what to avoid during pregnancy
What to avoid during pregnancy is one of the first searches newly pregnant parents make. Pregnant people can mostly continue on as before, but there are some things to avoid. Eliminating behaviors known to be harmful during pregnancy is a stepping stone for most parents of what all parents are hoping for when they start their fertility journey: a healthy mom and baby. Here is a checklist of things to consider avoiding while pregnant:
Smoking comes with many risks, including miscarriage and stillbirth. Talk to your healthcare provider about quitting and know that even reducing your intake is beneficial. Secondhand smoke is risky as well, so no one should be smoking in your household either before or after the baby is born. Need support to quit? Try this.
Most health care professionals recommend that you stop drinking alcohol as soon as you know you are pregnant to reduce the risk of low birth weight and fetal alcohol syndrome. Because there is no known safe amount of alcohol to consume during pregnancy, the CDC recommendation is not to drink at all. Wondering if you can have an occasional alcoholic drink while pregnant? Ask your midwife or OB. In many countries, there is a more relaxed approach to occasionally consuming alcohol.
check-in with your caffeine consumption:
Most care providers recommend keeping caffeine intake under 200 mg per day while pregnant. Note: an average 8-oz cup of coffee contains around 80-100 mg of caffeine.
avoid foods that can be harmful during pregnancy:
These include items that tend to harbor bacteria, toxins, or parasites, like raw fish, undercooked meat, soft cheeses, or deli meats with nitrates, etc. Talk to your midwife or doctor to get a full list.
don’t change cat litter:
If you have a cat, you should not be the one to change its litter, due to the risk of contracting toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by a parasite that can be present in the litter.
check your makeup and skincare products.
Now’s the time to consider switching to non-toxic brands that are safer. The skin is the largest organ in the body and absorbs toxins. Want some recommendation? Check out the Enviromental Working Group website for reviews on safe for pregnancy cosmetic products.
consider whether your job activities or environment are safe for pregnancy.
Are you routinely exposed to harsh chemicals? Radiation? Do you have to lift heavy items? Learn your rights as a pregnant person in the workplace and talk to your boss right away to make adjustments.
vitamins and supplements:
Folic acid is one of the key vitamins you hear people talking about in early pregnancy, as it can greatly reduce the risk of spina bifida and other neural tube defects. Discuss with your care provider whether folate is preferable to folic acid, as some research is directing pregnant people that way. Most care providers recommend a complete prenatal vitamin unless you are able to verify that you can get the required vitamins and minerals from your diet. Talk to a prenatal nutritionist to find out what’s right for you. If you need to find a perinatal nutritionist, boober can help. Text us at (917) 451-5815 so we can match you!
What to avoid during pregnancy may require some lifestyle changes. If you need support with any of the steps, reach out to your midwife or doctor or boober for support. Because the health and safety of your growing baby (and your own!) is paramount, avoiding some things during your pregnancy are part of the journey. You won’t be pregnant forever, but the choices you make during these months can have a lasting impact.