The ‘do nots’ of pregnancy
Pregnancy is full of things not to do, but just remember, it’s only 9 months!
Sometimes pregnancy can feel like one long, boring list of things you can’t do - but let’s face it, it’s only for nine months, and your baby will benefit in the long run. So here’s a quick list of the things you need to dodge for a while.
The jury’s out on booze, so the Department of Health recommends you avoid it altogether. If you do opt to have a drink, it recommends you stick to one or two units of alcohol once or twice a week to minimise the risk to your baby.
Cigarettes can do babies a lot of harm, increasing the risk of stillbirth, cot death, asthma and other lifelong diseases. But the good news is, it’s never too late to stop, nicotine replacement therapy is safe and there are great services to help you stop. Second hand (passive) smoke can affect you and your baby. It’s highly toxic and more than 80% of second hand smoke is invisible and doesn’t smell. So if there’s a smoker in your home encourage them to give up and get support if they need it. Talking to them about how their smoking affects you and your baby may help them to quit smoking for you and your baby’s sake, if not theirs – and at the very least have a smoke-free home.
Do touch the animals
Most animals are fine, just avoid pigs and sheep, and try not to touch the cat litter tray – what a great job to delegate for a while!
Foods to forgo
Quite a few things are off the menu, from soft cheese to pate, but the good news is chocolate is fine!
Don’t eat for two
The truth is ‘eating for two’ in pregnancy is a myth and you don’t need many extra calories. In fact you don’t need any extra calories right up until the third trimester, when you start needing an extra 200 calories a day.
Avoid extreme heat
Thanks to hormonal changes and extra blood supply to the skin, many mums-to-be feel constantly warm - flinging open windows, while shivering friends pull on another layer. It’s easy to overheat, get dehydrated and feel faint though, so avoid hot baths, take it easy exercising and keep cool.
Check your meds
The only way to know which medicines are safe is to speak to your doctor/pharmacist or midwife.
Use natural remedies with caution
Natural medicine and complementary therapies can offer great comfort during pregnancy, but many natural remedies are powerful and could be harmful if not used carefully and if they aren’t products specific to pregnancy, so chat to your midwife or doctor before trying any out.