When you’re pregnant, the word “can’t” comes into play a lot.
You can’t chug a litre of coffee. You can’t indulge in soft cheeses. You can’t see your feet. You can’t even sneeze without peeing a little bit…
Chin up, pregnant mumma! According to a recent article published in an esteemed medical journal (Obstetrics & Gynaecology) by an accredited doctor (Dr Nathan Fox), there are some new guidelines on what you can and cannot do and what you should and shouldn’t avoid during pregnancy. They just might surprise you.
Pregnancy Dos and Donts
1. Don’t stress if you forget to take your prenatal vitamin
Or if you happen to fall pregnant accidentally and ‘forgot’ to take them at all. If you have a healthy diet, a prenatal vitamin may not do much for you or your baby. Vitamin supplements are important for women who are undernourished. For those with a nutritious diet, it “is likely not required,” Fox writes.
2. Do drink your morning coffee
Moderation caffeine during pregnancy is okay. So drink your coffee (up to 300 mg a day). And have your artificial sweetener too. Dr Fox confirms “low (typical) consumption is likely safe”.
3. Don’t eat everything in sight
I know. Food is all you have right now. But you don’t need to eat for two. Eat for one, plus a little extra (350-400 extra calories daily).
4. Do sleep however you want
Although there have been studies that suggest back sleeping can lead to stillbirth, Dr Fox suggests you sleep however you want. No need to panic if you’re a back sleeper, if you prefer to sleep with a mountain of pillows or if you like to roll into different positions. If you’re comfy, so is bub.
5. Don’t freak out if you happened to have a drink
Yes, heavy drinking is linked to problems in the foetus. But Dr Fox points to several large studies that have found no link between a mother’s light or moderate drinking and developmental or behavioural problems in their children later in life.
Keep it safe and abstain. But if you did happen to have a few naughty nights before finding out, don’t stress about it.
6. Do indulge in (cooked) sushi
Fish is good for you, even when pregnant. But fish with high mercury is something to avoid during pregnancy. Raw sushi probably isn’t the best option on the menu but Dr Fox writes, “sushi that was prepared in a clean and reputable establishment is unlikely to pose a risk to the pregnancy”.
7. Don’t smoke
It’s not good for you. It’s not good for your baby. Vaping is off the table too.
8. Do have sex
Unless your doctor says stop (for example, if you’ve been diagnosed with placenta previa), then sex isn’t something to avoid during pregnancy. But, if you really don’t want to because you feel like a swollen hippo, feel free to tell your partner that it’s not recommended.
9. But don’t lie in bed all day
At one stage bedrest was the go-to for pregnancy loss prevention. This isn’t the case anymore. Unless your doctor tells you to stay in bed and limit your movements, get up and do something. Anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes of light to moderate exercise is ideal for pregnant mums.
10. Do lather up with insect repellent
Although it smells awful, insect repellent is not harmful to you or the baby.
11. Don’t risk it with unpasteurised dairy products
Including soft cheeses. I know, they are soooo good, but they could contain Listeria so it’s best to avoid them. Pregnant woman should also avoid unheated deli meats and undercooked or raw meat.
Dr Fox also suggests pregnant woman keep up to date on the recent Listeria warnings, such as the Listeria rockmelon outbreak and avoid these foods.
12. Do dye
Hair dye is presumed safe during pregnancy.
13. Don’t cancel your holiday plans
Fly far far away. Just bring compression socks if you’re prone to varicose veins. Flying during pregnancy is considered safe but you may want to limit your jetsetting to the first and second trimesters. It’s up to you, your pregnancy so far and your travel plans.
14. Do go to the dentist
According to Dr Fox, “oral health and dental procedures can continue as scheduled during pregnancy”.
15. Don’t relax in a hot tub
Well, not for the first trimester anyway. Save the warm baths and hot tub visits for the second trimester.
If you are pregnant, then have a look at our pregnancy section, loaded with heaps of great tips, tricks and truths about adding to the family.