9 Things To Avoid When Pregnant

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Pregnancy is a remarkable journey filled with anticipation and joy. As an expectant mother, taking care of your well-being is crucial not only for your own health but also for the development of your unborn baby.

While there are countless things to embrace during this special time, it's equally important to be aware of certain things to avoid. Here are our top 9 things to avoid:

1. Alcohol

This is the most well-known and obvious one.

One of the most critical things to avoid during pregnancy is alcohol. Consumption of alcohol can lead to foetal alcohol syndrome, causing severe developmental issues in the baby. It is recommended to abstain from alcohol completely throughout pregnancy.

2. Certain types of painkillers (NSAIDs):

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and aspirin should be avoided, especially during the third trimester, as they can interfere with the normal development of the baby.

It is best to consult your healthcare provider for suitable alternatives for pain relief.

3. High risk activities:

Engaging in activities that raise your body temperature significantly, such as hot yoga, hot tubs, or strenuous exercises, should be avoided during pregnancy.

Elevated body temperature can harm the developing baby and increase the risk of birth defects. Opt for safer exercises recommended by your healthcare provider, such as prenatal yoga or swimming.

4. Environmental toxins:

Exposure to environmental toxins should be minimised during pregnancy. This includes avoiding contact with chemicals like pesticides, cleaning agents, and certain solvents.

Ensure proper ventilation in your living and working spaces and be cautious about using any potentially harmful substances.

5. Raw eggs and unpasteurised foods:

Raw or undercooked eggs, as well as unpasteurised dairy products and juices, should be avoided during pregnancy due to the risk of salmonella and other foodborne illnesses.

Make sure to thoroughly cook eggs and opt for pasteurized dairy products to minimise any potential risks.

6. Some skincare ingredients:

Certain skincare ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, and salicylic acid, should be avoided during pregnancy. These substances could be potentially harmful to your developing baby is absorbed into the bloodstream.

If you are concerned about any of the products in your skincare routine, check the labels or contact the manufacturers to check.

7. Stress:

Although it's not possible to completely eliminate stress from your life, it's essential to find ways to manage and reduce it during pregnancy. High levels of stress can have a negative impact on both you and your baby.

Engage in relaxation techniques like prenatal yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises. Seek support from your partner, friends, or a counsellor if needed.

8. Some deli meats:

Deli meats and processed meats like pepperoni, cured meats and cold cuts should be avoided due to the risk of Listeria infection. Listeria can cause serious complications during pregnancy.

If you crave sandwiches, heat the deli meats thoroughly until they are steaming hot to kill any potential bacteria.

9. Ultra-processed foods:
It's important to prioritise a healthy and balanced diet during pregnancy. Ultra-processed foods, such as fast food, sugary snacks, and sodas, provide little nutritional value and may contribute to excessive weight gain and other health issues.

Instead, focus on consuming whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats which will support you and baby nutritionally throughout your pregnancy.

Tips for your pregnancy

In addition to avoiding the above-mentioned items, here are a few tips to enhance your pregnancy journey:

1. Ensure you're taking quality pregnancy supplements

The NHS recommends that all expectant parents take a supplement including both folic acid and vitamin D.

Our Vital Essence range for pregnancy includes folate, the more bioavailable form of folic acid and our Vitamin D Spray contains the more absorbable vitamin D3.

Folate plays a crucial role in the development of the baby's neural tube and can help prevent birth defects.

We also have a number of supplements formulated specifically to support both you and baby throughout your pregnancy. Shop our pregnancy range here.

2. Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to support your overall health and ensure proper hydration. Dehydration can lead to discomfort and potentially affect the amniotic fluid levels.

3. Get regular prenatal check-ups

Attend all your scheduled prenatal appointments to monitor your baby's growth and detect any potential issues early on. Regular check-ups also allow you to discuss any concerns or questions you may have with your healthcare provider.

4. Eat a well-balanced diet

Focus on consuming a variety of nutritious foods that provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Incorporate sources of lean protein, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats into your meals. Consult with a registered dietitian or nutritionist for personalised dietary guidance.

5. Stay active

Engage in safe and low-impact exercises recommended by your healthcare provider. Regular physical activity during pregnancy can help improve your mood, boost energy levels, and promote overall well-being. Listen to your body and avoid exercises that cause discomfort or strain.

6. Prioritise rest and sleep

Pregnancy can be physically and emotionally demanding. Ensure you get enough rest and prioritise sleep. Consider establishing a relaxing bedtime routine, such as taking a warm bath or practicing mindfulness techniques to promote better sleep.

7. Seek emotional support

Pregnancy can bring about a range of emotions. It's essential to have a support system in place, whether it's your partner, family, friends, or a support group. Share your feelings, concerns, and joys with those you trust, and consider joining prenatal support groups or online communities where you can connect with other expectant mothers.

Remember, every pregnancy is unique, and it's essential to follow the guidance and recommendations provided by your healthcare provider. By avoiding potential risks and prioritising your well-being, you can create a nurturing environment for your growing baby and enjoy a healthy and memorable pregnancy journey.

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