Congrats future mama, you’re going to have a baby!
We know this is a super exciting time and a huge part of womanhood … it’s finally time for you to bring mini-you into this world. However, it’s completely normal and extremely common to feel nervous about what’s to come.
Pregnancy is a huge responsibility, and for most women, it’s something they have never experienced before. Suddenly, you may have all sorts of thoughts running through your head: “Will I have to switch up my routine?”... “Do I need to change my diet?” … “Can I still do all the things I enjoy doing?”
Rest assured, there aren’t many strict rules for you to follow or do’s and don'ts while you’re pregnant, and there's no need to put your life on pause while your baby is growing in your belly.
However, the health and safety of you and your baby is the most important thing during this time, so here are some things that you may need or want to avoid during your pregnancy.
The closest thing you have to a rule has to do with what you eat and drink and maintaining a healthy diet in pregnancy. You will start experiencing all kinds of pregnancy cravings, which is completely normal. However, it’s important to balance out your diet in order to cater to both what you want, and what your baby needs to grow strong and healthy in your belly... Focus on having a balanced diet and being rid of what not to eat when pregnant.
Here is a list of certain foods to avoid during pregnancy:
Raw Fish: Undercooked or raw fish can cause different kinds of viral, bacterial, and parasitic types of infections. These infections can have a negative effect on both you and your baby. If you are an avid sushi lover, you will, unfortunately, need to stay away from it for the next few months! A list of safe fish during pregnancy would include a variety of seafood that is low in mercury and high in omega-3 acids, such as: sardines, salmon, achovies, shrimp, and cod.
Unpasteurized Foods: Although you’ll be tempted to resort to ready-to-eat foods that are very easy and convenient, they can be harmful because of the possibility of it being contaminated with Listeria. This would include foods like raw eggs, oysters, pre-packaged meat, unpasteurized milk, cheese, and juices.
Mercury in Fish: Although fish is an excellent source of nutrients, some fish can be very high in mercury which can be harmful to the growth of your baby’s brain. Types of fish to avoid during pregnancy would include shark, tuna, marlin, and king mackerel.
Food poisoning while pregnant is actually more common due to the changes your body goes though. Preventing food poisoning is extremely important in order to avoid problems for you and your baby, such as a miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm labor, and a premature birth.
In addition to the foods to avoid when pregnant, there are also certain drinks that are not safe to drink while you're expecting.
Coffee: Many women start to get concerned about how much caffeine is safe during pregnancy. Limit yourself to 200 milligrams of caffeine per day which is about two cups of coffee. Keep in mind, there are a lot of things that contain caffeine, like energy drinks that contain high levels of caffeine and not recommended for pregnant women.
Tea: Being a top drink choice, many pregnant wonder if they can have tea during their pregnancy. The truth is that many women reap benefits from cutting out drinking tea while pregnant, or even avoiding certain kinds of tea - teas that contain high amounts of caffeine such as green, white, matcha, chai, oolong, and black tea. That being said, you can resort to safe teas during pregnancy - ones that contain natural ingredients, such as ginger tea, raspberry leaf, lemon balms and peppermint teas.
You’re going to have a new found importance in checking the labels of cleaning products that you use around the house. If you are using any cleaning products, glues, or paints around the house, be sure to look out for any safety directions or warnings for pregnant women on the packaging.
You can filter out all the products with strong and harmful chemicals, and opt for more healthy and natural cleaning products. When you clean around the house, it’s a good idea to make sure the windows and doors are open so the room is well ventilated.
There is no safe amount of alcohol consumption when you’re pregnant, so it should be completely avoided when you’re expecting.
Alcohol is extremely dangerous if it is consumed since it enters the mother's bloodstream and passes through to the baby through the umbilical cord. Drinking alcohol while pregnant can cause serious implications such as miscarriages, stillbirth, and a range of physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities in your baby.
In the case that you fail to separate alcohol and pregnancy, you will face the risk of developing a condition called fetal alcohol syndrome. This is a condition that can cause brain damage and development problems for your baby. Drinking during pregnancy is not safe for your child and will lead to a mix of physical defects, intellectual problems, and cognitive disabilities.
Although there is only a small amount of research conducted on saunas and jacuzzis during pregnancy, it’s a good idea to avoid them due to the possible risks of overheating, dehydration, and fainting.
Given that you’ll be going through hormonal changes during your pregnancy, your body will most likely be warmer than usual. This increase in temperature can make pregnant women more prone to fainting.
Using a sauna, jacuzzi, or even hot tub can increase your body’s core temperature and this can have a negative impact on your unborn baby’s development.
Smoking is extremely dangerous for your baby. Although this is commonly known, you may not think about the negative impact that secondhand smoking can have on pregnant women. In fact, there are roughly 4,000 chemicals in secondhand smoke, some that are linked to cancer.
Negative effects of secondhand smoking may include miscarriage, premature delivery, low birth weight, learning disabilities for your baby, and sudden infant death syndrome.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can you eat tuna while pregnant?
Tuna contains nutrients that are very nourishing for your body and is widely praised for its content of omega-3 fats, which is extremely beneficial to your baby's brain development and nervous system.
However, tuna also contains high levels of mercury which is related to various health problems and development complications in babies. Therefore, pregnant women should limit the amount of tuna they consume during pregnancy.
Tuna can be safe during pregnancy as long as it's consumed in controlled amounts - That being said, the FDA suggests that pregnant women consumer about 8-12 ounces of fish and seafood per week, and no more than:
- 12 ounces of canned light tuna and other low mercury fish (anchovies, cod, tilapia, trout)
- 4 ounces of medium mercury fish (bluefish, halibut, snapper)
Can pregnant women eat hotdogs?
We can all appreciate the tastiness and convenience of deli meats and this can be extremely tempting while you're pregnant, however it may not be the healthiest option out there.
It's best to avoid foods that have been preserved because there are many chemicals (such as nitrates and nitrites) used in food preservation that are not healthy for a growing fetus - This unfortunately means you should be steering clear of hotdogs too.
Can pregnant women eat grapes during pregnancy?
Get ready for some good news to come your way! Not only are grapes safe during pregnancy, but they're also extremely healthy! Grapes contain many essential nutrients, and are a great source of minerals and vitamins that can help to promote good health and also avoid illnesses and diseases.
Grapes are not one of the fruits to avoid during pregnancy, however don't overload on them since they are rich in natural sugars. If you are an expecting mother with gestational diabetes, you should be extra careful with limiting your grape intake as it can lead to a blood sugar imbalance.
Can you eat eggs while pregnant?
If you're pregnant, you may be wondering if it's safe to eat eggs. Eggs are a good source of protein, and they contain important vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin B12, and selenium.Research suggests that eating eggs during pregnancy is safe, as long as you're not allergic to them. In fact, eggs can actually provide some health benefits for pregnant women. For example, eggs are a good source of choline, which is important for fetal brain development. So go ahead and enjoy an egg or two while you're pregnant!
Can pregnant women drink ginger tea?
Ginger has been shown to be helpful in digestion and nausea, both of which can be issues during pregnancy. Plus, it's a soothing and calming drink. If you're feeling adventurous, you can also add some honey or lemon to your ginger tea for extra flavor. Give it a try!
The Bottom Line
As a mother-to-be, it's best to have an open mind and remember that you cannot control everything that goes on in your life as things change. However, it is your responsibility to make these adjustments and do your best to have a healthy pregnancy.