Things Not to Do While Pregnant: What to Avoid – Healthline

There aren’t many hard and fast rules about what not to do during your pregnancy, beyond abstaining from alcohol and drugs, of course. For the most part, you can continue with most of your prepregnancy life.
But because the health and safety of your growing baby is essential, here’s a list of 11 things to avoid while pregnant.
The biggest list of don’ts for pregnant women involves food.

During your pregnancy, you should avoid:
It seems extensive, but there are still plenty of great nutrition choices during your pregnancy. While it’s always important to eat a balanced diet, pregnancy is an especially critical time. In your daily mail plan, try to incorporate:
There’s no way to measure toxicity from actual exposure to paint, so this recommendation is based on the likelihood of toxicity.

Paint toxicity depends on the individual solvents and chemicals in the paint, as well as exposure. While it’s assumed that household painting has a low exposure level, the safest course of action is to seriously reduce your exposure to the fumes from these paints.

Even better? Find someone else to handle the painting.
It’s a stimulant and a diuretic, which means drinking your usual few cups of coffee every day will increase your blood pressure, heart rate, and the number of trips you make to the restroom. Plus, caffeine crosses the placenta.

While you may function just fine caffeinated, your growing baby doesn’t. That’s because your baby’s metabolism is still developing.

You don’t have to forgo caffeine entirely: Moderate levels of caffeine, defined as 150 to 300 milligrams (mg) a day, should be fine.

Just remember that caffeine isn’t just in tea and coffee. You’ll find it in chocolate, sodas, and even certain over-the-counter medicines.
Some medications can be harmful to your growing baby. Before taking any over-the- counter or prescription medications and supplements, speak to your doctor.
Stick to heels with a 3-inch heel or less: Think kitten heels, wedges, and platforms. As your belly grows, your center of gravity will change. So you may find yourself a little unsteady on your feet. Add to that swollen ankles, and you may find yourself living in your flip flops.
If you’re feeling aches and pains during your pregnancy, relaxing in a hot tub may seem ideal. But an elevated body temperature during the first trimester can lead to certain birth defects.

Skip the hot tub, which usually maintains a water temperature around 104°F, and try a warm bath instead.
If you must change kitty, wear gloves and wash your hands well afterward. Cat feces can carry toxoplasmosis, a rare parasitic disease.

While you’re more likely to contract it by eating raw meat or through gardening, it’s still a good idea to have someone else change the cat litter daily.
Smoking is terrible for you and your baby, but secondhand smoke can be nearly as bad. There are roughly 4,000 chemicals in secondhand smoke, and some of them have been linked to cancer.

Exposure to secondhand smoke during your pregnancy can lead to:
Avoid wine, beer, and liquor during your pregnancy. Alcohol passes quickly from your bloodstream through the placenta and umbilical cord to your baby, and this can harm your developing baby’s brain and organs.

Other potential risks include:
During pregnancy, staying in same position for too long, seated or standing, can be problematic. It can cause all types of problems including swollen ankles and vein problems.

Try taking short breaks frequently to move around if you’ve been seated, or to put your legs up if you’ve been on your feet.
You can find all sorts of contradictory information online, in books, and in magazines. Be reasonable, trust your instincts, and remember that erring on the side of caution is never a bad idea. If in doubt, speak to your doctor.

Remember, you won’t be pregnant forever. Hang in there, as all of these off-limits foods and activities will soon be available to you again.
For pregnancy-safe nutrition tips, recipe inspiration and weekly tips, sign up for our I’m Expecting newsletter.

Last medically reviewed on September 12, 2016
Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.
Current Version
Sep 12, 2016
Written By
Jessica Timmons
Edited By
Ruby Thompson
Medically Reviewed By
Katie Mena, MD
Share this article



Leave a Comment