Congratulations on your pregnancy! Now that you are caring for someone other than just yourself, it is important that you understand the steps that you need to take to ensure that you and your baby are well taken care of for the next nine months. The way in which you treat your body will have a direct impact—positive or negative—on your unborn baby. Here are a few things that you should avoid while you are pregnant to ensure that your baby grows and develops properly inside the womb.
Do Not Soak in a Hot Tub
After a long day at work, you may be accustomed to coming home and relaxing in a hot bath. However, now that you are pregnant, you will need to find a new way to relieve your stress. The hot water can cause your body temperature to rise, resulting in hyperthermia. Hyperthermia can increase the risk of neural tube defects and miscarriage.
Do Not Skimp on Quality Sleep
As you go through pregnancy, your hormone levels will change, causing you to feel more stressed and fatigued. For that reason and many more, it is important that you are getting plenty of rest. Try to make sure that you are getting at least eight to ten hours of sleep each night. Failing to get sufficient sleep can lead to preeclampsia later in the pregnancy, according to studies. If needed, simply take a nap or two throughout the day.
Do Not Consume Raw Meat or Fish
While you may like your steak rare or enjoy sushi, these types of foods need to be avoided during pregnancy to ensure that there is minimal risk of foodborne illnesses. In the event that you develop a foodborne illness while pregnant, you are at an increased risk of birth defects as well as miscarriage. Therefore, it is imperative that you are only eating meat that has been fully cooked.
Do Not Drink Excessive Amounts of Caffeine
While you do not have to completely give up caffeine, it is a good idea to ensure that you aren't drinking a lot of it while you are pregnant. Otherwise, your blood pressure and heart rate will increase, which is not a good thing during your pregnancy. In addition, you will also increase your risk of a miscarriage and may even cause premature labor. Ideally, it is recommended that you limit your daily intake of caffeine to between 150 and 300 mg, which is roughly a 12-ounce cup of standard coffee, depending on the brand.
If you would like to learn more about how to take care of yourself and your baby while pregnant, consult with an OBGYN.