Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it’s also a time when you need to be more careful about your health. Watching what you eat, taking care with what you drink, getting the necessary vaccinations, and observing other safety considerations are essential when you’re pregnant. Knowing how to be safe during your pregnancy can make being a mother a healthier experience for you and your baby. Below, you will find our tips on staying safe during pregnancy:
Avoid Unsafe Foods
Most foods are safe to eat during pregnancy, but there are also many you should avoid. These are foods that could contain bacteria or toxins harmful to you and your baby. Dangerous foods include:
~Hot dogs and deli meats. Uncooked meats such as refrigerated meat spreads can contain bacteria that can make you sick.
~Unpasteurized milk products and juices. Milk and cheeses that are not pasteurized can contain bacteria such as listeria and tuberculosis. Juices that are not pasteurized can contain salmonella. For nutritional content, choose pasteurized yogurt and kefir instead of unpasteurized milk and cheese.
~Sushi and other raw seafood. Refrigerated, smoked seafood such as mackerel, whitefish, and salmon should also be avoided for the bacterial danger these foods harbor.
~Swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, shark, and white tuna. While fish is good for your baby’s developing brain, you should avoid these due to their mercury levels.
~Raw sprouts. These can carry bacteria.
~Herbs and plants used as medicines. Some herbs and medicinal plants are abortifacients, or abortion-inducing substances, that can harm you and your baby.
Avoid Drinking Alcohol
Avoid drinking alcohol during your pregnancy. Alcohol can cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or a range of preventable birth defects called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders (FASD). FASD is a term for fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), alcohol-related birth defects, partial FAS, and alcohol-related developmental and behavioral disorders in affected babies. Even outside of pregnancy, alcohol use has proven dangerous. According to Breastcancer.org, women who drink three alcoholic drinks per week have a 15% higher risk of breast cancer than women who don’t drink alcohol. Alcohol is a risk in hormone receptive breast cancer and may create DNA damage in breast tissue.
Smoking or using tobacco before, during and after pregnancy is dangerous due to the toxins tobacco contains. Avoid secondhand smoke and living in the same house as a smoker. Cigarette smoke can also leave thirdhand particles in the environment, on furniture, curtains, clothes, and carpets.
Avoid Mold and Mildew
A house that is too humid can breed mold and mildew that is not good for you or the health of your baby. Ask an HVAC maintenance service in Florida to check your HVAC unit for safety.
Finally, Vaccinations can keep you and your baby healthy before, during, and after your pregnancy. Basic vaccines are chickenpox (varicella), TDAP (tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis), and MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella). Get a flu shot during flu season, too. Ask your healthcare provider before you try to conceive when is the best time to get these vaccinations.
While at times it may seem like a lot to bear in mind, the health of you and your baby is sure to be worth every precaution you take – big and small.
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Do you have any other tips on staying safe during pregnancy? Feel free to leave them in the comments.