What you put in your body affects baby–10 things to avoid when pregnant

Female staff holding organic sign board in supermarketStudies have been debating nature vs. nurture for centuries, but the two meet when a woman becomes pregnant. From the day you conceive, everything you put in or on your body affects your child. By making informed decisions, you can eliminate many major risk factors that would hurt your baby’s health. Here are ten things to cut when you’re pregnant. 

1. Drugs and alcohol.

As an informed mother reading this article, this one is obvious to you, but it’s included because it’s so important. Drugs and alcohol drastically hurt your baby, if he’s even born at all. Using these substances can easily kill you or your child when you’re pregnant. 

2. Caffeine.

If you’ve been having your morning cup of coffee for a few weeks before you found out you’re pregnant, don’t stress too much, but do stop immediately. Excessive caffeine (more than 3 cups of coffee or 285 mg) raises your chances of miscarriage or giving birth to a child with a low body weight. Don’t forget caffeine is also in teas, sodas and even coffee flavored ice cream or chocolate. 

3. Seafood.

Seafood, especially poorly prepared seafood, could be lethal to your baby. Seafood puts you and your baby at risk with Listeria bacteria and mercury poisoning.

4. Creams, dyes, lotions, shampoos, etc. with a lot of chemicals.

The chemicals in your lotions, soaps and anything else you put on your skin seep into your pores and on to your baby. Use products made with natural ingredients to protect your child.

5. Raw, under-cooked or poorly prepared meats.

This includes a rare steak, raw eggs (looking at you cookie dough), and even deli meats. Meats are often loaded with bacteria such as E. Coli or Salmonella. It’s important to have protein in your diet, so don’t eliminate these items, just make sure they are properly prepared. Meat should be cooked thoroughly and deli slices should be heated until they steam. 

6. Unwashed fruits and vegetables.

Again, don’t eliminate these foods; fruits and vegetables are vital to a well-rounded diet. Most produce isn’t washed in the stores, so it often has pesticide residue, plus all the germs from everyone touching your produce before you. Give it a good wash and you and your baby will be fine. 

7. Ibuprofen or Aspirin.

Don’t worry though, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is still safe. 

8. High heels.

As your pregnancy progresses, your baby throws off your center of balance and high heels put you at too great of a risk for falling. You might be Catwoman on any normal day, but when you’re pregnant it’s best to be safe. 

9. Unpasteurized dairy and cheeses.

Unpasteurized dairy and cheeses can carry E. Coli or Listeria, which could be fatal to your baby. Make sure any dairy products are pasteurized. 

10. Strenuous exercise especially if it requires balance.

It’s important to get exercise and stay fit during your pregnancy, but this cannot become a risk to your baby. Prenatal yoga is an excellent exercise during your pregnancy. Not only do you stay active, but yoga can help melt stress away.

Being pregnant is a beautiful and amazing time for you and your baby. Knowing what to avoid can make your pregnancy less stressful so you can soak up the joys of being an expecting mother. 

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