First Trimester

10 Things to avoid during pregnancy

February 19 , 2020
Nicky Langley
Nicky Langley is a mother of four and a professional Doula, Hypnobirthing teacher and Breastfeeding Supporter....More

No doubt you are all reading widely about anything to do with pregnancy and as always there is such a lot of contradictory advice out there! 

I am going to give you my own personal opinion based on my own experience on what I would advise you to avoid during pregnancy!

  1. Negativity

A pregnant woman is very susceptible to any kind of negativity during pregnancy, she will immediately tune in to any conversation, article, tv programme when she hears anything to do with pregnancy, labour and babies. 

Most women do not realise just how much their subconscious soaks up all these messages and can lead to really effecting her experience. 

Negatives about birth are often passed down through generations and subsequently a lot of women have a lot of fear regarding birth.  Try and avoid people who do not believe as you do that birth is a normal, natural event.

  1. Certain food and beverages

Certain foods should be avoided completely, such as: High mercury fish, undercooked or raw fish, undercooked or raw fish, raw eggs, raw sprouts, unwashed produce, unpasteurized milk, cheese and fruit juice, alcohol.

  1. Painting the nursery

Many expectant new mums, including myself are keen to get a beautiful nursery ready for the beautiful new baby, it is such an exciting time and we want to be part of the preparation. 

Exposure to some paints can put mums in danger depending upon the individual solvents and chemicals contained within the paint. 

If you absolutely want to be the person to decorate the nursery, please make sure that the paints you are using are safe for you.

  1. Some medications

Medications can be harmful to your growing and developing baby so always make sure that you check with a doctor before taking any medications or supplements, be especially careful with over the counter purchases, always ask the pharmacist if your purchases are safe in pregnancy.

  1. Wearing high heels

I remember attending a formal dinner when I was 8 months pregnant and being adamant that I was going to wear an elegant pair of heels to compliment my maternity gown! I spent the whole evening desperately trying not to wobble and ended up with hugely swollen feet that ached for days after. 

Ditch the heels for something comfortable and look forward to wearing them in the future!

  1. Clearing up after pets

Cat faeces in particular can be dangerous for pregnant women.  Cat faeces can carry toxoplasmosis, a rare parasitic disease that can cause harm in pregnancy.  Take the opportunity to ask your partner to do this lovely job!

  1. Spending time in smoky environments

Not only is spending time in a smoky environment unpleasant, sometimes exacerbating nausea, regular exposure can lead to serious problems such as miscarriage, premature delivery and low birth weight.

If you are planning a nice evening out with your partner, choose somewhere smoke-free and if sitting outside try and avoid sitting next to a group with smokers.

  1. Trying to do too much

As with everything in pregnancy and labour, listen to your body!  Don’t try and do too much.  Your body is already working incredibly hard, give it a break. 

I have contact with a lot of pregnant mums who are under pressure in their jobs to work right up until baby is born, some who bring work home with them, never having a break from the stresses work brings. 

Try and get some perspective, remember what is really important and attempt to get some balance.  Ideally, relax and enjoy the last few months before life changes for ever.

  1. Saunas, Jacuzzis and sunbeds

Hormonal changes in our bodies during pregnancy make us much more susceptible to heat sometimes leading us to feel faint or dizzy. 

Especially during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy significant rises in core temperature could put your baby at risk.

The use of sunbeds is not advisable as a pregnant woman’s skin is much more sensitive than before therefore making it much more likely to burn. 

There is no clear evidence that sunbed use can affect an unborn baby, however some studies have shown there may be in a link between increased UV rays and folic acid deficiency.

  1. Believing everything you read

There is SO MUCH information available to mums and dads and so much terrible information.  Be careful what you read, make sure the source is reputable and always try and read “evidence based” articles.