Motherhood is a beautiful journey with different phases which matures a woman. I am just remembering the day when my sister broke the news of her pregnancy. Everybody from her mother in law, my mother, relatives from both the sides and even our maid started bombing her with all the advices.
Being a techno freak, she had also started browsing early pregnancy precautions. But soon after two-three months, she realized that she was not enjoying the most precious phase of her life. So, we visited our mom’s Gynae friend who had both an experience and expertise and came out with a list of precautions which not only helped her having a safe normal delivery but also saved her time.
Here is the list for all expecting Moms.
Health & Safety
1. Lead paint
Lead can pass from a mother to her unborn baby. So you should not be in the house while someone is cleaning up after renovation, painting a room with lead paint because lead in your body can put you at risk of miscarriage.
2. Exposure to low level electro-magnetic fields
Apart from X-rays, everyday radiation may also impact the way the cells grow and perform. If your microwave is old, check or replace the door seal. It is advisable not to stand directly in front of microwave.
This is one of the reasons of fatigue in pregnant women. In the first trimester, it can also cause less amniotic fluid for baby to float around in and also deformities of the hands, feet and legs. In third tri-semester, it can also cause pre term labor.
4. Unbalanced Body
You should always keep your posture of your body right as it can result a severe back-ache in the later months of pregnancy. Use a hard mattress to support your back and try sleeping on your sides to give rest to your spine. You can also use a body pillow for support.
5. Strong Exercise
Avoid doing strong exercise, particularly those which concentrate on the abdomen and lower back area.
Walking is best and for exercise, seek advice from your doctor.
One can have gentle intercourse but it’s better to have a talk with your doctor as every woman has her different pregnancy problems.
7. OTC medication without doctor’s consultation
You will experience many symptoms like headaches, nausea and back pain throughout your pregnancy. But do not try to take any common OTC medications without doctor’s consultation. Some of these medications will contain compounds that are harmful to you and your baby. OTC medications are strictly prohibited during the first eight weeks of pregnancy since it is the time where your baby’s brain, heart, and lungs are formed.
8. Working for long hours
It can cause mental and physical stress which is not good for baby. Try to take small frequent breaks while working.
9. Continuous Sitting
Avoid continuous sitting as it can also lead to severe back-ache.
10. Use of Pewter or Brass Container
Do not use containers made of Pewter or Brass, to cook, serve or store food. It may contain lead and that can cause your baby to be born early or too small.
11. Use of Chipped and Cracked dishes
Don’t use cracked dishes as they are ideal breeding grounds for bacteria that can contaminate your food.
12. Drinking Unfiltered Tap Water
Filtering your tap water can reduce contamination in your body. If water purifier is not working, boil the water before using it.
You should be careful while bicycling because your center of gravity is shifting. This is only for experienced riders, newbies are advised to avoid it.
If you have never been a runner before, it is best suitable to avoid it for now. However if you want to start consult with your doctor once.
15. Horse Riding
Even experienced riders will probably not want to take the risk of falling while they are pregnant. So, avoid it during your pregnancy.
16. Scuba Diving
Bubbles form in your blood stream as you surface; it can be dangerous for you and your baby as well.
17. Learning Bikes
Even if its early pregnancy, it is never a best time during the pregnancy to learn bikes.
18. Chimney and exhaust fan in your Kitchen
You have to avoid all kind of strong, pungent fumes that may get passed to baby. So, it is a must home- appliance for your kitchen if you are cooking as these fumes are harmful for you both.
19. Harmful Chemicals
You may come in contact with harmful chemicals, whether at home or work. Anything you breathe or touch can pass into the bloodstream and reach the fetus, thus affecting the baby’s growth. You should avoid the chemical products used during home renovation, gardening & painting.
A flight journey is not recommended beyond 35 weeks since it stresses the blood circulation of the mother which might be further provoked. If you have any sort of complications with your pregnancy such as hypertension, gestational diabetes, or are at risk for premature labor, check with your healthcare provider. It might be best to travel only if you absolutely have to.
