While a lot of old pregnancy advice that was really, really obviously a "no-no" has fallen to the wayside, some less obvious tips have lingered. In the 1920s, women went for x-rays of their babies to make sure they were healthy. While nobody in their right mind would try that today, it is less obvious that women should no longer have a few sips of wine because it is impossible to quantify precisely how much of it causes a problem to the fetus through scientific testing.
There has been a lot of weird medical advice over the last century, including wacky things like women not getting bigger at all and indulging in a few bad habits to help keep their figure (1940s), getting rid of beloved pets (no, moms don't have to get rid of kitty) and making sure they have the right gear. The thing about baby products is that they change as fast technology does. When there's a newborn around, moms need to be in the know. So, to make sure mom is up to snuff, make she ought to make her own list based on ours and make sure that she and baby are safe as safe can be!
20 Taking Hot Baths, Jacuzzis or Saunas
At the end of a long day, as much as you may want one, you can’t take a very hot bath. Sure you can still hit the spa for a day of pampering but you will have to sit out on the Nordic circuit. No, you should never go into very hot water or a very hot Jacuzzi or Sauna during your pregnancy because you can’t raise your body temperature over 102 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 Celsius. Why? Because if you raise your body temperature over that temperature you can stop blood flow to the baby, causing the baby stress. That is why it is recommended that baths and showers remain below those temperatures. Instead, go for the maternity massage, a nice facial and a mani/pedi!
19 Say Goodbye To Stilettos And All Of Their Stilt- Friends
Being pregnant means that your centre of gravity changes, putting more pressure on your lower back. That is why you will often see pregnant women with those support bands around the waist. As your pelvis expands, more pressure is put on your feet as is some extra weight and your feet can swell up, particularly when it’s hot; add on a pair of stilettos and you are just turning up the puff on those tootsies like little rising loaves of bread. Go for a lower heel while pregnant and something that is more comfortable as your feet may be a bit wider during this time to support your body. While pregnant you can wear sneakers and flip-flops to anything you would like. Maternity means you can break every fashion rule, really, all of them! Whenever you want. Mic drop!
18 "Bigger Babies Are Better" is An Old Wives Tale
Trying to have a bigger baby is having a better baby. Trying to plump that baby up before it comes out is not going to make it any healthier! For that matter, while this was once considered a sign of health, there is now an actual medical term for them, LGA, which stands for Large for Gestational Age. The problem with babies that are born much larger that aren’t just the children of two 6’ tall parents is that they are being born in the 90th percentile of their gestational age and this is frequently the result of weight gain put on by mommy or gestational diabetes.
As a result, all of that excess sugar and insulin production can lead to larger growth and greater fat deposits on the baby and this too has consequences. Deliveries of these babies can be a lot more difficult with longer natural deliveries and increased C-sections and the risk of injury goes up. Because these babies are often born to diabetic mothers, after the birth these babies frequently experience hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), face a higher frequency of birth defects and also experience a higher rate of breathing difficulty. Later on in life these children have a greater risk of obesity and diabetes.
17 When Swelling Isn't Just Swelling
If you notice that your hands, legs and feet are suddenly swelling towards at any point during your pregnancy you may not just be swelling from the heat, it could be a sign of a major pregnancy complication! Formerly known as toxaemia you could have preeclampsia , a complication that occurs in some pregnancies, mainly after the 20th week with symptoms such as high blood pressure in someone that has never had it before.
If you missed this whole Kim Kardashian drama, preeclampsia, left untreated it can lead to a series of other complications for both the mother and the baby. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you suddenly experience a severe headache, blurred vision or other visual disturbance, severe pain in your abdomen, or severe shortness of breath, go to an emergency room right away.
16 Tanning Beds!
While you might want to look like you’ve been on a beach holiday and get that tan on, getting bronzed is not a good idea if you have a baby on the way because it’s another opportunity for you to unnecessarily expose yourself and baby to needless risks. According to Mother To Baby, the problem is that, much like hot baths and saunas, you will be raising your body heat too high, causing “hyperthermia” which could increase the risk of a miscarriage, a opening in the spine (spine bifida) or an oral cleft.
