Life changes instantly when a woman gets pregnant. From the very beginning, her body starts to go through a lot of hormonal shifts and growth. A new mom has to adjust everything from the things that she eats to her activities and her lifestyle. We know that a mom-to-be wants to do all that she can to give her baby the best start, but some of the things that she loved the most could harm the developing baby. This list could help.
There are some bad habits that women know that they should avoid even before the baby is on board; it gets even more crucial in that first trimester. And a number of foods and other choices could be very problematic in the pregnancy. Moms have to do a lot to protect their baby and themselves at that time, and sometimes that means avoiding her favorites in the first trimester and beyond.
Moms really should avoid doing all of the items on the list, but we understand that some of them will be difficult. The sacrifices are best for the baby to have the healthiest start possible. Newly pregnant women should avoid doing 20 of these 25 things in the first trimester.
25 Headache Meds May Cause Behavioral Problems
Women who are pregnant go through a lot of aches and pains. On top of that, the stress of pregnancy and the increase in plasma can cause them to suffer a lot of headaches. That's unavoidable, but what is avoidable are the meds that the mom-to-be might be tempted to take.
Doctors used to say that it was okay to take headache meds because they weren't very strong. But recent research has caused them to change their mind. The use of headache meds have been linked to behavioral disorders and other problems in kids, so moms should just do their best to cope on their own.
24 Avoid Strong Smells
One of the biggest strange symptoms of early pregnancy is an amazing way that women get sensitive to smell. They can be more aware of strong scents, and that can even trigger their nausea in some cases.
In most cases, women should do their best to avoid strong smells, but sometimes it's just impossible to do int he first trimester. Some women are sensitive to things like chicken and garlic, but some even get turned off by the smell of their partner, which can be really off-putting. It's a fine balance between keeping the relationship and trying not to lose her lunch.
23 Taking A Tumble
Kids fall all of the time, but adults can have a lot of problems if they fall. That's especially true when they are pregnant, so moms need to do their best to avoid taking a tumble.
Pregnant women are susceptible to stumbles because their bodies are changing. They might be more aware of that in the third trimester, but it can start early since the mom's shape up top can change her center of gravity. And her feet can grow too, which can contribute to the issue. Falls can be dangerous and cause miscarriage, so moms need to be careful from the very beginning.
22 Skip The Hair Dye
This is another recommendation that has changed in the last several years as doctors learn more about good prenatal care. Women used to be told to avoid chemicals on their hair throughout their pregnancy, but that could mean a bad hair day lasts nine months. These days, they say it's okay later on, but they recommend that moms avoid highlights in the first trimester.
There are more natural and less harsh options on the market these days, which may be safer options for women to use in the hair salon. But the harshest chemicals and dyes aren't a good idea when the baby is continuing to form every day.
21 Do Your Best To Avoid Germs
Getting sick is never fun, and that's certainly true during pregnancy. But it can be even worse in the first trimester because it could impact the baby's development.
Moms-to-be have a lowered immune system when they are pregnant because their bodies are focusing on other things. So they need to be even more careful during flu season, and they might catch a stomach issue quicker too. That might mean staying away from crowds and being really careful during flu season. We know moms might feel sick during the first trimester because of morning sickness, but they need to avoid getting sick.
20 Ignore Bad Habits
There are some women who have to change their entire lifestyle in the first trimester. If they had bad habits prior to pregnancy, they need to stop right away because it doesn't just impact their health; it hurts the baby more than they can imagine.
One of the hardest involves inhaling some bad things, and in those cases, the baby can end up with major birth defects. The risks of miscarriage and stillbirth increase dramatically as well. Doctors recommend that moms try to give up their bad habits before they get pregnant and if not, as soon as possible in the first trimester.
19 Raw Sprouts Can Carry E. Coli
Sprouts might seem like a really healthy option when you are pregnant. While it is considered really good for you during most of your life, experts say that eating raw sprouts can be dangerous when you are pregnant, and the baby is especially vulnerable in the first trimester.
Sprouts include things like snow peas, soybeans, sunflowers, alfalfa, radishes, and even broccoli and onions. Those are all full of vitamins and minerals, but you have to cook them first to make sure that the mom and baby aren't introduced to E. coli, salmonella, or listeria, which can cause miscarriage and other serious issues.
18 Heartburn Triggers Can Hurt
Lost of moms crave spicy foods when they are pregnant, but they should definitely come with a warning, especially in the first trimester. The biggest issue with that is that many moms-to-be are susceptible to heartburn, and that can start from the very beginning because of the way that pregnancy hormones can slow digestion.
