Pregnancy in itself is a very difficult and challenging period for a woman. Of course, it's also amazing, unique, and absolutely incomparable to anything else. But making sure the mom is doing everything right, and is in no way harming her baby, is not always the easiest, especially as there are things pregnant women are often not even aware of that could cause problems.
So today we decided to list 20 things that pregnant ladies should really know about. From not eating certain foods to avoiding some activities and trying not to be around specific objects, we covered the most common mistakes pregnant women might make. Some have plenty of studies backing them up, and others are still rather controversial, but we do believe that being aware of them is still beneficial.
At the end of the day, no mom wants to risk her baby's health just so that she can have a yummy corndog or go to a sauna for 15 minutes, and that is why going through this list can be very helpful for any soon-to-be-mom out there. Some of these small sacrifices can help the baby to come out healthy and happy!
Alright, here they are, 20 things pregnant women really shouldn't be doing in 2019.
20 Eat Tubed Meat Often
This is another dish women might not be aware of that they need to stay away from while pregnant. According to Working Mother, those sausages so popular in the U.S. can contain listeria, a bacteria that causes listeriosis, a type of bacterial infection. The symptoms are those of a flu-like illness; however, it is interesting that pregnant women are 20 times more likely to get infected by it than other adults, and the consequences of it can be bad for the baby. This is why sausage consumption should be lowered while pregnant, or even completely avoided, in order to prevent the chance of a listeriosis infection.
19 Clean The Cat's Litter Box
Here's a thing some pregnant cat owners might not be aware of: they should not be the ones cleaning their cat's litter box. According to Healthline, cat feces can carry toxoplasmosis, a rare parasitic disease. This means that you should always be careful and wear gloves when you're cleaning the litter box, regardless if you're pregnant or not. But if you are pregnant, it's best to have someone else do this for you, as you surely don't want to risk anything. And of course, you're still allowed to give your cat all the love in the world, just not to their litter box.
18 Take Meds Without Consulting A Doctor
Alright, this one might seem obvious, but we had to include it regardless. A bunch of medicines, including those available over the counter, can cause problems during the pregnancy and for the child later on. Women's Health states, for example, that certain anti-inflammatory meds like ibuprofen and aspirin can cause problems for the baby. Obviously, every mom wants her child to be as healthy as possible, so if there is need for medication it is highly advised to consult a doctor before taking any medicine. Even with drugstore medicine, being very careful is important, and being cautious and reading the instructions and side effects is crucial .
17 Do Yoga In A Super-Warm Room
There's no doubt that this popular type of yoga, done in a heated room, is a great body and mind exercise, but it is not something pregnant women should practice. According to Parenting, this yoga can increase the risk of heat exertion, heat stroke and fainting, as pregnancy affects the woman's BP. Besides this, exposing yourself to high levels of heat can be very harmful for the baby. So during pregnancy, try to stick to yoga without all the heat; it is better to be on the safe side here. Always remember that, while pregnant women can do plenty of things, their bodies are also going through a miraculous journey, and not everything is beneficial for them.
16 Or Contact Sports
This might seem like another obvious thing, but you'd be surprised how many women continue playing their favorite sports in early pregnancy. Contact sports such as basketball, football, volleyball or any other group activity with teams can be quite dangerous for pregnant women. The Pregnancy Association advises pregnant women to avoid these activities, as they can cause direct trauma to the abdomen. Again, as with yoga in a heated room, it's better to be safe than sorry, and not do any contact sports for nine months. Exercising and staying healthy and fit is important — but with the right kind of activities for a pregnant woman.
15 Drink Tap Water
According to Baby Center, some studies have shown how drinking tap water in certain areas during pregnancy can result in adverse pregnancy outcomes. And while this is obviously something that depends on how clean the local water is and how strict tap water regulations are, it might be a good thing to look into, and reconsider drinking it if the water in your area isn't that great. Investing in a water filter in that case might be worth it, as some are designed to filter out water contaminants. Bottled water is also an option, but in the long run it may turn out to be more expensive than a filter.
14 Wear High Heels
We've seen pregnant celebs do this one over and over again, and while they might feel like they have to (which they definitely don't), you should not follow in their footsteps. As we've already mentioned with cycling, a woman's center of balance shifts when she's pregnant — which is exactly why high heels are not a good idea at all. Especially since they can also be painful and tight, and we all know how a pregnant lady's feet can swell up. Seriously, just save yourself the hassle, you'll look just as dashing in a pair of cute flats, and you'll be way more comfy and stable.
13 Go Cycling
This is one thing that many pregnant women do, but they should perhaps reconsider. Mom Junction writes how cycling should really be left only to the really experienced moms, and even they should not do it past the first trimester. The reason cycling can be dangerous for upcoming moms is because the center of balance shifts when you're pregnant, which makes cycling a lot more difficult, and thereby more dangerous. So it is really advised to stay away from cycling for nine months —you can always pick your bike up after you give birth. Falling from a bike when pregnant is not something you should risk.
12 Eat Raw Eggs
Raw eggs can be dangerous even when not pregnant, but while you're pregnant you do need to pay extra attention to not consuming any. Healthline writes how raw eggs can contain salmonella, and once infected with it, the mom can experience fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea. This is, of course, bad on its own, but in certain cases, it can also lead to cramps in the uterus, which can be very dangerous. Now recognizing what contains raw eggs might not be as easy as it seems since it isn't always as obvious as in the photo above. A pregnant woman should try to stay away from any foods that contain raw eggs such as hollandaise sauce, homemade mayo, and certain salad dressings as well as some cake icings.
