27 May 2022 | 4 min Read
Author | 2578 Articles
Life seems wonderful amidst all the new things you get to do and being the center of attention everywhere you go, right? However, between acting as the queen bee of the hive and preparing for the new arrival in the family, do not forget these important pregnancy mandates because as you know, what you eat, your baby eats.
1. Alcohol and smoking
This one is practically a no brainer. Every time you have a glass of your favourite alcoholic drink, it passes right into the placenta. Significant prenatal exposure to alcohol can lead to a condition known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which can impair your baby’s growth and development and can cause permanent brain damage and physical birth defects. Risks of smoking in pregnancy include premature birth, low-birth weight, miscarriage, stillbirth etc as the foetus feels suffocated because it does not get the adequate amount of oxygen required to breathe properly.
2. Excessive amounts of caffeine
Apart from coffee, caffeine is present in other drinks like soda and tea. Doctors warn about the negative effects of excess caffeine intake i.e more than 300 milligrams a day, as it can interfere with sleep patterns and contribute to nausea and lightheadedness. It can also increase urination and lead to dehydration.
3. Processed meat and dairy products
Commercial meats might contain dyes, hormones, antibiotics as most animals are fed from genetically modified crops and are sometimes fed hormones to speed their growth and antibiotics to prevent diseases. Dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc. come from cows who have been bred under similar conditions whereas unpasteurized milk can put you at the risk of becoming infected with bacteria known as listeria which is dangerous for pregnant women due to lower immunity levels.
4. Raw or Undercooked meat
Raw meat, chicken, and fish can be contaminated by salmonella and other disease-carrying bacteria. To a healthy adult, these bacteria can cause mild symptoms such as vomiting, fever, and diarrhea. But for a pregnant woman, they can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature delivery.
5. Cleaning cat litter
Cat poop can be carrier of a protozoan called toxoplasma gondii which can be deadly for you and for your baby. Toxoplasmosis in pregnant women has been known to cause hydrocephalus or water in the brain, microcephaly or an abnormally small skull, intracranial calcification or abnormal deposits of calcium in the brain, chorioretinitis or inflammation of the vascular coating of the eye, miscarriage and intrauterine death.
6. Over the counter drugs
Aspirin should be avoided during pregnancy as its repeated use can cause miscarriage, placental abruption or excessive bleeding in mother or baby.
These might cause shrinking of the blood vessels that feed your mucus membranes and the risks of repeated use of decongestants include low birth weight and poor bone formation.
Along with pregnancy comes constipation. The problem with laxatives is that their repeated use can result in your body becoming dependent on them. Also, the cramping caused by some laxatives can be difficult to differentiate from preterm labor.
These carry the following concerns: drop in blood pressure and oxygen saturation experienced by some during anesthesia can threaten baby’s oxygen supply, anesthesia associated with non-pregnancy-related surgery has been linked to preterm labor, and drugged and sluggish newborns are known to have tougher times initiating breathing, bonding, and breastfeeding and can have variable heart rates. With epidurals specifically, there is also the risk of nerve damage, prolonged labor, or a severe and prolonged spinal headache from leakage of spinal fluid.
7. Certain types of fish
Fish are low in fat and high in protein and essential Omega-3 fatty acids, which makes most fish an excellent nutritional choice during pregnancy. However, shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, and even albacore tuna are some of the fish which should be avoided because they contain high levels of methylmercury, which is a chemical byproduct of industry found in lakes and oceans, as mercury can lurk in the bloodstream for a year or more after it’s ingested.