How To Stay Safe In Pregnancy
From the moment one plucky sperm cell succeeded in penetrating your egg, your life changed course forever.
It’s beyond exciting, but growing a baby can also be daunting. And remembering the do’s and don’ts to keep your baby safe isn’t always easy. Our helpful guide is designed to make things clearer.
First, the good news – there’s loads you can eat in pregnancy. However, while some mums-to-be have weird cravings – pickles and ice-cream is now a thing – you might experience strong aversions to food you used to love. It’s not always easy, but trying to stick to a balanced diet, with lots of fruit and veg, starchy carbs and protein will help sustain you and prevent excess weight gain.
This is the time to pay attention to food hygiene and to ensure fish and meat are cooked through – a rare steak can be your post baby treat. In general, avoid:
• Many soft cheeses unless they’re cooked through. If in doubt, ask your midwife or GP
• Raw or undercooked eggs
• Unpasteurised milk
• Raw shellfish
• Swordfish or marlin.
• Limit tuna to four medium cans or two tuna steaks per week
• Uncooked meat, including cured and fermented meats
• Raw or partially cooked eggs
Also, limit your daily cuppas. It’s recommended that you have no more than 200mg of caffeine per day – that’s two cups of instant coffee or tea or one cup of filter coffee.
Sunbathing and fake tan
Due to hormonal fluctuations, your skin tends to be more sensitive in pregnancy and prone to sunburn and pigmentation. Make sure you apply daily sunscreen, no matter the weather, and wear a hat if you’re going to be out in the sunshine.
If you’re desperate for a bit of colour, fake tans are generally safe, especially the more natural brands, as the DHA that causes the tan isn’t absorbed into the body. Test on a small patch first to check there’s no nasty skin reaction.
Laser treatments and other energy-based skin tightening therapies, botox and fillers are out during pregnancy, as their effects on the baby are currently unknown. During the second trimester, you’re likely to get that fabled pregnancy bloom and your skin may appear more glowing anyway.
Many women decide to wait to dye their hair until after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, when the risk of chemical substances harming the baby is much lower. Highlighting your hair, as the dye doesn’t touch the scalp, also reduces any risk.
In the spa
All mums-to-be deserve a bit of pampering, with many spas increasingly designing lovely pregnancy packages. Although it’s tempting, avoid saunas, steam rooms and Jacuzzi’s, to reduce the risk of overheating, dehydration and fainting.
Massage has many benefits in pregnancy, just ensure that your therapist is trained in pregnancy massage so that she can keep you comfortable and safe. If you’re using oils at home, be aware that some aromatherapy oils are a no-no in pregnancy, so always check before you use them.
Pets and gardens
Toxoplasmosis, a parasite carried by kitties and excreted in their faeces, can be harmful to your baby during pregnancy. The parasite can also be found in soil and uncooked meat. Your chances of being infected are very low, but have someone else deal with the litter tray during pregnancy and pop on some gloves if you’re gardening.
Despite the warnings, pregnancy is a very special time. Try not to worry and focus on all the things you can do, rather than what you can’t.
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