Pregnancy is a crucial time that needs extra care, precaution and a sensitive approach to the health of the mother and the baby. Though it is advisable to lead a physically active and normal life, the stage does require adherence to some important do’s and don’ts. A lot of myths and misconceptions also abound in our country when it comes to pregnancy. Some do’s & don’ts that your mother or mother-in-law might have listed for you might just be odd old wives tales. However, there are certain essential elements that need to be followed. So, make sure you follow the doctor’s advice and conveniently ignore the rest.
Extra caution during pregnancy often requires giving up many a things which otherwise are not harmful and ineffective. Pregnancy often leads to plummeting immunity levels. The body, especially in the initial months of the pregnancy, lowers its immune system so that it doesn’t mistake the baby for an alien element. This make the mother more vulnerable to infections and allergies. Therefore, it becomes important be very clear and specific about things that are safe and unsafe during pregnancy.
Usually, in a bid to make the pregnancy safe and healthy, pregnant women tend to follow all words of mouth blindly. However, this should be strictly avoided. It is important to understand that while pregnancy is a stage in every woman’s life, every case is different. Therefore, it is very important to set your schedule in terms of physical activity, eating patterns and diet and other related things.
Below are certain guidelines on things that you should give up when pregnant:
Sleeping on Stomach: This looks quite obvious but it is important to be communicated. Different people have different sleeping patterns and favored sleeping positions. Some are sober sleepers who sleep quietly on the side and wake up in the same position next morning. Others are tossing and turning all night including turning on your stomach. We all have a particular sleeping position, which gives us the best sleep. However, during pregnancy you should necessarily avoid sleeping on stomach as the resultant pressure might hurt the baby.
Intake of Caffeine: While intake of coffee and tea is not prohibited during pregnancy, you should avoid or limit its consumption. For one, caffeine can exacerbate acidity which is already common among pregnant women. At the same time, excessive consumption of caffeine is also believed to up the risk of miscarriage, like alcohol. So, limit the intake to 2 cups a day.
Lazying Around: You might be a lazy soul who doesn’t indulge in any physical activity normally, but during pregnancy this attitude can be harmful. Sitting inactive and doing no physical activity can cause a lot of harm during pregnancy, more than we often presume. While it is important to rest and avoid too much exertion during pregnancy, sitting non-active for long hours can have negative impact. It can weaken the muscles, cause indigestion and constipation, reduce your stamina, and lead to excessive weight gain. Therefore, it is important to indulge yourself in some regular exercise to keep the muscles and bones flexible and improve the blood circulation. It is important to have an active lifestyle throughout your pregnancy.
Alcohol: There is no safe limit for alcohol during pregnancy. Therefore, no one can judge how many pegs you could have when pregnant. Alcohol is always associated with the risk of miscarriage. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid consuming alcohol during pregnancy, especially when in first trimester.
Smoking: Smoking is strictly prohibited during pregnancy. Smoking in any case is harmful enough for all individuals, but when it comes to pregnant women it increases the risk of miscarriage. The inhaled smoke has the potential to affect the growth of the unborn baby by lowering her birth weight. You should also avoid being in smoky, closed or suffocated places.
Raw or Undercooked Meat and Fish: If you are fond of delicacies like sushi, raw oysters or raw eggs, no is the time to avoid them. It is advisable to avoid raw or runny eggs as they contain salmonella bacteria. Similarly, while having meat, avoid the intake of liver as it contains high levels of high levels of retinol (vitamin A) which may cause harm to the baby.
Over the Counter Drugs: This is an important caution. If you are pregnant you have to be very careful about the drugs you consume and strictly stick to what the doctor advises. Over the counter medicines, painkillers or analgesics like ibuprofen or crocin have to be avoided as they can be harmful for the pregnancy.
High impact Exercises: High impact exercises like playing basketball, gymnastics, heavy weight lifting increase the risk of injuries and falls, especially as you grow heavier and the centre of gravity of your body shifts. It is advisable to avoid high impact sports and exercises during pregnancy and stick to safer modes of exercises such as brisk walking, stretching, pre natal yoga etc.