It is strictly advisable to avoid waterslides and adventure rides since a forceful landing or sudden start or stop could harm your baby and would lead a serious injury to you and baby.
Smoking is harmful for all but exposure to smoke in pregnancy can result in pre-term births, low-weight full-term babies, and fetal and infant deaths.
23. Exercise in high Heat or Humidity
You may get overheated much faster than you normally would, even before your belly is big. That’s why it’s especially important to avoid exercising in hot or humid conditions during pregnancy.
24. Cats as Pet
When it comes to cats, the major concern is toxoplasmosis. It is an infection that transmits through cat faeces. If you are immune to toxoplasmosis before conception, your baby will be safe. Though pet cats are less likely to carry the infection, it is better to stay away from them.
25. Bug Sprays
Most mosquito repellents contain an active ingredient, DEET that is effective against Lyme disease, dengue fever, malaria, yellow fever and West Nile virus. Though the repellents are protective, they have side effects on the central nervous system. You should, therefore, minimize exposure to bug sprays and repellents during your pregnancy.
26. Weight Lifting
Weight lifting can cause miss-carriage in the initial stage of pregnancy and can also cause preterm labor in last trimester.
27. Downhill Skiing
You should avoid downhill skiing as it poses a risk of severe falls and injuries. Also, the expanding tummy can create problems in balancing. If you still want to ski, you can choose gentle slopes.
28. Reptiles and Amphibians
Reptiles and amphibians carry the risk of salmonella bacteria. Exposure to their faeces can result in the bacterial transmission that can affect your pregnancy. The baby can carry the risk even after pregnancy since their immune systems will still be developing. The safest way is to keep your house away from any reptilian or amphibian pets until your child crosses five years of age.
29. Long Travel for continuous hours
Travelling for long hours has its own challenges. Therefore before you undertake any journey it is best to consult your doctor.
30. Bending your shoulder while standing
Stand tall. While standing, adopt a good posture. Stand tall and hold your shoulders back to keep your back straight. If you slouch on your tummy, it can strain the back and worsen the backache.
31. Regular Check-Ups
Never miss you regular check-ups as it keeps your health on track.
32. Uncomfortable Resting Chair/ Furniture
Use a chair that can pressure off your lower back. You can also use a skid proof rug under your foot to ease the pressure. Do not cross your legs since it can cause your pelvis to tilt forward and strain your back further.
33. Solar eclipse
Pregnant woman are often being advised by the elders in home to avoid the sun Contact during Solar eclipse as sun’s radiations are really harmful for the unborn baby.
34. Waking Up with the wrong Posture
Get out of bed smart. When you get out of the bed, first turn to your side, then swing your legs over the side of the bed. This position helps you to push your body up with the help of your arms without placing any strain on your back.
35. Vaccination for measles without consulting to your Gynae
Always consult with your Gynae before taking any such treatment.
36. Avoiding Sun
Avoiding sun is not good in pregnancy. Your body soaks the sun rays and uses them to produce Vitamin D which absorbs the calcium and minerals you and your baby need. Though too much of anything is harmful.
37. Low Calcium Intake
Your growing baby needs Calcium to build her body, so you need to have this important mineral as it is recommended to get 1000 mg of calcium in a day when you are pregnant. You can have it from all the dairy products including yogurt, cheese, Tofu & other foods like green vegetables and black eyed peas etc.
38. Gardening with bare hands
Never do gardening with bare hands as there is a condition of Toxoplasmosis which is caused by a parasite found in the soil. It is known to be transmitted from pregnant lady to their babies.
39. Visiting many doctors at a same time
People often doubt their Doctors when they don’t see instant effects and start running to other doctors. Avoid doing this as it not only wastes your energy but also puts you in stress. Have some patience as things take time. However if you see no improvement after a significant period of time it’s good to go for a second opinion.
