Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023
5 Dangerous Things to Avoid When You're Pregnant
Written and reviewed by
DNB, DGO, MBBS
24 years experience
For an expecting mother, nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of her unborn child. With due care, a mom-to-be can prevent complications that may arise in pregnancy by avoiding certain potential risks. Read on to find out the 5 things pregnant women must avoid at all costs in order to have a safe pregnancy.
- Abdominal x-rays: Abdominal x-rays during pregnancy are a big no. This kind of x-ray exposes the abdomen of the mother, and the baby as a consequence, to high levels of radiation, which can cause changes in the baby's rapidly growing cells. As a result, the baby's chances of suffering from birth defects or certain cancers, such as leukaemia later on in life, increase rapidly. It is best to avoid x-rays until absolutely necessary. X-rays of area other than abdomen if considered essential by your doctor can be performed after wearing an abdominal lead shield.
- Alcohol: All types of alcohol must be avoided during pregnancy. Consumption of alcohol during these 9 months has been associated with several birth defects such as poor growth, learning disabilities and mental retardation. In worst case scenarios, excessive alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to what is known as foetal alcohol syndrome or fas, which severely affects the mental development and physical growth of the unborn child, particularly of the face and skull. Also, you must quit smoking.
- Illicit or recreational drugs: Drugs like marijuana, cocaine and other recreational drugs are again absolutely forbidden in pregnancy. These result in birth defects in the unborn child, poor growth and even withdrawal symptoms in the newborn after birth.
- Medicines: As the metabolism of a growing baby is very different from that of an adult, it is very important to be sure of the medicines that you take while pregnant. This is especially true in the first trimester or the first 3 months of pregnancy when the foetus is most vulnerable. Certain medicines are deemed safe for the baby, while some are potentially harmful. Hence one must make sure to consult your doctor before taking any medicine when pregnant.
- Stress: Stress can trigger various health problems, which can be bad for both the baby and the mother. Studies have revealed the emotional environment of the mother is experienced by the baby as well. In fact, a particular study has shown that any kind of stress, whether it be work related or stress caused by strain in relationships, can affect the mental development of the child. This as result can lead to the child developing certain behavioural disorders such as fears and phobias, which remain way into his adulthood.
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