Pregnancy Safety Tips

Pregnancy is a delicate time for both you and your developing baby. As you prepare to welcome a new child into your home, it is important that you take precautions to provide a safe environment both in the womb and in the home once your baby is born.

Things to Do | Pregnancy Safety Tips

Go to your obstetrician as soon as you find out that you are pregnant. Be sure to get started on your prenatal vitamins right away, as prenatal vitamins have folic acid in them to prevent birth defects. Most birth defects begin in the early months of pregnancy.

 

Buy a new crib (or cradle); not a used one. Older recalls can be difficult to track down, and the rails may be too far apart so that your baby could fall through them. Don't risk it.

Also, make sure that crib sheets fit securely and don't pull off. Oversized sheets can slip off and suffocate your baby. Crib sheets that are too small won't stay on the mattress and can slip off, placing your baby at risk.

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, make sure that all the meat you eat is cooked well. Undercooked meat can contain E. coli, a dangerous bacteria. Undercooked pork can lead to toxoplasmosis.

Finally, take it easy! Rest is important in pregnancy, and a nap a day does wonders for those headaches.

Things to Avoid | Pregnancy Safety Tips

Shellfish Avoid shellfish, as it is a leading cause of food poisoning. Food poisoning can cause miscarriage. Consider limiting tuna, as well, as some tuna contains high levels of mercury. In fact, the general consensus among health advocates is to not eat tuna at all during pregnancy. Mercury can harm your baby in any amount.

smoking

Smoking Don't smoke cigarettes during pregnancy. Cigarette smoking has been linked to newborns with low birth weight. Protect your baby!

Hot Tubs Don't get into hot tubs when you're pregnant. It's not worth it. If you overheat your body, you overheat your baby!

Caffeine Don't drink more than two cups of coffee (or any caffeinated beverage) per day during pregnancy. Your baby may be at risk of birth defects if you do.

Litter Boxes Don't change the litter box if you have a cat. You could get toxoplasmosis (a very serious illness). You don't have to give up your cat -- just have someone else change the litter box.

Air travel While travel during pregnancy is generally safe, it's probably best to avoid airplanes in your last month or two of pregnancy, especially if you are in certain high-risk categories that make preterm labor a strong possibility (e.g., carrying multiples or preeclampsia). If you were to go into labor unexpectedly, the plane might not be able to land in time to get medical help.