Once a woman sees that little plus sign on the pregnancy test, there are a million things running through her mind. How does she tell her loved ones? When was her last drink? Which doctor should she go to? On top of all that, there are oodles of things that she can no longer do if she wants a healthy and full-term pregnancy. While staying away from vices is the first thing in many women's minds, there are other low-key things she should think of skipping.
Like all things in life, women need to take these precautions with a grain of salt. Yes, taking very warm baths isn't the best thing for that bun in the oven, but taking a cool, lukewarm one could feel nice on those altering joints. And while most moms will take pain meds like it's NBD to deal with the morning sickness, other moms may be against putting those kinds of concoctions in their bodies. Regardless, a woman's pregnancy and how she handles it is her choice.
The first trimester of a woman's pregnancy is one of the most important periods of a fetus's life. Taking every precaution on this list will ease a mama's mind and keep that little baby safe.
20 High-Temp Baths
Being pregnant is a beautiful time, but it's also stressful on the mom. If you adore taking long, warm baths — that should probably change in the first trimester. As A Very Well Family notes, taking a high-temp bath raises a woman's body temperature, which in turn, reduces plasma flow to the baby. Not having the necessary flow of oxygen can lead to one stressed baby, and even cause problems. As the site notes, a warm water temperature of 98.6 degrees should be just fine — anything warmer should be skipped. If you don't have a bath thermometer, it's the perfect time to buy one.
19 Drop Those Tacos! (For Now)
While there are many myths out there about eating spicy foods when you're past your due date and want the baby to come out, there's also a saying that eating spicy foods during the pregnancy should be avoided. (You got that?) As BabyCenter reminds us, eating spicy foods is totally safe for you and the baby during your nine months, it's just one of those things that may make you feel uncomfortable — especially during your first trimester. Many pregnant women have noticed getting severe heartburn, even though they've never really dealt with heartburn before. That kind of pain may increase since your body is going through so many changes.
18 Have Someone Else Paint The Nursery
There comes a time in a woman's pregnancy when she wants nothing more than to nest. She starts preparing the entire home and car for the arrival of her bouncy baby. Clothes will be folded, diapers will be stored, and baby furniture will be built. However, if she has the urge to re-paint the nursery, have her ask someone else to do it. Not only are paint fumes dangerous for adults, but they're also unsafe for that vulnerable baby inside your belly. Whoever does the painting should be sure to have some windows cracked open for fresh air and some fans blowing for quicker dry time.
17 Say Bye To Those Pain Meds (For Now)
Anything a woman reveals to herself is also given to the baby. The lotions that go on her skin, the food she eats, and also the meds she takes. It's hard because a pregnant woman's body is going through so many changes, aches, and pains. It makes sense that she would want some additional help with managing the pain; however, WebMD expresses that taking too much of one pain med could lead to troubles with the development of the baby. Regardless of the meds a woman is taking (even if she's been taking things like Advil her whole life), she should always consult with her doctor before taking something.
16 Unfamiliar Exercises
A woman could go about her pregnancy in a multitude of ways. She could make a promise to herself to stay healthy and workout regularly; or she could write the nine months off and rest her body in preparation for the delivery day. Regardless of what a mother decides, she should do what's "normal" for her. If a woman has been running weekly since she was a teen, running throughout her pregnancy should be totally fine, as long as she's cleared by the doctor. But if you realize you're pregnant and try to do all these new exercises, it can be dangerous for both you and the baby; your body doesn't need to focus on new exercises and building a human!
15 Stay Away From That Kitty Litter
Before you panic about getting rid of your adorable kitty cat, it's totally fine to be around cats when you're pregnant. What expecting mamas need to be worried about, however, is a cat's little box. The litter a cat needs for their restroom needs can be a home to some pretty toxic things. BabyCenter explains, "Cat feces (and soil or sand where cats have been) can carry a parasitic infection called toxoplasmosis." If a pregnant woman gets exposed to kitty litter, it can some very serious problems for that little bun in the oven.
