's room to be gender neutral. This calls for a scramble to have the baby room re-painted to suit her new aspirations. Having someone paint the baby's room will not affect the baby. The problem would be the mother doing the painting herself.

According to The American Pregnancy Association, “The recommendation is to avoid exposure to oil-based paints, leads, and mercury. You should minimize exposure to latex paints that contain ethylene glycol ethers and biocides. Ideally, you should get someone else to do the job for you.”

18 Too Much Coffee

Most of us could not go a day without our daily dose of caffeine. This addiction does not know that there is a tiny human being growing in our womb, neither does it respect our desire to be a caffeine free super mama. One does not need to give up her coffee for life though, one cup of coffee per day should help stem the cravings.

Chugging jug after jug of coffee to cater to our addiction is not a good idea during pregnancy because, according to The Baby Center, “If you regularly have more than 200 mg of caffeine a day while you’re pregnant, you’ll have a higher risk of having a baby with a low birth weight. Babies born with a low birth weight are at increased risk of health problems when they get older. There is also evidence that regularly drinking lots of caffeine in pregnancy increases your [risk]. The risk is still low though.”

17 Over the Counter Meds

There is one rule that every pregnant mother needs to adhere to consistently. No over the counter medication. That innocent headache could mean something entirely different; from blood pressure to stomach cramps. Masking that problem with a painkiller could aggravate it and before one knows it, she is dealing with a risk of losing the pregnancy or placenta previa.

There are home remedies for most minor ailments that do not call for medicine. For headaches, one probably just needs to lie down with a cold compress and the headache will subside. If the situation is too much to handle, the best option is to always check with the doctor and have him prescribe something.

16 Those gorgeous high Heels

Most working mothers want to slay until the last minute and being told they cannot wear one thing or the other can be quite aggravating. Wearing heals has a way of making a woman feel more beautiful, something most of us are not willing to trade off.

A pregnant woman can wear heels once in a while, but according to the Baby Centre, “during pregnancy, your body releases the hormone relaxin to loosen the tissues that keep your joints stable (ligaments). This makes your pelvis more flexible, ready for childbirth, but it also means that extra pressure on your joints may contribute to lower back pain. When you put your heels on, your posture changes slightly, putting more pressure on your back, and on your knee and ankle joints.”

15 That Dip in the Hot Tub

Most of us love to take a dip in the hot tub, more so for the soothing effect it has on our aching muscles. This little pleasure comes with some risks to the baby and should be enjoyed with maximum caution.

According to Health Link BC, “Raising your core body temperature is called hyperthermia. It can harm your developing baby. It's most harmful during the early weeks when the organs are forming and has been linked to neural tube defects. If you use a hot tub or sauna, be careful. The tub or sauna should not be so hot that you are uncomfortable. Lower the temperature to below 102°F.”

14  Cleaning the Cat Litter

Most women worry that they may have to get rid of their kitty once they are pregnant and even some doctors go a step further to warn women to avoid cats. This is inaccurate advice and one can still keep their cat with a little caution.

According to Web MD, “Cats can carry a disease called toxoplasmosis that can harm a fetus and lead to birth defects. Your vet can test for it, but better still, follow some simple advice from the CDC when you're pregnant. Have someone else change the box -- and frequently! It is only after 1 to 5 days in the litter box that toxoplasmosis becomes infectious.”

13 First and Second Hand

For those who are smokers, once one realizes that they are pregnant, the recommendation is to stop smoking, at least until the baby comes. This caution extends to second-hand smoke, which means even family members who smoke should do it very far from the pregnant mother to ensure that the baby does not suffer as a result.

According to Baby Center, “On average, smoking during pregnancy doubles the chances that a baby will be born too early or weigh less than 5 1/2 pounds at birth. Smoking also more than doubles the risk of stillbirth. Every cigarette you smoke increases the risks to your pregnancy.”

12 Skipping that Multivitamin

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When a woman is pregnant, half the day is spent battling nausea and oftentimes, women cannot stomach anything, not even a glass of water. It is these women who try to avoid anything that brings on a bout of nausea. Women should try as much as possible not to include multivitamins in the list of things they avoid.

According to The Irish Times, “Taking multivitamins during early pregnancy may be associated with reduced [risk] in children compared with mothers who do not take multivitamins, according to an international study.

“Experts found that children whose mothers had taken the vitamins were around half as likely to develop [problems] as those whose mothers took none.”

11 A glass with something extra

Happy hour for most moms is a favorite time. After a whole day of stress running up and down, it is a good idea to relax with a glass of wine. As soon as a woman realizes that she is pregnant, one should kick that drinking habit.

According to Parents, “Experts still aren't sure if any minimum amount is safe, so the official word on alcohol is still a resounding "no" from both the U.S. Surgeon General and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Instead, try blend sparkling water and your favorite fruit juice -- like pomegranate juice (or orange or apple) -- and pour it into a fancy glass.”

10 That Fish

If you have a fish craving, one thing to do is avoid raw sushi and any fish that may cause harm to the baby.

