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Pregnancy Dos and Don’ts: The top ten things to do and avoid while pregnant

    • Eat Healthy. Avoid eating fast foods or eating out at restaurants because it increases your chance of getting gastroenteritis (stomach bug or stomach flu). You want to remain as healthy and well hydrated as possible during pregnancy. Try to drink water instead of high sugar juices and sodas. Avoid undercooked meats and fish high in mercury. Deli meats should be microwaved until they are steaming hot. Avoid unpasteurized cheeses such as brie, feta and blue cheese.

 

    • For “aches” eg. headache, backache, etc. take Tylenol (acetaminophen). Pain killers like Motrin (ibuprofen), Aspirin, or Aleve (naproxen) should be avoided, especially in the third trimester. Ask your health care provider what pain medication is right for you.

 

    • Caffeine should be limited to 200mg per day. This is usually the amount in 1-2 cups of coffee. Remember some coffee might contain larger amounts. Tea and caffeinated soft drinks also contain caffeine.
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    • Alcohol should be avoided in pregnancy. Women that drink alcohol during pregnancy are at higher risk for miscarriage, stillbirth and babies with learning disabilities and birth defects.

 

    • Avoid hot tubs and saunas when pregnant. Studies have shown that there is a link between the use of hot tubes/saunas (or anything that can significantly raise body temperature including tanning beds) and neural tube defects or miscarriage.

 

    • Smoking cigarettes is harmful to you and your developing baby. It can lead to miscarriage, pre-term birth and low birth weight in full term births. If you are a smoker and are pregnant, ask your health care provider what you can do to stop or reduce smoking.

 

    • Avoid cleaning the litter box if you are pregnant. Cat feces can carry a parasitic infection called Toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is harmful to the fetus. It can cause birth defects and fetal death. Toxoplasmosis can also be present in dirt and undercooked foods. Try to avoid gardening during pregnancy. Washing hands thoroughly can prevent transfer.

 

    • Do not take Vitamin A supplements during pregnancy. There is a link between Vitamin A and birth defects.

 

    • Avoid stripping paint and pesticides during pregnancy. Stripping paint can contain high levels of lead, especially in older houses. Pesticides can affect a fetus’s growing nervous system. It is best to use cleansers that are natural or contain simple ingredients like baking soda and vinegar.

 

    • Dye your hair with caution. Hair dye contains chemicals that can be absorbed though the scalp. It is best to avoid dyeing your hair if you are pregnant, especially in the first trimester. However, if you do dye it, use ammonia free products or products containing vegetable dye such as henna.

 

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