It’s just not fair! From the morning sickness to the intense fatigue, pregnancy requires some serious routine changing. Gone are the days where skipping a few hours of sleep was no big deal, or indulging in your favorite cocktail on a Saturday night was the norm. Nope, now you’re stuck with swollen ankles and a list of things to avoid.
Although the list may seem overwhelming, the payoff is huge. Keeping yourself and your baby healthy is undoubtedly a priority during pregnancy, and we’re here to break it down for you. This list covers the top 10 things pregnant women should avoid, and some kick-ass alternatives that will make your pregnancy a breeze (well, better anyways).
Top 10 Things Pregnant Women Should Avoid
You’ve definitely heard this one before. But the truth is, there’s a good reason that everyone is warning you against sipping your usual morning latte. Caffeine is a nervous system stimulant, which can cause unnecessary stress on your body during pregnancy. This can then increase the risk of low birth weight, or even miscarriage. Also keep in mind that caffeine is not considered safe during breastfeeding, as it can cause some unhealthy side effects on your newborn as well.
If pregnancy’s got you craving chocolate 24/7, try out the Black. If nausea and swelling are getting the best of you, brew up some Gold for instant relief.
Okay, so this doesn’t mean you have to banish all cellphone and laptop use during your pregnancy. Just be careful with how much time you spend on your electronics, and how close you place them to your growing belling. You can also invest in a protective blanket like this one to decrease the waves reaching your tummy area.
Heavy electronic usage has been shown to pose some serious health concerns to pregnant women. Wireless radiation is definitely a part of our everyday lives, but research is saying that its effects may be harmful for your growing baby.
Try this: Using a protective blanket is a great way to combat radiation, and give you some peace of mind while you surf the internet.
Sorry sushi lovers, but your favorite roll is off the menu for now. Raw fish is dangerous for pregnant women to consume, because of its potential to cause blood poisoning. Undercooked fish may contain harmful pathogens and parasites, some of which are dangerous enough to be considered life-threatening for you and your baby.
Try this: Switch to tofu or completely cooked fish in your rolls.
It’s an obvious one, but also super important. Alcohol is scientifically proven to be dangerous for women during their pregnancy. There’s a HUGE list of potential side effects that drinking during pregnancy can cause, all of which severely and negatively impact babies. If you’re trying to get pregnant or are not using a reliable method of birth control, you should still avoid alcohol, as its effects are powerful enough to do damage at the time of conception.
Try this: There are tons of delicious mocktail recipes to choose from, many of which can be made with healthy ingredients to get your recommended vitamin dosage for the day.
Easier said than done, right? But seriously, managing your stress during pregnant is crucial to the health of your growing baby. High levels of stress during pregnancy can cause increased blood pressure, poor immune system, and a risk of an infection of the uterus. When not managed well, stress can lead to premature birth, impaired brain development, and worsened pregnancy symptoms.
Try this: Make sure to give yourself some time to unwind. Whether it’s reading or taking a warm bath, try and take some time for yourself.
Intense Exercise Sessions
While you’re pregnant, try and take it easy on the exercise. Instead of doing your usual morning run, try a low impact exercise and make sure not to overwork yourself. Intense exercise and contact sports have been shown to cause placental abruption and increased risk of injury, due to hormonal changes.
Try this: Give yoga a try instead of hitting the treadmill at the gym. Not only will you be safely getting fit, but yoga is a great tool for relaxation too.
Yes, you have a hall pass on your cleaning duties! Pregnant women need to be cautious of toxic fumes and chemicals, which are often times found in cleaning supplies. Either make your own natural version, or leave the cleaning to someone else (we don’t blame you).
Try this: Opt for all-natural cleaning supplies, such as vinegar and tea tree oil. Or, give someone else the chore list for now.
Not Sleeping Enough
Sleep is the time when your body is able to repair itself, which is super important during pregnancy. Not getting enough sleep has been shown to cause high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and even gestational diabetes.
Try this: Set a normal sleeping schedule up for yourself. Be consistent, and give into the urge to nap during the day if you need to.
Poor Air Quality
This includes secondhand smoke! Avoid breathing in smoke, dust, and heavy fragrances. Your immune system will already be compromised during pregnancy, and breathing in pollutants will only aggravate things.
Try this: Invest in a good air filter to keep in your home, like this one.
When you’re plagued with morning sickness, keeping anything down can be a real challenge, water included. It’s important to make sure that you stay as hydrated as possible during your pregnancy to avoid nausea, low blood pressure, and fainting.
Try this: Keep a reusable water bottle with you at all times. Take small sips throughout the day to keep your hydration levels up without contributing to nausea.
No matter what stage of your pregnancy you’re in, avoiding these simple things will make all the difference in your health and your baby’s. So keep your spirits high and try to relax; There’s a pretty amazing prize at the end!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - LINDSAY WARE