14 Choose Something To Eat Besides Raw Meat
One of the saddest moments about becoming pregnant for me is foregoing sushi. While I'm not much of a beef tartare lady, I love the texture and seasonings that come along with sushi. However, many women know that they need to stay clear from raw meats, but why? If cooked meat is fine to digest, why isn't raw meat? As AP notes, consuming raw meat can cause a person to contract "coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella." I think we all know food poisoning can be one of the least pleasant things a person can go through, so imagine going through similar side effects while pregnant...
13 Limit Those Cups Of Coffee
Okay, no warm baths, sushi, OR coffee — this is madness! Before you get rid of all those Starbucks gift cards, you're allowed to drink coffee when you're pregnant; however, mamas should watch how many cups they drink. Having a little bit of coffee in the morning is normal, but anything more than two cups needs to be toned down. Pregnancy Birth Baby explains how drinking coffee may in fact affect the baby's size. Studies and further research are still being done, but it's probably better to be safe than sorry. And if you're not a coffee gal, maybe wait to try it until once your little one is out!
12 You Don't Really Need To Eat For Two
I have met plenty of soon-to-be mamas who eat more than they want because they think they're eating for two. Even if they weren't hungry, they would continue to eat because they felt their baby wasn't getting enough nutrients. The funny thing is, though, if a mom is eating healthy foods, their baby is getting everything they need. There's no need to overdo it or think there's not enough food for the two of you. If you're hungry, eat. If you're full, stop eating. Listen to your body and you'll make the right decision. Take your approved prenatal vitamins and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables while staying plenty hydrated.
11 Ignore The Deli Counter
I know what you're thinking: Can a pregnant woman have any fun at all?! She can't drink, she can't be too active (but she can't be too "still"), she can't have sushi, and now she can't have a classic deli sandwich?! Unfortunately, it's true. Preg mamas need to stay clear from SubWay because deli meats can be home to Listeria, which can have some ill effects for your little one. Listeria is a bacteria that can be found in contaminated foods, like some deli meats. Listeria is actually so strong that it can puncture the placenta and reach your baby, so be wary of the kinds of sandwiches you crave during those nine months.
10 Sit On The Sidelines During Extreme Sports
Do you see those heavily pregnant women doing CrossFit on IG? Well, that's probably because they've been practicing the sport for years and are strong enough to know their body and their limits. Most of these women know when something doesn't feel right, which is when they lay off the extreme sports and do lighter exercises instead. Women who aren't extreme CrossFitters, though, should stay away from these kinds of sports. It's not that women can't "do" these sports, it's the simple risk of falling, dropping something, and overworking yourself that can be dangerous for both you and the baby.
9 No More Amusement Park Rides
If you take a closer look at most amusement park signs, they do have warnings about pregnant women going on some of the more jarring rides, like roller coasters. And no, it's not because the force may make them even more nauseous; it's because the force of most rides may be too much for the uterus to handle. Ironically, it's the same kind of force that happens in car accidents. This is why women who are expecting and experience a car accident of any kind should go to the doctor just to make sure everything is going under the hood.
8 Zofran Isn't All That It's Cracked Out To Be
As aforementioned, any pain-relieving meds a pregnant mama takes should always run it by their doctor — even if they've been comfortable with it for years. You never know what's safe or unsafe for a baby until you have one of your own. However, Zofran is a little different. It's a super common and popular med most pregnant women take when they have extreme morning sickness.
There's nothing worse than not being able to eat, and then when you do, you puke it all up again (and the cycle continues). And while Zofran may help a ton of patients, the FDA warned expecting mothers to stay away from the pill in 2013. As the site stated, "Based on recent studies regarding the association between Zofran use in early pregnancy and congenital cardiac malformations and oral clefts (cleft lip and palate), the FDA has cautioned against its use in pregnancy."
If you have extreme nausea, ask your doctor what's safe to take.
7 Skip High-Temp Yoga Class
If you've been a yogi prior to pregnancy, then practicing yoga while pregnant should be safe as long as you feel good and are cleared by your doctor. As many yogis know, there are many different forms of yoga, but one type of yoga that should be avoided by pregnant women is yoga done in a heated room.