40. Driving without wearing Seatbelt
It is always good for pregnant women to avoid driving as it is risky. It is always safe to sit as a passenger in the back seat. But in case of need, if you are driving, always wear the seat belt. Don’t wear it across your belly. During crash or sudden jolt from the belt in this position can cause the placenta to tear away from the uterus or cause other injury.
41. X-rays during pregnancy
However no doctor will advise you for it, but you still need to be very careful as it’s rays can harm the baby. You need to take care of every small thing which may harm you and ultimately your baby.
42. Use of Laptop
You should not use laptop putting it on your belly rather than placing it on a desk since it keeps generating heat continuously which is not good for either for you.
43. Improper Balance of Vitamins and Minerals
You should have right balance of proteins, vitamins and minerals and not too many empty calories like refined grains, sugar etc in your food. Right balance of it keeps your body blood sugar at a healthy level.
44. Shifting or Moving Heavy Furniture
If you need to redocorate your room take someone’s help to move furniture because lifting heavy furniture is not at all advisable in pregnancy.
45. Listening to complicated delivery process
Taking precautions is good but every woman is different with her strength and past medical issues. So, it’s not necessary that you will have to experience the same complications others have suffered. So, avoid listening to others complicated process of delivery. Spend this time with healthy conversations which make you feel happy.
46. Missing your Medicines
Very simple to do but very easy to miss too. Your Gynae prescribes some daily medicines and you should have all the medicines on time. Developing this habit from now would also benefit you in future when you would have to take care of your baby too.
47. Over use of Decongestant Nasal sprays
Avoid over use of decongestant nasal sprays as regularly using them makes your congestion worse. You should use plain saline nose spray as it is safe to use.
48. Using Stairs frequently
Using stairs is good rather than using elevators every time but frequent use of stairs that too in the last trimester is not advisable to you.
It is recommended that pregnant woman should not have more than 200mg of caffeine in a day. Some studies have linked miscarriage with increased consumption of caffeine.
50. Junk Food
The basic problem with junk food is that it fills you up but does not provide vitamins or protein. As your stomach size decreases during pregnancy, junk food takes up room and prevents you from eating the foods you really need for you and your baby’s health.
51. Unpasteurized food
Eating any unpasteurised dairy food could harm both the pregnant mom and the baby inside.
52. Feta Cheese
Avoid taking feta cheese in any form. Unpasteurised cheese can cause food borne ailments such as Listeriosis that increase the chances of miscarriage.
53. Raw Shell Fish
Undercooked shellfish like oysters, mussels and clams can cause majority of sea borne illnesses. Cooking them can prevent some of the infections, but not algae related infections. Therefore, it is good to avoid any kind of shellfish during pregnancy.
54. Raw & Undercooked Eggs
Avoid consuming raw eggs and undercooked eggs. Homemade desserts and sauces such as chocolate mousse, mayonnaise, etc., containing raw eggs must be avoided as they may be tainted with salmonella bacteria causing vomiting and diarrhea. The one and only way of having safe eggs is that – Eggs should be cooked until the yolks are firm. Go for a well done omelet as eggs are rich source of proteins.
55. Nuts (For Asthma patients)
If you are suffering from Asthma, avoid eating nuts during pregnancy, as the baby in your womb has already developed the risk for the same.
56. Packaged Food
These are some foods to avoid in pregnancy. Canned foods are packed and stored for longer period of time; these are absolutely not recommended during pregnancy. These are harmful as the tinned foods might be too old and harbor harmful bacteria due to their long shelf life.
57. Eating White Bread in excess
White bread contains Gluten, a composite form of protein that is difficult to digest for expecting moms.
So, you should rather eat whole grain brown bread which contains a high proportion of dietary fibers that helps boosting digestion, reduces constipation, diarrhea, blood cholesterol level and also regulates blood sugar.