Many women end up with the burps and gas even on their best days, and heartburn can rear its ugly head at the most inconvenient times. Spicy foods can only make things worse, so for the harshest sufferers, it's definitely best to avoid any triggers that make the heartburn go out of control.
17 Avoid Missing The Gym
We get the temptation to skip the gym on a normal day. Adding on the exhaustion of pregnancy in the first trimester and the morning sickness and it's very understandable that a woman would just want to stay home in bed. But this is the time when going to the gym is the most important.
Exercise is really important for the mother's health and the baby's. It prepares the body for the delivery and helps in the development. It's okay to have rest days, but we have this reminder to let women know that they should try to avoid the temptation to skip the gym.
16 Drink Up!
Most of the time, women don't have to worry about dehydration unless they are running a marathon. But in the first trimester, it can be tricky. That's because of morning sickness, which can cause a woman to not eat much and sometimes vomit the foods that she does eat.
The most severe form of morning sickness can cause some women to have trouble keeping anything down. They might end up in the hospital because they get dehydrated, which is unsafe for them and for the baby. So it's best to talk to the doctor if you are having morning sickness to make sure that everything is okay.
15 Try Not To Have An Accident
Pregnancy hormones can be tough on a mom's body in the first trimester, and one particularly strange symptom is a frequent urge to go to the bathroom. Some women might be surprised since the baby isn't big enough to put pressure on the bladder, but it can be an issue. Of course, moms-to-be should do what they can to avoid having an embarrassing accident.
While a woman might be grateful to skip sanitary napkins when pregnant, it might be a good idea to use one to avoid the underwear getting wet, if they are having a big problem. Moms definitely need to take frequent bathroom breaks as well to try to keep their pants dry.
14 Schedule Major Dental Work For Postpartum
A lot of moms-to-be might be surprised to learn that having a baby can be hard on their teeth. That's because the pregnancy hormones can make a woman more likely to get a cavity.
Doctors used to recommend that women avoid the dentist as much as possible during pregnancy, but now they realize that good dental care can actually help the baby in later trimesters. It's okay to get a cleaning in the first trimester, but they aren't sure about the impact of major dental work. So it's a good idea to try to put that off until the second trimester.
13 Learn Your Herbs and Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are a very important part of a healthy first trimester. But moms definitely can't just have any herbs — some of them can be very dangerous for the mom and the baby even in the early weeks of pregnancy.
For example, prenatal vitamins should include folic acid to avoid neural tube defects, but taking a supplement of St. Johns-wort could lead to miscarriage. So could licorice root, fenugreek, and a host of other popular herbs used in teas and supplements. Even ginseng and green tea can cause troubles. Moms should definitely do their research before drinking herbal teas or taking extra supplements.
12 Avoid Belly Sleeping
The mom's sleeping position isn't that big of a problem in the first trimester, although it can be a really big problem later on. So we recommend that women start by avoiding sleeping on their belly, since it can be a problem, especially for women who have really sore chests in those early months of pregnancy.
Later on, moms need to avoid sleeping on their backs as well, as that can impact the baby's plasma supply when the bump puts pressure on a major artery. But for the first trimester, as long as the mom isn't on her belly, she and the baby are okay.
11 Kick Birth Control To The Curb
A lot of women are in the habit of taking birth control every day. Even then, something can happen and they can end up getting pregnant. At that point, it's definitely important to stop taking their birth control pill — although other forms of protection are definitely appropriate if they don't have a monogamous partner.
It's usually not an issue if the mom takes her pills in the first few weeks after conception before she learns that she is pregnant. But after that, it could cause birth defects. Yet, it's important that a woman protects herself from any diseases, so keep that in mind and use condoms.
10 Cat Litter passes along toxoplasmosis
There are a number of chores that no one really enjoys doing, and we imagine for cat owners that cleaning out the little box is on the top of the list. But it's crucial that someone else steps up to the task so that the mom-to-be can stop doing it.
Cats can pass along toxoplasmosis through their feces, and people aren't really vulnerable to it unless they are pregnant. If the mom has to do the job, she needs to protect herself by wearing clothes and a mask. And if the cat never goes outdoors, it's safer for the mom and the baby.
9 Papaya and Pineapple Can Cause Early Contractions
Fresh fruits might seem like the ideal healthy snack or side dish for a mom-to-be. In general, that is true, since fruits contain a number of natural and fresh vitamins and minerals. But there are a couple of fruits that pregnant women should skip: papaya and pineapple.
