5-UP IN SMOKE
Even worse than alcohol, cigarettes are terrible for pregnant women. Many birth defects are attributed to smoking, and many of those happen very early in the development of the baby. It may not be enough to wait until you learn that you are pregnant to stop because there have already been a few weeks of development going on at that point.
Don’t get us wrong; the second that you see that pink line on the test, put that cigarette out. But it would be better if you had kicked the habit before getting pregnant. Quitting cold turkey can be very hard, and when a woman is already feeling sick from pregnancy, she doesn’t need another complication for her body. Yet the alternative of continuing smoking is beyond dangerous.
It’s a bad habit, but no mom wants to make it even worse for anyone else, especially her little one. So don’t make the mistake of smoking while pregnant.
6-WORRYING ABOUT MORNING SICKNESS
Every woman expects to get a little nauseated when she is pregnant, but many times she never knows what to really expect until she is in it. It can be really disturbing to go through daily bouts of vomiting, and that can cause a lot of worry and angst.
But the good news is that for most women it is just fine. It’s icky and miserable, but it can actually be a good sign that the baby is growing and developing.
There can be a cause for concern if a mom-to-be can’t keep anything down. A severe form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum can cause women to get dehydrated, and that can land them in the hospital. Women who are going through this should talk to the doctor right away, as we already mentioned. But for everyone else, a little nausea and the occasional trip to the porcelain throne should not be a cause for concern. Don’t waste the time worrying about it.
7-EATING FOR TWO
Some women take full advantage of the fact that they are pregnant and they will overindulge. They will eat all those carbs that they have been avoiding for years, and blame it on the cravings. But it isn’t true that a woman should “eat for two” during pregnancy. The truth is that she only needs a few hundred extra calories to sustain the baby.
The recommended weight gain for an average size woman is 25 to 35 pounds throughout the pregnancy, but only maybe five or 10 should be added in the first trimester. In fact, many women don’t gain any weight during that time. Others end up losing some weight due to the morning sickness, and that is OK for most women.
The only women who need to worry about weight gain in the first trimester are those who are underweight at the beginning. Women who gain too much at the beginning may regret it when they are working to get the weight off.
8-GIVING IN TO EVERY CRAVING
This may seem like a repeat of the idea of eating for two, but many women make a mistake of giving in to every craving that goes well beyond the problem of a few pounds. Cravings can be a strange phenomena for pregnant women, and sometimes they can dream about eating things that should not be a part of any diet.
The nightly scoop of ice cream could be a problem for a woman who is diabetic, and a vegan may have trouble consuming meat for a few days. Both, though, aren’t nearly as dangerous as a severe form of cravings called pica.
For those women, the idea of eating rocks, glass or charcoal actually sounds amazing. The desire can be strong and make it really hard to resist. It’s definitely time to call the doctor when these types of cravings come about — and please, don’t give in, no matter what.
9-WORKING TOO HARD
Pregnancy is hard work, and in the first trimester it is flat out exhausting. While the baby is developing and the placenta and extra blood is starting to pump, the energy is sapped from a pregnant mom Some days, a woman can barely get home from work — she is keeping her eyes open with toothpicks and pinching herself the entire commute.
The exhaustion that comes in the first trimester is not only a medical reality but it’s also a signal from our bodies that it is time to slow down and rest. Moms-to-be have a lot of extra responsibilities and worries on their minds, and they need time to decompress and let all that go. They need the sleep to reinvigorate their minds as well as their bodies.
Working too hard is definitely a mistake for a mom to be, and it can lead to dangerous consequences such as dehydration and depression. It’s time to take it easy and enjoy it and get ready for the next several months of pregnancy and motherhood.
Another major diet change that comes about during pregnancy is the need to cut down on caffeine. Many doctors recommend that a pregnant woman has less than 200 mg of caffeine each day, and that is only the equivalent of about one cup of coffee. For major latte fans or diet Coke fiends, that can be a big restriction.
One of the biggest mistakes that women can make at this point is to go cold turkey. Going from three or four cups a day to none can really do a number on the body. Many women experience fierce headaches in the first trimester because of the increased blood flow anyway, so adding major caffeine withdrawal on top of it can make them miserable.
Lately doctors have become less restrictive about caffeine, since new research shows that it isn’t as big an issue as first perceived. It’s still a good idea to cut down right away, but a morning cup of joe won’t harm the baby, so it’s OK to enjoy it.
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