Of course, an expectant mother tries to lead a healthy lifestyle, keep to a balanced diet, get all the necessary vitamins and trace elements. Everybody knows that pregnant women need positive emotions, care, fresh air, long walks, understanding and support of their loved ones, and so on. But family and friends actively begin to bombard a mother-to-be with pregnancy dos and don’ts: “this is not allowed”, “don’t eat that”. How to tell whether their advice is helpful or not?
The “dos” of pregnancy
- Fresh pure water should become the most important drink for a pregnant woman. You can also drink fresh juices, fruit drinks, yogurt.
- Some mothers-to-be crave for a beer. You can have one, but try to choose non-alcoholic products.
- In the last trimester, you can indulge in a glass of fine red wine (but no champagne). Remember, every person is an individual, so the proper dose can vary. There is an opinion that if a future mom feels a bit dizzy because of alcohol, her baby is unconscious.
- You can cut your hair short: you won’t do your baby any harm with a haircut, and your hair won’t become less beautiful because of it.
- Among all medicines, only No-spa, Tylenol (Acetaminophen), and Paracetamol are completely safe if you follow the prescribed dosage.
- You can sleep on your back if it feels comfortable.
- The best pregnancy exercises are swimming and aqua aerobics.
- You can use cosmetics. But the products shouldn’t contain Vitamin A (it’s harmful in high doses), Hydrocortisone (it’s a steroid which in everyday use is not safe for the baby), Benzoyl Peroxide. And choose body lotions specifically made for pregnant women. They are completely safe, and their ingredients reduce the possibility of stretch marks and breast deformation to a minimum.
- Have sex if your pregnancy is taking a normal course. But it won’t be unwise to ask your doctor about it.
The “don’ts” of pregnancy
- Alcohol, smoking, and drugs are a taboo! A safe dose of these poisons doesn’t exist. So, abstain from bad habits. And also avoid passive smoking.
- Caffeine during pregnancy can be a reason for a miscarriage or a baby being born underweight. And green tea interferes with the absorption of folic acid, necessary for the normal fetal development, into your body. So, you’d better abstain from these drinks. But if you can’t do completely without them – a small cup from time to time won’t kill you.
- It’s not recommended to consume such products as raw meat, unpasteurized milk, soft cheeses, sushi, fast food. Try not to eat spicy, salty, and fatty food.
- Sodas can cause active processes of fermentation in the gut which provoke the contractions of the uterus.
- Don’t wear synthetic underwear, especially string panties. Make your choice in favor of natural fabrics and maternity bras.
- It’s not advised to dye your hair during pregnancy. Your hormonal background has changed and that puts a strain on your skin and hair, and chemical agents can make the situation much worse. But if you’ve decided to dye your hair anyway, buy a gentle hair dye.
- Don’t clean a cat litter box during pregnancy. You can catch toxoplasmosis, the unwanted outcome being arrested fetal development, brain and eye damage to the fetus.
- You shouldn’t overheat. That’s why you should abstain from hot baths and sauna.
- Decorating while pregnant is not so safe. Paints and toxins will completely dissipate only in a year.
- Don’t use insect sprays. The toxins can get into your blood and reach the baby.
- The following drugs are strictly forbidden: Aminopterin, Methyltestosterone, Progestins, Quinine, Thalidomide, Trimethadione, Retinoids.
- Vaccination during pregnancy is not advised.
- Don’t wear high heels. First of all, it’s dangerous for you: there always is a possibility of an injury. Secondly, during pregnancy, your center of gravity is shifting, and therefore your spine is overstrained. And high heels make it worse. That’s why during the second half of the term the risk of various neuralgias and sciatica increases. As a future mother, you definitely don’t need such complications.
- Don’t raise your arms when the baby has taken the right position (in later terms).
- You shouldn’t lie on your belly or sit cross-legged.
- Some people say that you shouldn’t show your newborn baby to anyone until they are 40 days old. In fact, doctors recommend that you don’t invite guests for about a month after childbirth. Your home has its own atmosphere and microflora, and your visitors have theirs. Your baby should develop an immunity to their surroundings, so it’s won’t be good if you invite a whole crowd of people to your place. But when you’re walking with your baby outdoors you can show them to everyone you like.
“Do” or “don’t”? There is no definite answer!
- Going to a tanning salon is not recommended. But a lot of expectant mothers don’t agree with such a restriction. If you cover your belly with a towel and follow the instructions you’ll be safe.
- If you like soy, continue to eat it. But if you’ve never tried these beans before – it’s better not to risk. And you should choose natural soy, even though there is no proof that genetically modified foods have a negative influence on our health.
- Deodorants containing aluminum salts are forbidden. However, you can use perfumed alcohol deodorant.
- Abstain from any trips. The vibrations of transport can trigger uterine muscles’ activity and cause a miscarriage or premature birth. But if the woman feels absolutely fine she may travel safely. Just don’t choose the following risky periods for traveling: 11-12, 26-27, and 31-32 weeks.
- You can use the computer, but only for a short period of time. Computer overuse is dangerous since the very first terms – it increases the risk of stillbirth.
- Physical exercises are important, but that means you should walk and do specific exercises for pregnant women. No heavy lifting, climbing, marathons, or scuba diving.
- Doctors don’t recommend that pregnant women consume a lot of food allergens, such as chocolate or citrus. Be careful with these products (that means – exclude them from your diet if possible). But those who are against strict rules claim that you can eat anything you want during pregnancy. Your body craves for the necessary nutrients! Besides, you’ll have to abstain from a lot of products during the breastfeeding period, and it’s so tempting to eat your fill in advance!
- You’d better not take any medications. But if it’s absolutely necessary, consult a doctor and discuss the matter.
- If you don’t take any pills and prefer herbal therapy, you should closely read the ingredients list. Here are herbs which are harmful to future mothers: aloe, barberry, marjoram, ergot, tansy, garlic. They can cause hypertonic uterine dysfunction. Wild strawberries and marigold can make your baby prone to allergies. Eating too much sea kale, sorrel, or spinach cause fetal developmental disorders. Hypericum increases blood pressure. Calamus, blue cornflower, elecampane, cade, celery can end in kidney disorders. Besides, belladonna, yellow water-lily, milkweed, fern, peony, lilac, horsetail, bird cherry tree belong to the poisonous plants. They are sometimes used in treatment in small portions, but you shouldn’t take them during pregnancy.
- The same goes for aromatherapy. If you don’t have allergies, use essential oils without fear. The safe ones are petit grain, rosewood, sandalwood, tea tree, neroli, eucalyptus, ylang-ylang, lavender, lemon, orange, calendula, wheat germs, jojoba. After a consultation with an expert, you can use bergamot, chamomile, peppermint, olibanum. And the following oils are forbidden during pregnancy: laurel, basil, nutmeg, hyssop, juniper, marjoram, myrrh, thyme, sage, carnation, patchouli (in later stages), cedar, cypress, lemongrass, rosemary, yarrow, fennel. Tansy, agrimony, wormwood, marjoram, pennyroyal can have a toxic effect on the baby or even cause a miscarriage.
- They say you can do an ultrasonic examination only three times during the whole course of pregnancy. Doctors still don’t have a single opinion on the matter. Some of them think that modern ultrasound machines are absolutely safe for the baby, and you can use them as many times as you can. Others believe that, anyway, irradiation is irradiation. Don’t refuse to do an ultrasound if it’s necessary. But performing the procedure only in order to find out the baby’s gender isn’t so important.