Things That You Should Avoid During Pregnancy

There are activities and products that may put you and/or your baby’s health. Experts recommend that you keep from engaging in such activities or using these products. Take the necessary precautions to allow yourself and your baby to enjoy a worry-free pregnancy.

Here are some of the things that you should avoid during pregnancy.

Acupuncture and massage.

Acupuncture and massage have been considered therapeutic for ages in relieving muscle and nerve pain. And even while many feel safe having these complementary therapies still, studies proving their effectiveness are limited. There are also certain pressure points in the body that will not be safe for such therapies as they may increase the risk of harm that may be done to the unborn child. Improper management of these therapeutic forms may also trigger contractions even before the pregnant mother’s due date. This can lead to preterm labor and may put the life of the child and the mother at risk.

Other problems related to mismanagement of these therapeutic alternatives include fatigue, minor bleeding, pain in the needle site, and bruising. If you would have to have an acupuncture, you would need a certified acupuncturist who has undergone extensive training and is known in the field. You would also need to inform your care provider of the treatment that you would like to have.

Cats.

A single-celled parasite known as Toxoplasma gondii or T. gondii can cause a disease called toxoplasmosis. It can be found in cat litter or the soil that is infected with cat feces. Toxoplasmosis is a common infection that affects animals as well as humans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that in the US alone about 60 million people are infected with the disease. Although this condition does not pose any grave danger to the health of a normal person. However, if it infects a pregnant woman, it increases the risk of miscarriage. It can also cause serious health issues such as blindness and brain damage to the baby.

Symptoms accompanying this health condition include muscle pain, high temperature, and sore throat. Any expecting mom should be regularly screened for toxoplasmosis.

Cleaning products.

Most cleaning products are formulated with toxic chemicals and should be avoided. Always check the label to see if there are several toxic ingredients in any cleaning product. As much as possible refrain from using them. If you would have to use school items and other household chemicals, make sure that you follow the instructions indicated in the label. Wear hand gloves and work in well-ventilated spaces to lessen the probability of inhaling or actually touching the product.

Exercise.

Exercising is a great way to stay fit and active. However, not all exercises may be beneficial to you, especially if you have other health conditions. For activities that you may include in your daily routine, consult your doctor. Walking, swimming, and other light exercises may be beneficial to you and your baby’s health. It can help you maintain the right weight. It can ease out stiff muscles and help in blood circulation. Exercising can also lessen the discomfort that you may have such as backaches, swelling, and varicose veins.

Tanning Lotions.

Tanning products contains may cause an allergic reaction. Moreover, though they contain sun protection factor, it is usually low. As your skin is more sensitive during pregnancy, you may require a higher protection cream instead.

Other tanning products may contain hazardous chemicals such as beta-carotene and canthaxanthin may also have dangerous side effects. So if you would like to get vitamin D from the sun, make sure that you put on sunscreen with SPF30 or above. You should also do this when early in the morning and not later than 9 am when the sun starts to beam brighter. For additional vitamin D intake, consider taking a prenatal supplement instead.

Food.

Not every food may be good for expectant moms. Partially cooked eggs, undercooked meat, raw shellfish, liver products, unpasteurized milk, caffeine, some types of fish, and certain types of cheese, are just some of the foods that you need to avoid adding to your dish. For a proper diet that you should have, consult your doctor.

Hair dye.

There are studies that indicate that it is safe hair dye for pregnant women to color their hair. There are also those that have revealed that there are chemicals in hair dye products that may be hazardous to health.

Even with these conflicting views, more pregnant women opt to wait for the second trimester of pregnancy before they have their hair dyed. If you would like to have your hair color changed while heavy with a baby, you can reduce the risk by:

  •      Opting for natural hair colorants such as semi-permanent pure vegetable dyes
  •      Having the process done in a well-ventilated area
  •      Having an expert hair stylist do it for you
  •      Ensuring that the color will be left for only the minimum time
  •      Opting for color streaks rather than a full head dye
  •      Doing a strand test first

Painting.

Although conducted studies have shown that the health risk brought about by exposure to paint fumes is quite low, expectant moms still need to protect her unborn child, especially during the first trimester. It is during this period that the fetus’ organs are starting to take form, hence can easily be harmed or damaged.

Sauna or jacuzzi.

It is advisable that you avoid these relaxation alternatives as they may cause overheating, dehydration, as well as fainting.

Sunbeds.

Commercial tanning will expose your skin to a higher level of UV rays which is not good for the sensitive pregnant skin. Prolonged exposure to these harmful rays increases the risk of certain types of skin cancers, hence should be avoided.

X-rays and other radiology tests.

Your doctor would know the risks that some medical procedures may cause to your unborn child. Dental x-rays, for instance, may expose your baby to ultraviolet radiation. Your health provider will normally require that these tests will be done until you have delivered your baby. If for some reasons you would have to undergo any clinical test, you need to inform the doctor of your condition. You also have to make sure that you are referred to the right medical practitioner.

