Pregnancy is a miracle of life but can also be a scary time for expectant mothers. There are many unknowns and changes to navigate during pregnancy, and it can be easy to become overwhelmed.
One important thing to keep in mind when pregnant is that you’re not just caring for yourself alone. You have a tiny human growing inside you who needs your best care.
This blog post will discuss some of the most common prenatal health precautions that will help ensure your baby is healthy in your womb.
Avoid Smoking, Alcohol, and Drugs
When pregnant, it’s not just a great idea to avoid smoking, alcohol, and drugs. But it’s necessary. These substances can cause birth defects that may last a lifetime. Smoking is probably the most harmful of these three substances for your baby’s health. It can lead to low birth weight, miscarriage, and stillbirth.
Alcohol also has critical consequences for your unborn child if consumed during pregnancy. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) causes lifelong physical abnormalities, including facial deformities and problems with growth. FAS symptoms also include mental retardation and behavioral problems such as hyperactivity.
Drug use during this time may result in fetal drug syndrome (FDS) similar to FAS but with less severe effects on physical appearance and development.
Avoid Non-Prescription Medicines, Specially Painkillers
Do not take non-prescription medicines if you are pregnant. It includes painkillers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen. Other drugs you must avoid during pregnancy include cold medicines, laxatives, and sleeping pills. Your doctor can advise you if any other over-the-counter drugs can cause problems for your baby.
The effects of Tylenol (Acetaminophen) on unborn babies are devastating. The drug is known to cause critical birth defects like autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
If a company sells a product containing Tylenol without warning and if it affects your health, you can file a Tylenol ADHD lawsuit against the company for compensation. For example, a Tylenol ADHD lawsuit was filed against John & Johnson Company for selling this product for over 40 years without warning labels on the box or bottle that it could cause autism and ADHD in their children.
Take Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are an essential part of a pregnant woman’s health. They provide much-needed nutrients for your baby, including folic acid and iron. In addition to helping prevent birth defects, these vitamins can guard against preeclampsia. It is a condition that causes high blood pressure and protein in the urine during pregnancy.
Prenatal supplements are divided into two categories, multivitamins, and single-nutrient supplements. Multivitamin pills have varying amounts of each vitamin or mineral in them. Therefore, you may need to take more than one pill per day if you’re taking them to meet all your nutritional needs.
Folic acid is often the only nutrient that prenatal supplements contain. It helps prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida by increasing its levels in the body before conception.
Exercise is an essential part of maintaining your health and wellness throughout pregnancy. Exercise can help you stay healthy, avoid complications during pregnancy, and prepare for labor and delivery.
Exercise may also prevent excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy has been linked to birth defects such as neural tube defects (NTDs). If you are concerned about gaining too much weight during pregnancy, talk with your doctor about ways to manage this risk by exercising regularly.
Limit Caffeine and Other Stimulants.
You don’t need to completely give up coffee, tea, or soda during pregnancy. But it’s wise to limit your caffeine intake. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, consuming 200mg of caffeine daily could put your unborn baby at risk for miscarriage and low birth weight.
You might also experience sleep problems if you drink too much caffeine late in pregnancy. In addition, it can increase the risk of premature birth or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Each year around 3,400 sudden infant death syndrome cases are reported in the US, as per CDC.
Caffeine can also cause hyperactivity in children, so it’s best not to start drinking caffeinated beverages while pregnant.
Don’t Eat Raw, Unpasteurized Foods While Pregnant
There are many reasons why you should not eat raw, unpasteurized foods while pregnant. First off, there are a lot of bacteria in raw foods, which can cause infections and make it harder for your body to fight them off. Also, parasites can be found in foods like meat and fish, and if ingested by pregnant women, they can harm the baby or lead to miscarriage.
Miscarriages are common, but there are several complications associated with them. Also, you cannot justify a life loss in any way. According to National Center for Biotechnology Information, it is estimated that nearly 23 million miscarriages happen each year worldwide. Therefore, you must take every precaution to avoid this mishap.
Raw eggs and dairy products may also carry viruses that could cause birth defects like spina bifida. Finally, many types of raw fruits and vegetables have bacteria that can cause food poisoning if eaten by pregnant women.
Get Proper Health Screenings
Getting the proper health screenings during pregnancy is necessary for all expectant mothers. These screenings will help you and your doctor determine if there are any problems with your baby, including birth defects.
According to March of Dimes, if you are pregnant, you should visit a doctor at least once a month from week 4 to the 28th week of pregnancy. Then, increase the visits to twice a month, from weeks 28 to 36. Followed by once a week between the 36th-41st week of pregnancy to ensure that everything is going smoothly with the pregnancy.
If there is any concern about something being wrong with your baby, they may recommend additional testing or ultrasounds to confirm their suspicions. It can be done at any time during the pregnancy and after delivery when you enter labor.
Several Factors are Responsible for Birth Defects
While it’s true that several factors can cause birth defects, it is also true that these are preventable. If you are pregnant and want to avoid the risk of having a baby with a congenital heart disease, there are several things you can do to make sure your child is born healthy.
Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol while pregnant. Smoking during pregnancy increases the chances of having an infant with Down syndrome or other birth defects. Instead, eat healthy foods and avoid harmful ones like preservatives or processed meat products containing nitrates/nitrites.
Don’t worry if you find yourself struggling with any of these health conditions. It’s normal to feel unsure and confused, especially during pregnancy. The important thing is that you’re getting help and support from your doctor or midwife and taking steps to manage your condition so that it doesn’t affect your pregnancy.