According to Parents, "To avoiding mercury contamination or high PCB levels in fish is to enjoy it in moderation. Stick to 12 ounces total per week and avoid king mackerel, shark, swordfish, and tilefish. Tuna is in the moderate mercury range, so if you eat it, do so infrequently. As for PCB, stay away from eel, shad, and white croaker. Your safest fish choices are anchovies, pollack, wild salmon, scallops, and shrimp. Be sure to cook fish to an internal temperature of 160 °F. Also, to lower PCB levels, remove skin.”

9 Sitting or Standing for Too Long

When a woman is pregnant, she is advised to avoid doing chores that call for sitting or standing for extended periods. Women are advised to utilize a combination of standing and walking in order to increase blood flow to the child.

Sitting for too long has been seen to increase the risk of blood clots, a situation that may be harmful to the mother and child. Sitting for too long also causes pressure leading to hemorrhoids and extreme discomfort. Moderate exercise like walking around also helps keep the mother agile in readiness for childbirth.

8 Believing Everything They Read

Pregnancy comes with some fear that is often unexplained. With the advent of technology, pregnant women are now able to find advice at the tip of their fingernails. Every small stitch that a woman experience has the expectant mother running to the Internet to get advice from Dr. Google.

Getting information is good as it can help, but it should all be taken with a pinch of salt. What women should know is that these days, everyone with a computer or smartphone is an online doctor and can dish advice on what is good for you and your child. Not all of it is good advice.

7 Not Having Enough Sleep

Having a good night sleep becomes a herculean task for a pregnant woman, more so when the pregnancy progresses to the third trimester. Getting the right sleeping position is hard and most women suffer from insomnia during these months. Pregnant women are advised to look for comfortable sleeping positions in order to get a good night sleep, as a lack of sleep may cause harm to the baby.

According to Very Well Health, “Poor sleep can adversely affect health, and it also has a critical impact on pregnant women, potentially leading to maternal complications such as hypertension and gestational diabetes.” Lack of sleep can lead to hypertension (high blood pressure), preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and pulmonary hypertension.

6 Not Working Out

There was a time when women were warned not to exercise during pregnancy. This rule was reinforced by the belief that exercising comes with the risk of a losing the pregnancy. Most women give up on their exercises as soon as they realize that they are pregnant.

According to Livestrong, “A lack of exercise during pregnancy puts you at risk for complications, such as increased pulse rate and blood pressure, and puts you at an additional risk for developing gestational diabetes. These all can affect not only your health but also the health of your unborn child. You may also experience more heartburn and digestion problems.”

5 Growing too much

Most women gain a lot of weight during pregnancy. This is contributed to by the fact that pregnancy comes with cravings. What women should ensure is that they do not gain too much weight as this weight may pose a health risk to the unborn baby who is most likely to be born too big or afflicted with gestational diabetes. Cater to all your cravings but ensure the weight remains reasonable.

According to Parents, "Women who gain too much weight during pregnancy are more prone to gestational diabetes, [a] condition in which your body is unable to produce enough insulin to balance glucose levels in your blood."

4 Eating Deli Meat

Pregnancy cravings are funny and often times, irrational. What a woman needs differs from one to the other but the advice is to steer clear from some food items.

According to Parents, “When you're pregnant, your protein needs go up by about 50 percent. But, prepackaged or sliced to order, deli meat (including hot dogs) can contain bacteria that cause illness. Try this fix to kill any potential bacteria: Warm up meat until it's steaming. If you use a microwave, let the food sit for a few minutes before eating so the heat can evenly distribute. You can even test the meat using a food thermometer, look for a reading of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.”

3 Eating Raw Meat and Eggs

For those women whose cravings are running along lightly cooked meat and runny eggs, it may be one of those cravings one has to fight off body and soul. Even though fighting a craving is tough, there are some food items that can harm the unborn baby.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, “Uncooked seafood and rare or undercooked beef or poultry should be avoided because of the risk of contamination with coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella.” Pregnancy cravings can be catered for if one just ensures that the meat and eggs are cooked well to prevent infections to the unborn child.

2 Not Getting that Flu Shot

When a woman is pregnant, there are changes to her lungs, heart and the immune system, which leave her vulnerable to cases of flu and colds. Unfortunately during pregnancy, getting relief from over the counter medication is not a good idea.

According to What to Expect, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all moms-to-be get the flu shot to keep safe during flu season. As an added bonus, getting immunized during the last trimester of pregnancy not only protects you, but it also helps protect your baby from the flu for several months after he's born.

1 Working in the Garden

When one is pregnant, it is a good idea to ease away from gardening, not only to prevent overexertion and exposure to too much heat, but also to prevent the exposure to pesticides.

According to Being the Parent, “You must be very careful in the first trimester to keep away when pesticides are used in the garden. Exposure to large quantities sprayed is known to cause [probelms] in your baby. However, there is nothing to panic [about] if the quantity used is minimal. But always remember to use gloves while gardening and stay away when the pesticides are being sprayed.”

References: WhattoexpectBabycenterAmericanpregnancyWebmdIrishtimes

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