On top of that, tanning beds are carcinogenic and are practically unheard of these days. While most people use tanning sprays if they want to get that “glow” on during the summer months because the sun itself is kinda dangerous without that ozone layer and heavy sun protection is very necessary now, going it as natural as you can and staying in the shade is probably the best option.
15 You Might Not Be Able To Use The Same Car Seat Twice
If you are on baby #2, you may not be able to use the same infant car seat as there is an expiry date on each of them. While it may not seem logical that the first car seat you had with your tiny baby is no longer usable six years later there is a very logical explanation as to why car seats expire. Just like you probably wouldn’t use the same cell phone for six years, chances are you shouldn’t use the same car seat for the same reason; because technology evolves and standards change.
At that, the materials used to make these seats can break down over time, the seats are only safety tested to be durable over a specific life span and once that time expires the seats can’t be guaranteed anymore. Much like the cars these seats go into, infant car seats are subject to recalls and part recalls that you might have been oblivious to over the past few years while the seat wasn’t being used. Before hauling re-installing your old baby car seat for your second child or installing one from a friend, have a look at the expiry date on the seat and take it seriously; your child’s life could depend on it.
14 Baby Gear Expires And Gets Recalled Too!
The same goes for a lot of the infant gear that you may have kept from one baby to the next. Just scrolling through the org website for January 2018 alone there are numerous entries for everyday baby toys that are sold at regular stores in baby sections made by brand names.
You can go back month by month, year by year on this website and check one by one to see if all of the toys you have for your new baby or kept from your last baby are still considered safe as, just like the car seats, sometimes standards change and some products get recalled. Things that were all the rage with your first child may be not just out but actually on the unsafe list since your last pregnancy. Remember those BUMBO chairs? There are also a number of cribs that have been taken off the market since. Be sure to go through the bags you receive of hand me down toys and other products because before anything else, its safety first.
13 The “Do Not Eat List” Gets Lengthy
Here is an overview of the foods on that list and why. Do not eat: deli meat, smoked seafood or unpasteurized dairy because it could contain listeria. Listeria, a virulent food borne pathogen, if left untreated, can be deadly for your unborn child and you. Then there is under cooked meat, raw eggs or fish that are dangerous because they all run the risk of containing salmonella, which can cause typhoid or paratyphoid fever or toxoplasmosis, which can lead to congenital toxoplasmosis which can interfere with foetal brain formation. Lastly the amount of certain types of fish a pregnant woman eats should be monitored as there are fish that contain higher amounts of mercury than others and too much mercury is not a good thing. Among those to be monitored are predator fish like shark, tuna, walleye, swordfish, king mackerel and the likes.
12 Taking The Wrong Medication
There are a wide variety of medications that pregnant women can take throughout their pregnancies that are over the counter like acetaminophen (Tylenol), Benadryl (for an allergic reaction) and even Robitussin for colds but other medications like aspirin and ibuprofen are totally out because they can cross the placenta. It is best to consult both your doctor and your pharmacist to ensure you have the right medications and the right versions of medications as with some cough medications can contain ingredients that you shouldn’t take. For example, there are all sorts of different varieties of Robitussin.
Also, prescription medication is a whole other issue. If you are planning on becoming pregnant and take prescription medication or discover that you are pregnant but need your prescription medications, inform your doctor immediately to see whether or not the drugs are tetrogenic (crosses the placenta and could have an effect on the baby) or not. There are prescription medications that have no impact on the foetus whatsoever and also alternative drugs that can be taken sometimes however it is best that a physician make these decisions rather than randomly halting all drugs.
11 Touching Possible Sources of Toxoplasmosis
You can keep your cat but you do have to take certain precautions! If you have an outdoor cat or even if you don’t have an outdoor cat but like to garden, you need to be very cautious when it comes to handling soil or handling kitty litter because the litter of an outdoor cat or the soil of an outdoor garden could contain cat droppings containing toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis can cause fetal brain malformations among other illnesses for both mother and child. So, if you do have to deal with either, wear a safety mask and latex gloves if necessary or have somebody else handle it for those nine months. Toxoplasmosis can also come from unfiltered water, children’s sand pits, unwashed fruits and vegetables, and the aforementioned undercooked meat and seafood so just be vigilant with yourself!