Now, this type of yoga is done in a room heated to much warmer than usual — done so to make you sweat and feel more connected. Just like how saunas or steaming baths aren't great for a pregnant belly, neither is a heated room meant to make you sweat. The NCBI even explained, "A study investigating maternal use of [spa] tubs in pregnant women found that the fetuses of women who used [heated] tubs for any length of time more than once during the first trimester had an increased risk..."
Yoga's great, but this yoga needs a pass.
6 Pass On The Unpasteurized Cheeses
Very similar to deli meats, raw meat, and even kitty litter, unpasteurized dairy (soft cheeses) may carry harmful bacteria that can hurt your pregnancy. The NHS explains, "To avoid this risk, pregnant women are advised not to eat any uncooked mold-ripened soft cheese such as brie, camembert, mold-ripened soft cheese made with goats' milk, and others with a similar rind." But do not worry — not all cheese is off limits! Pregnant women can still eat hard cheeses since the bacteria cannot grow within the hard texture. If you're interested in what cheeses are good, versus what cheeses are bad, contact your doctor for a list.
5 Rest Up — But Not For Too Long
Now, of course, every woman experiences pregnancy differently. My mom had morning sickness in the beginning but once that cleared, it was smooth sailing. She adored being pregnant and wishes she had more than three children because she loved it so much. My best friend, on the other hand, had a very tough pregnancy where she was practically on bed rest due to being so sick all the time. Depending on your health, health professionals want mamas to take it easy, but not too easy. If they find themselves sitting or laying in a position for too long — switch it up! Change sides or go for a walk to get the heart pumping again.
4 Don't Touch Those Scales
I, myself, do not have any pet reptiles, but I know many people who do have some scaly friends! According to Mom Junction, mamas should stay clear of their reptile friends. "Do not get in contact with reptiles such as lizards, turtles, iguanas, and snakes. Their feces pass salmonella virus into your system and can be dangerous." Salmonella is a bacteria that can spread quickly, becoming an infection in humans. A mom at Pregnant Chicken says, "For Salmonella to spread from reptiles to humans, the bacteria must be ingested. This most often occurs when humans place their hands on the reptile or objects that have been in contact with the stool of reptiles; then they place their hands in their mouths, or on objects or food they put in their mouths and can become infected."
3 Be Wary On Hikes
I, for one, enjoy going for light walks and hikes. I adore the fresh air and seeing how beautiful nature comes together. And since pregnant women can't do many physical activities, going for a hike seems like the perfect option! But don't put on those hiking boots so fast! Depending on where you live, pregnant women (and people, in general) need to be wary of the kinds of insects that linger on those hiking trails. Mom Junction explains, "Ensure there are no ticks as their bites can cause Lyme disease. The effects include permanent tooth discoloration in pregnant women" and serious problems for baby.
2 Step Away From The Microwave
I can't be the only person who grew up being yelled at that I was standing too close to the microwave, right? Anytime my mom put the microwave on, she would tell me to stand somewhere else because the radiation of the microwave could be harmful to our brains. As a kid, I never thought too much about it — I just ran away from microwaves when someone was using them! However, Mom Junction reminds us of this controversial topic, saying, "Do not stay near microwaves. They emit harmful electromagnetic radiation that could harm the fetus" and can lead to harmful things for the tiny baby inside.
1 Do Your Homework Before Getting A Massage
Now, take this entry with a grain of salt. There are plenty of women out there who are in desperate need of a massage. Your body is growing and changing so much — all a woman wants is for some of those aches and pains to disappear. A massage sounds like the perfect getaway for a few hours. UT Southwestern Medical Center, on the other hand, explains that during the first trimester, a woman should stay clear of massage tables. The site says, "Some therapists are concerned that the increased [circulation] during a massage might be harmful." When a woman reaches her third trimester—when the baby is nice and cooked—massages are more encouraged.
Sources: BabyGaga, Sanford Health, Medical News Today, Mom Junction, A Very Well Family, Web MD, BabyCenter, AP, BabyCenter, AP, Fertility Center, NCBI, Pregnancy Birth Baby, BabyCenter, NHS, Pregnant Chicken, UTSWMed