by Dr. Jill Blakeway, DACM, L.Ac

10 things you should avoid during pregnancy

1. Smoking

Most people know that it’s important to give up smoking when you are pregnant. If you don’t you run the risk of your baby having a lower birth weight, and learning disabilities. You also increase your risk of miscarriage. At The Yinova Center we recognize that cigarettes can be a hard habit to break and we are happy to treat you with acupuncture to help you deal with any cravings. We also refer patients to the Easyway organization who run regular stop smoking courses here in New York City. This is a method that has worked well for many of our patients. Easyway also have a book about giving up smoking which is available on amazon which many of our patients have found helpful.

2. Emptying the cat’s litter tray

Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite that can be found in cat litter. It can seriously harm an unborn baby. Use gloves when you empty the cat’s litter tray or better still get someone else to do the dirty work for you.

3. Gardening without gloves

The same parasite that causes toxoplasmosis is found in soil. Consequently you should be vigilant about using gloves when you are gardening.

4. X-rays

If you must have an x-ray tell your dentist or physician that you are pregnant so that extra care can be taken.

5. Vaccinations

Try to get vaccinations taken care of before you get pregnant. If you do need a shot make sure you tell your physician about your pregnancy. Not all vaccinations are unsafe for pregnant women. You can find out more information here.

6. Toxic substances, chemicals and strong fumes

Most pregnant women are very sensitive to strong smells which is nature’s way of protecting your baby from toxic fumes. Avoid cleaning solvents and paint fumes.

7. Alcohol

No-one knows what is a safe amount of alcohol for a woman to drink while pregnant and so it is best to give up alcohol all together. Fetal alcohol syndrome is caused by using alcohol during pregnancy. It is a disorder characterized by growth retardation, facial abnormalities, and central nervous system dysfunction.

8.Over the counter medicines and herbs

Even something as benign as an over-the-counter cold medication can contain ingredients a pregnant woman should not have. Check with your OB before you take anything. The same goes for herbal formulas. A qualified herbalist can advise you on what is safe to take. You should know that here at the Yinova Center we take this issue very seriously. All our herbalists are board certified in Chinese medicine and will be happy to give you a list of Chinese herbs that are contraindicated in pregnancy.

9. Saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms

Excessive heat is not good for you or your baby

10. Rodents

Personally I avoid rodents at the best of times but its particularly important to give them the cold shoulder when you are pregnant. They may carry lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). If a pregnant woman is infected with LCMV, it can pass to the unborn baby and cause severe abnormalities or loss of the pregnancy. You should avoid all rodents and their droppings even cute pet hamsters and guinea pigs. If you find mice in your home you should get someone else to remove them. You can find out more about this here.

You can read more about how we at The Yinova Center can help you if you are pregnant here

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