There aren’t many things more beautiful than giving birth to a baby. That moment stays with a woman for the rest of her life, just like her first kiss, marriage, and all other intimate things you can come up with.
Nevertheless, those nine months of carrying can be hard on every woman, even if it’s all more than worth it when the baby comes out. Women suffer a lot of stress worrying about having the healthiest possible pregnancy, so it’s quite logical to question what foods, drinks, and other products you consume can affect your baby’s development.
In essence, there aren’t many rigid rules you need to obey while pregnant to avoid the risk of miscarriage or your baby being born with complications. Aside from not doing drugs, not smoking, and not drinking alcohol, obviously.
However, if you want certainty that everything will go the way it should, you should commit yourself fully to a healthy lifestyle. In the following text, we’ll list seven pregnancy care tips to keep both you and your baby as safe as possible. Let’s check them out.
Be Picky With Your Food
The first thing every future mom needs to keep an eye out for is her diet. Here are some foods that you should avoid.
- Raw meat — Even if you’re big on sushi, you should refrain from your favorite Japanese dish during these nine months. Furthermore, avoid clams, oysters, and shellfish. The same goes for rare beef because it can carry toxoplasmosis or even salmonella.
- Deli meat and cold cuts — Listeria is a bacterium that can breach the placenta and find its way to your developing baby. Deli meats can carry it around, and that’s why you should avoid it as much as possible.
- Fish with high levels of mercury — Although shark, swordfish, and tilefish aren’t regulars around the kitchen table in the West, you should skip them if they ever pop up. Moreover, skip light tuna, even if it doesn’t have that much mercury inside.
- Raw eggs — Homemade mayo, Caesar dressing, and Hollandaise sauce — move out of the way! Foods that include raw eggs are a no-go when it comes to safe pregnancy. The reason is simple — salmonella.
- Soft cheese — Foreign, imported cheeses are no strangers to listeria. Therefore, stay away from feta, Brie, Gorgonzola, and similar stuff.
Although it might seem too much to avoid all these products, there are numerous foods and ingredients that you can look forward to while pregnant. You should, for example, look up more healthy foods that contain lean proteins, water, healthy fats, fresh fruit, and even more vegetables.
Keep Yourself Away From Smokes and Stinky Odors
Unfortunately, there’s no way you can measure how toxic paint is. But that doesn’t mean that you should be near your partner or workers while they decorate your baby’s future room. Even if most assume that the paint we use for home decoration holds few solvents and toxic chemicals, there’s no reason to risk anything.
Similarly to paint, there’s the matter of avoiding smoke. Aside from not smoking yourself, you should avoid the company of people who do. Being a secondhand smoker is just as bad for both you and your baby. So, if your partner likes to light up sometimes, make sure they do it on the porch and never inside your living space.
Secondhand smoke can result in:
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Low birth weight
- Behavioral and learning problems during growth
- Premature delivery
Avoid Too Much Caffeine
Nothing beats a morning cup of Joe! We all enjoy caffeine, no matter if it’s in coffee or tea. However, while pregnant, it’s shrewd to avoid it in vast amounts. The reason is simple — caffeine is a diuretic and a stimulant. It means that it causes high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and the urge to go to pee and poop.
All this wouldn’t be that big of a problem if caffeine didn’t pass through the placenta. And although it helps you function better during the day, it doesn’t do the same for your baby. Its metabolism is still developing while inside you, and caffeine will be too much for it to handle. Nevertheless, don’t forget that products like chocolate and sodas contain it as well.
Consult Doctors for Any Medications
Being pregnant means that you cannot take all those over-the-counter medications on your own, especially during the first trimester. However, if you need to for asthma or some other condition, it’s best to consult your doctor first. They’ll assess the risk and give you all the answers.
However, some medication is perfectly safe to use during labor. For example, you can use:
- Nasal steroid sprays, Diphenhydramine, and Loratadine for allergy;
- Acetaminophen, saline drops, and warm salt for cold and flu;
- Colace for constipation;
- Benadryl cream for rashes.
But even if they’re safe most of the time, it’s best to talk about taking them with a professional medical worker before you do so.
Only Take Saunas/Bath Tubs at the Right Time
It’s no secret that at some point all pregnant women experience aches and unpleasant body pain. But that’s completely normal, as you have a human growing inside you. Yet, knowing that doesn’t make it any easier. You might realize that a hot bath or going to the sauna will help your body relax and get rid of the pain. But that’s a bad idea.
During the first three months of pregnancy, it’s essential not to overheat yourself. The baby can end up having severe health problems and birth defects due to hot tubs and your increased body temperature. These baths maintain 100 Fahrenheit (ca. 38 °C) water temperature, so opt for a warm shower instead. The effects will be the same, but you won’t risk hurting your baby like you would in a sauna or hot bath.
Beware of Cat’s Litters
This pregnancy tip doesn’t concern all future moms. You might or might not have pets, but if you do have a cat, make sure you evade changing their litter. The reason your kitten might be dangerous to your pregnancy is that its feces can be full of toxoplasmosis, which is a parasitic disease that you don’t want to contract.
If you have someone by your side — your partner or family member — make sure they deal with your cat’s litter. Even if it’s not that common to catch a disease this way, it’s still best to be precautious. However, if this isn’t an option, make sure you wear protective gloves and wash your hands immediately after taking care of what your cat leaves behind.
Keep Yourself Away From Any Alcohol
Everyone’s aware of how bad alcohol can be to our health. Sure, having a drink or two from time to time is okay, but going on a binge or drinking every day will result in numerous health problems. The same goes while you’re expecting a baby. Moreover, the risk doesn’t just affect your health only, but the baby’s as well.
As such, we strongly suggest that you avoid drinking alcohol. This means no wine, beer, or strong alcohol drinks like liquors. Even one glass can hurt your baby because alcohol is yet another substance that goes through the placenta. If it does, it will endanger your child’s developing brain and other organs. But that’s not all, unfortunately.
Some other risks of alcohol consumption include:
- Premature birth
- Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
- Birth defects
- Brain damage