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11 Safe and Natural Pain Relievers When Pregnant

You can’t measure the joy of being a mom in any possible way. It’s a mother’s pride that can’t be taken by anyone. But along with the anticipation of the baby’s arrival, are the discomfort and pain during the pregnancy.

But don’t let the challenges give you stress. There are plenty of safe and natural pain relievers that can help when you’re pregnant. Don’t let your guards down but bring your hopes up. Expecting a baby is a journey after all.

Common Pregnancy Pains

I envy those women who undergo pregnancy with flying colors. For some, having that new life growing inside does not change their routine at all. In fact, they even look more radiant than before. But unfortunately for me, it was a struggle day by day.

If you have these pains, I recommend to look for safe and natural pain relievers since you’re pregnant.

1. Head Aches

Because of our raging hormones, these troublesome headaches tend to torment us often. Problems usually occur together with morning sickness.  It’s a good thing that pains like these are simple to manage.  However, for some, their agony is caused by migraines.

2. Back, Hip Pains and varicose veins

Majority of pregnant women feel back pains especially the baby is already heavy enough to cause strain at the back. Some can take it lightly. However, for those who have back pain before they conceived and for women who are overweight, this could be torture.

Varicose veins, on the other hand, give a throbbing pain in the legs. Hormonal change and pressure due to increasing weight affect poor blood circulation making it the reason of swollen veins. It usually goes back to normal after delivery.

3. Leg and foot cramps, swollen ankles, feet and fingers

It could be the toll of gained weight, certain conditions or vitamin insufficiency that causes cramps but sure it hurts so much you can scream. It usually occurs at night thus disturbing our sleep.

When pregnant, our body tends to hold more fluid than usual. Don’t be surprised to see your feet, ankles, and fingers to be swollen. While we were busy with our daily routine, the extra fluid accumulates in our feet and legs.

Though this situation is not alarming, it’s uncomfortable. I remember having a hard time putting on my slippers (since shoes don’t fit anymore.)  

4. Hemorrhoids

At the later part of the pregnancy, the increased blood flow and the pressure caused by the weight of the baby is what makes the hemorrhoids developed.

Safe and Natural Pain Relievers When Pregnant

With the desire for relief, seeking medical help or remedies are typical for a mother-to-be. Nevertheless, taking in medication may cause risk to the baby. It is essential to keep ourselves healthy.

You’ll be glad to know that there are lots of safe and natural remedies that are proven safe to anxious mothers. These ideas can guide you to manage your pain.

1. Massage Therapy

First, I need to remind you that pre-natal massage must be performed by a well-trained professional. Experts for this therapy can ease the pain that you feel at the back and hips. A good massage can help relieve stress and gives you a good sleep.

If you’re into this, make sure that the place has the appropriate table with hallowed areas and soft pads to accommodate your delicate body condition. A pillow for your bump is useful too.

If you’re fond of using balms during a massage, you might look for another option for the meantime. Otherwise, use it in minimal amount.

2. A warm foot bath before bedtime

Try this every night, and I guarantee, it soothes your swollen and tired feet after a long day. The warm, clean water eases the ache and gives you a refreshing feeling before sleeping. Try to add three drops of peppermint oil for a more relaxing therapy.

Warm water also works well with your swollen fingers. Please use peppermint oil discretely. Aromatherapists believe that excessive use of this essential oil is not right to pregnant women. If not, you can take a warm body bath, after a long tiring day.

3. Gradual and moderate exercise

We need to keep the blood flowing freely in our veins. A mild exercise can offer pain relief, especially to our legs and feet. Don’t strain yourself much and give yourself plenty of rest.

Avoid exercising on your back for long. It causes reduction of blood flow and can be harmful to the baby. Yoga and swimming are good examples of mild exercise. Make sure to consult your physician before attempting to practice it.

For foot exercise:

Just bend and stretch your foot up and down for a minute and rotate it alternately for the next minute. Do the same to the other foot. During cramps, you can pull your toes upward to get rid of the pain.

In fact, asking help from a physical therapist for a program exercise is a good idea!

4. Wear a maternity belt

You can buy this maternity belt at any mom-baby stores. This strap support the weight of your baby bump. Wear the support belt just below your abdomen to relieve the back from the pressure.

5. Don’t walk or stand for a long time.

Gaining weight in time takes a toll on our legs and feet that supports our upper body. Be kind to yourself and spend the time to rest and relax. Now you know why pregnant women are allowed to cut in the line at groceries or movies.

Allocate a time within the day to rest and raise your leg up a foot higher than your heart. Put it up for an hour and relax. A few cushions under may help hold it up. Sit straight and lie on firm pads.

6. Use the most comfortable footwear.

Never wear tight shoes. Imagine how difficult it would be to put it on when your feet are starting to swell. I tell you, you might end up in severe pain at the end of the day. While in this situation, it’s best to wear something comfy like flat sandals.

Please set aside your high heels.

7. Hydrate Yourself

It will be easier if you keep water within your reach for the entire day. Drinking a lot of water prevents discomforts like heartburn, dizziness and digestive problems, and cramps. Increase water intake on hot summer days.

A proper balance diet goes well in connection to this. Food rich in fiber, fresh fruits, and veggies is helpful not only for the baby but is also prevention for illnesses caused by poor diet. So, be conscious of what you eat.

8. Wear support leggings

Wear support leggings

Support leggings or stockings can help hold your leg muscles. It also helps from the pain of varicose veins.

9. Acupuncture

Now, if you’re open to traditional Chinese medicine, this treatment uses tiny needles to insert into our skin. The pins hit specific stimulation points in our body that causes the release of body energy for faster healing progress.

If you’re afraid of needles, you don’t need to worry. The process is as painless as it can be and is known to relieve back and hips pain. Acupuncture is safe during pregnancy.

10. Chiropractic Care

If you’re willing to go this far, a chiropractor can be available to get rid of back pains. The doctor is an expert to spine alignment. He is well trained in adjusting the spine and the nearby muscles to directly back to normal.

Aligned spine improves body healing, and the fit muscles are strong enough to pull out from the alignment. The treatment de-stresses our body, preparing it for the ongoing pregnancy changes until the time of delivery.

11. Heat

Using heat is old school, but we all know that this is the easiest, cheapest and most practical relief for pains. I have a heating pad at home and heated seats in the car. It is a comfortable relief for your lower back soreness.

Please be reminded not to use a heating pad for long. When we’re pregnant, we need to maintain a core temperature less than 102 degrees. I recommend 20 minutes per session and then take a break. Provide enough time for your body to cool down.

To be safe, read carefully the instructions found on your heating pad. There is a part there intended for pregnant women. Or else, you can just put heated water in a bottle or bag and use it as a hot compress.

Conclusion

Well, every pregnancy is unique. It’s quite fun to share experiences during group pre-natal meetings. Some may have less trouble adjusting, but a few needs assistance.

I don’t believe that being dependent on drugs as painkillers is not safe for my baby unless we’re in a critical condition. And it usually needs advise from my doctor if it comes to that. I find these 11 safe and natural pain relievers when pregnant helpful for a healthy pregnancy.

