All about the fitness and health lifestyle
All about the fitness and health lifestyle

Eight Things to Avoid During Pregnancy

Last Updated:
February 10, 2023
Kay Nicole

Eight Things to Avoid During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a huge milestone in a woman's life, filled with joy and sacrifices. You are encouraged to err on caution to keep yourself and your child healthy during these nine months because you are responsible for another human being.

If your pregnancy test is positive, does this mean you will have to say goodbye to everything you love? No, but you'll need to make some adjustments. Most pregnant women can carry on with their usual routine and only need to make minor adjustments to their lifestyle. Usually, all that is required is to refrain from eating specific meals and engage in activities that could jeopardize the developing fetus.

Read on to find a comprehensive list of things you should avoid during pregnancy:

1. Drugs, Alcohol, and Smoking

The harmful trio - drugs, alcohol, and smoking - can be extremely dangerous during pregnancy. Unfortunately, some women find it difficult to stop because of their past experiences, adverse turn of life events, and societal stress. It's crucial to know that drugs and alcohol can cause harm to your developing baby's brain and organs because it travels quickly across the placenta to the umbilical cord from your blood to the fetus. On the other hand, whenever you smoke, the oxygen supply to your baby is significantly reduced. Moreover, the fetus is exposed to toxic chemicals cloaked inside cigarettes, like nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide.

According to studies, smoking, using illicit drugs, or consuming alcohol during pregnancy can cause miscarriages, early births, low body weights or congenital disabilities, and other conditions in newborns, and may pose severe medical complications. Talk to your doctor, midwife, or counselor if you need help quitting drinking, smoking, or using other drugs for a safe pregnancy experience.

2. Certain Foods

Pregnant women frequently avoid particular foods during their pregnancies, either because the food makes them feel sick or because their sense of smell changes.

However, some foods should be avoided by all pregnant women. These include:

  • Shellfish and raw meat: Uncooked seafood (eyes on you, sushi) comprising clams, mussels, and oysters. Also, refrain from eating undercooked or rare meat and poultry. These might have salmonella or toxoplasmosis contamination.
  • Deli meat: Deli meats may contain the bacteria listeria, which can pass through the placenta and infect your unborn child.
  • Fish with high mercury levels: Swordfish, sharks, and mackerel are some fish with significant mercury concentrations: According to research, mercury exposure during pregnancy may result in brain damage or impairments affecting the hearing and vision of the unborn child.
  • Soft Cheese: Unpasteurized dairy that may contain listeria is mainly present in some imported soft cheeses like brie, feta, and camembert. Therefore, avoid having food combined with or cooked with soft cheese.
  • Raw eggs: Salmonella can also be present in raw eggs. Therefore, any meal that might contain raw eggs should be avoided by pregnant women, including unbaked cookie dough, mayonnaise, and homemade Caesar salad dressing.

3. Caffeine

Caffeine can cross the placenta and affect the fetus in the same way that alcohol can. According to some experts, higher concentrations may harm the fetus and increase the likelihood of pregnancy loss or low birth weight. Moreover, since it is a diuretic and stimulant, drinking a few cups of coffee daily will raise your blood pressure, heart rate, and the number of bathroom breaks.

Therefore, pregnant women should not consume more than 200 mg of caffeine every day, as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggested.

4. Saunas, Hot Tubs, and Overheating

Although it may seem like a good idea to unwind in hot water when pregnant, experts advise against using hot tubs and saunas.

According to experts, hot tubs can result in hyperthermia, or an unusually high body temperature, resulting in congenital disabilities. While complications may arise later in pregnancy, this is primarily a risk in the first trimester.

Additional activities that could result in an unsustainable increase in body temperature include:

  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Hot pilates or yoga
  • High-intensity exercises
  • Dehydration

5. Contact Sports

Placental abruption, or the premature detachment of the placenta from the uterine wall, is more likely to occur in contact sports. Placental abruption is a serious condition that can result in stillbirth, pregnancy loss, or preterm birth.

Due to the body's hormonal changes during pregnancy, which cause the ligaments to loosen up, pregnant women are also more prone to injury. Therefore, contact sports like football and boxing must be avoided during pregnancy.

6. Stilettos

Pregnancy puts much stress on the foot, which can inevitably cause aches, pains, and fatigue due to weight gain and fluid retention in the lower extremities. In addition, when you are pregnant, wearing high heels will put more pressure on your knees and back, which are already under a lot of stress, increasing the likelihood of foot, leg, and back problems.

Avoid wearing more than a three-inch heel: Consider wedges, kitten heels, and platforms. Your center of gravity will change as your belly gets bigger. As a result, you might struggle to stand on your own. You might live in your flip-flops if you have swelling on your ankles.

7. Certain Medications

Pregnant women should avoid some over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs as they may be harmful to the fetus.

Doctors advise against taking the following medicines:

  • Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs
  • Most herbal treatments
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Some cold and flu medications during the first trimester
  • Several acne medications

A doctor or pharmacist can advise on which medications are safe and frequently recommend alternatives if patients cannot take their usual prescriptions.

8. Losing Weight

Weight gain during pregnancy is natural. Your baby, placenta, increased blood volume, and amniotic fluid all contribute to those extra pounds.

Eliminating food types to lose weight could prevent your baby from acquiring the nutrients required for growth. The best way to maintain weight is to consume a healthy, balanced diet that includes a range of foods from each major food group instead of restricting your diet.


For your emotional and physical wellness during pregnancy, staying active and having fun is crucial. You don't want to stop engaging in your favorite pass times and activities. At the same time, staying away from situations that could endanger you or your baby is essential. If you are pregnant, you can continue with regular activities if you follow the required safety precautions. If unsure, it is preferable to speak with a doctor about the activities that are not recommended during pregnancy.

magnifiermenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram