Here is another question I got from a reader:
There is a lot of talk on what you can, or cannot, do while with child. What is the list of ABSOLUTE do's and dont's of pregnancy?
I don't know if I can answer in an ABSOLUTE fashion, but here's what I will say: While I highly recommend listening to your doctor FIRST (they all have different opinions), I think there are some no-brainers out there of things NOT to do. Those things would include:
-not doing drugs - this includes the hard stuff as well as over the counter drugs that your doc says no to (Tylenol is usually the safest pain reliever).
-not drinking alcohol while pregnant (wine is the exception - but I waited until I was well into my second trimester to have a small amount, after all of the important BIG fetal development was over). This isn't a big deal for me, because I want a margarita. Tequila is not good for the baby though, kids.
-paying attention to your fish intake. Certain fish have a higher mercury content (shark, swordfish, mackerel) while others in moderation can be very good for baby. Fish like albacore white (canned) tuna and salmon have low mercury contents and are safe AND beneficial to baby.
-taking on the "I'm eating for two" mentality. No you are not. You only need an extra 300 calories a day.
-changing the litter box. Chances are if you have an indoor only cat, you are fine and have already been affected and are now immune to toxoplasmosis - your doctor can test you for this. If you have cats that go outdoors, it is best to have someone else change the litter for you. Also, wear gloves when gardening in case the neighborhood kitties decide to poo in your garden.
-eating raw meat. DUH.
-lifting over 20 pounds. Make your husband do this.
-increasing your core temp. It is okay if you like warm baths - some will even say hot tubs are fine. As long as you do not increase your core temp (you'll know if this happens because you will get sweaty) you are A-ok.
-eating sushi. Yes, you can have the cooked stuff like California rolls. As long as it is not raw you are cool. I always just ask that the sushi chef cleans his knife and cutting board (which they should be doing anyways) before preparing my sushi.
-working out. Good God. It is GOOD for you. It is not good, however, to diet or begin a vigorous work-out routine while pregnant. Also, never push yourself. If you feel tired or out of breath then it is probably time to stop. My doctor said not taking my pulse over 140 was a good idea.
-Soda (I live in Ohio, we say POP) or coffee. Or should I say caffeine? Most doctors will say it is okay to have caffeine in moderation. I stay on the cautious side of this one and drink pops like Sprite and Root Beer, which are caffeine-free. Diet pop is sometimes considered worse because of the aspartame.
-Cheese and deli meat. Okay. Yes, certain cheeses and most deli meats have a chance of containing listeria (bacteria), but chances are if your cheese says it is pasteurized, it is FINE. Also, the chance of contracting listeria from un-heated deli meat is somewhere around .000008%. I don't heat mine. I also eat feta and a little bit of blue cheese.
-getting highlights is FINE. The color never really touches your scalp (unless your hairdresser is awful, then I suggest getting a new one). The biggie here is can you take the smell?
Personally, I am always a "better safe than sorry" type of person. But that's just me. I feel complete responsibility for this child and their development. Hopefully this helped a little! I could go on and on and on. But I won't!