Being a parent is one that many women dream about, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. One of the first things women learn when they find out that they’re pregnant is what they can and can’t eat. However, there are more things that you need to keep in mind when you’re carrying a child.
For the most part, you’re often told to avoid alcohol and drugs, but there are some activities that you should keep away from during your pregnancy to ensure you and your child’s safety.
Indulging in Coffee
Some of us can’t survive a day without a steaming cup of Joe in the morning. However, coffee contains caffeine, which is both a stimulant and a diuretic. It can cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, and while your body can handle these changes, your baby may not be able to, as his or her metabolism is still in its developing stage.
Fortunately, you don’t have to let go of coffee or caffeine completely. Just remember to limit your intake to 200 milligrams of caffeine, which is equivalent to one 12-ounce cup of coffee.
It’s also important to remember that coffee isn’t the only thing that contains caffeine. Tea, sodas, energy drinks, chocolate, and even certain medicines also contain caffeine, so be mindful of your intake throughout the day.
Soaking in the Hot Tub
With pregnancy comes a few aches and pains here and there. You may think of easing the pain with a relaxing soak in a tub filled with hot water, but pregnant women often have a higher body core temperature and are more susceptible to dizziness, dehydration, and lower blood pressure. These symptoms can intensify when you’re exposed to increased temperatures, putting you as well as your baby at risk.
High temperatures can also affect your baby by increasing his or her risk of having birth defects.
With this in mind, you may want to consider skipping saunas and hot tubs in the meantime.
Eating Anything and Everything
One of the first things that women are made aware of when they’re pregnant is what their diet should and shouldn’t consist of. And while you might find yourself craving different kinds of foods, you must avoid a few which may endanger both you and your child. Some of the food you should avoid during your pregnancy include:
Fish With High Mercury Content
Seafood generally contains protein, iron, and zinc, all of which are important to your baby’s growth and development. However, fish like swordfish, shark, and even southern bluefin tuna have high levels of mercury that can damage your baby’s nervous system and brain.
You may enjoy a good poached egg now and then, but it may be safer to avoid them during your pregnancy. Raw eggs can cause salmonella which, should you get salmonellosis, can be passed on to your baby.
Salmonella can also be found on raw meat or shellfish, so it may be best to avoid these foods too.
Some soft cheeses contain listeria, which can endanger your baby, causing miscarriages, stillbirths, and even preterm labor.
It’s also important to remember that some herbs and supplements can also put your baby at risk. For instance, herbs often used in cooking like sage and thyme may cause miscarriages, especially if taken in large amounts.
Some of these kinds of herbs are often used to induce abortions as well. However, it is safer to discuss this procedure and other family planning options with a doctor than to make use of herbs.
Cleaning the Cat Litter
Owning a pet comes with a lot of benefits that help you maintain your physical and emotional well-being. However, cleaning up after your pet can expose you to diseases that can affect your baby.
For instance, cat dander can carry toxoplasma, parasites that can cause toxoplasmosis, a disease that can damage the brain, lungs, heart, and eyes.
When you’re pregnant, staying in the same position for extended periods of time can be a problem for both you and your child. Staying sedentary can slow down your metabolism which can lead to excessive weight gain, gestational diabetes, and even an increased risk in Caesarian birth.
Make sure that you move around after you’ve been seated for a long time and if you’ve been on your feet for too long, take a rest and put your legs up.
A healthy pregnancy leads to a healthy child, and while it may be difficult to avoid all these daily tasks and activities during the 9 months of your pregnancy, remember that it won’t last forever. Once you meet your newborn child, what once was off-limits will become available to you again soon enough, and you’ll thank yourself later for keeping yourself disciplined.