Just a few tips for mothers-to-be, our pains during pregnancy is only temporary. It is nothing compared to the joy our babies bring the first time we hold them. So hold on tight, drink your vitamins and eat your veggies…since your baby is all worth it!

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Eight Prenatal Workouts for Active Moms

It’s hilarious when old folks don’t approve on my exercise routines when I am pregnant. They believe that it could be harmful to the baby. The truth is there are prenatal workouts for active moms that are beneficial for both the baby and the mother.

Exercise helps maintain the ideal weight and prepares the body for a quick and safe labor. It also soothes and lifts the mood and lessen pregnancy worries such as puffiness, sleeplessness, constipation, and exhaustion.

How can I motivate you? Start with the simple routine and be surprised at how amazing it makes you feel!

8 Prenatal Workouts for Active Moms

These workout ideas are great for a motivated mom like you in keeping the health a priority. If this is your first time, you may want to take it slow. If you get the hang of it, try asking a professional for a pace best for you.

However, I suggest consulting your OB first before you start. Your OB can advise you if it’s safe or not.

1. Rowing Machine

It is safe to use a rowing machine when you are on your second to the third trimester. Rowing needs effort and strength. It makes me feel light and energetic. My feeling of nausea does not bother me as often as before.

I suggest investing in the best home rowing machines for mums. It doesn’t matter when your belly has gone bigger. Just change a little bit of your position to provide space for your growing belly. Rowing is a cardio exercise that offers relief to the joints, hips and the back.

Here is a video showing you how to use a rowing machine when pregnant:

2. Swimming

Swimming is my favorite exercise when pregnant

Swimming is my favorite exercise when pregnant. It does not feel like I am exercising at all but just purely enjoying the moment. I even love the part where I float with my big belly right on top.

The gentle strokes in the water help in the relief of my puffy ankles and the constant movement offer a remedy to my aching back.

3. Yoga

Who doesn’t know about Yoga? Even before I got pregnant, I have joined my yogi friends to learn yoga. Yoga is a perfect exercise to make the muscles strong and helps you relax. I never gave up on Yoga and even asked for assistance from the instructor.

Pregnant women have specific routines to follow so make sure sticking to it.

4. Cycling

I refrain from doing my afternoon biking when I got pregnant. However, I do it at home. I guess I’ll be able to put up a mini gym at home since it’s too risky for me to do workouts outdoors. Using my stationary bike still does wonders to my legs, even with this big belly.

This exercise boosts the heart rate without risking and stressing the joints. I suggest adjusting the height of the hand bars to make room for your belly.

Here is a video showing you how to do it when pregnant.

5. Weight Lifting

REMEMBER to do these using lightweights only. If you have been doing heavy weights before you got pregnant, I suggest doing it in moderation now that you are expecting. Avoid routine that requires lying on your back.

You might want to ask for help from your doctor and instructor for the best weights that is safe for you and the baby.

6. Hiking

You may be on a treadmill or wishing for the outdoors, but it doesn’t matter. The result is still the same. Walking is always beneficial to pregnant women who are almost due for delivery. The physical activity aids for a short labor and swift delivery.

Start by covering a short distance and slow pace and increase the speed day by day.

Walking is always beneficial to pregnant women

7. Stretching

Frequent stretching enhances flexibility, strength and relieves back pain. Although stretching is used for warm-ups and cooling down when you are doing a routine exercise, you can do it anywhere. Do the stretching even when you are at the office, outdoors or by yourself.

Remember to be always on the lookout.

8. Dancing

Music during workouts inspires me. Dancing is a good cardio exercise that you can modify, as you like. Try adjusting the moves when dancing to give space for the belly.

Well okay, I do freestyle when dancing or whatever. But as long as I know it won’t harm my baby, why not?

Conclusion

Honestly, exercise is the last thing I would like to do when pregnant. However, knowing that it’s beneficial in my condition, I have to improvise to at least enjoy the moment. These prenatal workouts for active moms I mentioned are my favorite selection. I enjoy doing them that I never feel like exercising at all.

Don’t stress yourself. Exercise is supposed to be fun! Think of a physical activity that makes you happy. Improvise to suit your pregnancy needs. Start from there. Then, share it with me!

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What are the benefits of Kegel exercises?

Kegel exercises, also referred to as pelvic floor exercises, are basically working on the pelvic muscles to strengthen them so you can exert better control. The pelvic muscles support the bladder, small intestine, rectum and uterus in women. Kegel exercises have many benefits for women, especially those who suffer from urinary incontinence and post childbirth problems such as excess fat in the lower abdominal area, a lowered uterus, poor bladder control and stress incontinence. Some women lose the firmness in their vaginal muscles. Kegel exercises can undo these effects of pregnancy and childbirth. Kegel exercises are also beneficial for men. Here is a comprehensive list of benefits of kegel exercises.

1. Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic muscles and also help them heal if they have been strained and stressed for some reason. Every muscle will get weaker if it is not put to good use. If you do not have an active lifestyle, if you are overweight or obese, if you make poor dietary choices and if there are medical conditions that impair the strength or wellbeing of your pelvic muscles, then you will fail to control them and in due course of time the organs they support and hold in their rightful places will begin to move downward. These can pave the way for many health problems. Kegel exercises will enable you to regain control of your pelvic muscles.

You would be able to strengthen them as you continue your kegel exercises. There will come a time when your pelvic muscles will be as strong as they were ever or stronger.

2. Pelvic muscles can get stressed and strained during childbirth. Women who have such an issue would benefit from kegel exercises. If performed well, kegel exercises will also tighten vaginal muscles. Any tissue that is scarred in the area, any problems with natural blood flow or circulation issues, compressed tissues or cramped muscles in the lower abdominal area would also get healed.

help women to have a healthy uterus

3. Kegel exercises would enable women and men to have optimum control of their bladder. Men and women, especially those who are older and relatively not so healthy, are vulnerable to urinary continence. Pregnant women and some young mothers too may have incontinence issues, but this is not the same as urinary incontinence among older women.

Regardless of the cause of urinary incontinence, kegel exercises can improve the condition and help you regulate bladder control. If urinary incontinence is caused due to obesity, old age or the bladder having got lowered due to weak muscles, then kegel exercises can prove to be a godsend.

4. Kegel exercises can also help women to have a healthy uterus. Many women suffer some damage in the uterus during the birthing process. Some women also have issues during pregnancy. The uterus can get healed completely, with a little support in the form of natural blood flow to the area and from the adjoining muscles and membranes that hold the organ in its place. Kegel exercises increase blood circulation and the stronger pelvic muscles will expedite the healing process.

5. Kegel exercises can improve sex life, especially sexual intercourse. This is true for both men and women. Pelvic thrust is a crucial component of sexual intercourse. Women who have tighter vaginas will always have more satiation during sex. The pelvic thrust determines pleasures and it is not just about depth but the actual physical impact. Women and men with weaker pelvic muscles would fail to generate the thrust needed for optimum pleasure. Kegel exercises can change how you have sex; that is unless you already have amazing strength in your pelvic muscles.

can tighten the ligaments in the lower abdomen

6. Kegel exercises can tighten the ligaments in the lower abdomen and the womb of women. Many women suffer tears in the ligaments in this region during pregnancy and childbirth. As the fetus grows, the body of a woman has to accommodate its increasing size and hence makes some changes.

