8) Avoid Sauna, Jacuzzis, and Tanning Beds
Pregnant women get overheated more easily due to their hormonal changes and the additional heat from the baby's body. Studies suggest that pregnant women who suffered overheating from saunas and Jacuzzis had babies with neural defects (when the brain and spinal chord don't form properly). In addition, tanning beds should be avoided, because stretched skin is more vulnerable to burning.
9) Avoid Fish Containing Mercury
Fish known to contain mercury in their fatty tissues such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, fresh tuna, sea bass, and tilefish. (Canned chunk light tuna contains less mercury, but still should be eaten in moderation.) When a pregnant woman consumes large amounts of mercury, the baby may suffer brain damage.
For those who like to fish in local lakes and rivers, you need to be careful of fish that contain industrial pollutants called polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in their fatty tissues. Examples are the bluefish and striped bass, and freshwater fish such as salmon, pike, trout, and walleye from contaminated lakes and rivers. Remember, this applies only to those who are fishing local waters, not to those who are buying fish in their grocery stores. (You can check with your local Health Department to determine which fish in your area are safe to eat.) Consumption of large amounts of PCBs by pregnant women is linked to decreased attention, memory, and IQ in their babies.
10) Avoid Alcohol
Alcoholic beverages of any and all kinds are not to be consumed during pregnancy. If you have a drink, the alcohol passes through your bloodstream into the placenta, and your baby has a drink of equal strength to your own. But because the baby is so much smaller and still developing, the alcohol can have devastating effects: your baby could be born with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and/or have mental and physical defects. No amount of alcohol during pregnancy is safe, according to the March of Dimes.
Everything you eat and drink, and everything you don't eat and drink has an influence on the development of your growing baby. Knowing what to avoid can help you make all the best choices for a healthy pregnancy. Additionally, some women find this is the perfect opportunity to make lasting changes to improve their own health as well.
About the Author:
Jennifer Polimino is the author of the book Slim Mom Secrets: How to Have a Happy, Healthy Pregnancy and Baby. She also has a FREE Healthy Pregnancy Coaching Club at www.SlimMomCoach.comand she publishes a FREE online Healthy Pregnancy Tips newsletter, available at