When a woman is pregnant, it is important for her to be careful about the foods and substances that she is exposed to, because there are a few specific things to avoid during pregnancy. As the baby is growing, it is essential that it receives the proper nutrition and the mother needs to avoid anything that may harm the development of the child.
Things to avoid in food during pregnancy:
- Seafood Containing Mercury: Even though seafood is a good source of iron and protein, it is important to be careful about eating seafood that contains high amounts of mercury. The mercury can cause developmental problems in the baby. The seafood things to avoid during pregnancy include shark, mackerel, canned tuna, and swordfish.
- Undercooked Animal Foods: If meat and eggs are raw or undercooked, they may contain harmful bacteria and result in food poisoning. Pregnant women should not eat meat or eggs unless they are thoroughly cooked.
Unpasteurized Foods: Certain types of dairy products are unpasteurized, which means that they have not been through the treatment process that helps to remove harmful bacteria. Things to avoid during pregnancy include: blue cheese, feta cheese, brie, and camembert.
- Excess Caffeine: High levels of caffeine are not healthy for a developing baby, so it is important that the mother avoids consuming large amounts of coffee, tea, and chocolate.
- Alcohol: Studies have linked alcohol consumption with a higher risk of stillbirth, miscarriage, low birth weight, and other developmental complications.
In addition to food, there are also other environmental factors that should be avoided. These items may cause harm to the mother and/or baby, and some of these items may cause developmental problems if the baby is exposed during the pregnancy.
Other things to avoid during pregnancy:
- X-rays: Even though x-rays can be an important element of medical treatment, they should be avoided whenever possible. Exposing the fetus to the radiation can cause problems that cannot be reversed.
- Cigarette and Pipe Smoke: Smoking has been linked to pregnancy complications, so a pregnant woman should quit smoking and avoid second hand smoke as much as possible.
- Medication: Both over the counter medications and prescription medications may possibly harm the baby, so it is important to avoid medication as much as possible. If there is a medical need for a certain type of drug, be sure to talk with your doctor in order to be sure that it is not one of the things to avoid during pregnancy. Several types of medications can be safe to use, but always verify the information before taking it.
- Electric Blankets and Water Beds: electric blankets and waterbeds actually create a low level electromagnetic field, which can be harmful to a developing fetus.
Even though this list of things to avoid during pregnancy may seem long, it is easy to follow once you create a healthy lifestyle for you and your baby.