Pregnancy can be exciting, confusing, scary, joyful, and many other adjectives. When you combine all of those feelings with “helpful” advice from family members, friends, and coworkers — or even random people — you might feel like you shouldn’t do much of anything while you’re pregnant.
Dr. Parisa Pourzand and her staff have put together a helpful pregnancy guide, and we offer prenatal care. Going to your prenatal appointments gives you a good opportunity to ask questions. To cut through the noise of all the don’ts and shouldn’ts you’re probably hearing, we put together this helpful post about five things you should avoid during pregnancy.
1. Don’t smoke
There are so many good reasons to quit smoking, and the health of your baby must be near the top of the list. Babies born to mothers who smoke tend to weigh less, may experience tissue damage in their lungs and brains, and your risk of miscarriage may be higher.
Plus, if you quit smoking now, your baby won’t be exposed to second-hand smoke, which increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, along with many other health issues.
2. Don’t drink alcohol
Consuming alcohol during pregnancy can lead to serious health problems for the developing baby. Developmental delays, physical abnormalities, problems with fine motor skills, and intellectual disabilities are common in babies with fetal alcohol syndrome.
Researchers don’t know how much alcohol leads to these kinds of problems, so the safest course of action is to avoid alcohol from the moment you know you’re expecting.
3. Don’t eat certain foods
Do you normally order your steak rare? Are you a sushi fan? It’s better to avoid under-cooked foods during pregnancy, along with unpasteurized products like fresh eggs or unpasteurized milk or juice.
It’s also important to make sure that your food is safe and prepared safely. For example, all produce should be thoroughly washed, and you should avoid lunch meats and deli products which may contain listeria. Don’t eat food that is past its expiration date.
4. Don’t consume excessive amounts of caffeine
During pregnancy, researchers recommend keeping your caffeine consumption to 200 mg per day or less. For reference, an eight ounce cup of coffee brewed at home contains about 91 mg of caffeine and a 12 ounce can of caffeinated soda around 29 mg.
5. Avoid overheating
A few minutes in the sauna or hot tub can be very relaxing, but if you’re pregnant it can also be dangerous for a developing baby. Your body temperature can rise abnormally high, and that can cause congenital abnormalities.
Hot yoga, very strenuous exercise, dehydration, and sunbathing for too long are additional things that make you too hot.
For excellent prenatal care and other OB/GYN services, contact our Glendale or Los Angeles offices in California to schedule an exam and consultation.