Pregnancy is an exciting and challenging phase of a woman’s life. Constant correct care and support are required to ensure your and your baby’s health. It’s a few of sacrifice that may yield a lifelong contentment.

How To Choose The Best Prenatal Vitamins For Your Baby

Even if you include in your pregnancy diet variations of all healthy food sources — fruits, greens, nuts, protein-sources, dairy products, and more– it may not be sufficient enough to provide the nutrients that you and your baby need for the day. Thus, it is important that you take prenatal vitamins that will deliver every possible nutrient your bodies need.

Looking for the appropriate prenatal vitamins may not be an easy task, however. For this, you have a couple of options. You may consider your doctor’s advice for the supplements that you should take. The prescription may only offer prescription prenatal vitamins and a whole list of food sources too. You may also consider opinions of well-experienced or well-acknowledged authorities on this matter.

And this is where we step in. Here, we provide you with the list of the basic prenatal vitamins that you need for a healthy pregnancy. You may also interact with others who have found this post interesting or those who might have the same concerns as you have. That will make the interaction more engaging.

Why do you need to take prenatal vitamins?

Prenatal vitamins are clinically formulated to provide every expecting mother all the needed nutrients that will protect both you and your baby from any pregnancy complications. It also lessens the risks of being provided with inadequate nutrition.

In case you have any dietary restrictions, prenatal vitamins can easily fill in the unnecessary gap that results from such a condition. If you are constantly manifesting pregnancy-related conditions, such as morning sickness and loss of appetite, taking prenatal vitamins is a sure way to get the required daily nutrition for a pregnant mom like you.

What are the most important vitamins that you need to take?

What your body may require for a healthy pregnancy may differ from another depending on your lifestyle, diet, health goals, history, and, of course, pregnancy condition. If you are having multiples, your body will require more than if you are expecting only one child. In all these instances, a guideline for supplementation is generally adhered to.

These supplements are proven to support the optimum fetal development. They are commonly added to the list of supplements required to be provided for expecting moms: calcium, folic acid, iodine, and iron.

  • Folic acid. Folic acid is a B vitamin that is known to support brain and spinal cord development. Doctors recommend a 400-800 mcg daily intake of folate for pregnant women. An adequate folic acid intake reduces the risk of developing neural tube defects according to studies. If you have an older child who has a birth defect, or if you are suffering from any health condition, including diabetes, autoimmune disease, or epilepsy, make sure to consult your doctor on the folic acid supplementation that you may need.
  • Iron. For a healthy birth weight, your baby needs to have adequate iron levels. This mineral is essential in the growth of red blood cells. If there is an insufficient amount of iron in the blood, there will be less oxygen that will be made available for the organs to use. This may result in a feeling of exhaustion.

Quality meat products are the best sources of iron for the body. About 20-30 mg a day is what a pregnant woman needs to support the full development of the child in her womb. A low dose of iron is necessary, however, as taking more than necessary may cause constipation and nausea.

  • Calcium. The baby inside your tummy needs calcium for optimum bone development and health. Pregnant women require a total of 1000mg of this essential vitamin each day. Studies have indicated that an average woman consumes about 800mg of calcium a day, it is necessary to take a supplement to provide the missing 200mg calcium needed to support the baby’s skeletal growth.
  • Iodine. Iodine is vital for the proper development of the skeletal and the neurological systems of your baby. Dairy products, fish, and salt are the primary sources of iodine. A pregnant woman needs 220mcg of this essential vitamin daily to support the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland.
  • Vitamin D. Vitamin D is needed for the proper absorption of Calcium in the body. These two essential nutrients work together for the proper regulation of cell growth, to reduce inflammation, and to support the proper functioning of the immune system. Expectant moms need about 600 IUs (International Units) of this essential vitamin.
  • Choline. Choline is a vital nutrient that helps maintain the cell’s structure at the cellular level. It is considered as the “smart drug” and is essential in the full development of the fetus. Dairy products, eggs, whole grains, nuts, beans, cauliflower, broccoli, are rich sources of Choline. Adequate consumption of choline reduces the risk of neural tube defects. It is also vital in providing protection against metabolic and mental diseases. Tolerable Upper Intake Levels for women ages 19 and above is set at 3500mg. Deficiency in Choline intake may damage the liver, muscle, and may also cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

What are vitamin supplements that pregnant women should avoid?

As there are essential vitamins for pregnant women, there are also vitamins and supplements that should be avoided during pregnancy. All fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, K, D, E, should not be taken in excess as this may lead to the building up of toxins in the body.

As to the consumption of herbal supplements, health experts have varying positions. Thus, if you intend to take any herbal supplement, you should consult your physician about it.