10 Don’t Drink Tankards Of Coffee!
Whether you com from a culture where coffee is served all day, a profession where its brewed around the clock (Doctors & nurses) or you are just a coffee junkie, you can only have up to one 12 oz. cup of coffee a day while pregnant. Sure, the fatigue of the first and the third trimester may have you craving pots of tea or coffee but if you consume more than those 12 oz., you will be giving your baby more caffeine that it can handle. Because caffeine is a stimulant, what will happen is that it will raise you blood pressure and heart rate, neither of which are recommended during pregnancy because a baby’s metabolism is not mature enough to handle it. It can also dehydrate you which also isn’t good for baby.
9 No, Painting The House Isn't Safe For Baby
Leave the house painting up to someone else while baby is in utero and don’t stick around while it’s going down. While you might be brimming with excitement about decorating the nursery, by no means should you be painting it yourself. Why? Because, most hardware store paint contain solvents (petroleum-based chemicals). While there have not been any large batch studies in this area for obvious reasons, (because getting a large group of a few thousand pregnant women to paint houses and then observe the effects on the unborn as they develop poorly), would be absurd, previous research has looked at miscarriages associated with fumes as well as learning problems. Think about it this way, if people are willing to huff it to get buzzed, would you want to inhale it while pregnant??? Hire a professional or leave it up to daddy while you go out and shop for tiny outfits.
8 Don't eat For Two Adults
Lots of pregnant women make the mistake of thinking that being pregnant means that they can have an extra helping of everything while having a baby. The reality is however that eating for two adults is way overdoing it. While it may be tempting, no pregnant woman actually needs to eat two helpings of lasagna at dinner, a second slice of cheesecake or the entire bag of chips along with a full day of regular eating on a balanced diet. The reality is that you only actually need about an additional 300 calories a day and those 300 calories should come from the most nutritious foods possible.
However, what a balanced diet is and what a full day of eating should look like has become distorted for many as society has moved so far into a fast food culture. If you aren’t sure what you should be eating while pregnant, there are a lot of excellent resources online that can help you plan out your what you consume in a day so that you get all that you need. As you get further along in your pregnancy, the space where you will be able to hold food will be limited so it is important to choose wisely. Make what you eat count!
7 It Is No Longer Safe To have drinks While Pregnant
While previous guidelines said a glass or two of wine were okay, the latest data now says that no amount of alcohol is safe while you are pregnant. This has been one of those teeter-totter issues for years now as many women will tell you that they drank moderately after the first trimester with their pregnancies and their children are perfectly fine. The reality is however that everyone metabolizes alcohol differently. While it used to be that a glass of wine or two after the first trimester was okay, more when it came to research, the reality became that there was no way of quantifying exactly what was safe and what wasn’t as there was no way to conduct a study given the risks involved.
According to a story on CNN about a study called, Vital Signs: Alcohol-Exposed Pregnancies , that had come out in 2016 and been published by the Center for Disease Control, this reality was explained. If a patient were to ask her doctor if a few sips of champagne at her sister’s wedding would be safe the problem is that the doctor would not be able to scientifically attest to the fact that this was indeed safe or not safe because there is no evidence. And, without the burden of proof, the CDC has since said that any woman who is not on birth control and is at risk for getting pregnant should not drink because there is no way of knowing what kind of potential impact it could have on a fetus.
6 Certain drinks are Good Right After The Delivery
Drinking Guinness after the delivery is good for the mom who just gave birth? No! Its alcohol, it does not help your milk come in. It’s an old wives tale and ridiculous marketing from almost two hundred years ago. No! While this has been part of the culture in the United Kingdom for the two centuries, according to CNN, Guinness is something that can be harmful to the baby before and after the birth if the mother is breastfeeding. While It was previously regarded as a “galactagogue, or stimulant of lactation,” and women in maternity hospitals in Ireland were given one bottle a day decades ago, even Domhnall Marnell, the Guinness ambassador, disagrees with giving it to new mothers.
Apparently the Guinness Extra Stout, which debuted in 1821, contained live yeast and so it was very high in iron and so it was given to anaemic patients before the effects of alcohol on the unborn were understood. At the same time, while some of the ingredients in dark beer may increase prolactin, a hormone which helps milk production, the alcohol temporarily inhibits the milk ejection reflex, rendering the entire process pointless. Marnell said that because alcohol consumption can put the baby at risk, during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not something that the company advocates.
