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:
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
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
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
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.
There is no reason for the pregnant woman to skip bath and it is all
right to swim right up to term.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
All drugs, with few exceptions, cross the placenta. The safest bet
is to avoid medication unless absolutely necessary.