As a mother, your body experiences tremendous stress and pressure during the months of pregnancy. It is vital to ensure that certain food, substances and activities are avoided to lower your risk of getting hurt or ill during your pregnancy, which might result in harming both you and your baby.
The below list of foods should be avoided during your pregnancy, to keep both you and your baby safe:
1. Raw (or undercooked) eggs
2. Raw (or undercooked) meat
3. Raw (unpasteurised) milk
4. Liver (excessive amount of vitamin A)
5. Soft cheeses (especially those with white rinds and blue cheeses)
6. Cold cured meats
Traditional Chinese Medicine
In the Chinese medicine point of view, there are certain food that pregnant women should avoid:
1. “Cold” and “Cool” food: e.g. bitter melon, watermelon and chinese kale
2. Food that is likely to cause allergies: e.g. prawns, crabs, and other crustacean
3. Food that will likely cause upset to the digestive system: e.g. banana, plum and dragon fruit, and should only be eaten once every week
4. Food that promote ‘qi’, stimulate circulation and remove blood stasis: e.g. tianqi, also known as notoginseng root, and alcohol
5. Food that are diuretics: e.g. pearl barley, sugar cane & imperative drinks, and beer
Substances to avoid
Caffeine in small dosage is safe for consumption during your pregnancy. However it is recommended that you limit the intake to under 200mg per day. The safest way to avoid caffeine-related birth complications is to eliminate caffeine from your diet altogether. This will avoid caffeine-related birth complications such as low birthweight. Be reminded that caffeine is not only found in coffee, but also in chocolates, soft drinks (such as coca cola), and also pain killers.
Smoking and drinking alcohol are harmful to both you and your unborn baby. Remember that the precious and growing body of your unborn baby cannot break down alcohol as fast as your body can. Therefore when you drink alcohol and it gets passed to your baby via the placenta, the alcohol causes more damage to your baby than you – often resulting in irreversible birth defects, ranging from heart damage to mental retardation. Smoking is also linked to health complications – the most common ones being ectopic pregnancies, low birth weight, pre-mature birth and still birth. For the health of your baby, it is recommended that you consult your doctor for treatments to quit smoking, or consider nicotine replacement therapy.
Since all medication you take will be passed to your unborn baby, it is important to be aware of what you are putting into your body. Check with your doctor if your prescriptions prior your pregnancy need to be changed to facilitate the pregnancy.
Activities to avoid
During your first trimester, it is recommended that you do not work out or engage in strenuous exercises in order to allow your body to adapt to the hormonal changes during this very first stage of your pregnancy.
If your pregnancy has been termed as a high-risk pregnancy by your doctor, it is important to avoid engaging in physical exercises unless you receive specific approval from your doctor to do so. If after consulting your doctor, you are deemed fit to engage in physical exercises, avoid activities that involve impulsive body contact, leaping, sudden change of direction etc.
Before embarking on any exercises programmes, starting any new diets, or consuming any medications, always consult your doctor beforehand! Happy pregnancy!