A few changes are compelled by the growing fetus and the body does not resist. Torn ligaments and scarred tissues are very common and they do not have to be serious in any way. However, it is always better to heal torn ligaments and scarred tissues sooner than later.

7. Kegel exercises help women to prevent rapid weight gain. The workout facilitates weight loss. This is also true for men. While women are prone to gain weight after childbirth due to various biological reasons, men too can gain weight after becoming a father. This may be for a psychological reason for some men.

Some men do not have any reason to gain weight after becoming a dad, albeit there are those who have to quit their regular exercise to make time for the newborn. No matter why you or your better half gains weight, kegel exercises can help and keep it in check. The weight gain can be reversed in due course of time.

Useful resources:

12 Proven Methods to Tighten Your Vaginal Naturally – DVHC.org

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6 Tips For Pregnant Women To Stay Safe While Running

Are you one of those people who just love a good workout? In case that you are a girl, there might be a time when you won’t be able to get to the gym and start your favorite workout routine. When I was child bearing for the first time, this was hard for me. My pregnancy was great; I had so much energy that I have decided to go for jogging. Therefore, here are my rules on what you must pay attention to, to stay fit and safe while pregnant.

1. See the doctor first

See the doctor first

Before hitting the track, be sure that you visit your doctor, and ask him whether it is safe to go running. This should be your first thing on the list and could save you from complications later. Only after your chosen doctor had approved it, you are free to continue with preparations.

2. Get the proper equipment

Running equipment woman on grey background

The equipment needed is just a tip of the iceberg, but still, you need to look into this. During my pregnancy, I had a bit of a trouble with swelling at the end of the second trimester, and that is why I had to buy new running shoes. Choosing one of those is not such a hard task, the only thing you should pay attention to is to pick those with better balance and excellent traction. Because of the condition, the balance of the body changes, and although walking is not such arduous task to perform, running is a whole different story.

As for the rest of the equipment, you can get creative and choose whichever tracksuit fits you, and makes you move freely. I’ve used my husband’s ordinary cotton-made tracksuit. Since he is bigger than I am, it was perfect for me. The shirt should also be made of cotton because that material makes your skin breathe and it is comfortable.

To avoid the appearance of melasma, wear good sports hat if you are jogging during warmer weather.

3. Take it easy

walking is a great thing to do

No matter in which trimester you are, you must take things slowly. Surely, there is a difference between running in your second and sixth month, but either way, to start from walking is a great thing to do. It is quite easy to switch from walking to a fast walk for a few minutes and then continue to run. Of course, the moderate tempo is advised, so don’t push yourself. The point of running is not to prepare for a marathon but to only shake up your organism a bit.

The thing which can make your running better, no matter whether you are pregnant or not, is the proper breathing. Good breathing rhythm can save you from stabbing pain which appears under the ribs. As the labor approaches, you will understand the need for proper breathing technique, something which I have also learned.

4. Be aware of your surroundings (and the weather)

No matter how well you know your running track, it is always best advised to get through it once more. A simple branch can get in your way, and before you noticed it, you are on the ground, palms scratched and knees are burning. This is a dangerous situation which every pregnant woman wants to avoid, so for your warming up routine, go through the whole track, and see if there is any debris which could cause potential fall, and remove it.

As for the weather, there are some benefits for people who work out in the heat, but for pregnant women, this should be strictly avoided. It is best to go for a jogging early in the morning, or in the evening if you are pregnant during summer. In case that you are expecting your baby in April, this means that you would go running in winter. This should be avoided at all cost because the snow and low temperatures can be hazardous. Still, there is an option to hit the gym in that case.

5. Mind the date

In the first two trimesters, you will be able to run more and to endure it without any significant problems than in the last one. As the time of labor approaches, you will notice that you lack energy and sometimes motivation. This is not in vain since the baby grows considerably, and you should pay attention to those signs.

So, if you feel tired and that your energy level drops do not force yourself. Take a long and relaxing walk instead of running.

6. Water is of utmost importance

Water is of utmost importance

The amount of liquid in your body increases during pregnancy, so sometimes you can feel heavy or heavy-footed. This is not an excuse to take cut on water during running routine, but the opposite. You must stay hydrated before running, during the route and after. Plain water was best suited for me, and therefore I recommend using it as well. The smell of the sports drinks made me sick, so water is the safest to take.

There are several ways to determine whether your body needs water. The color of urine is the most reliable one, so in case that you notice the color turns darker yellow, drink some water ASAP. The other way is to measure yourself before running, and afterward. The difference between two numbers is the amount of water you have lost, and which you need to compensate.

Conclusion

So, these are my tips for staying safe while running during pregnancy. I can’t stress enough that you do not need to go running specifically if you wish to remain in shape. There are lots of other programs which are easier for you to take. Yoga, walking, or simple exercises you can do in your apartment even if you have a tiny one-bedroom unit like this are all ideal for pregnant women to practice.

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How to Maintain Your Health during Pregnancy

I was pregnant twice, with Jenny and Meredith. Both pregnancies went well, and I have two beautiful daughters. During my pregnancies, I’ve had lots of ups and downs, and I remember how upset I was, and how tough it was to maintain my health.

That’s what I’m sharing with you today; the important stuff you should always watch during pregnancy.

More…

Everything you do while pregnant it can reflect on your child, especially when it comes to food. It’s very important to stay healthy by consuming enough crucial nutrients needed to stay in peak form.

This is not the time when you should let yourself go and not pay attention to your nutrition and physical form. Nutritious diet during pregnancy results in good fetal brain development, a healthy birth weight and in reducing the risk of many birth defects.

A well-balanced diet also reduces the risks of anemia and many other pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue and morning sickness. Good nutrition can help in a big way in balancing mood swings and in improving labor and delivery.

To get your body to its peak of health, you should cover certain activities and make them a norm. I will show you how I got to maintain my health in perfect condition during pregnancy, and I did it twice.

Eating right

To make your diet as healthy as possible for pregnancy it should include protein, vitamin C, Calcium, a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods, iron-rich foods, adequate fat (include omega-3 fats and avoid trans fats) and folic acid.

I’ve had issues with whole grain foods at the beginning, and removed them, only to introduce them later in my diet gradually.

To protect yourself and the baby from bacteria or infection caused by parasites, such as Listeriosis, make sure that all dairy products are pasteurized. Don’t eat meat or processed food unless they are thoroughly heated.

Also avoid refrigerated, smoked seafood, undercooked meat, and poultry. If you or anyone in your close family has had a history of allergies, talk to your doctor about which foods you should avoid.

Relax and get enough of sleep

Relax and get enough of sleep

Restless nights are common during pregnancy. You just have to accept that. Having enough rest and sleep during my pregnancy was an issue especially during the second trimester.

The rest is crucial during whole pregnancy, your body works for two now, and it will require much more rest than usual. The most comfortable position as the baby gets bigger will probably be to lay on your side with your knees bent. This position will reduce the pressure on your heart and blood vessels from the weight of the baby.