58. Cravings for Clay or Chalk
You have to control yourself at these times as consumption of these things can be harmful for the baby. If you feel you have a strong craving for such non-food items then consult with your doctor.
59. Excess consumption of White Rice
White rice possesses the higher Glycemic Index (GI) than Brown rice. White rice can boost your blood glucose level and make you suffer from gestational Diabetes. Excess of Rice also adds extra pounds to your existing fat. You should not avoid eating rice as it contains the high amount of Carbohydrates that keeps you energetic and it also helps preventing constipation problems. Have a moderate quantity of it. You should include it in lunch as having rice in night may cause gastric problem.
60. Unhealthy Cravings
Craving for your favourite food during pregnancy is a perfectly normal thing but you need to be very careful what you eat. So, just have a habit of averting few foods that pose health risks for you and your baby.
61. Eating Unripe Papaya
Eating fully ripened papaya is safe as it contains various vitamins, folic acid and fiber which are also good for digestion. But you must have heard your elder females of family saying not to consume papaya in pregnancy. The scientific reason behind it is the unripe papaya contains latex substance which is present when the outer skin is green.
62. White Flour (Maida)
There are many products available in market which are made with white flour. Sometimes, we also use it in home but it has no nutritional value and is also difficult for your body to properly digest it. So, it is advisable to pregnant women to avoid having it.
63. Consumption of contaminated Food
No matter how hungry you are or you don’t have enough time to cook, you can’t be careless regarding your food. Always be careful while preparing your food. Cook all your meals well and cook it on a medium temperature.
64. Unwashed Vegetables or Fruits
Though sometimes we don’t pay much attention to it but during pregnancy you need to ensure that you follow these basic things.
65. Consumption of unpreserved food
One of the most common habits of Indian Moms is to never waste the food. They always find a way to re-consume it but during pregnancy it’s better to avoid eating unpreserved or left out food from the last night as it is no longer healthy for both you and your baby.
66. Excess Use of Clarified Butter (Ghee)
You should consume it in moderate quantity as it is basically a healthier choice of fat but high dose of it can contribute to an increased risk of obesity.
67. Overdose of Pickle or any other sour food
Anybody can tell you about this most common craving among pregnant women (all thanks to Bollywood movies). So, having a little pickle is alright, but overdose can harm you as it contains a very high amount of sodium. Too much of sodium make you feel dehydrated. According to an American Journal of Physiology, too much of sodium can also affect the development of unborn baby. So, it’s better to control yourself and have it in a moderate quantity. Have homemade pickle as it doesn’t have artificial preservatives.
68. Less Iron supplement
Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia in pregnancy. Your body needs iron to build enough healthy red blood cells and keeps your Hemoglobin at the right level. During pregnancy, the recommended amount of iron increases from 18 milligrams per day to 27 mg per day. You need extra iron to support the placenta, the growing baby and this prepares your body for any loss that may occur when you give birth.
69. Too much Spicy Food
We Indians love spicy food and having it in pregnancy will not harm you provided you regulate the amount of chili in it. Food with excess amount of red chili in pregnancy can cause heartburn sensations so there are better ways to consume it. You can have home cooked food with moderate spice or can have Thai & Mexican cuisine with fillings of Jalapeno & Oregano which are milder than the green chilies & red chili powder.
70. High Dose of Fenugreek ( Methi-Dana)
It is advisable for pregnant women not to consume high dose of fenugreek as it can cause bloating and gas trouble.
71. Excess consumption of Albacore Tuna
It is recommended that you should not eat more than 300 grams of white Tuna (Albacore Tuna) per week as it contains mercury which will not harm you but can affect your baby’s developing nervous system.
72. Eating oily and heavy food which cause acidity
You should avoid those fried potato chips and also other food like Rajma, Black lentils (Urad Dal) etc. which can cause acidity.
