Whether you’re a first-time mom or an experienced pro brushing up before your bundle of joy makes his or her debut, pregnancy safety is likely at the top of your mind. In between washing teeny-tiny sleepers and assembling that pesky crib, take a moment to study up on these tips from Advanced Obstetrics & Gynecology, LLC outlining a few activities you should avoid until you’re post-delivery.
While a long soak in a hot tub may sound like just the thing your aching joints need, experts recommend avoiding hot water in excess of 104°F (40°C). Anything warmer can raise your core body temperature and put your baby at risk. Hot tubs are also breeding grounds for germs. If you choose to take a quick dip in a jacuzzi, make sure the water is fresh and has been properly treated and limit your swim to 10 minutes or less.
Good news, cat lovers. Once you’re pregnant, you have a legitimate reason to pass off the litter scoop to someone else in your household. Cat feces may contain a parasitic organism called toxoplasma gondii. Humans who come in contact with the parasite may contract toxoplasmosis; in healthy adults, toxoplasmosis can cause flu-like symptoms, but in pregnancy, the illness can lead to serious issues ranging from a newborn with seizures or jaundice to miscarriage and stillbirth.
If you’re the only one who can tend to Fluffy’s needs, wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
Nesting is the perfect excuse to spruce up your home from top to bottom, but it’s better for you and your baby if you stick to organizational tasks and leave the demolition to someone else. Fumes from paint and furniture stain are probably safe if you’re using modern formulations but stripping old paint could expose you to lead and other potentially harmful chemicals. The same goes for ripping up flooring or knocking back drywall.
If you’re set on lending a hand, open windows for proper ventilation, buy paint that is non-toxic and free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and wear a mask to keep your lungs and your little one safe.
Thrill seekers will have to press pause on their theme park adventures, at least until after delivery. The sudden movements and jerking stops that make roller coasters, water slides, tilt-a-whirls, and other high-velocity rides so fun for most people may cause a pregnant rider to experience placental abruption, a condition in which the placenta forcefully separates from the uterine wall. For now, it’s best to stick to the Ferris wheel and midway games.
The same concern about placental abruption on amusement park rides applies to high-speed, high-impact sports such as downhill skiing, football, hockey, horseback riding and surfing. If you’re a dedicated athlete, your doctor may be fine with you continuing with your normal routine, but the balance shifts and natural clumsiness that comes with pregnancy may present surprising new challenges that just aren’t worth the risk.
That doesn’t mean that physical activity is off-limits for the full 40-week gestation period. Regular exercise is an integral part of optimal health in pregnancy, and it’s good for your mental health as well. Walking, low-impact aerobics and swimming are all great ways to work out, as are yoga and Pilates, though you’ll want to avoid “hot yoga” and poses which require you to hold your breath or try an inversion unless you’ve already incorporated those poses into your practice and can continue doing so comfortably.
At Advanced Obstetrics & Gynecology, LLC, we’ve made it our mission to help expectant mothers take an active role in achieving a healthy, happy pregnancy. From regular prenatal visits through labor and delivery and into the postpartum period, we take every opportunity to see to your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. To learn more about our obstetrics care or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.