Many doctors advise that pregnant women should sleep on the left side. One of the big blood vessels is on the right side of the abdomen, and lying on the opposite side of it helps blood flow to the placenta and the baby.

To make the sleep even more comfortable prop pillows between your legs, behind your back, and underneath your belly.

Exercise and get enough sun exposure

Moderate exercise is very encouraged for pregnant women; it benefits both mom and the baby. About 30min a day of exercise is enough to help circulation, strengthen muscles and decrease stress. But, before making any moves on your own, talk to your doctor first, especially if you weren’t physically active before pregnancy.

I haven’t exercised during my first trimester with first child, and that was a mistake which I didn’t repeat during my second pregnancy. The difference in energy and overall well-being was substantial. It is noted that for the majority of normal pregnancies exercise can increase energy, improve endurance, strengthen muscles, reduce backaches and relieve constipation.

Simple exercises like aerobics, walking, jogging and swimming can stimulate the heart and lungs as well as joint and muscle activity. There are many classes designed specifically for pregnant women that help to build strength, improve alignment and posture and promote better circulation and respiration.

Try any of the relaxation techniques such as yoga, stretching, deep breathing, and massage. Also, be sure to get enough of sunbathing or any exposure to the sun while jogging or walking. Your skin produces vitamin D which is crucial to the health while it’s exposed to the sun. It’s hard to supplement it, and it’s easy to make your body produce it on its own.

Weight control

To have a healthy body weight and to satisfy your nutritional needs during pregnancy, be sure to eat a variety of foods from each of food groups every day. Many women have concerns about how much weight they will gain during pregnancy; I remember worrying about this with my first daughter.

If your weight was in the normal range before pregnancy, a recommended weight gain is 25 to 35 pounds. Check with your doctor and monitor your weight throughout the pregnancy. Weight gain recommendations vary based on the weight before pregnancy and the type of the pregnancy.

To reduce the risk of a series of birth defects, take supplements and vitamins daily. For a start, all women should take prenatal vitamins after becoming pregnant, in doses of 600 micrograms per day. Prenatal vitamins contain a combination of high levels of folic acid and iron among other things beneficial for reducing the risk of complications and defects.

Consult your doctor about what supplements to take, but most pregnant women take Folic acid (400-600 micrograms per day), Iron (30 milligrams per day), Calcium (1200 milligrams per day) and DHA (omega-3 fatty acid) 200 milligrams per day.

Go to the doctor regularly

The first thing you should do in your pregnancy is to choose a prenatal care physician and to check with him on a regular basis. Frequent and regular appointments can ensure the safety of you and your growing child. Begin prenatal care as soon as you know that you’re pregnant. As long as you’re undergoing a healthy pregnancy, your scheduled prenatal appointments should look like this:

  • checkGoing to the physician every four weeks until you are 28 weeks pregnant
  • checkGoing to the physician every two weeks from the time you are 28 weeks to 36 weeks pregnant
  • checkAfter 36 weeks of pregnancy, see your physician once a week

Throughout your pregnancy your doctor will check your weight, blood pressure, growth and development of your baby and you’ll also have some prenatal tests, including blood, urine, cervical test, and ultrasound.

Sex

I remember this; it was a big taboo during my first pregnancy. As long as your pregnancy is normally undergoing, you can have sex as often as you like, and it’s usually safe. It can still be comfortable if you try some different positions. Don’t get freaked out if you experience bleeding, it’s normal, and it usually can happen in the first trimester. Everything will in order if you have a normal low-risk pregnancy.

Personal Hygiene

Improper hygiene can put your baby at an increased risk of developing infections. It may also result in severe health problems in the baby. Personal hygiene is extremely important factor that you must pay attention to. Make sure you clean yourself properly after visiting the washroom. I remember I was immaculate on hygiene on both of my pregnancies.

Have a bath every day, wash your hands each time you get back home, especially before you have your meals. Carry a sanitizer with you if you’re eating out. To prevent any genital infections, keep your pubic area clean and hair-free. To maintain the pH levels, use plain and unperfumed soaps to clean your private parts.

Your skin tends to be more active during the pregnancy period so that it may require some extra care. Avoid soaking in the bathtub, instead, use a bucket and a mug or simply use a shower. Use natural bath products and shampoo your hair regularly. Pay attention to the hygiene of your surroundings as well, make your house clean and the room you spend the most time in.

Hang in there

Keep a positive attitude of living, take care of yourself and remember that everything you do to yourself, you do to your baby as well.

12

Foods to avoid during pregnancy – Comprehensive Guide

First of all, congratulations you on the fantastic news!

In nine months, you will experience a life-changing event that will move and turn your life most beautifully. Yes, the beauty of parenting is something that can’t be matched with anything that exists in our universe, and the best thing of all is – you are in the epicenter.

Besides the euphoria and the constant preparations for the arrival of the little one, you must take care of your physical and mental health during the pregnancy. For me, the most challenging task was the choice of food that I can or can’t eat. I will be honest; sometimes you will have hard time because you will have to give up on some types of goodies that you REALLY like to eat.

After first consultations with your doctor and friends which have already been through pregnancy – soon, you will realize that advices are different from one person to another. As an individual who was already pregnant and gave birth to a baby, I’ve started to gather and note information related to this issue, which I can now share with you.

Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

When you start researching about what types of food you can or must not eat, you will see that all warning lists share the same foundation. The inner structure is identical, and it consists of info that is related to a variety of the food, nutrient charts, benefits from eating, effects to you and your baby, and the health problems and troubles which may occur from a particular type of food.

From the first day until the last, you and your baby are one being, and you are taking care of each other. Believe me; this is an amazing feeling! But, as the development of the little one is progressing on a daily and monthly basis through pregnancy, everything that you eat and drink is affecting your baby equally.

Therefore, you must get informed in a proper way about what food you are allowed to eat, and what food you must avoid during pregnancy. Together, we will enter a network of information, and at the end, your knowledge will be practical and easy to apply.

Fasten your seatbelt, and get ready, there is so much to tell.

Do you have to avoid fish?

Do you have to avoid fish

We all know by now that fish is rich in nutrients that every person needs, let alone fetus or child in development. Of course, Omega-3 fatty acids are what makes fish so great. They support brain, nervous system and eyes development and boost immune function at the same time. Also, fish is usually full of zinc, iron, and protein which aid the general development of your baby.

This is why you shouldn’t stop eating fish while you are pregnant. It is recommended to eat at least 8 to 12 ounces (340 grams) of seafood lower in mercury a week during your pregnancy. But, what does low in mercury mean? Mercury is a metal that can be found in our environment. When people burn coal, use it in manufacturing or engage in farming, mercury levels in water, air and soil rise.

When this metal comes in contact with water, it becomes methylmercury. Fishes absorb this form of mercury, and when we eat them, our bodies become contaminated. If you are pregnant, this can be an issue. Studies have shown that methylmercury exposure during pregnancy can affect the development of baby’s brain and nervous system. Motor skills, cognitive skills, language, and vision suffer the most.

I will provide you with the list of fish high and low in mercury, so you can plan your meals easier. As you can see, the list contains much more things that you can eat in comparison to the ones you cannot.

