The well-being of your baby essentially depends on your maternal health, nutrition, behaviors, and habits. The first trimester of your pregnancy is extremely crucial. Your baby’s major organs develop during this phase and your body undergoes many changes. At this time, an expectant mother is most vulnerable to miscarriage. Therefore, there are certain things you should avoid in early pregnancy. Here we are providing you with a list of do’s and don’ts during pregnancy to ensure both maternal and fetal well-being.
Do Have a Balanced Diet
Opt for a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients in order to keep your baby healthy. You need to have a proper understanding of nutrition dos and don’ts during pregnancy. Load your diet with folate, iron, zinc, calcium, and fiber. Your diet should include a variety of foods such as pulses, whole grains, legumes, nuts. Increase your protein intake by including poultry eggs, fish, and meat in your diet. Have fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, cereals that contain fiber. You can have prenatal vitamins that help in the proper development of the fetus and prevent birth defects. Consult your doctor and ask him to find you a multivitamin that includes DHA, EPA, and omega-3fatty acids that boost your baby’s brain development.
Go for small mini-meals instead of having three large ones. Also, do not forget to keep yourself hydrated. Try to drink at least 12 glasses of fluids every day. Staying hydrated helps in preventing headaches, dizziness, kidney stones and common pregnancy disorders like hemorrhoids and constipation.
Do not Smoke or Drink Alcohol
Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to babies with lower birth weight. Drinking alcohol while pregnant may lead your baby to born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). The symptoms include low birth weight, behavior problems, learning disabilities, lagging patterns in terms of growth.
Do Get Ample Sleep
Anxiety and change in the hormonal levels during pregnancy can hamper your sleep. You need to relax your mind and get ample sleep. Try to sleep on your side, especially the left side as it allows for maximum blood flow to the fetus. Schedule all your naps and try to take a quick nap when you feel tired. Set certain bedtimes and try to stick to them even if you are holidaying.
Do not Eat Raw and Deli Meat
Coming to the pregnancy do’s and don’ts food list, eating undercooked or raw eggs and meat is a strict no as they may contain listeria. Deli meats that include sausages, hot dogs, smoked salmon etc can cause food poisoning and different food-borne diseases such as listeriosis and toxoplasmosis. Make sure the eggs and meats you eat during pregnancy are properly cooked. Additionally, you should never have unpasteurized milk and cheese.
Do Eat Seafood
Seafood is rich in vitamins and minerals, zinc, iron, and healthy omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial for both mother and the baby. However, seafood may come with harmful bacteria and viruses. Therefore, you need to keep in mind that whatever seafood you are eating is thoroughly cooked. You also need to avoid fish that contain high levels of mercury such as king mackerel, shark, tilefish, and swordfish.
Do not Drink a Lot of Caffeine
Try to limit your caffeine intake and avoid caffeinated drinks. Caffeine can travel through the placenta and increase your baby’s heart rate. It may also lead to miscarriage, lower birth weight, and stillbirth when consumed in large amounts. However, experts say that it is safe to consume one or two cups of coffee every day.
Do Workout and Practice Yoga
Women who exercise regularly during pregnancy can combat various issues including insomnia, excessive weight gain, muscle pain, and mood swings. If you have been working out for a long time, then you should keep that up. You may consult your doctor so that he can suggest a fitness routine.
Yoga calms both your body and mind. Therefore, practicing yoga can be very beneficial. Do not do any postures on your back after you reach the first trimester. Avoid the yoga postures that require inverted poses during the second and third trimesters. However, you need to avoid Bikram or ‘Hot’ yoga as it can heat your body excessively.
Do not Sit in a Hot Tub or Sauna
Sitting in a hot tub or sauna might seem to be relaxing, but the high-heat environment might affect your baby’s in utero development. The risk is even more when you are at an early stage. Avoiding sauna and hot tubs are one of the most important precautions for 1st trimester of pregnancy.
Do Gain Weight Smartly
You must be hearing a lot about ‘eat for two’ advice. But this does not mean you can eat whatever you feel like. Be strategic about what and how you eat. You only need an approximate of 100 calories per day during your first trimester and gradually add about 300 calories per day by your third trimester.
Do not Clean your Cat’s Litter Box
One of the things you should not do while pregnant is cleaning your cat’s litter box. Cat litter contains millions of parasites, especially a parasite named toxoplasma gondii, poses serious risks to expecting mothers. Cat litter can transmit toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, and birth defects.
Do Get a Flu Shot
It is very important for an expecting mother to get a flu shot. You are more likely to have complications like pneumonia if you get the flu while pregnant. A flu shot will not only protect you but also your developing fetus.
Follow these do’s and don’ts during pregnancy and ensure a healthy well-being for yourself and your baby.