When you’re pregnant, it’s natural to want to do everything in your power to ensure your baby is healthy. However, sometimes, you might end up taking certain risks that can go too far and cause problems for you or your baby.
In this article, we’ll discuss some risks that are often taken during pregnancy that aren’t always worth it.
#1 Being Overweight or Underweight
Being overweight or underweight is harmful in many ways. According to the CDC, between 1999 and 2000 through 2017 and March 2020, obesity prevalence in the United States increased from 30.5 percent to 41.9 percent.
These are high numbers, considering the fact that obesity is a huge threat to our health. It’s especially harmful during pregnancy as it can lead to a variety of health problems for both mother and baby.
The risks that come with being overweight or underweight increase if you’re pregnant with multiples. Excess weight gain can cause complications such as higher blood pressure and gestational diabetes during pregnancy while being underweight may increase your risk of miscarriage or preterm birth.
If you’re in a normal weight range, the recommended amount of weight gain during pregnancy is 25-35 pounds. If you are underweight, aim for 15-25 pounds. If your BMI (body mass index) is high, aim for 28-40 pounds. If your BMI is normal or low, aim for 18-28 pounds of weight gain during pregnancy.
Earlier in November, 2022, a U.S. politician blamed obesity and a pregnant mother’s lifestyle for causing pregnancy complications including child death. While lifestyle and weight do contribute to this, they are not to be blamed as such or the only causes for complications.
Either way, while the politician’s comments may have been absurd and not to be taken word-for-word, it’s still vital to look after your weight when you’re pregnant.
#2 Eating Certain Raw Foods
Raw foods are dangerous during pregnancy. Raw eggs, raw meat and fish, and unwashed fruits and vegetables have the potential to cause food poisoning, a condition that can lead to miscarriage. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that eating contaminated food is one of the most common causes of illness in pregnant women.
The CDC also notes that some types of bacteria associated with food poisoning can cross through the placenta and infect your unborn baby. This could lead to premature birth or even infant death if left untreated.
If you do happen to get sick from eating raw foods during your pregnancy, be sure to contact your doctor immediately. They can prescribe medication that will help fight off any potential complications before they occur.
#3 Taking Risky Prescription Drugs
Certain prescription drugs can lead to complications during pregnancy. Your doctor will advise you regarding this in detail. However, one type of drug that you need to avoid entirely is acetaminophen.
Acetaminophen is found in over-the-counter medications and some prescription drugs. It can be harmful to a developing baby and lead to birth defects if taken at high doses or during the first trimester of pregnancy.
The FDA recommends that women who are pregnant, who may become pregnant, or who are breastfeeding avoid all medicines containing acetaminophen including Tylenol.
If you ever get to study the Tylenol Autism Lawsuit, you’ll find that prenatal acetaminophen exposure is harmful in many ways. Consuming acetaminophen during pregnancy has been found to cause autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the child. That’s why experts advise people to avoid Tylenol use during pregnancy.
#4 Getting the Wrong Exercise
Exercise is good for you and your baby, but not during pregnancy. Some exercises are safe to do throughout your pregnancy and will help you stay fit. Others should be avoided because they can cause damage to the unborn child or make it difficult for your body to deliver the baby when the time comes.
You should avoid exercises that put pressure on your abdomen, such as crunches and sit-ups, as well as weightlifting or anything else that requires lying flat on your back with a barbell over your stomach. If you’re still exercising during pregnancy and have had complications in the past, ask your doctor if they have any recommendations based on what’s best for both mommy-to-be and her baby.
#5 Drinking alcohol
Alcohol use is another thing that pregnant women should avoid. Alcohol can affect the baby’s development. Drinking during pregnancy can cause birth defects such as physical abnormalities and mental disabilities, like fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).
It can also result in miscarriage or premature birth. The more you drink, the greater risk there is for harm to your baby. It’s best to avoid drinking while pregnant altogether because any amount could cause damage to your unborn child.
The CDC reports that 80 percent of all pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. are preventable. One way to ensure this is through avoiding taking these risks during pregnancy. Avoiding these risks is not only important for your physical health and well-being, but also for your baby’s.
Your baby depends on you to make smart decisions. Thus, if pregnant, make sure you’re avoiding taking all these risks and ensuring a healthy lifestyle for the sake of your child.