Conclusion

A healthy diet combined with an adequate intake of the essential prenatal vitamins are vital in having a healthy pregnancy. However, is equally important that you know exactly what to take and how much you should take for the proper administration of these essential prenatal vitamins. As always, if you have questions related to the health of your baby, consult your doctor for the appropriate advise.

Body Changes During Pregnancy

Pregnancy brings with it a number of unexpected changes. It is not just the feeling of elation that comes knowing that soon you will be bringing to life a precious gift. From one moment to the next, you feel different emotions brought about the imbalance in your hormonal levels. You will also experience several physical changes as the baby inside your womb develops. It is vital that as an expecting mom you know how to take care of your body as these changes are also vital to your baby.

You will experience pregnancy-related conditions such as backaches, headaches, morning sickness, weight gain, and so on. With adequate understanding and proper care, you will be able to adjust to these developments. These will allow for an easier recovery after pregnancy. You will be back in shape in no time.

Below of are some of the conditions you may experience and some suggestions on how you can manage each of them.

  • Weight gain

Putting on a reasonable amount of weight is a natural tendency for pregnant women. However, there are studies that show that there are women who feel out of control of the food that they eat during pregnancy. This has resulted in unexpected weight problems in children later on. There is no really any appropriate weight gain for the pregnant mom as it will depend on several factors. These include your pre-pregnancy weight and body mass index or BMI. If you are carrying multiples, you are definitely more likely to put on more weight.

To keep your weight manageable, you need to focus on consuming nutritious foods, exercise regularly, ditch junk foods, and see to it that you will see your doctor regularly.

  • Backache

To reduce discomfort caused by backaches and to have a good sleep, you can do the following:

  • have a soothing massage
  • sleep on your side and with a pillow on your bent knees
  • do yoga
  • do water exercises
  • seek out an experienced chiropractor to adjust spinal misalignments, if there is any
  • wear a maternity support belt
  • Itchy Skin

It is natural that you may feel itchy, especially when your skin stretches as you gain weight and accommodate the growing baby inside your belly. There are also other skin conditions caused by a hormonal imbalance that can make you feel itchy, such as dry skin, eczema, or food allergies.

Having a hot shower may intensify the itching, so it is better to have a cold shower instead. Use a mild soap and moisturize your skin regularly.

  • Intense itching

There are some pregnant women who may experience Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP) or simply, cholestasis. This causes severe itching in the last phase of pregnancy. This is a common liver problem that normally disappears a few days after childbirth. If you have this condition, you may also have a dark urine color, lightening of the stool, fatigue, and lack of appetite. If you think you have ICP, consult your doctor promptly for proper diagnosis and medication.

  • Stretch Marks

This is also a common pregnancy-related condition. However, not all women may have stretch marks during pregnancy. Weight gain is usually the cause of stretch marks. They appear as the skin stretches and reaches its limit resulting in a tear under the skin. Genetics also plays a role in the appearance of stretch marks as proven by studies.

To lessen the probability of having these marks of pregnancy, eat a healthy and balanced diet. Make sure that you put on weight that is just about to a manageable extent. Hydrating regularly will also allow toxins and excess fat to be released through the pores of your skin and through bowel movement. You may also need to keep from eating processed foods as they contain preservatives and additives that will cause your body to retain more fluid and cause your body to swell.

You can also use a stretch mark cream. Make sure, however, that you find one that won’t be harsh on your skin and affect your baby’s health.

  • Swollen ankles and feet

Pregnancy may also cause you to have edema and have swollen feet, ankles, and legs. Wearing comfortable shoes and staying off your feet may help you relieve this condition. However, if you see your hands and your face swelling as well, you should call a care provider right away. It may be a symptom of a more dangerous condition like pre-eclampsia.

  • Not all conditions related to pregnancy can be disturbing

There are also some physical changes that you may want to stay even after pregnancy. Some pregnant women may see their skin, hair, and nails becoming more appealing than before their pregnancy. Others experience a different glow. Others notice more prominent body curves.

However you may experience pregnancy, you need to remember that these changes stay only for the season. If you are experiencing difficulties, always remind yourself that these changes will leave as soon as you have delivered your new bundle of joy. Always focus, then on the things that will make your pregnancy a pleasant experience. Consider your health provider’s suggestion all the time as well. You can also seek comfort and support from other expectant mom and your significant others. As a result, you will be creating a deeper and stronger bond with your family, friends, and relatives.

You will need all the support that you can receive. The best thing that you can do, however, is to remain strong and feel positive through every step of the pregnancy. If you are fond of choosing the products you want to use or consume, make sure that you do your due diligence to research on the ingredients indicated in the labels. Considering your doctor’s advise is always vital.

You have nine more months to experience the joy of becoming a mother. But it will take a lifetime to mold the life given to you to nourish. Start right with your pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby that you will cherish for a lifetime.