Health issues are most important considerations to be kept in mind during pregnancy. It is necessary for you to maintain perfect health and stay away from unhealthy habits at this crucial stage to ensure that you and your baby are healthy and safe. In this article, we will discuss about the things you need to avoid during pregnancy.
Things you need to avoid
Important things you should avoid when pregnant are alcohol, illicit drugs, cigarettes and caffeine. However, many women, with or without the proper knowledge of their severe effects, are found to use them. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) of 2009, 4.5 percent and 10 percent of pregnant women aged 15-44 years used illicit drugs and alcohol respectively. It is, hence, necessary to educate people and make them understand the harmful effects of using them.
Harmful effects on you and your baby
Unhealthy habits including drinking, substance abuse and smoking have dangerous health effects on you and your baby.
Drinking: Drinking alcohol during pregnancy causes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) which affects the physical and mental development of the baby. This results in birth defects, vision or hearing problems, learning disabilities, sleeping and sucking problems, and other behavioral complications in the baby. This deadly habit may even cause miscarriage, preterm birth and stillbirth. It can also be responsible for many other health issues like liver damage.
Substance abuse: Taking illegal drugs causes health issues like dizziness, increased heart rate, change in sleeping patterns, breathing problems and many others. It has alarming effects on the fetus. It has been known from certain studies that marijuana use during pregnancy slows the growth of fetus and decreases the length of pregnancy, thereby increasing the chances of premature birth. It may also result in low birth weight baby. Also, use of certain illicit drugs raises the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
Smoking: Smoking tobacco is common among pregnant women. It is known to cause gum diseases, cancer, heart diseases and even stroke in such individuals. Many health issues like miscarriage, stillbirth, and complications in pregnancy arise with excessive smoking.
Dangerous chemicals such as carbon monoxide and nicotine associated with smoking reduce oxygen flow to the baby, thereby affecting the nutrient supply. Smoking during pregnancy is also found to cause problems such as low birth weight and other birth defects.
Caffeine: In addition to the above mentioned unhealthy habits, taking excessive amounts of coffee is also harmful for pregnant women. Consuming coffee which contains caffeine often causes miscarriage. It even increases heart rate, blood pressure and sweat production. It is considered to decrease the amount of fluid in the body and also reduces the amount of iron and calcium absorption which affects the nutrient supply for baby.
It is, therefore, strongly recommended that women stay away from these unhealthy habits during pregnancy and follow certain healthy tips to maintain your health.
Take healthy diet
Healthy, timely and balanced diet should be taken during pregnancy. A healthy diet plan that benefits you and your baby should be followed. It is advised to take at least three meals per day along with a few snacks. Ask your doctor and make a note of all the food items containing vitamins, minerals and other necessary diet constituents required.
Inculcate healthy lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle avoids health issues and promotes the well-being of both mother and baby during pregnancy. Healthy lifestyle includes proper diet and regular exercise. However, avoid exercises and sports activities that can make you fall or suffer abdominal injury. Upon doctor’s advice, practice relaxation exercises which promote physical health and peace of mind.
The future of the baby is dependent on how well the fetus develops in the womb of the mother. Hence, by inculcating healthy lifestyle and staying away from unhealthy substances, you can have a healthy baby.