While attempting to keep track of what’s safe and what’s not safe during pregnancy can seem like an overwhelming task, it’s a worthwhile endeavor: after all, your baby is counting on you! We’re making it easy for you with this handy list of maternity “Dos” and “Don’ts”.
1. Do: Get a mani/pedi.
Manis and pedis during pregnancy are typically considered safe, although bringing your own instruments adds another layer of security when it comes to reducing your risk of infection. Look for salons with ample ventilation to avoid inhaling chemical fumes, and sit near an open window, if possible.
One caveat? Gel manicures which contain potentially toxic compounds which may be absorbed through the nail bed.
2. Don’t: Get a foot massage.
While it may feel like heaven on your achy feet, it can also stimulate fetal activity and even trigger contractions, according to Parenting.com.
3. Do: Take a bath.
As long as the water temperature is below 100 degrees, feel free to luxuriate in a restorative bath.
4. Don’t: Use a hot tub or sauna.
Because extreme temperatures can detrimentally impact your baby’s development, pregnant women are advised to sit out saunas and hot tubs during pregnancy.
While you’re at it, skip the tanning salon, too. Not only is this exposure bad for you, but it can also raise your body temperature to levels that are potentially harmful for your baby.
5. Do: Eat fish.
Not only is seafood a terrific source of lean protein, but many types of fish are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are known to boost brain development. Unfortunately, many fish — including swordfish, shark, tilefish and king mackerel — also contain harmful mercury and other health-compromising contaminants.
Struggling to keep track? Download the handy Fish4Health app which provides useful information for pregnant and nursing women about healthy seafood consumption.
6. Don’t: Eat sushi.
Specifically avoid raw sushi which may contain potentially hazardous bacteria and viruses. Have a craving? Indulge in cooked varieties, such as California rolls.
Other foods on the “no-no” list include undercooked meat, poultry and eggs, unwashed fruits and veggies, and unpasteurized foods such as certain cheeses and juices.
7. Do: Exercise often.
An abundance of research conclusively shows that getting in your daily maternity workout has profound benefits — both for you and your baby. Whether you’re in need of an energy boost, trying to manage weight gain, or prep for a faster, easier labor, working out during pregnancy is an invaluable way to achieve all of these benefits and more.
8. Don’t: Overdo It.
While most doctors agree that women with complication-free pregnancies can continue with their previous exercise routines, this doesn’t mean ignoring your body’s cues. Pregnancy impacts your body in countless ways. If you’re having trouble breathing, feel light-headed, or start to bleed, stop immediately.
Also, be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water while working out.
9. Do: Take care of your teeth.
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums during pregnancy is an important part of ensuring optimal health for you and your baby. If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, schedule a checkup with your dentist to determine how to keep your smile healthy.
10. Don’t: Use teeth whiteners.
While pregnancy gives you plenty of reasons to smile, skip the teeth whitening products during pregnancy. Why? Because research has yet to determine the impact of the bleaching process on babies. Instead, stick with whitening toothpaste while continuing your usual brushing and flossing routine.
Keep in mind that your doctor is the ultimate authority when it comes to enjoying a safe and healthy pregnancy so be sure to check in if you have any questions or concerns. For more great information on all things maternity, baby and motherhood, be sure to bookmark the ForTwoFitness blog.
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