What NOT to do during pregnancy – 10 things to avoid!

As Reported On health.india.com


There are so many myths surrounding pregnancy and what pregnant women should and shouldn’t do that it gets confusing at times. But there are certain things that are completely out of the window once you are pregnant. Sonali Shivlani, an internationally certified pregnancy, lactation and child nutrition counsellor lists 10 things NOT to do during pregnancy.

Alcohol consumption: Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can result in birth defects like poor growth, mental retardation and learning disabilities. Even a glass of wine or beer which is fine on other days is a strict no-no when pregnant.

Smoking: Tobacco causes cancer even when not pregnant. Smoking can pose a health risk not only for the mother but also the baby. It can result in premature delivery and can rupture membranes. The baby will get insufficient oxygen which will hamper the foetus’ s growth.

Drug abuse: Use of drugs like cocaine, marijuana, etc can cause serious damage to the unborn child. It can result in low birth weight, and various other serious complications before and after delivery.

Heat: Excessive use of sauna, steam and heated pools aren’t good during pregnancy; even excessive use of hot water bags in the torso region can result in the uterus getting overheated and in extreme cases can result in foetal death.

Extreme exercises:Though moderate amounts of exercise is encouraged during pregnancy, exercises where your heart rate exceeds 160 bpm can result in less oxygen to the baby leading to foetal hypoxia which means that oxygen to the foetal brain is restricted and can result in brain damage.

Massage at home: Going to spas which have trained professionals and masseuse are fine but don’t just go to any salon or get one from your maid at home for relaxation. Massage (reflexology) if undertaken by an untrained therapist can trigger certain uterine pressure points which can result in preterm labour contractions.

On your feet 24×7: Standing for long hours can result in varicose veins as well as oedema (abnormal accumulation of fluid) in the legs and feet. It is best to rest, sit and lie down when pregnant.

X-rays: It is advised that X-rays should be avoided unless the abdomen is protected with a lead apron as this can lead to radiation exposure to the foetus which has again been known to contribute to birth defects.

Stress: Stress is a trigger for various problems and can be bad for both the mother and baby’s health. It can result in the mother being upset, cranky and can result in the baby feeling upset as well. Research has shown that babies actually experience the emotional environment of the mother.

Unbalanced diet: Not eating a balanced diet will result in non-optimum foetal development and even be bad for the mother’s health. She will have difficulty in shedding the kilos piled on during pregnancy.