When you’re pregnant, you’ll want to ensure that you give your baby the best possible start in life by having a healthy pregnancy. There are many things you should do when you’re pregnant to encourage the healthy development of your baby, and there are many ways to prep for the best delivery possible. But there are also many things you shouldn’t do.
To make sure your baby has a healthy start in life, here are 8 things you should never do while pregnant:
Avoid certain foods
While your nutrition (and in turn, your baby’s diet) is of the utmost importance. There are certain foods that you should abstain from eating when you’re pregnant. You can find ample lists of things that you should not be eating when you’re pregnant, but the basic list boils down to this:
- No deli meat
- No fish with high levels of mercury
- Raw eggs
- Smoked seafood
- Soft cheeses and unpasteurized dairy
These are all foods that are more likely to be contaminated with things like listeria or salmonella, which could cause a life-threatening illness for your baby.
Limit your caffeine intake
Caffeine is a diuretic and a stimulant, which means it raises your blood pressure and how much you have to urinate (like you need to do that any more than you are right now). While you may feel great when you get a few cups of coffee into you, your baby doesn’t feel the same. Caffeine crosses the placenta and can affect your baby’s developing metabolism. You can still enjoy coffee or tea but in more moderate amounts of less 300 mg a day.
As your pregnancy progresses, your center of gravity will change, making you more unsteady in those heels. Instead, stick to kitten heels or wedges that are below 3 inches. Honestly, once your ankles start swelling you probably won’t really want to wear heels.
Don’t go to the hospital the second you go into labor
This may seem counterintuitive, but labor can be a long process. If your water hasn’t broken and you have a regular, single fetus pregnancy, it’s better to time your contractions from the beginning of one to the beginning of the next. Use Bloomlife to accurately track contractions until you notice that they are regular and strong and coming every four to five minutes.
Don’t hang out in the sauna/hot tub
Excessive heat is not good for you when you’re pregnant, even if the idea of being in a hot tub sounds soothing. Exposure to high heat for extended periods of time has been linked to birth deformities in first trimester pregnancies. Instead, take a warm bath and keep it under 104°F.
Don’t change the kitty litter
You may love your furry feline, but their feces can contain a dangerous parasite called toxoplasmosis. While it’s more common to pick it up gardening or eating raw meat, it’s better to err on the side of safety and have someone else scoop the kitty litter.
Wine, beer, and liquor pass quickly through the placenta to your baby and can cause things like:
- Premature birth
- Brain damage
- Fetal alcohol disorders
Avoid alcohol when pregnant at all costs.
Don’t smoke or be around secondhand smoke
Smoking is never good for you, but it’s even worse when you’re pregnant. Cigarettes contain over 4,000 chemicals that can cause miscarriage, low birth weight, and premature delivery. This is also the case if you are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke, so get your partner to butt out or go outside.