During pregnancy, there are certain things women must try to avoid and be cautious of, so as to be able to improve their health, as well as that of their baby. Risks that can terminate or complicate pregnancy can be avoided too. This page presents an extensive catalog of things to avoid during pregnancy.
1. Over-the-Counter (OTC) Drugs
Drugs that are typically safe to take on a normal day could have devastating effects on a fetus during pregnancy. A pregnant mother must avoid taking OTC drugs or prescription drugs unless prescribed by a doctor. These also include aspirin. Generally, the consumption of OTC drugs is not recommended during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy as this is when the brain, lung, and heart are being formed.
2. Sleeping On The Back
The abdomen tends to rest on the intestines and major blood vessels when a pregnant woman sleeps on her back. This can lead to problems with low blood pressure, hemorrhoids, the digestive system, breathing, backaches and cause a decrease in circulation to the heart and that of the baby. If you have problems adjusting your position, use a pregnancy pillow to keep yourself in a comfortable position.
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3. Illegal Drugs
Studies have shown that one of the leading causes of low birth weight among newborns is in utero drug exposure. Other negative effects of illegal drugs include mild to severe withdrawal effects, delayed or impaired neurobehavioral development due to central nervous system damage, physical malformations, such as abnormalities of facial features, eye defects, heart murmurs and cleft palate.
Depending on the dose and frequency of consumption, there are a variety of negative effects of alcohol on developing babies. A worst-case scenario is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Along with other abnormalities, FAS is the leading known cause of preventable mental retardation. It is associated with varying degrees of major organ systems as well as a number of congenital birth defects which include central nervous system dysfunction, facial malformations, and prenatal and postnatal growth deficiency.
Apart from being harmful to the mother, smoking is such a well-known hazard that can expose the baby to great danger. Secondhand smoke can also be harmful to pregnant women who live or work with smokers. Exposure to smoke can result in fetal and infant death, low-weight full-term babies, pre-term birth, and spontaneous abortion. A pregnant woman is advised not to smoke or be around people who do.
6. Contact with Reptiles
Avoid contact with snakes, turtles, iguanas or lizards. Reptiles are capable of transferring the salmonella virus through their feces which can be very harmful to the pregnancy. Also, children (under age 5) are at risk of contracting salmonella when they come in contact with reptiles.
7. Junk Food
Junk food tends to fill up the stomach real quick but fails to provide the body with essential protein or vitamins. During pregnancy, the size of the stomach tends to decrease. When consumed, junk food prevents the mother to eat what she really needs for her and her baby’s health due to its ability to take up room in the stomach.