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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Exp 50 years

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Article Home Women's Health Things to avoid during pregnancy

Things to avoid during pregnancy

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There are certain things which has to be completely avoided during pregnancy like alcohol, smoking, drugs. These can lead to deformities in the child. Hence better avoid it.


The things which are avoided during pregnancy:

Alcohol: Alcohol consumption during pregnancy has many side-effects. There are many conditions that may affect the child because of consumption of alcohol by the mother when she is pregnant. The most common and dangerous condition is called Fetal Alcoholic syndrome (FAS). In this condition, the baby born is severely malformed and is usually mentally impaired. There may be defects in heart, lungs and limbs. Other deformities include Brain damage leading to mental retardation, Low birth weight and Facial deformities.



How much alcohol is safe?

There is no safe level of maternal alcohol consumption for the safety of the fetus. Ideally, alcohol should be totally abstained from, especially during the first trimester. If this is not possible, then the drinks should be reduced to about 5 drinks per week





How harmful is smoking during pregnancy?

Smoking anytime during pregnancy is dangerous, but is exceptionally so during the first three months. Some of the conditions in the child has been linked to smoking.

  • Congenital heart abnormalities
  • Small for date babies or premature birth
  • Still birth
  • Intellectual impairment
  • Attention deficit, hyperactivity and behavioral disorders
  • Learning disabilities
  • SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)

Besides active smoking, even passive exposure to smoke is dangerous during pregnancy. The mother-to-be should therefore ensure that she is not even around people who smoke, as far as possible.

Pregnant women who use drugs may be placing their unborn babies at risk for premature birth, poor growth, birth defects, and behavior and learning problems. And their babies could also be born addicted to those drugs themselves.
High caffeine consumption has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage, so it's probably wise to limit or avoid caffeine altogether if you can.


Remember that caffeine is not limited to coffee. Green and black tea, cola, and other soft drinks contain caffeine. Try switching to decaffeinated products or caffeine-free alternatives.

If you're wondering whether chocolate, which also contains caffeine, is a concern, the good news is that you can have it in moderation. Whereas the average chocolate bar has anywhere from 5 to 30 milligrams of caffeine, there's 95 to 135 milligrams in a cup of brewed coffee. So, small amounts of chocolate are fine.

Certain foods:

Foods you need to stay away from :

  • Soft, unpasteurized cheeses.
  • Unpasteurized milk, juices, and apple cider.
  • Raw eggs or foods containing raw eggs, including mousse, homemade ice cream, and Caesar dressing.
  • Raw or undercooked meats, fish (sushi), or shellfish.
  • Processed meats such as hot dogs and deli meats (these should be well cooked).
  • Also avoid eating shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. These types of fish may contain high levels of mercury, which can cause damage to the developing brain of a fetus.

Over the counter medications :

  • Even common over-the-counter medications that are generally safe may be considered off-limits during pregnancy because of their potential effects on the baby. And certain prescription medications may also cause harm to the developing fetus.
  • If you become sick (i.e., with a cold) or have symptoms that are causing you discomfort or pain (i.e., a headache or backache), talk to your health care provider about medications you can take and alternative ways to help you feel better without medication.