Dont Drink Too Much Caffeine
This is an especially tricky one in this first trimester of pregnancy because you are so very tired. But caffeine can cross the placenta and affect your growing babys heart rate.
Research suggests that some caffeine is OK in the first trimester up to about 200 milligrams a day or about two cups of coffee. But some studies suggest that drinking too much caffeine might be associated with a greater risk of miscarriage.
Do Take Your Prenatal Vitamins
These vitamins supply the folate you need, and they also help cover your needs for calcium, iron and zinc. They also provide the appropriate amounts of DHA and EPA . These two types of omega-3 fats help your babys brain develop.
Not a fan of the big pills? Talk to your OB provider about an alternative vitamin regimen.
Read more: The ABCs of vitamins in pregnancy
How Can I Stay Healthy After My Baby Is Born
After you deliver your baby, your health may be better if you try to return to a healthy weight slowly. Not losing your baby weight may lead to overweight or obesity later in life. Slowly returning to a healthy weight may lower your chances of diabetes, heart disease, and other weight-related problems.
Healthy eating, regular physical activity, adequate sleep, and other healthy habits after your baby is born may help you return to a healthy weight and give you energy.
After your baby is born
- Consume foods and beverages to meet your calorie needs.
- Regular physical activity will continue to benefit your overall health. Moderate-intensity physical activity will increase your fitness and can improve your mood.
Also, physical activity does not appear to have bad effects on how much breast milk is produced, what the breast milk contains, or how much the baby grows.
A Note About Supplements
Dietary supplements arent regulated by the FDA, so its best to avoid taking any extra vitamins or minerals during pregnancy unless your doctor has specifically told you to.
You can and should take a prenatal vitamin, which will be full of many of the most essential nutrients you need but may not already be getting in your diet. If youre still worried about a deficiency, try to get as many vitamins and minerals from real food sources as possible .
Dos And Donts Of Your First Trimester
After finding out youre pregnant , you may start to feel a little anxious. What can you do? What can you not do? What foods and drinks should you avoid? With so much information out there, it can quickly become overwhelming. That is exactly why weve put together this list of dos and donts for your first trimester, so you can make the best possible decisions for you and your baby during this important phase of pregnancy.
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Undercooked Or Raw Fish
This one will be tough for you sushi fans, but its an important one. Raw fish, especially shellfish, can cause several infections. These can be viral, bacterial, or parasitic infections, such as norovirus, Vibrio, Salmonella, and Listeria.
Some of these infections may only affect you, causing dehydration and weakness. Other infections may be passed on to your baby with serious, or even fatal, consequences.
Pregnant women are especially susceptible to listeria infections. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , pregnant women are up to 10 times more likely to get infected by Listeria than the general population. Pregnant Hispanic women are 24 times more at risk.
This bacteria can be found in soil and contaminated water or plants. Raw fish can become infected during processing, including smoking or drying.
Listeria bacteria can be passed to your baby through the placenta, even if youre not showing any signs of illness. This can lead to premature delivery, miscarriage, stillbirth, and other serious health problems, according to the CDC .
Its definitely advised to avoid raw fish and shellfish, including many sushi dishes. But dont worry, youll enjoy it that much more after baby is born and its safer to eat again.
Fish High In Mercury Or Pollutants
Cooked fish is OK during pregnancy, and fish high in omega-3s actually has a lot of benefits, but be picky about which types of fish you eat.
Fish from polluted waters can impact your health. Remember when the Gulf had that giant oil spill? Yeah, you wouldnt have wanted your seafood dinner coming from that ocean in 2004, and you may still not today.
To be safe, stick to wild-caught, sustainably sourced fish without added colors or hormones.
Youll also want to nix fish that can be high in mercury. Mercury can lead to brain damage and developmental delays, and when a pregnant woman consumes fish with mercury, she passes these effects on to her unborn baby.
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How Long Can I Keep Working
How late you work in pregnancy varies for each person. Your job and work environment play a big role. For instance, jobs that involve radiation, lead and other materialssuch as copper and mercurycan be harmful to your baby. If your job is active, you may not be able to work as long. Desk jobs arent thought to cause harm to your baby. However, you should not rest a computer on your stomach or uterus.
Your overall health also plays a part in how long you work. If youre at risk of certain issues or preterm labor, you may be on bed rest and not able to work.
Do Prepare For Morning Sickness
Despite its name, morning sickness can last all day typically during the first trimester. While not all women are plagued with morning sickness during pregnancy, many are so its best to get ready for it ahead of time.
