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13 Maternal Health Mistakes Many Women Make

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A woman's body is an amazing marvel of nature. It has the ability to grow and produce another human in just nine months time. Although this time can be transformative, as much for the mother as the baby, the 40 weeks of pregnancy also require a handbook of directions. This usually comes in the form of pamphlets from your OB's office, and sometimes a few of the rules and restrictions get lost in the shuffle. Which is why there are some maternal health mistakes more women make that any expecting mother should know before missing something important.

Keeping up with your health is more important during pregnancy than ever. Since your body is responsible for supporting the healthy development of your baby, every decision you make about what to eat, when to sleep, and whether or not to lift a heavy box can have an effect on your child. But you're only human, and sometimes humans make mistakes. Hopefully, learning what to look out for can help you avoid any potentially dangerous or unexpected outcomes.

Take a look at these 13 maternal health mistakes more woman make to make sure you're making informed choices for you and your little bun in the oven.

1. Missing Signs Of Anemia

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Feeling tired and weak are common symptoms of pregnancy, but it could also mean there is more going on. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pregnancy related anemia can feel like common fatigue, so it's possible for this to be overlooked and left untreated.

2. Undiagnosed Depression

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As the U.S. National Library of Medicine pointed out, "depression is often overlooked in pregnancy, as the symptoms of depression are often similar to the somatic experiences associated with pregnancy." This means that often women think intense feelings of sadness just come with the hormone changes pregnancy can bring, although pregnancy depression is a completely different condition.

3. Not Getting A Flu Shot

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Some woman may not think a flu shot is important during pregnancy, but it could be a great preventative measure. According to the website for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health, contracting the flu while pregnant can lead to increased chance for premature labor and delivery. Getting a flu shot could decrease a pregnant woman's chances of getting the flu.

4. Giving Into Too Many Cravings

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I loved diving into a bag Swedish Fish when I was pregnant, but giving in too often can have consequences. The way a mother eats when pregnant can affect her baby's health, as the Kids Health website pointed out. Chowing on too much junk will not give you or your baby the nutrients needed for healthy development.

5. Not Sleeping Enough

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Pregnancy can be an exciting time, but staying up late to make sure you get everything ready for baby's arrival can do more harm than good. According to Psychology Today, if the mom-to-be has poor sleep habits, the baby's risk for low birth weight rises. Just another reason to grab all the Zs you can before the baby comes.

6. Having A Voluntary C-Section

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Referred to as "elective Cesarean delivery," some women chose this option because they think it may be less painful that vaginal birth. As the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reported, when there is no medical reason to have a C-section, the mother risks "longer maternal hospital stay, an increased risk of respiratory problems for the infant, and greater complications in subsequent pregnancies, including uterine rupture, placental implantation problems, and the need for hysterectomy."

7. Eating The Wrong Foods

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With so many rules of what you can and cannot do when pregnant, it's easy to get a few things confused. As Parents magazine pointed out, you are more susceptible to food-borne illness when pregnant, and now that you have a baby on board, that means more serious complications.

8. Soaking Too Long In Hot Water

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Whether it's soaking in your bath a home or a relaxing hot tub at a hotel, pregnant woman shouldn't indulge in this pleasure. As OB-GYN, Catherine Lynch reported for Baby Center, your body temperature should not go over 101 degrees when pregnant. Surprisingly, this can happen in just 10 minutes of stepping into a hot tub.

9. Lifting Too Much

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I know it's hard to wait for someone else to move a heavy object when you can just do it yourself, but your patience will pay off. Lifting too much when pregnant increases the risk of premature birth as well as low birth weight, according to the American Pregnancy Association.

10. Avoiding Sex

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It might not seem like the likeliest activity for health benefits when pregnant, but aside from being perfectly safe, sex while pregnant has some pretty cool rewards. Passing on pregnancy sex, could mean missing out on some of the most intense orgasms of your life, according to Fit Pregnancy Magazine.

11. Over Doing The Exercise

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Although some exercises are safe during pregnancy, not all activities are cleared for all expecting mothers. According to Parents magazine, you're level of exercise while pregnant depends on many factors, and engaging in extreme exercises is not safe for everyone.

12. Taking The Wrong Medications

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women should not rely on online lists for medications to take when pregnant. Instead, this acceptable remedies should be discussed with your doctor, who knows your medical history. Taking the wrong medication can have serious complications.

13. Taking Laxatives

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You have enough to deal with when pregnant, so adding constipation to the mix can make a girl pretty frustrated. But before you grab the laxatives, take this advice from the American Pregnancy Association and try natural methods first. If that doesn't do the trick, consult with your health care provider before popping a laxative.