Not to be a total downer, but there’s a host of other things you should be passing on the next 9 months. Some that may be pretty obvious, and others not so much! I think this list is what hit me hardest as a first time preggers – I honestly had no clue what to expect the first time around, or how much my current lifestyle would shift.
Before getting pregnant, I was your typical “go-getter.” Involved in multiple sports, loved happy hours and meeting new people. I had a passion for travel, and was a wannabe thrill-seeker (yes, I’m proud of the fact that I’ll try just about any food, have skydived, scuba-dived, and am usually up for anything!).
Looking back on it now that my beautiful baby girl has arrived, I want to slap myself and yell “stop being so selfish!” It’s totally true, I’d do anything, and give it all up again, knowing my sweet baby would arrive healthy and happy!
So anyways, on to the point of this topic. There’s a list of things I learned to avoid during pregnancy, and I’m sharing it with all of you! The earlier you accept these lifestyle changes, the less of a lifestyle shift you’ll have to endure – and reality check, 9 months goes by pretty darn quick!
Due to hormonal changes of pregnancy and breastfeeding your eyes and vision may be impacted. This is why it’s advised to delay Lasik until after pregnancy, and you’ve returned to at least two normal menstrual cycles.
Pregnancy or breastfeeding is not the best time to go all out with a cosmetic overhaul! Most chemical peels and laser treatments have not been studied in pregnant or breastfeeding women so the effects are unknown. Work with your dermatologist and doctor if you have specific skin issues or treatments you’d like performed.
– Our skin is highly absorbent, meaning that much of what we put on our skin ends up inside our bodies. Little evidence exists to show the effects of specific products during pregnancy. I made a choice to use the most natural beauty products and skin care as possible during pregnancies. I personally did not want to take the risk of my exposing my baby to potentially harmful ingredients like phthalates, parabens and dyes. There are many “natural” brands out there, I personally love Tarte, Burt’s Bees, Tom’s Of Maine, and Jason. I’ve also LOVE Beautycounter. They have a whole line of safer beauty products so it’s a one stop shop for me! I even created a consultant account to help share their mission & get safer skincare into the hands of everyone!
No need to obsess about swapping ALL your skincare products out. Slowly swap out products as you need to replenish and make simple choices when it’s easy. For me, I’ve always thought of it as the cumulative effect, not about perfection.
-Although research is very limited, most evidence indicates that color treating hair during pregnancy is safe. For me, given the lack of evidence, I recommend postponing chemical hair treatments until after your baby is born. Or seek a more natural/organic salon and waiting until the 2nd trimester when baby’s organs are more developed (I did this with my 1st baby). If you do choose to color your hair, consider these general safety precautions from the Food and Drug Administration:
Follow package directions carefully.
Wear gloves when applying hair dye.
Leave the dye on your hair no longer than directed.
Rinse your scalp thoroughly after using hair dye.
If you work in a salon and are exposed to large amounts of chemicals, talk to your doctor about ways to minimize exposure. Most importantly, ask your doctor for guidance if you’re concerned about the safety of your hair products and hair dye during pregnancy.
This one is obvious, you’ll definitely want to reduce your risk of falling, crashing, or injuring yourself by minimizing exposure to intense sports and activities. That said, it’s up to you and your comfort level of what you choose to continue. I personally played soccer until I was about 14 weeks pregnant (avoiding slides, headers, and backing off of intense plays). I continued to golf, workout regularly, and enjoy long walks outside! However, I skipped my winter snowboarding trip and said no to wake boarding for the summer – I’ve been known to take some hard falls! :/
If you need any X-rays for medical reasons, work closely with your doctor. Often small x-rays, such as dental x-rays are allowed if a lead vest is worn over the abdomen. Again, check with your doctor.
X-ray scanners at the airport are deemed safe. However, I traveled a ton during my first pregnancy and wanted to minimize my overall exposure, so I intentionally made a point to go through the metal detectors instead. It’s your choice.
Certain over the counter meds like ibuprofen or sleep aids are not advised during pregnancy. Ask your doctor early on for a list of approved OTC meds. They often have nice “cheat sheets” that are super helpful to know what is safe to take for common problems like headaches, muscle cramps, colds, etc
If you’re currently on any prescribed medications, it’s best to talk to your doctor prior to getting pregnant.
This is the one you’re probably most familiar with. Cut the alcohol out and reduce your caffeine to less than 200mg a day (~ 12 ounces of coffee a day). Watch out for hidden caffeine sources in coffee, energy drinks, tea and even chocolate!
Similar to medications, certain herbs and supplements are best to avoid during pregnancy. You can find off-limit herbs in things like superfood elixirs, protein powder, herbal teas, or even energy bars so pay attention to product labels. Curious about an ingredient? Make sure to ask your doctor.
During pregnancy, your immune system is slightly repressed, thus contracting a food borne illness can be more serious to mom and fetus than a non-pregnant women. It’s important to avoid raw and undercooked meat and seafood, as well as unpasteurized or raw cheeses. Make sure to read labels and cook food to proper temperatures.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to feel like you’re missing out on all the good food!! Here’s a list of safe swaps for your to print!!
It’s easy to overheat while in a sauna or hot tub, causing your body’s internal temperature to rise and potentially harming baby. It’s best to avoid hot rooms and tubs during pregnancy.
When pregnant, avoid putting too much pressure on your stomach, or lie on your back for prolonged periods as it can prevent blood flow (and just be straight up uncomfortable). While Chiropractic, physical therapy and massage can work wonders during pregnancy, look for prenatal-approved provider.
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