Things a pregnant woman should be cautious of or avoid during pregnancy

Pregnant woman in tight short
There are a number of things a pregnant woman should be cautious of or avoid during pregnancy. On this post, you will find a number of products or activities you should avoid or use with caution.

Unapproved sleeping position. 


Sleeping on one side with your knees bent is likely to be the most comfortable position. You can use pillows under your belly, between your legs, and behind your back, if you like.

As your pregnancy progresses, you’ll need to avoid lying flat on your back.

SEE RECOMMENDED SLEEPING POSITIONS DURING PREGNANCY.

Unhealthy diet. 


Eating a balanced diet during pregnancy doesn’t necessarily mean eating for two. Most pregnant women say finding the right type of food to eat can be nerve-wracking.

To ensure you and your baby grow healthy you can add these; eggs, salmon, beans, whole grains, sweet potato, leafy vegetables, and lean meat.

CHECKOUT THIS Guide to a Healthy Diet during Pregnancy

Improper dressing. 


Pregnancy can cause a woman’s body to change shape and size several times before the baby arrives. Being pregnant does not mean you should lock away your fashion sense and give up your personal style. There are so many trendy styles that can suit your body size.

However, wearing tight clothes during pregnancy is not safe.

Tight clothing will not harm your baby but it will be uncomfortable for you. Wearing clothes that don’t fit can cause pain around the abdomen, across your chest, and even your back.

DRESSING COMFORTABLY DURING PREGNANCY
What outfit you wear can make a big impact on how you feel during pregnancy. No matter what your style, it is ​​​important for you to feel comfortable in your maternity clothing:

  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Choose loose-fitting clothing for comfort.
  • Wear lighter weight fabrics if you feel warmer during pregnancy
  • Avoid tight belts, bras, girdles, slacks, garters, and knee socks. Clothes that decrease circulation in the legs lead to varicose (enlarged) veins.
  • Find a bra that fits and provides good support to your breasts.
  • Buy a nursing bra if you plan to breastfeed your baby. Nursing bras are designed with flaps that unhook to allow easy access for breastfeeding.
  • Wear shoes that have a medium or low heel, provide firm support, and have a generally good fit.
  • Don’t wear high heels - it may result in an accident or an aching back.

Unhealthy habits. 


A couple who are trying to conceive is always advised to avoid unhealthy lifestyles such as smoking, alcohol, and drugs, eating junk food and lack of sleep.

Now that you are pregnant, your baby’s health is under your care. Many of your bad habits may harm your baby resulting in disease, growth issues, and brain damage.


Acupuncture and massage


While some complementary therapies, such as acupuncture and massage, are felt to be safe during pregnancy there is limited evidence that shows how effective they are.

If you’re considering using a complementary therapy, it’s important to tell your doctor or midwife about what treatment you’re considering. If you then decide to use a complementary therapy, you should always consult a qualified practitioner who is registered with APHRA.

Exercise


It’s great to be active and stay fit while you’re pregnant but check with your midwife or doctor first to make sure there are no health problems to prevent you from exercising. If there are no problems, try to do 30 minutes of moderate exercise, like walking or swimming, on most days of the week.
  • Regular exercise can:
  • help you stay at a healthy weight
  • help you relax
  • help make you stronger and fitter – good for coping with pregnancy, labor, and being a parent
  • help decrease discomforts like back pain and varicose veins that affect some pregnant women.
ALSO, READ Safe and healthy exercises to do during pregnancy

Cats


Toxoplasmosis is a common infection that occurs in most birds and mammals, including humans, and can cause serious problems in pregnancy. The parasite called Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) can be found in cat feces or soil — or cat litter that is contaminated with infected cat feces.

The risk of getting toxoplasmosis when you're pregnant is very low. If you get toxoplasmosis in the early stages of pregnancy, the risk of miscarriage is increased and it can cause blindness and brain damage in an unborn baby.

