The Do's and Dont's of Pregnancy
You’re pregnant. What’s next? Here's a list of do’s and don’ts to protect the health of you and your baby.
You may be filled with a variety of emotions: joy, nervousness, excitement or uncertainty—but what’s next?
First, schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN to further confirm your pregnancy. Your doctor will most likely schedule your first prenatal appointment when you’re eight weeks pregnant. He or she will provide you with information that will help you prepare for pregnancy and childbirth, including childbirth techniques, an evaluation of family history, a physical, and counseling to let you know what to expect for the next few months.
To help you better understand your limits while pregnant, here is a list of do's and don’ts from WomensHealth.gov:
- See your doctor regularly. Prenatal care will help prevent problems from occurring.
- Take folic acid throughout your pregnancy. Getting enough will lower the risk of birth defects.
- Drink extra fluids—especially water.
- Stay active, unless your doctor says otherwise.
- Wash hands often, especially after handling raw meat or using the bathroom.
- Aim to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Resting on your left side helps blood flow to you and your baby. Use pillows for support and get comfortable.
- Set limits to control your stress levels and don’t be afraid to say no or ask for help.
- Get a flu shot. Pregnant women can get very sick from the flu and may need medical care.
- Talk with your doctor about any medications you’re on, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medicine, or herbal medications.
- Join a childbirth class, available at Beebe Healthcare.
- Always wear a seatbelt.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and calcium-rich foods.
- Don’t smoke tobacco. Smoking prevents your baby from getting crucial nourishment and raises the risk of a miscarriage, infant death, and preterm birth.
- Steer clear of toxic substances and chemicals, like cleaning supplies and various paints.
- Don’t drink alcohol. There is no known safe amount of alcohol a woman can drink while pregnant.
- Don’t use illegal drugs.
- Don’t eat fish high in mercury, including swordfish, king mackerel, shark, and tilefish.
- Don’t clean or change a cat’s litter box. Doing so can put you at risk for toxoplasmosis, an infection that can be very harmful to your baby.
- Stay away from rodents. They can carry a virus that can be harmful to your baby.
- Don’t take hot baths, use hot tubs or saunas. These can be harmful to the baby or cause you to faint.
- Don’t use scented feminine care products as they can irritate your vaginal area and increase your risk of a UTI.
- Avoid X-rays, and let your doctor or dentist know you’re pregnant if you must have dental work or diagnostic tests.
- Don’t douche. Douching can irritate the vagina, force air into the birth canal and increase your risk for infection.
- Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat, poultry, fish, or shellfish.