Precautions during Pregnancy
Precautions during Pregnancy
Pregnancy can produce two very different emotions in a woman. She’ll be excited that she’s having a baby then she’ll get scared to death when she hears about all the things that can hurt her and her baby. It’s a miracle that pregnant women are not living in constant fear.
Every day, it seems, there is another news story about something that can cause a miscarriage or birth defects. Many pregnant women become afraid to touch anything, eat anything, drink anything or leave the house. Women shouldn’t have to leave in fear yet many of them do.
Fortunately, all a woman has to do is to take the right sensible precautions to protect herself and her baby. Instead of living in fear, a woman can find herself enjoying the possibility of having a child and becoming a mother. She can also increase her chances of delivering a healthy and normal baby that will grow up to be a strong and vigorous child.
Basic Precautions to Take During Pregnancy
It goes without saying that anything that a pregnant woman puts in her body will end up in the baby’s body. That means you should definitely be careful about what you eat and drink during pregnancy. A woman should definitely quit smoking and stop drinking alcohol while she is pregnant.
The MSG Menace to Your Baby
Beyond that, she should definitely start eating healthy right away. The first thing she needs to do is stop eating junk food and processed food. Processed food is particularly bad because a lot of it contains monosodium glutamate or MSG. This stuff is actually a neurotoxin that can cause birth defects.
MSG is a completely artificial chemical that is added to a wide variety of food. Traditionally, it was on the menu at Chinese restaurants. Today, it is everywhere. Among other things, it is in virtually every entrée on the Kentucky Fried Chicken menu. Monosodium glutamate is also a neurotoxin which means it damages the nervous system so a pregnant woman has no business eating it.
Yet if you eat processed foods or eat at fast food restaurants, you are probably eating it. The food industry tries to put MSG in almost everything because it tricks you into thinking that any food is satisfying your hunger. That is why you can’t put down the chips and the fried chicken. Therefore, it is a good idea for pregnant women to avoid eating out because many restaurants add this to their entrees.
Foods that might contain MSG include:
- Fast food
- Condiments like ketchup
- Frozen entrees
- Frozen dinners
- Snack foods
- Spices especially mixed spices
- Fried chicken
- Canned soups
- Canned vegetables
- Soup mixes
The best advice for a pregnant woman is to avoid all prepared foods. Instead, she should start eating fresh vegetables and get protein from fresh meats and eggs.
Germs and Infections
Pregnant women should be very concerned about germs because developing fetuses can be very vulnerable to infections. That means you should wash all fruits and vegetables carefully before eating them. You should also avoid foods that are likely to be contaminated with pathogens including ground beef and seafood. You can get the nutrition including omega 3 fats and vitamin B-12 that you would normally get from seafood from fermented cod liver oil. Another good source of vitamins is high vitamin butter which is sold in mixes with fermented cod liver oil.
Some other precautions pregnant women should take to protect themselves and their babies from germs include:
- Wash your hands several times a day and right before you eat.
- Avoid eating out because sanitary conditions in restaurants and other public eating places such as cafeterias are much worse than you might think. Particularly avoid buffets, delis and serve-yourself situations.
- Avoid using public water fountains which can spread germs.
- Avoid public telephones and other surfaces such as ATM machines.
- Try to avoid using paper money because it can be crawling with germs.
- Try to avoid being around sick people. This can be hard but try to limit contact with those most likely to be sick.
- Limit contact with animals particularly reptiles such as lizards which are likely to have salmonella which you can contract.
- Try to stay away from manure and sewage both of which are crawling with germs.
- Don’t swim in lakes or the ocean; they are likely to be contaminated with germs.
- Don’t drink water from streams, lakes or other natural sources. It is often contaminated with pathogens and chemicals.
- Filter all of your water or drink bottled water. That way you can ensure that it is safe.
- Check your house for mold. Mold spores, particularly black mold, can cause a serious fungal infection.
- Try to not to share towels or clothing because germs can spread through these.
- Make sure your house is really clean and that surfaces around you are clean.
Chemicals, Drugs and Pregnancy
There are some chemicals you should be concerned about as well. In addition to MSG, pregnant women should be concerned with what’s in tap water. Even though fluoride and chlorine in the water are supposed to be good for our health, their effects on developing fetuses are unknown. There is some evidence that these can cause birth defects and worse.
Therefore, you should put reverse osmosis filters on all of your taps including those in the shower and the bath tub. This will eliminate germs and chemicals in the water. That way you will know that the child is safe when you drink water or take a tub.
Try to avoid taking any sort of drug unless it is prescribed by a doctor. This includes over-the-counter pain killers such as aspirin. There is now some evidence that it can have some effects on the baby. Something to remember is that there is no scientific testing on how a lot of what you take can affect the child. Therefore, what we think is safe today could actually be very bad for children.
The drug thalidomide was given to pregnant women inEuropeto treat morning sickness during the 1950s. It was later found that this has caused birth defects in hundreds of children and had to be taken off the market. So there’s always a risk that something you do can harm your baby. The best way to go is to be safe rather than sorry.
