WednesdayFeb 27, 2019 at 3:51 PM
Pregnancy may require lifestyle adjustments.
Whether it’s following an exercise routine or limiting caffeine, taking a vacation or avoiding processed foods, soon-to-be moms are changing their lives to best benefit the babies they carry. Below is the current research to help expectant mothers make the best choices possible.
The safest time to travel during pregnancy is in the middle of the nine-month period, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Women who are having normal and healthy pregnancies can travel by air up until their ninth month, while women with complications or carrying multiples are advised to not travel past week 32 of their pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy Association, a nonprofit organization that promotes pregnancy wellness. The Center for Disease Control highly recommends that women avoid travel to countries with Zika or malaria throughout their pregnancies.
Women should drink less than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day, according to the Mayo Clinic. An 8-ounce cup of coffee has 95 milligrams of caffeine and an 8-ounce cup of brewed tea contains roughly 47 milligrams. While the effects of caffeine on an unborn child are unclear, research shows that it can cross the placenta to enter the baby’s digestive system.
Undercooked Meat & Raw Eggs
The Mayo Clinic advises that pregnant women eat only fully cooked meats, poultry and eggs. Hot dogs and lunch meats can be eaten, but only if they are cooked to steaming prior to consumption. As processed meats, they are carriers of listeria, which can cause a rare but harmful foodborne infection. Raw eggs also can be contaminated with harmful bacteria so it is best to avoid foods such as egg nog, Caesar dressing and hollandaise sauce.
Fish that is high is mercury, such as swordfish, is best avoided during pregnancy along with raw seafood such as oysters, sushi or sashimi, according to the Mayo Clinic. Steer clear of refrigerated, smoked seafood such as nova lox, but canned and shelf-stable versions are permissible. A serving of fully cooked fish with low mercury levels is perfectly safe to eat two or three times a week.
If a woman is physically active before pregnancy, she will most likely be advised to remain active throughout her pregnancy. Exercising on all, or most, days for 30 minutes can be highly beneficial and provide an increase of energy, mood and pain management. Regular physical activity is advised because it will likely help a pregnant woman during birth and post-pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also advises that exercise and weight control in obese and overweight pregnant women can help prevent gestational diabetes and can reduce the risk of preeclampsia and cesarean deliveries.