11 Eat Brie, Feta, Or Queso Blanco Cheese
Another food-related piece of advice pregnant women may have never heard of is that they need to be careful when it comes to cheese. In particular, this means you can't eat some types of soft cheeses. Medical News Today writes how cheeses such as brie, feta, and queso blanco can contain unpasteurized dairy which can have listeria and other bacteria that could potentially cause food poisoning. Again, as with most foods on our list, it's better to be safe than sorry, so while you're pregnant try to stick to harder cheeses. Food poisoning can be quite dangerous for a pregnant woman.
10 Use Electric Blankets
Alright, when it comes to electric blankets, there are quite a bit of mixed opinions. Baby Center writes how electric blankets give off a very-low-frequency electromagnetic field, just like plenty of other household appliances, and some studies have linked exposure to such electromagnetic fields to an increased risk of loss and some birth defects. However, there have not been many studies done on the topic of electromagnetic fields and pregnancy, and the ones that have are quite contradictory. So while we don't think it's reasonable for a pregnant woman to avoid all household appliances, she can perhaps avoid the electric blanket, just in case.
9 Take Vitamin A Supplements
According to BYG Publishing, by consuming too much vitamin A, the pregnant woman increases the risk of birth defects, especially during the first trimester. While getting vitamin A from natural sources isn't dangerous, the supplements and artificial sources can cause problems. As with any supplements during pregnancy, the woman should definitely consult her doctor to make sure she is not lacking any vitamins and nutrients, but also not overdoing any and thereby actually harming her child. We already mentioned not to take meds on your own, and the same actually applies to any supplements you can get without a doctor.
8 Buy A Lot Of Stuff
Alright, we assume most soon-to-be-moms are aware that their child will grow very fast, especially in those first couple of years — which means they will outgrow clothes and toys like crazy. The List claims that overbuying is one of the most common mistakes expecting parents do. It makes sense that they think the more they have, the better prepared they are for what's about to come, but honestly, no amount of clothing, toys, or any other baby products will make you feel perfectly prepared. We suggest sticking to getting the essentials before birth and buying anything else necessary later on.
7 Go On Amusement Park Rides
Amusement park rides definitely seem like a bad idea for a pregnant woman, and Medical News Today even writes that many amusement parks won't allow pregnant women to go on the more dangerous rides, such as roller coasters or any rides that may start or stop suddenly. Rides like that can be very dangerous, as they can cause placental abruption. So while pregnant women are allowed to go to amusement parks, chances are they won't be permitted to go on many of the rides, and even if they are, we advise them not to. Leave the amusement park for after the pregnancy.
6 Paint The Nursery
For some soon-to-be-moms, a big part of prepping for their newborn is organizing and decorating the nursery. And with that, often comes painting the walls a color the parents deem appropriate for their new child. However, while painting the nursery is totally fine, the mom should try to not be present during that, or actively participate in it, like the mom in the photo above. Healthline mentions that it is recommended for pregnant women to avoid exposure to paint, as it often can have toxic fumes, that nobody should really breathe in, especially not a pregnant woman. So while you can choose the color, do not paint the nursery yourself!
5 Eat Sushi
This one is a bit more tricky, as it is safe to eat some types of sushi made from raw fish; however, you do need to ask and research to make sure you can eat it. According to the NHS, you need to make sure the fish has been frozen first. The problem with raw fish is that it can contain small parasitic worms, which cause an illness with severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. So if you are craving sushi, either try to eat it as rarely as possible or just stick to vegetarian sushi while you're pregnant.
4 Eat High-Mercury Fish
The Pregnancy Association advises pregnant women to be very careful with the mercury levels in the fish they are consuming. Certain fish can have high levels of mercury which actually turns into methyl mercury and can be toxic to the nervous system — which is why it isn't recommended when pregnant or breastfeeding. The fish the Association warns about are tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, swordfish, shark, and king mackerel. Besides this, make sure to research any local fish from lake or rivers, and if you are not able to find any information on it, it's better to skip eating it.
3 Use Spas Or Saunas
Just like we can't recommend yoga in a heated room for pregnant women, we also advise them to stay away from saunas and tubs. As we already mentioned, too high temperatures can lead to some birth defects, which no mom wants. Healthline advises that, if you need to relax, sticking to a warm bath is best — and you should avoid anything warmer than that. It is especially important to follow this during the first trimester, as heat affects the baby the most then. So while a spa day with a sauna and a soak may sound nice, leaving that for after the pregnancy is recommended.
2 Drink Too Much Coffee
You are allowed to have some caffeine while pregnant, but it is crucial to not overdo it. The College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends limiting your daily caffeine intake to fewer than 200 milligrams. Going over that amount has been linked to an increased risk of loss, so making sure that the pregnant woman stays within the limits is very important. Besides just coffee, it is also crucial to be aware of other sources of caffeine like certain berries and teas. For someone who is addicted to coffee, limiting it for 9 months might be difficult, but at the end of the day, it is for the child's health.
1 Believe Everything They Read
Lastly, we recommend that you don't immediately believe everything you read. Yes we know, you're currently reading advice on our website, but the truth is the Internet has a crazy amount of information; some is backed up by research, other is backed up by people's experiences, and some is just pure myth. Either way, make sure you double check things from a few sources, and always consult with a professional if there is something you're particularly worried about. But other than that, try to worry less and enjoy these nine months more, because it is truly an indescribable and unique experience you're going through.