Here’s what you need to avoid when pregnant:
Reports of the effects of caffeine on a foetus have been conflicting. Some studies state that caffeine is harmful to the foetus and can cause miscarriages, premature delivery and low birth weights, while other studies deny any such connection. It is now widely believed that drinking small amounts of caffeine is fine – but too much of it should be avoided. How much is too much? As long as you stay below the 300mg of caffeine a day mark, you should be fine. Different coffees have different amounts of caffeine but in general drink no more than two cups a day. Remember that tea, colas and other soft drinks, and chocolate, all contain caffeine. The caffeine content in chocolate is very low so you don’t need to worry about it, but do remember that it all adds up. Some mothers prefer playing it safe and staying off caffeine during their entire pregnancy, but if you cannot do this, try and limit your intake as far as possible.
Soaking in a hot tub or going in for a steam or sauna session may seem like the perfect way to relax and pamper yourself at this time, but this is not a good idea. Any activity that raises your body temperature should be avoided, especially during your first trimester. Sure, you could take a hot shower, but make sure you get out of there as soon as possible. You don’t want hot streams of water pelting your belly for an extended period of time. Give yourself ten minutes in a warm shower at the most.
Avoid eating heaty foods like ginger, honey etc. Soak almonds overnight in water before eating. Fish containing high levels of mercury should be avoided. Also, avoid eating uncooked cheese or unpasturised milk and its products, as these often contain bacteria that may be harmful to your unborn baby.
Alcohol, cigarettes and drugs
Abstain from alcohol and cigarettes during your pregnancy. If you must drink, red wine – in limits – is your safest bet. A few glasses of red wine a week should be fine, but in general alcohol is best avoided.
Don’t smoke even a single cigarette during your pregnancy. If your husband or partner smokes, make sure he smokes outdoors. Secondhand smoke can be just as bad for your baby. During your pregnancy your husband should not smoke indoors at all, even when you are not around – as stale smoke will lurk in the home for hours after smoking. Any time your husband wants to light up, he should make it a point to go outdoors or out into the balcony.
Drugs too are off limits. Speak to your practitioner before taking any medication. Some OTC drug as Disprin are generally thought to be safe but don’t take anything without asking your doctor. Your doctor may suggest alternate medication which would be less harmful to the foetus.