Mercury level in fish

High

Low 

King Mackerel

Swordfish

Tilefish

Shark

Tuna (all varieties except skipjack)

Orange Roughy

Marlin

Grouper

Spanish Mackerel

Chilean Seabass

Bluefish

Lobster

Weakfish (sea trout)

Halibut

Sablefish

Striped Bass or Rockfish

Snapper

Monkfish

Carp

Freshwater perch

Skate

Canned light tuna (skipjack)

Spiny lobster

Jacksmelt

Boston or Chub Mackerel

Croaker

Trout

Squid

Whitefish

American shad

Crab

Scallop

Catfish

Mullet

Flounder, fluke, plaice, sand dabs

Herring

Anchovies

Pollock

Crayfish

Haddock

Sardine

Hake

Salmon

Oyster

Tilapia

Smoked Fish

Another topic that needs to be discussed is smoked fish. Although the risk is low, pregnant women should avoid it because of the potential bacteria called Listeria. People who ingest it can get listeriosis which leads to vomiting, diarrhea and flu-like symptoms. It rarely happens, but pregnant women who catch listeriosis are in the risk of having a miscarriage, stillbirth or their baby suffering from severe illness.

smoked fish during pregnancy

Raw Shellfish

Raw shellfish poses a threat to anyone, not only pregnant ladies. You may like oysters, clams, and mussels but it is best to stay away from them during those nine months. The biggest problem is vibrio infections, caused by bacteria from Vibrio family. Cooking might help prevent some of the infections, but it doesn’t protect you from algae-related ones associated with red tides.

Raw shellfish during pregnancy

Sushi

When it comes to eating sushi during your pregnancy, there are still some speculations. In Japan, eating sushi is recommended, because of the health benefits, but only as long as the fish has low mercury levels. In fact, there is no scientific evidence which supports the theory that sushi should be avoided.

avoid sushi during pregnancy

  • However, every raw seafood brings a certain risk from bacteria or parasites, like tapeworm or anisakid. For the reasons listed above, avoid eating sushi made of smoked fish or raw shellfish. When you eat sushi, make sure that the fish was previously frozen. That way most parasites and bacteria will be killed, and therefore you will be able to eat without worry.

Contaminated fish

Other than mercury, fish can be polluted with PCBs and pesticides. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins tend to accumulate in the fish’s fatty tissue. This change hits oily fish because of the higher proportion of fat in their organism.

Consuming contaminated fish can result in low birth weight, impaired motor skills, and reproductive system. However, there is no way to completely avoid these pollutants in your nutrition, because they can be found in meat, eggs, and dairy too. At last, the benefits of oily fish consumption are much more significant than the possible health side effects. You should still consume oily fish, just not in large amounts. Two standard portions of this fish per week would suffice.

avoid polluted fish during pregnancy

The fact is, you will have to eat fish and other seafood during your pregnancy if you want to assure optimal health for your baby. When you decide to eat fish, make sure you are safe, by implementing these tips:

Do you have to avoid fish?

  • Whole fish and fillets, need to be fully cooked. You can check if they are by slipping the point of your knife, into fish’s flesh and pulling it aside. If the meat is opaque and the flakes are slowly separating, you are ready to go.
  • Once you take the fish out of the oven, let it stand for 3-5 minutes. This lets the fish finish its cooking.
  • If you are preparing prawns and lobster, wait until they become red, and the flesh turns pearly-opaque. Scallops should appear firm and white or opaque. This is the sign that your food is ready for eating.
  • If you decide to cook shellfish like clams, mussels, and oysters, wait for the shells to open up. This indicates they’re done. Do not eat the ones that remain closed after the cooking.
  • Check several spots on the microwaved seafood to ensure it is cooked.
  • Use a food thermometer. Your seafood must reach the temperature of at least 145°F.

Here are few recipes you should try. Each one of them made of thermally processed fish with extremely low level of mercury:

  1. Sardines and watercress on toast
  2. Grapefruit and pistachio crusted salmon
  3. Fried haddock with onion fonduta
  4. Pistachio crusted trout

Which meat goes with pregnancy?

Which meat goes with pregnancy

During the pregnancy, your body becomes more sensitive. Chances of bacterial food poisoning that can happen while eating meat and poultry increase while reactions of your body become much more dramatic than usual. This doesn’t mean you have to avoid meat during your pregnancy strictly, just to cook it well and reheat properly.

However, to protect your own and your baby’s health, you should avoid eating raw and undercooked meat. This goes especially for the following:

Beef

Many bacteria that cause illness can be found in raw beef, such as Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Campylobacter jejune, Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus. The biggest concern is E.coli which can lead to miscarriage and premature delivery in case of severe infection.

Raw Beef avoid during pregnancy

Pork

Pork is a source of thiamine, which is great. However, it can carry few types of worms like hookworm, round worm pinworm, and Taenia Solium. You can also get a parasitic disease called Trichinosis which is caused by larvae of the Trichinella Spiralis.

Pork

Poultry

Even if the chicken liver and breasts are highly recommended for expecting mothers, eating it raw is risky. Old and uncooked meat can contain the listeria bacteria. Also, cold pre-cooked chicken brings the same risk.

Raw chicken liver

Hot dogs

Hot dogs are not the healthiest option even when you are not pregnant. They can be contaminated with bacteria during the packaging. Listeria is a problem with hot dogs as well. But as long as the hot dogs are thoroughly cooked, you should be safe.

hot dogs

Deli ham products

Although the prevalence is low; deli meat can also contain Listeria. You shouldn’t be too scared of this, but if you want to be safe, you should reheat the meat until it starts steaming. That way, all of the bacteria will be destroyed.

Deli ham products

I’ve already mentioned which type of meat comes with the risk of which bacteria, but here comes a thorough explanation on the most common ones.

E. coli naturally resides in the bowels and the vagina. It can be harmless, but it can make you sick too. When you cook meat, E. coli is destroyed, but raw or undercooked meat is not exposed to temperatures that can kill the bacteria.

E. coli comes with stomach fever and diarrhea, cramps and sometimes bloody urine. The problem is, it can be passed to your baby. It increases the risk for dehydration, miscarriage and premature delivery.

Raw meat can bring you toxoplasmosis infection which can also be passed to your baby. Cooking your meat properly will prevent an infection. Symptoms may not be visible at birth, but toxoplasmosis can cause blindness and mental disabilities.

There is also a danger of salmonella infection. Its symptoms can be uncomfortable whether you are pregnant or not, but the problem is it can pose a life threat to both you and your baby.

I’ve already told a lot about Listeria. It may be rare, but The American Pregnancy Association says that expecting mothers are 20 times more likely to become infected. Besides miscarriage and premature delivery, it can also cause infection in your newborn. Stillbirth or neonatal death occurs in about 22 percent of cases.

If you are wondering how to cook meat safely for pregnant women, you should know that is not that much different from regular cooking. You just have to make sure that meat is not raw or undercooked. Follow these tips:

Which meat goes with pregnancy?

