No, I’m not preggers at the moment! I give the disclaimer because every time we have a pregnancy advice post on the blog, all my folks start wondering whether I’m secretly expecting. Our job here at The Passionista Playbook is to empower (all) women and enlightened men with the info that they need to lead big, fat, juicy, fear-less lives filled with passion. That includes tips on safe a pregnancy. Wishing you, your partner and lil-one-to-be every happiness. Enjoy! -aa

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen you are pregnant, it seems everybody and their mother has some tried and true advice to give you about what you should do, shouldn’t do, what you should eat and what things to avoid. Some of the information they pass on might have a little bit of truth to it, but for the most part, it’s all old wives’ tales that you should take with copious amounts of salt.

We did some research on safety during pregnancy and comprised this list of ten safety tips. This information is based on current medical advice and research. It’s practical advice that anyone can use during any stage of their pregnancy.

1. Ask your doctor before taking any medications.

Some medications – even benign over the counter remedies – can have adverse effects on a fetus. You want to be sure that you only take medications that have been proven safe for pregnancy, even if it’s just for a headache. Also, if you have underlying conditions that have you on prescription medications daily, be sure to talk to your doctor about them because he may have to change them for the duration of your pregnancy to a safer alternative.

2. Avoid smoking and (yup) smokers.

Cigarette smoke is known to have a number of ill effects on a fetus and can lead to a number of issues at birth – including birth defects, low birth weight, developmental issues and even death. If you are a smoker, it’s highly advised that you stop for the duration of your pregnancy and refrain from being around smokers at all costs.

3. Don’t consume alcohol. Duh.

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to some of the same pregnancy complications as cigarette smoke, but being that it’s a drug, it can also lead to something called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). This condition is the leading cause of mental retardation in babies and is also a major contributing factor in a number of birth defections, organ malfunctions and growth deficiencies.

4. Avoid drugs. Double Duh. 

Drug use while pregnant can cause a host of maladies in an unborn fetus, just like consuming alcohol and smoking. If the fetus does not suffer any developmental or physical impairments, they can be born addicted to drugs and suffer from horrible withdrawals just like adults do once they are born.

5. Refrain from exposure to (hidden) pesticides.

Pesticides contain toxic chemicals that are harmful enough to people, but they can be detrimental to a developing fetus. We’re surrounded by them in our every day life so even if you do not handle them directly, you still risk being exposed to them. Fruit and produce from  your local grocery store is a very common way to be exposed to pesticides so be sure to wash them carefully before consumption.

6. Keep your body temperature in check.

Hot baths, saunas and a relaxing soak in a hot tub can feel wonderful, but pregnant women should avoid these situations. Immersing yourself in hot water causes an unnatural and sometimes sudden spike in body temperature, which can be harmful to a fetus. They don’t have a developed body cooling system yet and cannot regulate their temperatures on their own.

7. Stay away from cat poop.

If you have a cat you might consider getting rid of it or asking someone to keep it for you for the duration of your pregnancy. Cat feces carries a parasite that is known to cause a flu-like illness in expectant mothers that can be very harmful on the fetus. Exposure to this parasite also increases the likelihood of pre-term labor and miscarriage. If you do not want to get rid of your cat or do not have anyone who can keep it for you, be sure that you delegate the litter box cleaning chore to someone else in the family while you are pregnant.

8. Watch your weight.

It’s a popular misconception among pregnant women that you need to eat more to sustain the fetus because you are ‘eating for two’ – or three or four in the case of multiples. This is simply not the case. During your first trimester, you don’t need to consume any extra calories in order to sustain your pregnancy. Even women in their second and third trimesters are only advised to add 300 calories max to their diets. Watching your diet during pregnancy keeps you at a healthy weight and also means you’ll have less of the dreaded ‘baby weight’ to shed once your child is born.

9. Keep your stress levels in check.

Stress isn’t good for you at any time in your life and it can have some bad effects on your unborn child as well. Stress causes your blood pressure to rise and elevates your heart rate, both of which can result in pre-term labor, miscarriage or the life threatening condition known as preeclampsia. Learn to relax as much and as often as you can to keep your stress levels as low as possible.

10. Please use common sense.

There are some things that common sense dictates you just shouldn’t do while you’re pregnant. Some of these are participating in extreme sports, going on amusement park rides, climbing where there’s a risk of falling and taking unnecessary risks in general. If it looks dangerous or like a bad idea – it probably is and avoiding the activity would be best.

If you have pre-existing medical conditions or have a high risk pregnancy, there may be additional safety measures you need to take in order to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy. Each pregnancy is different so even if something didn’t bother you last time around doesn’t guarantee you will be as lucky during this pregnancy.

You and your doctor are the only two people who know what’s best for you and your unborn child. Make it a habit to discuss any and all concerns you have about safety issues and how they relate to your personal situation. Sound medical advice is the best way to ward off any health issues and avoid potentially life-threatening complications.

What a great post, right?! Blogger-Author Uttoran Sen is a health enthusiast learning more about HIV AIDS health care systems and staying safe and healthy.

Featured images: 

  • License: Creative Commons image source. This blog is for informational purposes only. We are not doctors nor do we claim to be. Please check with your own physician for medical advice.

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