Every pregnant woman wants a healthy baby. Since your unborn child is totally dependent on you, you’re the best person to ensure that this will happen. It’s therefore critical that you should be careful in everything that you do while carrying your child inside of you. Below are some safety measures you should strictly adhere to while you’re pregnant.
Continue Working but Ensure Safety and Rest.
It’s alright to keep your job while you’re pregnant as long as your work doesn’t involve intense physical labor, too much emotional strain, and exposure to harmful chemicals. Avoid carrying heavy objects, prolonged standing or sitting, constant walking, extreme temperature, climbing ladders, and discomfort. You should be able to rest in between work hours. Researches show that pregnant women who continue to work are less likely to give birth to low birth-weight babies. However, excessive physical and emotional demands at work may cause preterm labor.
Travel With Caution.
Traveling is allowed during pregnancy. However, most doctors recommend that you follow these:
1. Avoid long trips on your 7th month of pregnancy onwards. If possible, opt to travel on your second trimester since this is the period when you’re most comfortable and least likely to have abortion and preterm labor.
2. Always wear a seat belt but make sure that you don’t put it directly across your abdomen. Instead, strap the bottom belt beneath your abdomen or just over the hips and your shoulder belt above the abdomen.
3. During a long ride you should also have a 15-20 minute rest every two hours. Get off the vehicle. Stretch or walk a while and urinate as needed.
4. Don’t fly on a plane that is not pressurized. If you ride a non-pressurized plane, you’ll be exposed to low oxygen air at high altitudes that may damage your unborn baby’s brain.
Refrain from Sex during the Last 6 Weeks of your Pregnancy.
Many doctors say that there are no sexual restrictions during pregnancy. However some experts dissuade pregnant women from engaging in sexual relations 6 weeks before their due dates. Sex at this time had been linked to postpartal infection, preterm labor, bleeding, and premature rupture of membrane. Sex is also contraindicated if you have a previous miscarriage, ruptured membrane, deeply presenting part, and incompetent cervix. Be careful too with male-oral-female-genital contact because this may cause air embolism.
Cut the Alcohol.
Alcohol has been documented to increase the risk of abortion and fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Infants with FAS are mentally challenged, congenitally deformed and weigh extremely low. An alcoholic mother is also more likely to deliver babies who are mentally retarded or who have behavior and learning disorders. Thus, if you want a healthy baby, don’t drink alcoholic drinks of whatever amount at any period of your pregnancy.
Nicotine in cigarettes and tobacco result to low birth weight babies. It’s also been linked with premature births, spontaneous abortion, and birth defects. In addition, babies born of smokers are more predisposed to lung diseases, respiratory infections, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), low I.Q, and behavioral and mental problems. If you continue to smoke while you’re with child, you’re also more prone to complications, infections, and preterm labor.
Reduce your Caffeine Intake.
Limit your coffee consumption to 1 cup a day or none at all. Do not take other caffeine drinks such as tea and colas in excess. Consuming more than four cups of this daily will increase your risk to spontaneous abortions. Furthermore, too much caffeine may dehydrate you, reduce your iron absorption, and cause you insomnia. Coffee-drinking moms are also known to have babies who later develop diabetes.
Never Take Illegal Drugs.
Illegal drugs include marijuana, cocaine and heroin, among many others. Taking these during your pregnancy will endanger both you and your unborn child. You will be anemic, susceptible to various kinds of infections, or may have preeclampsia, abruption placenta or still birth. Your baby will become as addicted as you to the drug you’re using making him suffer from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) upon birth. NAS is characterized by tremors, difficulty to feed, oversensitivity, excessive irritability, and poor coordination. In addition, your infant will have seizures, behavioral problems, birth abnormalities, and growth defects.
Some drugs are established to be safe for pregnant women such as anti-histamines, decongestants, acetaminophen, penicillin, ampicillin, erythromycin, and general anesthetics. However, it is strongly advised that if you’re pregnant, never self-medicate. Consult your doctor whenever you have to take any drug including over-the-counter drugs. Some medications are teratogenic to a fetus. Their harmful effects include cardiac and lung defects, cleft palate/lip, bone problems, mental retardation, bleeding disorders, decreased growth, and death.