5 Stay Away From Smoke In All Forms
It doesn’t matter if your partner or your parents smoke, nobody smokes around you, including you! Second hand smoke is, detrimental to your unborn child, hands down, no two ways about it. According to Americanpregnancy.org, there are “4,000 chemicals present in second-hand smoke,” many of which are carcinogenic. And, it doesn’t end there. Exposure to second hand smoke could lead to “miscarriage, low birth weight, early birth, learning or behavioral deficiencies in your child, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).”
On top of that, researchers are now looking at what is called “Third hand smoke,” which is Third-Hand Smoke and its effects on pregnancy as this is the impact of residue left behind by cigarettes on furniture, in rugs and in paint, even if nobody is smoking in the vicinity. Cigarette smoke is that toxic that the belongings of a smoker may even be detrimental to a pregnant woman. There is no excuse to be around smokers, especially with the smoking laws currently in place across North America. If someone who is visiting wants to smoke, send them outside; far away from your windows and air ducts.
4 Take Precautions Against The Zika Virus
If you are going on vacation to a sunny hot spot that is basically anywhere below the United States, and are over two months pregnant, take precautions to avoid getting the Zika virus. According to the Center for Disease Control, you will need to pack: an insect repellent that contains DEET or picaridin, long-sleeved shirts, long pants and condoms because the disease is sexually communicable. For that matter, if you and your partner go to a Zika hotspot during your pregnancy, you may need to use condoms throughout the rest of your pregnancy.
This is because, if your partner contracts the Zika virus from from mosquitos, he could pass it to you and the disease does cause birth defects such as microcephaly. The CDC’s website said that “Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly (a birth defect where a baby’s head and brain are smaller than babies of the same age and sex) and other severe brain defects,” so it is really not worth the risk as you could be causing your child permanent and life altering brain defects.
3 Don't Do A Major Cleanup By Yourself. Hire Someone
If you live in an older apartment or building, hire someone to do a big, thorough clean-up. If you get pregnant you are going to be tired. In the beginning, it may be an idea to get someone to come over and clean behind the oven and in the cupboards and all the tiny crevasses behind everything not just to get the dust and dirt out but also to ensure that there are no mouse droppings or droppings of any kind.
If you live in an old building in the city, sometimes this is just something that happens no matter how clean your apartment is which is why you need to get it cleaned and under control by the help of others. Any kind of cockroach or rodent droppings can be highly toxic but older buildings in some cities get them because the building next door just sprayed for them and that is the reality of city living. At that, this way you will also know if any critters may have been traipsing in dark corners.
2 Beware Of What Can Be Toxic
Avoid toxic cleaners, craft supplies and wash any foods that may have been sprayed with pesticides. There are a lot of regular, everyday cleaners that contain toxic chemicals and are labeled as such but are so common place in our households that people don’t hesitate to use them, even while pregnant.
Avoid anything that could be considered toxic by checking labels and, if you do use them, ensure that you are using them properly. Make sure that a window is open and that you don’t mix things like ammonia and bleach as that will produce a smell that will make you sick. As far as fruit and vegetables go, always give them a wash because you never know where they have been but in terms of pesticides, because they could have an impact on your infant’s development, its best to use bait and traps.
1 Don’t Drink Unfiltered Tap Water
Before getting pregnant is a good time to install water filtration system to your kitchen tap because you just never know what is going on with your water as has been proven over and over again in all kinds of places. While your water may look totally safe to drink, because some cities have older water pipes connecting buildings to water mains; if that building was put up during the before the 1980s or even during the 1980s in some areas, led pipes may have been used to connect your home to the city’s water system.
Or, the problem could be much more extensive like with what happened in Flint, Michigan or Jackson, Mississippi where the water was contaminated long before it got near anyone’s home. Installing a home water filtration system to your kitchen sink is the best thing for you to ensure water safety during your pregnancy and after your pregnancy so that you know that things like lead, Microorganisms and bacteria. E. coli, Giardia and noroviruses as well as pesticides are being filtered out of your family’s drinking water. These types of things don’t even need to be installed by a professional and can even just be purchased on Amazon. They are beyond worth their weight in gold.