There are teas specifically formulated to combat nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. If you find that youre prone to morning sickness, you can brew yourself a cup each morning. There are also morning sickness hard candies that you can eat in addition to your cup of tea or instead of it.
If you find that you have mild morning sickness, then you can take measures like eating small and frequent meals and sticking to foods that are bland and simple. If you find that it is severe you should talk to your OBGYN immediately.
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Undercooked Raw And Processed Meat
Some of the same issues with raw fish affect undercooked meat, too. Eating undercooked or raw meat increases your risk of infection from several bacteria or parasites, including Toxoplasma, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella.
Bacteria may threaten the health of your little one, possibly leading to stillbirth or severe neurological illnesses, including intellectual disability, blindness, and epilepsy.
While most bacteria are found on the surface of whole pieces of meat, other bacteria may linger inside the muscle fibers.
Some whole cuts of meat such as tenderloins, sirloins, or ribeye from beef, lamb and veal may be safe to consume when not cooked all the way through. However, this only applies when the piece of meat is whole or uncut, and completely cooked on the outside.
Cut meat, including meat patties, burgers, minced meat, pork, and poultry, should never be consumed raw or undercooked. So keep those burgers on the grill well done for now.
Hot dogs, lunch meat, and deli meat are also of concern, which is sometimes surprising to pregnant people. These types of meat may become infected with various bacteria during processing or storage.
Pregnant women should not consume processed meat products unless theyve been reheated until steaming hot.
Raw eggs can be contaminated with the Salmonella bacteria.
Symptoms of salmonella infections include fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.
Foods that commonly contain raw eggs include:
Although this is mostly
Dont Clean The Cats Litter Box
Pet your furry friend all you like and wash your hands afterward but dont clean a cats litter box.
Feline waste is filled with millions of bacteria and parasites. One in particular, Toxoplasma gondii , is particularly dangerous to expecting mothers.
If you contract it, you may never know until you begin having complications with your pregnancy. A miscarriage or stillbirth is possible. Babies who contract this parasite may face serious health problems, including seizures and mental disabilities.
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Skin Care Products Containing Retinoids Formaldehyde And Hydroquinone: Medium Risk
We dont have a ton of evidence proving retinoids, formaldehyde, and hydroquinone are dangerous to a fetus, but experts suspect most products containing them do pose a risk.
If youve been a regular user of a product containing one of these ingredients and are struggling to find a safe substitute, talk to your doctorthey can work with you to find an alternative.
Botox Injections And Chemical Peels: High Risk
When you use Botox for cosmetic or medical reasons, youre essentially injecting a toxin into your bloodstream. And chemical peels literally involve applying chemical exfoliants directly to your skin.
Since you should avoid exposure to unnecessary chemicals and toxins during pregnancy, these procedures should wait until after birth.
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Exercise Suggestions During Pregnancy
Pre-exercise screening is used to identify people with medical conditions that may put them at a higher risk of experiencing a health problem during physical activity. It is a filter or safety net to help decide if the potential benefits of exercise outweigh the risks for you. Read through the pre-exercise self-screening tool before embarking on a new physical activity or exercise program.If you have been cleared to exercise, and you participated in physical activity before you were pregnant, it is recommended that you:
- Do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week.
- Let your body be your guide. You know youre at a good exercise intensity when you can talk normally and do not become exhausted too quickly.
- If you are healthy and you are not experiencing complications in your pregnancy, continue this level of activity throughout pregnancy, or until it becomes uncomfortable for you to do so.
- Be guided by your doctor, physiotherapist or healthcare professional.
If you have been cleared to exercise, but you were inactive before your pregnancy:
Why Is Gaining A Healthy Amount Of Weight During Pregnancy Important
Gaining an appropriate amount of weight during pregnancy helps your baby grow to a healthy size. But gaining too much or too little weight may lead to serious health problems for you and your baby.
According to experts, gaining too much weight during pregnancy raises your chances for developing gestational diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy. It also increases your risk for type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure later in life. If youre overweight or have obesity when you get pregnant, your chances for health problems may be even higher. You could also be more likely to have a cesarean section .
Gaining a healthy amount of weight helps you have an easier pregnancy and delivery. It may also help make it easier for you to get back to a healthy weight after delivery. Research shows that recommended amounts of weight gain during pregnancy can also lower the chances that you or your child will have obesity and weight-related problems later in life.
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Do Cultivate Better Habits
If you havent already read our general list of dos and donts for pregnancy, you should give it a look. There are things that will be important throughout your pregnancy. We included the importance of exercise , eating healthy, and getting enough sleep. Those are extremely important in the healthy development of your baby and in maintaining your own health. But its not enough to start doing that in your 3rd trimester and hoping thats enough. You need to start now, during your first trimester.