73. Raw Sprouts
Sprouts are healthy to eat but raw or undercooked sprouts may contain E. Coli or Solmonella bacteria. So, it is advised to include well cook sprouts in your meal.
74. Using large amount of Garlic in food
It is also one of the advices of my Grandmother. She used to say “Ese samay mei Lehsun nhi khana chaeye iski taseer garam hoti hai” you should not use excess amount of garlic in food. It can cause heartburn and bleeding if taken in a large quantity.
75. Smoked or refrigerated Seafood
It is advised to pregnant women to avoid smoked or refrigerated seafood as it may contain Listeria which can make both you and your baby sick.
Beauty & Lifestyle
76. Cosmetics containing strong Chemicals
You should be careful about skin care and grooming products during pregnancy. Hair treatments like hair coloring, bleaching and straightening contain chemicals. The amount of exposure to these chemicals and their frequency can have an effect on pregnant women.
77. Emotional Issues
Baby is attached with you not only physically but also mentally. So, your every thought is also going to affect your baby. So you should relax, be happy and enjoy your pregnancy. Meditation is a good way to have positivity around you.
78. Saunas, Tanning beds
During pregnancy, you are more likely to get overheated because of hormonal changes. To be on the safer side it’s better to avoid saunas and tanning beds during pregnancy.
Stress has a variety of sources, such as work, family, friends, bills, or anxiety about the future. Try to distance yourself from stresses and always try to gain your strengths by thinking about your achievements.
80. Footwear with High-Heels
Avoid high heels. Go for some good flat or low heeled shoes. Wearing high heels may make you unstable and put more strain on your back.
81. Too much Shopping in a Day
Shopping is an exhausting activity. Don’t try to shop everything on the same day. If you have to walk with the load, like a shopping bag, try to divide it into two parts, holding one in each arm instead of holding it all in front of you. You can go for online shopping this time.
Don’t go on diet while you’re pregnant. You may end up with deficiency of iron, folic acid, vitamins and minerals which can potentially harm you and your baby. Consult with your doctor before making any drastic changes in your diet.
83. Lacking Rest
Take proper rest. While resting, raise your feet and legs to take the pressure off your spine and pelvis.
84. Irregular Weight Gains
Keep a watch on your weight. Try to keep your weight gain under the recommended parameters.
85. Uncomfortable Dressing
Wear loose-fitting, breathable cotton clothing. Dress in layers so it’s easy to peel off a layer or two after you’ve warmed up or if you get overheated.
86. Exposure to Environmental Pollutants
Reduce your exposure to environmental pollutants. These pollutants in the environment can harm your baby in the womb.
87. Disturbed Sleep
In the social networking era, we spend hours on internet. Continuous staring at our PC or mobile phone screens, we forget to sleep and ultimately this becomes our habit of waking up late in nights. This can be afforded in our daily working routine but in pregnancy, you must take 8-10 hours of sound sleep. It helps getting rid of all the tiredness and fatigue.
88. Get Adequate Amount Of Rest
This is the time when all the family members pamper you and take extra care of you. You are not allowed to do any house-hold chores. But you should keep moving as you can do exercise, Yoga, some stretching and walking. Going for complete bed rest is not a good option unless your Doctor has advised you for that.
89. Use of Scents with strong Smell
We all use different scents, deodorants etc. But while choosing these products you need to be careful. You should not use scents with strong smell as they may contain a number of irritants. You can use natural scents which are easily available in market.
90. Getting Permanent Tattoo
It is discouraged to get a permanent tattoo during pregnancy as it can have allergic reactions and irritants.
You can have Henna tattoos which are perfectly safe.
Make your pregnancy a lifetime memory by staying safe and healthy. The above things can keep you safe a long way through all the nine months of pregnancy. We will be together in this most beautiful journey to help you, to listen to you and also to share your motherhood experiences. We hope you will find this information helpful. Do share with us in the comments below the precautions that we may have missed .