Don’t sleep on your back, don’t drink coffee, don’t do that workout – are just a few of the million things you shouldn’t do while pregnant. Or so you might have read.
When I was pregnant, I felt like every time I looked at an article, there was something new that I wasn’t supposed to be doing! I truly wanted to do what was best for my baby, but it seemed like I was learning something new every day and panicking because I did something “wrong” the day before.
So obviously, many of us have heard the basics – no smoking, no alcohol, no doing extreme sports. But what about the rest of it? What are other things you shouldn’t do while pregnant?
Things You Shouldn’t Do While Pregnant
1. No Ice Cream?
I’m totally with you, this one sounds crazy. Especially for a momma who loves ice cream – pregnant or not. However, believe it or not, homemade ice cream is frowned upon due to the potential for raw eggs. Weird, right?! Just try to stick to store bought ice cream or frozen yogurt and you should be okay!
2. Painting the Baby’s Nursery – or Anything
I know you’re excited and have been preparing endlessly for the perfect nursery, but you should really let someone else do the painting. Paint fumes are not only bad for you, but also for your unborn baby. Choose the colors and design, and ask you husband to do the painting – or hire it out.
3. Cleaning the Litter Box
This one is just…weird, right? However, I’m not complaining! One less daily chore that I don’t even have to convince my husband to do for me is a win in my book.
Long story short, the reason cleaning the cat’s litter box is on the list of things you shouldn’t do while pregnant all has to do with Toxoplasmosis. This is a disease that can be passes from your cat’s poop to you through contact.
This disease can be very serious if passed on to your unborn baby, so be sure to take the right precautions and avoid changing the litter box if possible.
4. Taking a Hot Bath
Ahhhh. I can’t lie, taking a hot bath is one of my FAVORITE things to do. And when I was pregnant? And tired, and sore? I wanted to do it even more! Not being able to take a hot bath is probably one of the hardest things you shouldn’t do while pregnant for me.
So what’s the big deal?
Taking a hot bath, sitting in a sauna, or a hot tub can cause your body temperature to rise too high or your blood pressure to potentially drop. Both of these are potentially harmful to your baby.
It may not sound quite as relaxing, but try taking a warm bath instead to help avoid these potential pregnancy problems.
5. Sleeping on Your Back
Sleeping during pregnancy can be hard. I remember my baby kicking me in the ribs almost every single night. Then you also have to get up and pee. Then try to readjust and get comfortable again. And cross your fingers you don’t have acid reflex too.
Now, I have to break the news to you. Stop sleeping on your back. Easier said than done for some of us, right? The best position to sleep in while pregnant is on your left side. This allows the best positioning for blood flow to your baby.
If you do wake up and find that you’ve ended up on your back, try not to freak out. Just re-position yourself on your side and try to go back to sleep.
A really comfy pillow, like this one, designed for pregnant women can be so helpful in getting to sleep! Especially if you’re not used to sleeping on your side.
6. Think about Skipping That Double Espresso
Giving up chocolate or your daily coffee can seem like a huge thing when you’re pregnant. Hey, even when you’re not pregnant that feels like a huge thing.
Thankfully, most doctors will tell you that it’s okay to have about one 12 oz cup of coffee or 200 mg or less of caffeine per day.
If you really feel like you’re dragging, try to make sure you’re well hydrated and eating great pregnancy power snacks. It’s also super helpful if you can sneak a nap in while you can! Your body is making a baby after all, you deserve it momma!
This water bottle is my favorite if you’re trying to get enough water in during the day! It’s easy to carry, keeps my water cold, and is huge – so I have to fill up less often and can keep track of how much I’ve drank.
7. Enough with the Full Sit Ups
I know you want to keep that awesome bod of yours rockin’, but the full sit ups MUST STOP. While the majority of exercises are safe during pregnancy, there are a few that fall into the category of things you shouldn’t do while pregnant.
Full sit ups and other advanced abdominal exercises can pull at your stomach in a way that can be dangerous during pregnancy.
Another set of exercises to avoid are ones that have you lying flat on your back. This is for the same reason you shouldn’t sleep flat on your back during pregnancy. Once you get further along during your pregnancy, the weight of your uterus can put pressure on your vena cava (a major blood vessel), and cause the blood flow to decrease to your baby. You can also get light headed and dizzy.
It’s important to stay fit during your pregnancy, so try to keep up your old fitness routine with modifications and clearance from your doctor. If you didn’t have a routine before, walking is fantastic exercise for pregnant women!
To help you bounce back (or get into shape) once your baby is born, The Postpartum Cure is amazing! This program is all about healing, nutrition (even a grocery store guide), and exercises to do postpartum. My favorite part is the app and quick videos that show you how to perform each exercise! Check it out here – many moms love getting this during pregnancy and preparing for their postpartum period.
What to Avoid While Pregnant: Talk to Your Doctor
While the list of what to avoid while pregnant can be confusing and may seem ever changing, it’s always important to check with your doctor.
The goal is to have a happy and healthy pregnancy for both mom and baby. The key to this, can be finding healthy and safe alternatives to the things you shouldn’t do while pregnant. Whether it’s going for a walk or testing out some recipes from The Postpartum Cure, find simple things you can do while you’re pregnant.