  • If you want to know if your meat is cooked properly don’t rely on color and texture. A food thermometer should be your best friend.
  • These are the right internal temperatures – Beef and pork – 145°F, with a 3 minute rest time; any ground meat – 160°F; fresh or smoked ham – 145°F with a 3 minute rest time; reheated ham – 140°F; poultry – 165°F.
  • If you are using the microwave oven, cover your food, stir it, and rotate so it can be evenly cooked. Allow standing time always to complete cooking.

Here are five of my favorite meat recipes for pregnant ladies. They are healthy, safe and delicious the same time:

  1. Korean beef broccoli
  2. 20 Easy 15 Minute Chicken Dinner Recipes 
  3. Chicken soup with farro and shitake mushrooms
  4. Puerto Rican Turkey
  5. Mustard And Lemon Glazed Pork With Roasted Vegetables
  6. Vietnamese Grilled chicken honey

EGGS – The nutrient bomb

EGGS – The nutrient bomb

As the saying goes, every morning one egg gives the strength to organism – and this is true! Eggs are super-powerful food which comes with a variety of nutrients. So, the punch line is affirmative, and you can eat eggs during pregnancy, but with some limitations of which you should be aware.

Firstly, I am going to talk about benefits of consuming eggs during pregnancy, and you will see what amazing attributes the regular egg has.

  • ProteinsThere are 6,3 grams of protein in one whole egg, and the experts are saying that pregnant women should consume between 90 and 110 grams of protein on a daily basis. Protein is crucial because every single cell of developing fetus depends on proteins. For example, proteins are essential for the developing process of the placenta.
  • Calories – The egg is rich in nutrients, but it has the lesser amount of calories. In the egg, you will find vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium, potassium and iron and that comes in 70 grams. In addition to this, you should consume an additional amount of calories which will be between 200 and 300 grams.
  • Choline – Together with omega three fatty acid, the choline is helping the brain development of your baby from the first day. If you eat two eggs a day, you are securing the half of choline amount that is normal on a daily basis. Besides eggs, the chicken or beef liver is also rich in choline.

Now, after the summary of benefits, you will learn in what way the eggs can be harmful to you and your baby.

  • Cholesterol – The amount of 185 milligrams is in the eggs yolk, and you should not consume over the 300 milligrams of cholesterol on a daily basis. So, if you eat one or two eggs per day, it is considered to be safe.
  • Salmonella – To prevent the salmonella poisoning, you are advised to avoid any raw eggs strictly! Therefore – no semi-raw eggs, homemade mayonnaise, eggnog and salad based on raw eggs. The signs of salmonella poisoning are a headache, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Although this kind of poisoning can’t do harm to the baby, it can cause preterm labor, uterine contractions and stress the baby with dehydration because of severe vomiting.
  • So, the best solution for eating eggs during pregnancy is to cook the medium sized egg for 7 minutes in boiled water, until the white becomes opaque, and the yolk firm.
  • If you fry the egg, you must fry both sides.
  • Finally, you can discover some excellent egg-related dishes here.

Milk during pregnancy

Milk during pregnancy

In a nutshell – yes, you can (and you should) drink milk during pregnancy. The milk is rich in vital nutrients which are suitable for pregnant women, and although you can get these nutrients from other sources, it is recommended by the doctors and experts that you should drink three cups of milk or any other dairy products on a daily basis.

The milk represents a major source of dietary calcium which is important because if you don’t consume milk during pregnancy, you will lose the calcium from your bones to answer your baby development needs.

A cup of low-fat milk contains the amount of 8,3 grams of proteins. Milk is also an excellent source of proteins which are necessary for building up the uterus, breasts, blood supply and the baby tissues. If you don’t consume enough proteins, your baby could have insufficient birth weight and other health issues.

You probably don’t know that the milk is one of the rarest sources for vitamin D which your baby needs to avoid low birth weight and neonatal rickets. So, one cup of low-fat milk provides 117 IU (international units) of the 600 IU which you need per day. Also, vitamin D prevents the risk of allergies, as we can see from this study.

But, what types of milk you shouldn’t drink during pregnancy?

avoid raw or unpasteurized milk

During pregnancy you must avoid any kind of raw or unpasteurized milk. During pasteurization, the process kills microbes with high temperatures. The final result is lowering the risk of being infected with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, which can lead to listeriotic infection.

Further, if you want to avoid gathering additional calories during the pregnancy, then full cream milk isn’t the choice for you because it contains 3,5% fat content. Instead, you can consume skimmed cow’s milk.

Surviving the pregnancy without the cheese

avoid soft cheese during pregnancy

If you are, like me, a milk-based food person, you don’t have to give up on all the cheese during pregnancy. However, there are some useful things to know when it comes down to cheese.

The cheese itself is a potent source of calcium, but not all cheese is considered to be safe for eating while you are expecting a baby. The most dangerous type of cheese is the soft cheese because it can grow bacteria like listeria, and further can cause a disease called listeriosis, which is a kind of food poisoning.

The symptoms of the listeriosis are flu-like and can develop after several weeks you have been exposed to listeria. Although you probably won’t experience some significant difficulties, your baby can have serious health problems. The listeriosis can cause miscarriage and even the loss of the baby at birth. So, what is the solution?

The best way to stay safe is to avoid all types of soft cheese, including the mould-ripened cheese (brie, chevre, camembert), further – blue veined cheese, and semi-soft cheese. On the other hand, almost all cheese in the States (and this includes the soft cheese), is made out of pasteurized milk, and it is considered to be safe for eating. However, you are advised to avoid the raw and unpasteurized milk cheese strictly, such as the Mexican-style cheese.

So, the choice of cheese should be limited only to hard cheese during pregnancy, which is gouda, cheddar, hard pecorino or parmesan. Also, pasteurized yogurts and probiotic drinks are safe for consummation during pregnancy.

hard cheese during pregnancy

Probably, you will hear that the goats’ cheese is healthy and safe for use during pregnancy. However, this is only a half of the truth. The chevre cheese, which is soft cheese, is made out of goats’ milk, and you can find it on the restaurant menu, but you should avoid it because of the risk of being exposed to listeria. On the other hand, if the goats’ cheese is made out from cooked goats’ milk than it is safe to eat. The thoroughly cooking at high temperatures will kill all the bacteria, making the goats’ cheese safe to eat.

Finally, I have to mention that sheep cheese, such as feta and halloumi are considered to be safe for consummation during pregnancy.

Discover more – here you can find some excellent ideas for meals and snacks.

Drinking coffee during pregnancy – with caution

avoid coffee during pregnancy

Like Garfield the Cat, I’m struggling with Mondays, but not empty handed. There is always a warm cup of coffee and a morning silence. After that little ritual, my day starts. But when I was pregnant, I’ve wondered should I stop drinking coffee or not. The research gave me different opinions, and we need to look into them.

After decades of tests, there is no 100% accurate answer to the question is it safe to drink coffee during pregnancy, and how much. One thing is for sure, the consummation of this beverage without moderation can cause severe damage to your baby. The intake of caffeine is coming through the placenta and into the baby bloodstream. Your body immediately starts to process the amount of caffeine, but the baby will struggle with it for much longer.

Also, when you drink coffee, the stimulative feature of caffeine is increasing your blood pressure and heart beat rate. Further, the caffeine is growing the need for urination, which means that your body fluid levels will go lower than normal, and can cause dehydration. And as you progress with pregnancy, the time needed to process the caffeine is only getting longer, for example – in the third trimester, it takes almost three times as long.