Thalidomide baby in the early 1960s
This means that it might be a good idea to stay away from any kind of chemical or similar substance during pregnancy. This means pesticides, herbicides, paints, thinners, polishes, adhesives, etc. There’s no telling what these may do. Stay away from them and any place where they are used. Be particularly careful in industrial facilities and laboratories.
Precautions during the First Trimester (early pregnancy)
There are also some precautions that you should take at specific times during your pregnancy. For example, a woman should probably stay away from neurotoxins such as MSG during the first trimester because of the potential effects upon the baby.
The first trimester is the time to change your behavior so you will get into healthy habits that you will continue throughout your entire pregnancy. There are some things you should definitely do at this time.
One of the first is to stay hydrated all the time. Drink lots and lots of water. Carry a water bottle with you and use it. Make sure you get several glasses of water every day. A good way to do this is to simply stop drinking soda pop, coffee, tea, wine, beer, etc. Instead, drink a glass of water in place of each of these liquids. If you dislike the water’s flavor, add some fresh squeezed lemon or orange juice or a few drops of a natural sweetener such as maple syrup or honey.
Make sure you stop using all artificial sweeteners at this time because they are artificial chemicals that could harm your baby. Some of these have actually been shown to cause birth defects and other problems. You should definitely stop drinking diet soda pop because it is loaded with artificial sweeteners.
Caffeine is something else that you should eliminate. Stop drinking coffee and soda pop and switch to non caffeinated teas such as green teas. Caffeine’s effects on developing fetuses are not pleasant.
You should also stay away from strong smells and places where there are likely to be strong smells such as construction sites and workshops. Your sensitivity to smell is greatly increased and nasty odors can have a major impact on you. Things you might have been able to stand every day could now cause you to faint or worse. Some places to avoid include any place that there might be fish, farms and any sort of food processing operation.
Precautions to Take During the Second Trimester
The second trimester is when the baby is starting to develop. During the first trimester, women can continue with most of their normal activities. But once you enter the second trimester, you will have to start changing your routine.
Any sort of sudden bump or jar can injure the baby so there are many activities that you will have to avoid or curtail. Most experts recommend avoiding air travel because of turbulence after the first trimester. It would also be a good idea to avoid riding bicycles and motorcycles because they can jar the baby. Avoid riding horses and riding in horse drawn wagons at this time because that can also jar the baby. If you’re riding in a car or driving, try to avoid bumpy roads and to avoid long car trips. Some experts recommend train travel because it can be safer at this time.
Stop any sort of exercise or physical activity that can lead to such bumps. This includes dangerous stuff like rock climbing but it also includes some exercises in the gym. Try switching to more gentle routines like yoga and consider alternatives such as swimming. Be careful with things like weight training as well.
You should definitely limit running at this time because of the possibility of falling. Be careful around the house as well. Take precautions to eliminate things you can trip over like loose carpets and broken stairs and start putting stuff away.
Stop wearing heels because you’ll be more likely to trip on them. You should definitely avoid things like skiing, roller skating, skate boarding and snow boarding. These can jar the baby and injure it.
One dietary precaution to take during the second trimester is to get into the habit of eating several small meals instead of three big ones. This can help you avoid overeating but give the baby the energy it needs.
Something to avoid is eating like a pig during pregnancy. Modern medical research indicates that a pregnant woman only needs about 200 additional calories. This means that there’s no need to be eating huge meals and pregnancy should not be used as an excuse to stuff your mouth. Bad eating habits that you pick up during pregnancy can persist long after the baby gets here.
Precautions to Take During the Third Trimester of Pregnancy
First, continue all of the precautions you started taking earlier. You should also see the doctor more often, usually about twice a month now. Definitely see the doctor if you start feeling sick or if anything feels wrong. At this stage, you obviously don’t want to take chances.
You should limit physical activity but not eliminate it unless ordered otherwise by your doctor. That means you should substitute lower impact activities like Yoga and daily walks for your normal routine. You can keep exercising but be careful. Avoid sit ups and anything that puts stress on the abdomen. Limit weight training and cut out very strenuous exercises such as push-ups.
Try not to travel at this time to avoid jolts and jars from movement that could hurt the baby. Be very careful when riding in cars, driving or riding public transit at this time because any jolt could hurt the baby. If possible, ask your boss if you could work from home to eliminate the potential problems from commuting.
You should also try to avoid stimulation and sudden surprises at this time. This can be loud noises, strong smells, light and explosions. Try to stay away from any place where you might come across these. This can be tough but it is a good idea. Try to avoid any sort of crazy or unusual situation and be conscious of your surroundings at all times.
The final piece of advice for pregnant mothers is not to panic. Take sensible precautions, live healthy, eat sensibly and exercise. Also, take it easy and relax. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. Read relaxing books, take baths and get into relaxing activities like meditation and yoga. The more relaxed you will be, the better off you will be.
Finally, remember to get lots and lots of sleep because you won’t be getting in a few months.
Precautions during Pregnancy Resources:
- The Slow Poisoning of Mankind: A Report on the Toxic Effects of the Food Additive Monosodium Glutamate Presented by John Erb of Canada to the World Health Organization 2006. Available as a PDF at http://www.holisticmed.com/