4 Things a Pregnant Woman Should Not Do

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What NOT to do during Pregnancy?

If you’re thinking about having a baby – or if you’re already pregnant – be prepared for a deluge of advice. Do this, eat that, drink this, read that. Whether it’s your first pregnancy or you’ve given birth before, all the unsolicited information can be overwhelming. And more than what to do, you’re often left wondering what are the things a pregnant woman should not do? Here are four things you should avoid during your pregnancy.

4 Things You Should Avoid for a Healthy Pregnancy

Don’t Become a Couch Potato

A woman’s body goes through immense changes during a pregnancy. Feeling tired is to be expected and adequate rest and sleep are important. However, it’s not a good idea to become a couch potato. Discuss with your doctor what will be a healthy weight gain for you and keep track of your weight through the course of your pregnancy. While a high-intensity aerobics workout is not recommended, there are several enjoyable and safe ways to remain active during your pregnancy, such as:
• Yoga
• Pilates
• Swimming
Walking
Be sure to discuss your exercise plan with your obstetrician before you begin. As a general guideline, aim for about half an hour of exercise every day, but always listen to your body and don’t overwork it. Exercise will have many benefits for both you and your baby. It will prevent you from gaining excess weight. You will have improved circulation, a happier mood, and more restful sleep.

Don’t Forget to Write a Birth Plan

baby
The time around your delivery will be incredibly busy, which is why it’s important to write a birth plan. A birth plan is simply a statement of your wishes, preferences, and expectations. Some of the things you should include in your birth plan are:
• Who should be present at the time of delivery
• The level of pain control you desire
• Your views on interventions (natural childbirth versus a caesarean birth)
• Your preferred positions for labor and delivery
• Any special music you want to hear or clothing you want to wear
• What to do should any complications occur
Breastfeeding in first hour of birth and Lactation training by a certified consultant are 2 things you must confirm with the hospital weeks/days before delivery.
• Also keep all important Newborn Essentials Ready one week ahead of delivery
• If you have opted for umbilical cord preservation then keep person in-charge from the company updated about your delivery date as they must be informed a day before delivery.
Everyone on your medical team should get a copy of your birth plan so they know how to manage your labor and delivery. It’s important, however, to think of your birth plan as a general guide. Don’t be alarmed if the whirlpool tub you requested is not available or your favorite nurse hasn’t come in to work that day. Every pregnant woman should have an idea of what she wants, but also know that she needs to remain flexible. If writing a birth plan feels overwhelming, ask if your hospital provides a worksheet that outlines their policies and tells you your options.

Don’t Remain Uneducated

baby position diagram
Attending classes or reading about pregnancy and childbirth will help you feel more confident and prepared for the birth of your baby. Give your doctor a complete medical history including problems with prior pregnancies and any incidence of birth defects in the family. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and voice your concerns to the instructor at your birthing classes or your obstetrician at your next appointment. Unfortunately, sometimes things don’t go as planned. If you are educated about some of the possible complications during labor and delivery and what doctors can do to manage them, you may be able to stay calm in the event that problems occur. Here are some things that could go wrong during labor and delivery:
Breech presentation (baby is not in a head-down position)
• Meconium aspiration (baby is in distress)
• Nuchal cord (the umbilical cord is wrapped around baby’s neck)
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (baby’s brain is deprived of oxygen)
• Cephalopelvic disproportion (baby’s head is too big to fit through the mother’s pelvis)

Don’t be a Fashion Victim

As your baby grows and your body changes, you’re going to need new clothes. It’s the perfect excuse to go shopping! However, it’s important that pregnant women should not wear uncomfortable shoes or tight, non-breathable clothing. The weight you gain during your pregnancy will throw your center of gravity off. This puts your feet under extra stress. High heels or tight-fitting shoes can cause fluid retention, ankle swelling, pain or injuries. Buy a comfortable pair of shoes with non-slip soles. Remember, you may need a size larger than your usual size even after you’ve given birth. What are the best clothes to wear during pregnancy? Here are some maternity clothes shopping tips to help you look fabulous and feel comfortable:
• You may not need maternity wear until the last few months
• As your body grows, opt for clothes with Spandex and Lycra
• Consider borrowing maternity clothes from a friend or family member who no longer needs them
• A good pair of stretchy leggings and a tunic are best for those bloated days
• Maxi dresses are trendy and comfortable and immensely forgiving to your figure through every stage of your pregnancy
Anything you would like to add to our Donts List for Pregnant women? Please feel free to leave a comment.

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Juhi Modi

Juhi Modi is a freelance writer with an interest in women’s health and safety issues.

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