When a woman is pregnant, she has to be doubly safe and cautious, not only for her own health but also for the health of her unborn baby. During pregnancy, so many changes take place inside a woman's body that they can alter her entire system. Certain foods and things which were well suitable to the woman before pregnancy, might cause numerous side effects in her when she is pregnant. This makes it very important for the woman to take certain precautions. Let's find out.
Special Precautions during the Early Stages of Pregnancy
Fish and other Seafood
Since seafood including fish, might contain high levels of mercury, it is one of the foods to be avoided during pregnancy. Shark, tilefish and swordfish are some varieties of fish that should be especially avoided.
Intake of excessive alcohol during pregnancy, might lead to a health condition known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). In this, the babies might develop learning disabilities or unusual facial features or it might even delay growth in them. So avoiding alcohol is another precaution to be taken during pregnancy.
There are a number of side effects that caffeine can produce in a person, such as nervousness, anxiety, irritability, altered heartbeat and insomnia. If a pregnant woman takes caffeine in large quantities, the same symptoms can appear in her, which can be detrimental to the health of the baby. Thus, tea, coffee, soft drinks, and chocolate are some of the foods to avoid during pregnancy, as they all contain caffeine.
Eating uncooked food or food which is not cooked properly, can cause parasites and other infections in a pregnant woman, which can be harmful both for the mother as well as the baby. So one should always eat food which is cooked properly. Milk should be pasteurized too.
Researches have shown that babies of women who smoke, usually weigh less than normal. This makes them more prone to infections, diseases, breathing problems, etc. Active as well as passive smoking has to be avoided during pregnancy.
One of the precautions which a woman should take during the first trimester of pregnancy, is to avoid any kind of medicine or drug. Even avoiding X-rays, till the pregnancy ends, is recommended. The reason behind this is that the important organs of the baby, such as the brain, heart, etc. are still in the developmental and growth stage during the first three months. And if any of the medicines or drugs cause some side effects, the growth of these important organs can get hampered.
Just as medicines can be detrimental to a baby's health, certain herbs, if taken without the consultation of a trained herbalist, can produce complications such as fetus injuries, premature birth, painful contractions and miscarriages. Some herbs such as passion flower, black cohosh, pay D' arco, saw palmetto and pennyroyal, have been recommended to be avoided during pregnancy.
High Impact Exercises
Highly strenuous exercises should be avoided during the early stages of pregnancy and even after that. One should not indulge in weightlifting, scuba diving, horse riding, leaping, skiing and any kind of contact sports.
Many a time, pregnant women are also confused, whether or not to indulge in sex during pregnancy. Ideally, intercourse should be avoided in the first trimester and near the end of the pregnancy. Consulting a gynecologist regarding this as well as all the other dos and don'ts, will give you a much clearer picture.