So, the consequences of drinking the coffee without moderation are mainly related to (early) miscarriage, as we can see that from the tests.

Finally, we can talk about what amount of coffee is considered to be safe during pregnancy. Although the opinions are contrary, there is a middle ground which states that your daily caffeine intake should not pass the 200 mg, or – no caffeine at all.

But, caffeine is not found only in coffee drinks. There is caffeine in teas, soft drinks, energy drinks, etc. This chart can help you to discover how much caffeine comes in a variety of drinks.

Fruit Juices

Fruit Juices during pregnancy

We all know there are many health benefits of drinking fruit juices on a regular matter, such as overall health boost, lowered risk of diseases, skin, eye, and hair health as well. The women’s body goes through a tremendous change during pregnancy and requires different nutrients throughout this period. That brings us to the questions:

  • ​Which juices are safe to drink while pregnant?
  • Which juices should pregnant women avoid during pregnancy?

The answers to these questions are related and based on the assumption that you’re getting all the necessary nutrients your body needs, based on you trimesters. We know that there are several nutrients that induce bad reactions throughout the body and impact the unborn’s health, but when we talk about juices, there are two basic rules to follow:

  1. ​Go for 100% juice
  2. Go for pasteurized juice

Following these two rules will ensure you’re getting real, nutrient-dense beverages that will help both you and the growing baby. 100% juice is essential because products with less juice percentage usually contain a lot of added sugar which can affect your weight gain and produce unnecessary fat in your body. There is a lot of product labeled as healthy which contain added sugars.

Second, the pasteurization of the juice is important for pregnant women due to the bacteria that can get into your bloodstream. The immune system is suppressed during pregnancy significantly, which means pregnant women are prone to get a cold or flu easier. To prevent this unwanted situation, avoid unpasteurized juices and opt for the ones that have been heat-treated.

Juices that are particularly healthy and recommended for pregnancy are apple, orange, prune (drink those moderately), mulberry, tangerine, and lemon juice (drink these occasionally), and one of the best ones is carrot juice (which you can drink often).

Regarding the second question mentioned above, pregnant women should avoid all artificially flavored juices, and be moderate in drinking 100%, pasteurized juices.

Fruits and Vegetables

avoid unwashed fruit or vegetable during pregnancy

Balanced and healthy nutrition of a healthy person should contain a lot of vegetables and fruit, depending on the one’s diet plan. The variety of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables brings a plethora of nutrients to the body, providing almost 50% of daily recommended values. But what happens when we talk about pregnant women? Are there any fruit or vegetables that should be avoided, and what’s the optimal intake of fruits and veggies during pregnancy?

Vegetables and fruit provide vital nutrients to the developing baby inside the mother’s belly, such as folate acid, calcium, protein, and iron. These are the most recommended nutrients for a pregnant woman. With this info on hand, it’s quite simple to design and follow the healthy diet that will enhance both mom-to-be and child’s health.

Now, I can share with you some excellent sites which can provide you good info about why the vegetables and fruits are good for eating during pregnancy.

Some basic and general information related to this subject can be found here.

Learn about benefits from eating fruits and find out what fruit is good for eating during pregnancy here and here.

Good vegie related info can be found here.

Fruits and Vegetables during pregnancy

As you can see, eating vegetables and fruit is recommended during pregnancy, not forbidden. But, there is one significant and important rule to follow when fruits and veggies are on the menu: do not eat any unwashed fruit or vegetable.

Always make sure to peel and wash your fruit and vegetables thoroughly before use, and keep a record on how long they have been stored. That way you’ll stay on the safe side, and avoid toxoplasmosis, and potential traces of pesticides that have been applied on them to stay safe from germs and pests.

When taking care of your vegetables, you should know that there are different levels of exposure to pesticides and reactions to them as well, which leads us to the information that different fruit and vegetables should be washed more or less thoroughly.

To be absolutely sure, follow these tips.

  • Meticulously rinse raw fruits and vegetables before eating or preparing, especially ones that require peeling.
  • Don’t use detergents or soap.
  • Be rough with your hands while washing; use a small vegetable brush to remove surface dirt.
  • Cut damaged or bruised areas away.

Finally, you may be wondering if you could eat sprouts during pregnancy. The sprouts are healthy and rich with nutrients – this is the fact. But, recently it is recommended that pregnant women should avoid raw sprouts because they can cause serious infections with various bacteria that can be very harmful to you baby.

Avoid sprouts during pregnancy

For example, consuming raw beans, radish and clover can lead to salmonella. Further, it is known that recent salmonella outbreak was caused by raw alfalfa sprouts, and there are also reports from e-coli infection by this vegetable. It is highly recommended that you avoid this kind of sprouts.

  • Take notice – if you wash the sprouts, you won’t kill the bacteria residing on it. The homegrown sprouts are considered to be more harmful because the owners usually don’t disinfect it. If you want to be sure and safe, the best way to prepare the sprout is to completely cook it.
  • Tip – if you visit the restaurants, ask for meals without raw sprouts.

ALCOHOLIC DRINKS – The more you drink, the worse it gets

ALCOHOLIC DRINKS during pregnancy

Info related to this subject is confusing because the experts are divided on this matter. On one side you will hear or read that the consummation of alcoholic drinks is not safe and even dangerous during pregnancy. On the other hand – well, you can have a glass or two on some special occasion. Not clear, right?

Take caution; the following is very important!

You must know that when you drink alcohol during pregnancy, alcohol goes through your blood, placenta and to your baby. The baby liver is the last organ to develop so it can’t process alcohol as you can. Further, drinking alcohol during the first three months of pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and at the final stage – low birth weight. These facts are screaming DANGER!

If this somehow doesn’t affect you, you must be aware that the more you drink the risks and consequences can or will be worse. Heavy alcohol drinking can cause something that is called Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in the UK, or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) in the States. These conditions are dangerous, and they should not be taken lightly, because the baby may have some of the following health problems.

Besides all the tests and experiments on how much amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy, there is no reliable conclusion to this matter. We can freely say that there is no time or amount of alcohol that is considered to be safe. Some women just stop drinking alcohol when they become aware that they are pregnant; some women don’t know and discover it later, and then they stop consuming alcohol. But, if you still want to drink alcohol on some occasions, you must know what amount is considered to be “safe.”

Firstly, you must know how much of alcohol by volume (ABV) the drink contains, and you will find this info on the label of the bottle.

  • Cider, half a pint of beer, or lager at 3,5% ABV
  • Gin, vodka, rum or whiskey must come in a single measure, which is 25ml, at 40% ABV,
  • A standard glass of wine has 175ml of volume, so you must take half at 11,5% ABV.

There are some handy applications for our smartphones which can give you info related to alcohol units is drinks, and even track how much did you consume.

The Myth about non-alcoholic drinks

Finally, we must talk about common mistaken belief which is related to nonalcoholic beer and beverages. At some point, you may hear from doctors or friends that nonalcoholic beer is safe because there is no alcohol present in these drinks. This advice is wrong because the tests are showing that 0,5% of ABV is present in non-alcoholic beer or wine. Imagine how much damage can come from constant drinking of “non-alcoholic” drinks!

