Pregnancy

Special precautions for pregnant woman

The first trimester is the most vital in the development of a baby because by the end of those first three months, all of the baby’s organs are formed, though not yet mature. You need to be very careful, especially during this critical period, to avoid drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, certain medications and certain foods. Here are some things to avoid, and the reasons why you should avoid them.

Fish and sea food:

Though sea food is an excellent source of many of important nutrients, there some precautions you should take.

Precautions:

  • Certain fish are more likely to have high levels of mercury, which is very harmful to both yourself and your growing baby. Avoid the intake of fast food fish and fish sticks as they are made from fish likely to have higher levels of mercury.
  • Limit canned tuna and white albacore to once a week.
  • Do not eat king mackerel, sword fish and shark.
  • Do not eat more than 12 ounces of cooked fish in a week.
  • Try to choose wild caught Salmon over the farm grown variety

Alcohol:

Alcohol cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Babies with FAS suffer from abnormal facial features, grow slowly and also have problems  learning.

Precaution

  • The best idea is to completely avoid all alcoholic beverages while you are pregnant, but especially during that critical first trimester. If you have questions or concerns, talk to your Doctor about pregnancy and alcohol.

Caffeine:

Caffeine is a stimulant that can affect unborn babies when consumed in large amounts. Some research indicates that excessive caffeine consumption can cause smaller than normal babies, premature births or birth defects.

Precautions:

  • Limit foods and drinks with caffeine like tea, coffee, colas, cocoa and other soft drinks.
  • Realize that caffeine is often an ingredient in many of non-prescription drugs like cold, headache and allergy medications. Remember, always check with your doctor before taking any medication, even cold medications, as some are not safe for pregnancy.
  • If you have been consuming caffeine regularly, slowly reduce your intake. Stopping all at once can cause severe headaches, fatigue and nausea.

Cigarettes:

Cigarette smoking can lead to serious health problems in pregnancy, such as low birth weight babies who suffer from various infections, breathing and feeding problems and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Precautions:

  • Stop smoking when pregnant.
  • Avoid smoking areas and smokers as much as possible.

Food additives:

Precautions:

Try to minimize the use of processed foods like hot dogs and other items that have sodium nitrate, like cured meats such as bacon or ham.

Food handling:

Avoid eating raw meat, fish or poultry products. Eating raw meats and fish can greatly increase the risk of parasitic infection.

Precautions:

  • Drink pasteurized milk and eat cheeses made from pasteurized milk.
  • Avoid the intake of raw fish,, eggs or meat.
  • Wash the chopping board after cutting raw meat, fish or poultry.

Medications and herbs:-

Precautions

Some herbs and medications can harm your baby. Always consult your Health Care Professional before consuming any herbal remedies or teas.

Saunas and hot tubs:

Precautions

A pregnant woman must be very careful not to elevate her body temperature.  Higher body temperature can be dangerous to the baby. Even a high fever can cause damage.  Therefore, pregnant women are advised not to use hot tubs or saunas.

Toxoplasmosis:

Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by a parasite.  The parasite can be found in soil, cat feces, and raw or undercooked meat. The parasite can cause damage to the baby’s brain.

Precautions

  • Avoid contact with cat feces. Let someone else change the litter box.
  • While gardening, use gloves.
  • Cook meat properly.

Follow these simple precautions and you will increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby.

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