Do's and Don'ts Of Pregnancy

Do's and Don'ts of Pregnancy


If the pregnancy is healthy, there is really nothing of the ordinary that the pregnant woman should not do. She just needs to apply a bit more thoughtfulness, care, precaution and some common sense. Here are some of the do's and don'ts of pregnancy that you should consider:


Travel

 


There is no reason why healthy pregnant women should not travel. However, she should make sure that the places that she visits is within reach of legitimate medical services, in case of emergencies. The best time for travel during pregnancy is between the 12th and 32nd week. However, women with bad obstetric histories or who have problems with their pregnancies should seek their doctor’s approval before going on a long trip. Most airlines accept women who are up to 32 weeks pregnant as they wish to avoid a delivery on board the plane.



Driving


If the woman feels comfortable and dexterous, it is permissible even in late pregnancy to drive. It is better to avoid driving if reflexes are slow or clumsy. She should probably get a shoulder harness for the seat belts, as it is apparently better for the pregnant woman.

 

 

Work


It is fine for the healthy expectant woman to continue her job until she goes into labor. The exception is hard manual labor which has an extremely harmful effect on the baby. The woman should avoid carrying heavy things as well. The effect is the same as performing strenuous exercise.
 


Sex


Sexual intercourse will do no harm to a healthy pregnancy. However, mothers who have histories of mid-pregnancy abortion, repeated miscarriages, premature labor, stillbirth or fetal growth retardation should avoid engaging in any form of sexual activity.
 


Bathing/Swimming


There is no reason for the pregnant woman to skip bath and it is all right to swim right up to term.



Sleep


It would be excellent if the pregnant woman can have a minimum of nine hours of sleep each night, and short naps in the day.

 

Exercise and Sport


The pregnant woman should not involve in high impact sports such as martial arts, hockey, lacrosse and so on, as a sharp blow to the abdomen may provoke uterine bleeding. Strenuous exercise like jogging reduces the birth weight and produces an increase in fetal loss.



Hair dyes

 


Hair dyes are absorbed through the scalp into the blood stream. They are in the same category as toxic drugs. Hence do not dye the hair when pregnant.



Vaccination

The purpose of vaccination (or immunization) is to protect communities or individuals from infection. However, the giving of certain vaccines are not without risk. Therefore, one should weigh the benefits against the risks in deciding whether or not one should have the vaccine. Live vaccines may infect the fetus in the pregnant women. Vaccines (both live and killed) may produce adverse reactions like fever in the mother and these may be harmful to the fetus. On the other hand, there might be instances where certain particularly dangerous, preventable disease is prevalent and must be protected, in which case the risk of vaccination is accepted.


Smoking

Scientific researches have shown that mothers who smoke during their pregnancies expose their babies to risks that might even cost the child’s life or the well being of a child brought to term. Both nicotine and carbon monoxide have been found to cause malformations in animal fetuses.



Coffee and Tea

Caffeine may be detrimental to fetal growth, but the extent of this risk is still controversial. It would be wise for the pregnant woman to reduce her coffee and tea consumption to a very minimum level, or avoid it entirely if possible.

 

Alcohol


Chronic alcoholism in pregnancy produces numerous congenital defects. The features of the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) include: growth retardation, mental retardation, small head, and many more. All pregnant women should avoid drinking alcohol completely, including alcohol in food.

 

Drugs


All drugs, with few exceptions, cross the placenta. The safest bet is to avoid medication unless absolutely necessary.

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