We are creatures of habit. But all the habits that we indulge ourselves in are not good for pregnancy. Some of these habits can also cause problems when you are trying to conceive. Premature birth, complications during pregnancy, miscarriage, birth defects- unhealthy habits are the main cause for these.
For your wellness and also the wellness of your baby, you have to get rid of some of these habits.
What should you not do when planning for a baby?
- If you are deciding to have a baby, make sure you are quitting habits that can make you unfit.
- Make sure you are not leading a sedentary lifestyle.
- Stop being irresponsible and reckless.
- Make sure partying becomes a thing of the past.
Habits to Quit Before Pregnancy
Given below is a list of eight common habits that you should quit before pregnancy for a healthier baby.
Smoking is the very first habit that you need to quit. Smoking can have a lot of adverse effects on you as well as your baby. Like unhealthy embryo growth, low levels of oxygen in your blood, premature birth, significantly low birth weight, and birth defects especially the defects of mouth and lip.
Smoking during pregnancy heightens the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Not only cigarettes but any form of tobacco or nicotine intake is equally harmful. Be it chewing tobacco or e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes also contain harmful chemicals, especially the flavored ones. Even passive smoking is equally dangerous. There are a lot of ways in which you can quit smoking. You can switch to nicotine patches. You can also try quitting programs or seek the support of groups like Smokers Anonymous.
Doctors can show you the necessary steps to help you quit smoking. But make sure that you get rid of this habit before you start trying to get pregnant.
Alcohol consumption is also very dangerous during pregnancy. It can also hamper the process of getting pregnant. It leads to problems like preterm birth and miscarriage. It may cause adverse effects on the development of your baby’s brain and the nervous system.
Heavy alcohol consumption during pregnancy leads to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). This a condition where the newborn develops mental and physical defects. Taking a break fro. Alcohol should not be a problem, but if it is then seek help. Avoid any opportunities or people that tempt you to drink.
Especially drugs that fall into C, D, or X category are not suitable for pregnant women. These drugs can cause potential fetal risks and lead to serious abnormalities. Always seek your doctor’s advice before continuing prescription drugs. Preconception counseling can be very helpful. It will help you understand the side effects of such drugs in detail.
Yes, coffee is harmful during pregnancy, if consumed unchecked. Experts say that consumption of caffeine up to 200mg per day during pregnancy is okay. But beyond that may be harmful. Some suggest switching to decaf or herbal tea.
Too much caffeine can cause fertility problems and can increase the risk of miscarriage. Even after birth, it is suggested that breastfeeding mothers must control their caffeine intake.
Say goodbye to fatty or fried and oily food. An unhealthy diet directly affects the health of your baby. Eating junk food spoils your health too and can cause complications during pregnancy and delivery. If you keep eating unhealthy, chances are that you may give birth to an overweight child. Consume a well-balanced diet and keep your body hydrated.
Having a sweet tooth during pregnancy is a common phenomenon. Candies, ice-cream, and chocolates are not healthy options to satisfy your sweet tooth. If the levels of glucose in your body are high during pregnancy then the chances are that you give birth to a baby with a sweet tooth.
It increases the risk of your child getting diabetic in later life. There is a safe option to satisfy your sweet tooth- Fruits.
Stress is the worst enemy of a pregnant woman. Even when you try to conceive, stress can cause a roadblock. It can cause complications in pregnancy and affect the health of your baby. Working hard is not bad, but don’t stress about it.
If stress has found a way to haunt you, then you can use tools like yoga and meditation to cope with it. Family support is very helpful in dealing with stress.
Lack of sleep
Ample sleep is very important during pregnancy. Insufficient sleep may cause the risk of high blood pressure. If you are sleeping for less than five hours a night, there is a high chance of you developing preeclampsia. Make sure that you get eight to nine hours of sleep every night. Avoid late-night TV, parties, or work hours. If you are having trouble falling asleep, consult your doctor.
These habits can harm you and your baby in ways that are sometimes unimaginable. It is best if you start working on getting rid of these habits before you start trying to conceive. Your health and your baby’s health is your priority. If you find it difficult to quit any of these habits, seek expert help.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few important questions that are normally asked by women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, about the habits they have to quit for a healthier baby.
Is smoking marijuana during pregnancy bad? Or it is just tobacco and cigarettes?
Smoking marijuana is worse. Besides the harmful smoke, marijuana is a mind-altering substance. It is very harmful to your baby.
Does cake fall into the category of unhealthy foods?
It depends on what cake it is. Chocolate cake, cheesecake- yes. Organic low-calorie whole wheat cake-no.
Is sleeping more a bad thing?
Resting more can not be a bad thing. You can sleep for 12 or even 16 hours a day. It is not unhealthy.
What about my nail polish, perfume? They are pure alcohol. Is it harmful if I wear them during pregnancy?
It is perfectly fine to wear nail polish or perfume during pregnancy. Stay away from harmful chemicals like lead.
What if prescription drugs in the above-mentioned category are absolutely necessary?
There might be some alternatives. Consult your doctor.
Does my partner need to quit these habits too?
It is not absolutely necessary for your partner to quit all the habits above. But sure he can do so to give you moral support.
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Mother of Two children. I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for Good parenting. I understand child development and know how to develop activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.