According to Cooky Mom, papaya can cause uterine contractions, and while pineapple is a good source of bromelain, it can also soften the cervix. Either of these can be dangerous in terms of creating a good environment for the baby. They can cause premature birth later on, but in the first trimester, the danger could be a miscarriage.
8 Deli Meat Can Carry Pathogens
A sandwich seems like a pretty innocuous lunch for a woman to eat. But that's not necessarily true. In fact, a turkey or ham sandwich can actually be dangerous for a mom-to-be even in the first trimester.
That's because the meats can carry various parasites and pathogens that can make the mom sick and possibly harm the baby. Some believe that if the meat is heated in the microwave prior to eating then the problem can be avoided, but others aren't certain. So it's best to stick to PB&J or have another heartier lunch option that doesn't include deli meat.
7 Eating Eggs Over Easy Could Carry Diseases
There are a lot of items on this list that get talked about pretty often, but moms might not know that they need to be careful when they are ordering their eggs for breakfast — and it even translates into their salad dressing in the afternoon.
Raw eggs can be a problem for pregnant women, even in the first trimester, so women need to make sure that they are well-done. Raw eggs are also used in the making of Caesar salad dressing, especially at restaurants. Raw eggs can carry diseases that wouldn't necessarily be a problem without pregnant. But it can be a problem for the baby, so it's a good idea to avoid that, just in case.
6 Say No Thanks To A Nightcap
Having a glass of vino with dinner isn't a good idea when a woman is having a baby. While doctors debate research that says that an occasional nightcap is okay, it's definitely bad if the mom is a heavy drinker because of the dangerous effects it can leave on the baby.
Some women freak out a little when they find out they are pregnant because they may have had a few nightcaps in the weeks prior. Usually, that's okay, but do your best to avoid any more, especially in the first trimester when the baby's development is most fragile.
5 Pass On Sushi and Raw Meat
Millennials love their sushi, but it's best to avoid it when you are having a baby. There are some types of sushi that are okay (the ones that involve healthy vegetables and such in their rolls), of course. But raw fish can be dangerous for the baby, even in the first trimester.
In fact, all raw meat can be a problem since it can pass along disease. That includes oysters and mussels and even undercooked hamburgers and steaks. All meats need to be well-cooked, so any germs are squashed before the mom-to-be takes a bite. So make sure that the steak is well-done and skip the sushi for nine months.
4 Not Too Much Caffeine
Lots of women are addicted to caffeine to get their energy in the morning. But they have to be very careful from the beginning when they get pregnant. It's okay to have some caffeine, but doctors recommend that women limit their intake to 200mg a day.
That means that the first cup of coffee is fine, but moms need to turn down a refill. They need to remember that caffeine comes from many sources including teas and many sodas, as well as some foods like chocolate. So if you have a cup of coffee, make sure it's a small and avoid any more that day.
3 Talk To The Doctor About Meds Before Stopping
Many women might suspect that this entry would be about avoiding all meds in the first trimester. But that's not always the best plan. It's better to have a conversation with the doctor about meds before stopping them on your own, so moms should mention that in their first phone call to the doctor's office.
While meds might impact the baby's development, uncontrolled conditions like thyroid issues, diabetes and other issues that affect a mother can be even more detrimental and might even cause miscarriage. So it takes a discussion with the doctor to figure out the best course of action.
2 Don't Stock Up Too Much
We understand how excited women get when they find out they are pregnant, but in the first trimester, we recommend that they avoid stocking up too much for the pregnancy.
This isn't about the risk of miscarriage, although that is higher in the first trimester. Instead, it's more about waiting to get maternity clothes, especially bras. A lot of women get a boost in the chest area right away, and they need to buy something new. But it's best to wait to buy more because the mom could just get bigger over time. Just get one or two for now because it's hard to predict what will happen with a woman's body during pregnancy.
1 Street Food Is Good But May Not Be Fully Cooked
Food trucks are one of the more fun foodie trends going on these days. A lot of street vendors set up to bring delicious options to people, and many cities capitalize on the popularity by setting up Food Truck Fridays or other fun events. But a mom-to-be needs to be really selective with street foods.
While there are many safe vendors, food trucks might have issues with keeping ingredients fresh and well-cooked, and women are more susceptible to getting food poisoning while pregnant. Moms need to be really careful and maybe just skip the street food until they are sure that it is safe for their body and their baby.