Pregnancy can be a really tough time for anyone, and if it is your very first, then it can be scary also. Your body is going through constant changes from the very first trimester to the last, your hormones are all in a frenzy, and almost anything can set you off. You are nervous and unsure about what to do and not do. Really, there should be a pregnancy manual. Here then are a few things to help you through this time and ensure both the baby and you get through the whole process in one healthy piece.
What to avoid
Too much or extreme exercise
Keeping fit is good for the body, however, too much exercise is likely to lead to negative results for pregnant women. This is because exercise causes blood to be redirected in the body to the skeletal muscle, which means that extensive workouts will result in a deprivation of oxygen supply to the baby. Moreover, the risk of premature labor being induced by hormones that are produced during strenuous exercise is also increased. Lightweight exercises such as swimming or walking are not bad for the pregnancy, but should also be in moderation. You can consult with your physician frequently and have him recommend other relatively risk-free exercises you can do.
Smoking comes with a long list of dangers and risk factors for the body. Expectant mothers who smoke or are constantly exposed to tobacco smoke put their babies in contact with over 4000 chemicals such as lead which have been shown to have cancer causing properties. Smoking increases the chances of premature birth as well as doubles risk of the baby being underweight. These babies tend to be underdeveloped and are susceptible to diseases.
Drinking alcohol for a pregnant woman is very dangerous to the baby. The brew is known to interfere with the fetus’s development and could even cause mental retardation. Expectant mothers who drink alcohol are likely to bear babies with who hive higher risks of fetal alcohol syndrome. Children born with FAS usually have poor development, and many suffer heart defects among other complications. Drinking alcohol also increases chances of a miscarriage, stillbirth, or underweight babies.
Eating fish that contains mercury
Pregnant women should eat fish because of their high nutritional value. It ensures good fetus development as well. However, there are some fish which have high mercury levels stored in their fatty tissues. When eaten, the mercury goes into the bloodstream and crosses over to the baby through the placenta. Fish such as tilefish and swordfish tend to have high levels of mercury. Moreover, fish from lakes and river, such as salmon, trout, and striped bass, contain mercury as well as pollutants like lead which may result in dire consequences.