So, play it safe and don’t expose your little one to danger, with no matter what label, doctor or friends say. Your baby is also what you drink!

NO PATE, NO CRY – Really, don’t eat pate during pregnancy

pate during pregnancy

The general opinion is that no pate is safe for eating during pregnancy, because the natural defense of your body is weaker during pregnancy, and the body is not entirely firm to fight the listeria bacteria that is in pate. In short, no matter if the pate meat, vegetables or fish based, it contains high levels of this dangerous bacteria.

On the other side, you will probably read that you can eat pate which comes in cans, but you must be aware of the following:

  • The cooking process is under high temperatures, so the cooking kills all bacteria,
  • Even with high-temperature cooking, there will still be high levels of retinol in pate,
  • The liver contains retinol, which is a type of vitamin A, and its presence can also harm your baby. Discover why you should not eat liver during pregnancy.

Finally, listeriosis, as a type of food poisoning, is proven that can cause early miscarriage, premature birth, and even the loss of the baby at birth.

As you can see, the pate is dangerous for you and your babies health, so it is better to be safe and avoid all the pate.

STREET or JUNK FOOD – Move along, this is not the food you are looking for

STREET or JUNK FOOD during pregnancy

When we walk on the streets, the spicy smells are pulling us towards the roadside stalls, even if we know that street food is not healthy and hygienic. But you are pregnant now, and hormones are telling you to run through the roadside eateries like a tornado.At this point of your life, you must ignore the food craving need, and avoid the street food. Always have in mind the following facts:

  • The salt found in this food comes in extreme levels which may disturb your blood pressure.
  • Street food can’t provide you with fibers which are a vital source of energy.
  • Sandwiches, donuts, burgers and other street food comes in the limited amount of meat and vegetables, and this is affecting the nutritional values of you and your
  • The amount of salt, fat, and sugar may cause health disorders to your baby which may develop even more through the life.

Furthermore, additional health troubles which may occur from consuming street food can be an upset stomach, food poisoning, bacterial infection, etc.

Finally, if there is no way that you can say no to junk food, the solution must be finding the recipes on the web and prepare the dish at home. Simple as it sounds!

In addition to what has been said above, discover more useful tips related to street food.

Conclusion

As you can see, listing all the food you should avoid during pregnancy might seem like a daunting task, but when you observe it from the broader angle, you’ll notice there are several basic rules that you should follow, and you’ll know you’ll be fine.

There is abundance of healthy food out there, and you have to be organized and strict; following your pregnancy diet plan will ensure the optimal health of both your baby and yourself, resulting in a safe birth, and a healthy baby. I wish you a good luck, and happy times munching on delicious, healthy food!

We would really love to hear your thoughts on this article! Would you add or remove some food? Add something more in it? Let us know!

If you feel you’ve learned some good info today, would you share it with your friends who are expecting a baby? It would mean a lot to us!

1

Can Pregnant Women Eat Crawfish?

A question that is often brought up around lovers of Cajun food is can pregnant women eat crawfish. It’s easy to see why. Who doesn’t love a great Étouffée or Jambalaya to spice things up every now and then? So you might think it would be hard to give up for the next 9 months.

Well, if you’re pregnant, you might have to err on the side of caution. This doesn’t mean avoiding crawfish altogether. Instead, you’ll have to limit your portions and how often you eat it. Furthermore, if you cook a dish that contains crawfish, then you will need to take extra care in the preparation.

Thus, we’ll look at the answer to the question of “can pregnant women eat crawfish?” (Yes, in small amounts.) Some valuable information would also include its nutritional value and the reasons for limiting the quantity. And we’ll also look at the reasons behind the warning of consuming too much seafood during pregnancy.

More…

Nutritional Value and Limits of Crawfish

Nutritional Value and Limits of Crawfish

Crawfish may not look appetizing in their raw state, but they are full of nutrients and low in mercury. So you can enjoy crawfish in moderation. The benefits to eating crawfish include:

  • High protein content for building muscle
  • B Vitamins for a healthy nervous system
  • Minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and magnesium for strong bones and heart and immune system

As you can see, there are perks to partaking in dishes that contain crawfish. At the same time, there are some important drawbacks to keep in mind:

  • The cholesterol content; if you have issues with blood pressure or your heart, specifically arterial health, then you should avoid this food
  • The mercury content (low but…still there)
  • The extra caution in the cooking process

Therefore, you’ll need to think about these factors and decide whether or not to indulge in that seafood dish. But at least you know it is safe enough once in a great while.Also, you’ll need to take extra caution when cooking crawfish. Some extremely important tips are:

  • Rinse the crawfish thoroughly until the water runs completely clear
  • Make sure the water is at a rolling boil before immersing the cooking basket full of crawfish
  • Boil the crawfish on high heat for at least 20 minutes
  • Afterward, turn the heat down to low and simmer for an additional 20 minutes

Normally crawfish are cooked with vegetables and potatoes. Therefore, the cooking time is a bit longer, which adds more assurance of the safety factor.

​Sea Food to Avoid: Beyond the question of can pregnant women eat crawfish?

On the other hand, the moderation rule for crawfish doesn’t apply to all seafood. Some types of seafood to avoid are:

  • Swordfish
  • Tilefish
  • Mackerel
  • Shark

[ Read : Foods to avoid during pregnancy – Comprehensive Guide ]

Other types are deemed safe in small amounts by the FDA which include:

  • Tilapia
  • Tuna (stay away from albacore, though)
  • Catfish
  • Shrimp (cooked thoroughly)
  • Cod
  • Salmon

Avoiding foods that contain mercury increases the chance of your baby developing a healthy nervous system.

Also, with some types of seafood, there’s a chance of bacterial or viral contamination if the items are raw or undercooked. Thus caution is a very important part to the answer to the inquiry, can pregnant women eat crawfish.

Better ways to get omega 3’s

So you’re wondering can pregnant women eat crawfish and how to get those omega 3 fatty acids otherwise. After all, they are quite beneficial to you and your baby. Rest assured that you can have your small amount of crawfish once in a great while. Just go easy on that cayenne pepper or risk having tummy trouble.

Other safe sources of omega 3’s include:

  • Most tree nuts
  • Avocados
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Eggs

Likewise, if you’re looking for more information on nutrition during pregnancy, check out The Whole Nine Months, a book written by Dr. Jennifer Lang and Dana Angelo White, MS RD. This book outlines up-to-date nutritional information that relates to all three trimesters. It even includes recipes to make meal planning easier.

Conclusion

Just remember that the expression, “few and far between,” applies to the amount of crawfish you should consume when pregnant. There are alternative sources of the necessary nutrients that are safe to consume, plus more information about nutrition during pregnancy like the book that was mentioned.

And of course, it doesn’t hurt to take additional steps such as:

  • Consulting your obstetrician
  • Talking with a lactation specialist in regard to dietary measures after birth
  • Contacting a registered dietician who is knowledgeable in such topics

After all, you want to give your baby the very best start.

Other Related Articles:

  1. How to Maintain Your Health during Pregnancy