Throughout pregnancy, it is easy to become super stressed out about what is or is not safe to do. Pregnant women always just want to do what is best for both them and their unborn baby, and the internet tends to be filled with misinformation about what is or is not safe. Most women do not get their first prenatal visit with an OBGYN until they are around 9-12 weeks, sometimes even later, and with those first few weeks being vital in the development and being the highest risk for miscarriage between the first 12 weeks, pregnant women may find themselves wondering what they should start doing to help ensure a healthy pregnancy, as well what they will need to stop doing.
Sometimes these things are no-brainers, but there are some things that the typical person wouldn’t think of as being unsafe during pregnancy, so in this article we are going to discuss the top 10 things that an OBGYN would recommend to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
10 Prenatal Vitamins
The one thing that plays a very vital role, especially in the early months of pregnancy, is taking prenatal vitamins. Prenatal vitamins are essential in making sure that both you and your growing baby are getting enough of the vital vitamins and nutrients that you both need. A lot of women complain that their prenatal vitamins make them sick, or intensify their morning sickness, but this is usually due to the horrible smell and taste that comes with a normal prenatal vitamins. Thankfully though, there are now prenatals available in a delicious gummy form that take that out of the equation.
This next thing might not necessarily mean that you will have a healthy pregnancy, but you definitely won't regret doing it. Kegels are an exercise in which you work to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Doing this will not only help with giving birth, but it will also aid in your recovery, and is something that you should continue to do well after giving birth. Doing kegels everyday, twice a day can also help to avoid dealing with a leaky bladder, something that can sometimes be inevitable after child birth.
8 Limit Caffeine Intake
One of the biggest things that an OBGYN will warn pregnant women against is caffeine. Typically at your first prenatal appointment your OBGYN will tell you to limit your caffeine intake to one cup per day throughout your pregnancy. Obviously for some people this can seem a little hard to obtain, after all coffee can be a vital part of anyone’s day. It is unclear exactly how much caffeine would have a negative effect on a pregnancy as not everyone follows the one cup a day rule, but when it comes to the health of you and your baby, it’s probably best to just play it safe and limit your intake, and definitely avoid energy drinks at all costs.
7 No Aspirin Or Ibuprofen
During pregnancy it is known to be unsafe to consume aspirin and ibuprofen for your aches and pains. Instead, your OBGYN would recommend that you take Tylenol, but only if you absolutely need to.
Of course, it is always best to try and deal with any aches and pains that you may have in a natural way, such as meditation, soaking in the tub (not too hot though!), or even a massage. It should also be noted that, while taking Tylenol is safe during your pregnancy, you should still avoid taking too much too often.
6 No Smoking
This next one might be a no brainer for some, but it should be noted that smoking while pregnant is a big no-no! Smoking while pregnant has been known to lead to a low birth weight and sometimes premature labor, something we typically want to avoid at all costs. Of course, if a woman is already smoking before she becomes pregnant, it can be really hard to stop, but any OBGYN would advise her that it is in the best interest of her unborn baby that she does her best to wean herself off of smoking gradually and eventually (hopefully before the second trimester) completely stop. This would not only benefit the health of the baby, but very clearly, the health of the mom to be as well.
5 Daily Walks
Another thing that would benefit the health of both you and your baby would be going for daily walks. Of course there are women out there who exercise pretty intensely every day, and they should continue doing so throughout their pregnancy as long as they are comfortable with it, but for those of us who don’t typically work out on a daily basis, it is recommended that we at least go for walks every day.
This will also help move things along when it comes close to time for labor to kick in, and of course keep us in shape during the pregnancy.
4 Eating Right
Honestly, this next one can be really hard to obtain, especially when pregnant. Those food cravings and constant hunger can really get in the way of this, but eating right is essential to having the healthiest pregnancy possible. Now, were not saying to cut out junk food all together, everyone needs to indulge in some not-so-good for you food every now and again, but it is important to make sure that you are still consuming a well balanced diet throughout your pregnancy. With that being said, go ahead and have that late ice cream, because it won’t hurt if you are doing it in moderation.
3 No Drinking Alcoholic Beverages
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can have some very serious and very harmful effects on an unborn baby, such as fetal alcohol syndrome, that is why it is recommended that pregnant women stay away from alcohol at all costs.
Some women are under the impression that a glass of wine every now and then during pregnancy is okay, and while this is something that is really up in the air and has mixed information throughout the OBGYN world, it is probably best to just avoid it all together just to be safe.
2 No Hot Tubs
It is known that sitting in a hot tub for more than ten minutes can raise your body temperature to a temperature that can become very harmful to your unborn baby, therefore OBGYNs typically say to avoid hot tubs and saunas all together throughout pregnancy. A hot bath at home is usually fine because usually tap water doesn't get hot enough to cause harm, so don’t worry if you've been indulging in a nice warm bath at the end of the day to help with the oh so fun swelling that comes in the third trimester, but definitely avoid anything that goes up to or over 90 degrees.
1 Don't Change The Cat Litter
The next item on our list is especially important for the first trimester of pregnancy, but also holds true throughout all of your pregnancy. If you have a cat at home (as many people do), you should probably start asking your partner to change the litter. This is even more so if you have a cat that goes outdoors a lot. Cat litter can sometimes contain something known as toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that can be contracted by you and harm the brain development and eye sight of your developing baby.