- Exercise: Between the nausea and low energy, working out may be the last thing you feel like doing. But its important to get up and move as it makes for a more comfortable pregnancy and can help reduce complications.
- Get lots of sleep: Being pregnant is very demanding on your body and being a new mom is even more so. Make sure you are getting enough sleep to help you prepare.
- Eat healthy: Its essential that you are eating a healthy and balanced diet so that you are getting all the nutrients that you and your baby need.
What To Eatand Not Eatduring Pregnancy
Rules versus guidelines when it comes to safe nutrition.
6 min read
With the exception of the occasional sweet treat, most moms-to-be know that when youre pregnant, eating well-balanced, nutritious meals is essential for you and your developing baby. But confusing public health information, as well as advice from family and friends, can make it stressful to figure out whats safeand what’s not.
Take fish, for example. A recent study found that children of mothers who ate fish one to three times per week during pregnancy were more likely to have improved metabolic health, including better blood pressure and cholesterol levels. But they also found high exposure to mercury in fish, which can damage a developing babys brain and nervous system, can actually lead to worse metabolic health.
So whats an expectant mom to do? Should you take a big bite of that tuna melt baby is demanding, or should you pass on it and just eat those pickles and ice cream instead?
First, its important to know that most foodsand 90% of fish eaten in the U.S.are safe.
In fact, dietary guidelines for pregnancy have remained largely intact over the past two decades, with a greater emphasis in recent years on whole grains and higher vegetable and fruit content, explains Stephanie T. McNally, MD, an OB/GYN with Northwell Health.
Its good to maintain a healthy diet and understand what you can eat safely and in the right amounts. Heres what you need to know.
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How Much And What Type Of Physical Activity Do I Need
According to current guidelines, most women need the same amount of physical activity as they did before becoming pregnant. Aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Aerobic activitiesalso called endurance or cardio activitiesuse large muscle groups to increase your heart rate and breathing. Brisk walking is a form of aerobic activity.
How can you tell if youre doing moderate-intensity aerobic activity? Take the talk test to find out. If youre breathing hard but can still have a conversation easilybut you cant singthats moderate intensity.
If you can only say a few words before pausing for a breath, thats called vigorous-intensity activity. If you were in the habit of doing vigorous-intensity aerobic activity or were physically active before your pregnancy, then its likely okay for you to continue these activities during your pregnancy.
You can talk to your health care professional about whether to or how to adjust your physical activity while youre pregnant. If you have health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, or anemia , ask your health care professional about a level of activity thats safe for you and your unborn baby.
How To Exercise Safely During Pregnancy
If you’re new at exercising, nows not the time to start training for a marathon but you can start working out slowly, aiming to reach at least 30 minutes a day.
If you’re really ambitious and you’ve been green-lighted by your practitioner based on your fitness level, it’s safe to work out for an hour or even more as long as you listen to your body. Expecting moms tire out sooner, and being tired increases your risk of injury.
While breathing hard during your workouts is perfectly fine when youre expecting, overexerting yourself can lead to problems like dehydration or lack of oxygen to your baby if you end up short of breath for long periods. Thats why its more important than ever to learn to listen to your body during pregnancy.
So how exactly do you do that? Checking your pulse is actually not one of the ways to tell whether you’re overdoing it. Instead, get in sync with how you feel. If an exercise feels good, it’s probably okay, while experiencing pain or strain is not. A little sweat is good, while drenching sweat is not. And remember the “talk” test: You should be working hard enough that you feel yourself breathing more heavily, but you should never be so out of breath that you aren’t able to talk, sing or whistle while you work.
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Hair Treatments During Breastfeeding
Information about hair treatments while breastfeeding is limited. However, its very unlikely that a significant amount of the chemicals used in hair dyes will be passed on through your breast milk. This is because very little enters your bloodstream. Many women have used hair treatments while breastfeeding, with no known negative results.
When You Shouldnt Exercise At All During Pregnancy
Exercising during pregnancy does the average pregnant mom and her baby good. However certain conditions can make exercise during pregnancy risky. Talk to your doctor about whether you should avoid exercise if you have:
- Preterm rupture of placenta membranes during this pregnancy
Always get the green light from your doctor before beginning any exercise program during pregnancy.
If your practitioner has restricted exercise for you during part or all of your pregnancy, ask if there are any workouts you can work in to help you stay in shape, even if you’re on modified bed rest.
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