Sunday, July 17, 2005

Things Not to do When You're Expecting a Baby

Being pregnant is a hard enough job for most women. Add to that the many things that people tell you not to do, things to avoid and -- worst of all-- the personal pregnancy horror stories some women will be inclined to tell you about, and you may find yourself in quite a tizzy from an overload of information. Still, there are a few things that pregnant women definitely should avoid. Here are a few things NOT to do when you're expecting a baby:

-- Do not drink alcohol or smoke. This should be a no-brainer, but it's unbelievable how many pregnant women still continue to smoke cigarettes. Cigarettes are unhealthy for everyone, but most especially for pregnant women. Besides affecting your baby's birth weight, you can also be setting up your baby for lifelong health problems, such as asthma, if you smoke during pregnancy. Alcohol can also greatly harm your fetus and should be avoided during your entire pregnancy. Heavy drinking during pregnancy can cause your baby to be born with fetal alcohol syndrome, which may mean your child will be mentally or physically impaired. While some doctors feel that a glass of wine once in a while during pregnancy is no big deal, why risk it?

-- Do not eat foods that can harm your fetus. This includes soft cheeses such as brie and blue cheese and deli lunch meats, which pose a risk of listeria bacteria. Mercury containing shellfish are another no-no during pregnancy. Also, make sure your meat is fully cooked before you eat it and avoid unpastuerized foods and beverages.

-- Do not listen to other people's delivery horror stories. This is a biggie. People love to recount their delivery stories-- and sometimes their descriptions can be a little embellished. While it doesn't hurt to ask close friends or family for advice on what to expect, don't listen to your gossipy neighbor down the street who knows every pregnancy horror story imaginable.

-- Do not clean the kitty litter. Pregnant women should steer clear of Fluffy's cat box, as it may pose a risk of toxoplasmosis, an uncommon but very serious disease that can greatly complicate your pregnancy. While some doctors say it's okay to clean the litter box if proper precautions are taken, it's best to have your spouse or partner take over the kitty litter duty just to be on the safe side.

-- Do not look for things to worry about. Sure, you can obsess over your blood tests and ultrasounds and you can research every possible thing that can go wrong during your pregnancy and delivery, but why burden yourself with unfounded worries? It's not healthy for your or your fetus to worry about the unexpected. Until your baby is born and in your arms, you really don't know what to expect, so don't stress yourself out while you're pregnant. If you're pregnant, limit your time on the Internet and avoid researching scary pregnancy
topics-- it really will just give you more to worry about and do you really need that when you're pregnant?

No comments: