If you have planned to work throughout your pregnancy, then you must take out some time to analyse your workplace. You should assess the activities that you are going to be involved into on a daily basis to determine if there are any potential hazards that could be harmful to you or your baby.
#1. Work related hazards in Pregnancy
If there are any concerns about your job or the environment then you must discuss them with your doctor so that he can advise you whether to continue with the job or not.
If your work environment is not appropriate, or if the activities being performed during work possess any kind of risk, ask your employer to transfer you to an alternative job till the time you are pregnant and after that you will continue with the previous work.
Read the great pregnancy experience of a mom (Princy Khurana), who left her job during pregnancy, that demanded her to be on her toes for all day long.
Quick workplace safety check
- Is there any involvement of chemicals or grease?
- Do you work closely with animals?
- Is there any excessive physical activity in your work?
- Any kind of infectious disease involved?
- Is there any exposure to toxic waste and ionising radiations?
If you answer yes to any of these or there are some other concerns with your work environment then it’s a point to be concerned about. Do think about it.
#2. Do not overheat yourself for long periods
Overheating your body in the pregnancy can be harmful to your baby especially in the first trimester though an occasional long hot shower is okay but long baths or saunas on a regular basis can cause overheating of your belly and hamper important activities in your baby’s growth.
Hence, avoid hot baths during the first trimester of pregnancy. As it involves staying in an environment which is going to be more than the normal body temperature, the high temperature may hamper the normal development of the foetus. You can probably go back to your leisurely baths, the moment your baby is born.
#3. Travelling in Pregnancy
Basically, travelling does not cause a problem throughout most of your pregnancy. The main thing which comes into the consideration is when you don’t move at all during travelling and just sit firmly. Some points to be kept in mind during the phase are
- Do not travel by plane in pregnancy after the seventh month.
- Avoid long distances by car or train. If necessary, take along necessary fluids and drinks and try to pause down and move around routinely; try not to get restricted into a position for a long period of time.
- If you have to travel internationally, talk with your doctor about it and he will prescribe you the required immunisations and tell you the impact they can have on your unborn baby.
- Travelling by 2 or 3 wheelers is not at all advisable.
- Carry your medicines and a copy of your medical records along with you while travelling anywhere.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
- Have pasteurized dairy products and drink boiled water.
- And the most important, do not travel alone.
#4. Exercise in Pregnancy
If you have a normal and uncomplicated pregnancy, exercise is not only safe but recommended. Just discuss with your doctor first for any medical concerns.
If you were inactive before becoming pregnant, it is recommended to wait until your second trimester to begin, then start with a 15-minute walk three to four times a week, it will help decrease the chances of developing gestational diabetes, gradually you can increase your workout to 30 minutes or so on accordingly.
However, if you have medical approval, you can begin sooner also. Once you reach week 28, either continue at the same pace or back off a bit, according to how your body feel.
Regular physical activity helps prevent excessive weight gain and keeps mom’s blood sugar levels from rising tremendously which can cause some babies to grow too big while increasing the chances of a difficult birth.
#5. Food in Pregnancy
The biggest norm that you will have to take care about throughout your pregnancy is to check that you maintain a healthy and a proper balanced diet. Just remember that your baby is getting all of its required and essential nutrients from you only.
If you are unsure about your diet, or want to seek some advice, ask your doctor to refer you to a dietician. Do not hesitate asking for any kind of advice from anyone, after all it’s the point of health of your baby.
Get into the habit of checking packaging details and labels and start becoming aware of what you are eating. Start taking certain vitamins and minerals during your pregnancy like vitamin A, B, C, D, B6, B12, calcium, proteins, iron, etc.
Food safety checklist to be followed –
- Cook all the meats, poultry and fish thoroughly.
- Check whether the meat is thoroughly defrosted prior to cooking.
- Any raw meat or eggs should not come into contact with other foods.
- Eat only the pasteurised dairy products.
- Avoid processed deli-meats and soft cheese.
- Do not have caffeine or the related products.
Caffeine affects iron absorption in one’s body and thus, it is always recommended that pregnant women must limit its intake.
The advice is to not have caffeine related products at all if possible, but if you can’t just survive without having that morning cup of coffee then at least you can limit its intake to one cup per day.
Caffeine is there in tea, coffee, chocolate and cold drinks. Herbal teas goes for an ideal substitute for tea and coffee but too much could be harmful as well.
It is a condition caused by a parasite found in plant soil, raw or undercooked meat and cat faeces. This parasite can cause brain damage in a developing baby if the mother becomes infected by it during pregnancy.
Avoid any raw foods that may carry the risk of contamination and keep an eye on your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
While this is an exciting time for you and your family, every precaution to make the pregnancy safe and joyous should be taken. It will all be well worth the sacrifice in the end.
Some other precautions to take during early pregnancy are
- Use gloves when you garden.
- Cook all meat to at least medium, preferably well done.
- Have someone else change the litter box.
- Avoid contact with cat faeces.
- Wash dirt from fresh produce before eating.
#7. Avoid fish and Seafood
Seafood and some specific type of fishes are a very good source of essential fats, low-fat sources having many vital nutrients in them and are an important part of a healthy diet.
Well, one has to be careful while selecting the type of fish or seafood as they are known to contain high levels of mercury in them. Swordfish, mackerel and tilefish are to be first avoided.
Limit the consumption of albacore or white tuna for not more than once a week.
Precautions regarding seafood
- Do not eat more than 12 ounces of cooked fish a week.
- A complete no to shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish.
- Consume albacore (white) tuna (even canned) only once a week.
- If you wish to have the fish been caught by the family and friends from local waters, check with the local advisories about the safety of fish.
- Fast food sandwiches and the fish sticks are usually made from a fish which is low in mercury.
#8. Avoid Alcohol in Pregnancy
It is quite difficult to seek a medical advice on how much of the alcohol one should have during pregnancy. But the adverse effects of alcohol are well detailed out.
If the mother has an addiction of alcohol consumption during pregnancy also, there is a risk that the baby could be born with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). In such cases, the foetus will have an abnormally slow development and will be born with abnormal facial features.
It is also going to grow up with some serious learning disabilities. Even, there is also no cure for FAS. so, look for the ill habit in you.
#9. Herbs and Medicines in Pregnancy
Certain herbs can turn out to be terrible for foetus development like, passion flower, saw palmetto, pennyroyal and black cohos. These mentioned herbs are known to cause painful contractions, premature birth and miscarriage.
Unless a medication has been specifically prescribed to you, do not the take any medications for aches, pains and nausea. Always take medicines after consulting your physician. Do not do x-rays during the phase as it’s rays can severely hamper the growth of the foetus.
Right and proper care is extremely important during the first trimester of pregnancy as it is a very critical period for the baby’s development. The right diet and healthy lifestyle must be adopted in order to prevent any mishappenings.
You have to withstand the urge to have any kind of grandma’s well-meaning inventions that promise a fair-skinned baby. The jury is still out on how some herbs impact the developing foetus.
#10. Some more things not to have in Pregnancy
- Do not eat papaya & pineapple as they can cause abortion (a debatable topic).
- Craving for non-food items like clay or chalk should be avoided as it can be dangerous for the baby.
- Avoid live viral vaccines (measles, mumps, MMR).
- Raw, smoked, frozen or high mercury seafood like oysters, fish (swordfish, shark) etc.
- Limit your coffee intake as it can lead to miscarriage in early stages.
- Excessive butter and cheese can be harmful.
- No white flour (maida).
- Alcohol and smoking should be completely discarded.
Share the article with your friends on Facebook and Whatsapp.