What You Should Avoid While Pregnant

Expecting? Here are five things you’ll want to avoid until your little one arrives.

Daughter hugging pregnant mother.

You probably have a lot of questions about what you should and shouldn’t do while pregnant. Look no further, because here are a few answers to your questions about what to avoid until your little one arrives.

Alcoholic beverages

This is a no-brainer for many, but unfortunately, around 40,000 babies are born each year with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, which include birth defects and other physical, emotional, behavioral, or learning issues due to exposure to alcohol in the womb. If you are pregnant and are unable to stop drinking, don’t be afraid to reach out to your healthcare provider or contact local alcoholic addiction groups who can help you.

Certain foods

If you have a bun in the oven, thankfully you can still eat buns like cinnamon rolls and other types of delicious bread. But there are some foods you should avoid because they can make you sick or harm your unborn baby.

A few known foods to avoid are:

  • Raw fish like sushi
  • Cold deli meats
  • Unpasteurized dairy products
  • High levels of caffeine
  • Raw eggs

Hot tubs

Unfortunately, your love of hot-tubbing might have to wait until your little one arrives. Experts say that spending too much time in hot tubs or saunas during pregnancy can bring your body to high temperatures that can be dangerous to your baby or even increase your risk for miscarriage. But a hot bath now and again doesn’t hurt, as long as the temperature isn’t too high.

Cat litter

This sounds silly, but kitty litter can contain a parasitic disease called toxoplasmosis that can cause birth defects. If you have furry friends around your home, have a family member take charge of cleaning the litter box until your baby is born. If you are the primary caregiver to your cat, to avoid infection, wear gloves and disinfect your hands well after handling litter.

Not exercising

Yes, even though you are carrying the weight of another soul, exercise should not be avoided during your nine months of pregnancy. Despite myths, exercise doesn’t increase your risk for miscarriage or early delivery, but it keeps you and your baby healthy.

Other benefits of exercise include maintaining a healthy weight, reducing back pain, and decreasing your risk of gestational diabetes. The important thing is to not overdo it. You can find guides online to help you know what exercises you should do based on what trimester you are in.

Related: What Exercises Can I Do While Pregnant?

Pregnancy doesn’t have to be scary—it’s all about being mindful of your food choices and your environment. If you have any further questions about what you should avoid during pregnancy, don’t be afraid to bring them up to your obstetrician or gynecologist.

Ready to schedule an appointment with an OB/GYN? Select Health members can use the Find a Doctor tool to locate a nearby specialist.

Related: Give Your Baby a Healthy Start by Joining Our Healthy Beginnings Program

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