When you're pregnant, the words "safe" and "cautious" take on an entirely new meaning. Even if you didn't think of the safety of your day-to-day actions before getting pregnant, you'll soon start to analyze every action to make sure it's the safest option for your changing body and your growing baby. Believe it or not, there are things you do every day that aren't safe for your pregnancy that you probably weren't used to avoiding until now.
From how you sleep to what you eat, getting used to the list of "no-nos" during pregnancy can be hard. Eventually, however, your habits will change and tweaking your lifestyle to be as pregnancy-friendly as possible won't be as hard as you expected.
Pregnancy is about much more than a list of things to avoid, but knowing how to keep you and your developing baby as safe and healthy as possible is a vital aspect of pregnancy that you shouldn't take lightly. With these tips in the back of your mind, you'll have less to worry about and can focus your energy on preparing for your newest addition instead of stressing about whether or not everything from your sandwich to your sleeping position is safe.
1. You Breathe In Second Hand Smoke
Although it's nearly impossible to avoid it altogether, chances are you already breathe in more second hand smoke than you should. According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA,) the approximately 4,000 chemicals present in second hand smoke can increase the risk of low birth weight, miscarriage, learning or behavioral disabilities, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in unborn babies.
2. You Stand Too Long
Although being pregnant doesn't automatically subject you to nine months of taking it easy and lying in bed, you should watch the amount of time you spend on your feet without breaks each day. One study found that physically demanding jobs requiring a pregnant mother to stand on her feet for hours at a time may have adverse effects on fetal growth and birth outcomes. On that note, the Mayo Clinic suggested that mothers take adequate breaks when standing for long periods of time, since it's easier to become exhausted while pregnant.
3. You Get Too Hot
According to What To Expect, getting too hot during pregnancy can actually raise your risk of going into preterm. Although you're more than likely fine on a day to day basis, if hot temperatures make you feel particularly uncomfortable, be sure to cool down immediately.
4. You Obsess About Gaining Weight
Weight gain is a healthy part of pregnancy, but if you're obsessing over gaining too much or not enough weight, it could put unnecessary stress on your body and your baby, thereby causing you not to gain enough weight or eat enough.
5. You Eat Things That Aren't Totally Safe
Getting used to the list of unsafe foods to eat while pregnant is tricky. The APA noted that raw or undercooked meats like certain seafoods, sushi, or even deli meats, raw eggs, soft cheeses, alcohol and more should be avoided during pregnancy.
6. You Change The Cat Litter
According to the Humane Society, cat feces can transmit toxoplasmosis, which can also affect pregnant women and their unborn babies. Although the site noted that there's no need to get rid of your cat or cut off contact from them, you should be careful about changing their litter box. If you don't have anyone to do it for you, wear rubber gloves and be sure to wash your hands right away.
7. You Sleep On Your Back
According to Parenting, mothers past the 16 week mark should avoid sleeping flat on their back. Sleeping on your back places pressure on the inferior vena cava, which can cause low blood pressure and perhaps cause poor circulation to your baby. Most experts note that pregnant moms should sleep on their left side to promote healthy circulation.