Signs of toxoplasmosis include mild flu-like symptoms, such as high temperature, sore throat, and aching muscles. However, in most cases, toxoplasmosis doesn't cause any symptoms.

Pregnant women are not routinely screened for toxoplasmosis. It's therefore important that you know how to prevent infection.

Cleaning products


Check the labels of cleaning products to make sure there are no safety warnings for pregnant women. If you use cleaning products, glues, paint, or any other household chemicals, follow the safety directions on the label. Make sure the room is well ventilated when you are cleaning — open windows and doors.

Some mothballs and toilet deodorant cakes contain a substance called naphthalene. Exposure to very large amounts of naphthalene can damage blood cells, leading to a condition called haemolytic anemia. Symptoms that may occur after exposure to large quantities of naphthalene include fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Newborn babies are particularly at risk if they are exposed to naphthalene.

Sauna or jacuzzi


There is little research on using saunas, jacuzzis, and similar heated leisure facilities during pregnancy. However, it's advisable to avoid them because of the risks of overheating, dehydration, and fainting.

You’re likely to feel warmer during pregnancy. This is due to hormonal changes and an increase in blood supply to the skin. These hormonal changes can also often make pregnant women feel faint.

If you overheat, more blood flows close to your skin, to help cool your body by sweating. This means less blood flows to your internal organs such as your brain. If this happens, your brain may not get enough blood and, therefore, oxygen. This can make you feel faint.

When you use a sauna, jacuzzi, hot tub, steam bath or steam room, your body cannot lose heat effectively by sweating. Your body's core temperature therefore rises. It's possible that a significant rise in your core temperature may affect your unborn baby's development, particularly in the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy. Take care when you get out of a hot bath or stand up quickly, as these can also make you feel faint.

Sunbeds


Pregnant women often find that their skin is more sensitive than usual. If you use a sunbed when you're pregnant, your skin may therefore be more likely to burn.

Sunbeds (solariums) give out ultraviolet (UV) rays, the same type of harmful radiation found in sunlight. Getting a tan using a sunbed is not safer than tanning in the sun. In some cases, sunbed use can be more harmful. Many sunbeds give out greater doses of UV rays than the midday Mediterranean sun.

Prolonged exposure to UV rays increases your risk of developing skin cancer including malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. It is illegal to operate a commercial solarium in Australia.

There is no clear evidence about the effect of UV rays from sunbeds on an unborn baby. Some studies have suggested there may be a link between increased UV rays and folic acid deficiency. This is because UV rays can break down folic acid.

X-rays


If possible, you should avoid having an x-ray while you’re pregnant. Your healthcare professional will assess whether your treatment can wait until you’ve had your baby. They will assess whether the benefits of treatment outweigh the low risk of having an x-ray. They may also consider using another imaging method instead, such as an ultrasound scan.

The risk from x-ray radiation is related to the stage of pregnancy at which the exposure occurs and the dosage amount that reaches the baby. There is a slight risk of birth defects and physical and mental development problems.

However, repeated exposure to radiation can damage the body's cells, which can increase the risk of cancer developing. This is why the dose of radiation used in an x-ray is always as low as possible. X-rays during pregnancy carry a very small risk of exposing the unborn baby to radiation, which could cause cancer to develop during his or her childhood.

To find out more, visit Inside Radiology - Radiation risk of medical imaging during pregnancy.

Dental x-rays


Make sure your dentist knows that you're pregnant. If you need a dental x-ray, your dentist will usually wait until you've had the baby, even though most dental x-rays don't affect the abdomen or pelvic area.

Other radiology tests


It is vital you tell your doctor or specialist if you are or may be pregnant because some procedures can affect the fetus. Your doctor or specialist will refer you for an appropriate radiology procedure if it is safe to do so. You must also inform the hospital or radiology practice when you make the appointment and the medical staff performing the procedure if you are or may be pregnant.
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