There are many ways you can protect your growing baby. Be aware of the following unhealthy behaviors that can cause problems during your pregnancy and harm your baby.
Please just quit.
- Don’t smoke. Quitting is difficult; ask your doctor if you need help. Smoking during pregnancy passes nicotine and cancer-causing drugs to your baby. Smoking also prevents your baby from receiving the necessary nourishment and raises the risk of premature and still birth.
- Don’t drink. Drinking each day – or a lot of alcohol once in a while – can harm the baby.
- Don’t use illegal drugs. Marijuana, cocaine, heroin, speed, barbiturates, LSD are very dangerous for both you and your baby.
- Avoid fish with a lot of mercury
- Handle food safely. Food-borne illnesses can be very serious for both mother and baby.
No More Housework!
- Avoid using chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, paint, stains, and some cleaning solutions during your pregnancy. If it can’t be avoided, use gloves and a mask, and keep the room well-ventilated.
- Don’t change or clean a cat’s litter box. (You’ve always wanted to pass that task on to someone else anyway!) Cat feces can contain a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, which can harm a fetus.
Health and Hygiene
- Don’t take hot baths, or sit in a hot tub or sauna. High temperatures are harmful to your baby and may cause you to faint.
- Don’t use scented feminine hygiene products or douches. Scented sprays, sanitary napkins and even bubble bath can irritate your vaginal area and increase the risk of a urinary tract or yeast infection. Douching can irritate the vagina, force air into the birth canal and increase the risk for infection.
- Avoid optional x-rays. While they’re usually safe during pregnancy, they are still a form of radiation that is linked to a very small risk of cancer in unborn babies. If your doctor feels you need one, trust his or her judgment, but in many instances, it can wait until after the baby is born.