The initial prenatal visit should be a time to discuss with your physician or OBGYN things that are considered safe or unsafe during pregnancy. As you may have heard, there are multiple myths that expectant mothers are exposed regarding the do’s and don’ts during pregnancy.
The most common topics discussed are about dietary myths during pregnancy. Pregnancy poses a dilemma to expectant patients in a sense that they are used to eating certain type of foods on a regular basis, but now they’ve heard that it could be dangerous to the unborn baby. Should I eat this? Should I avoid that? Can I do this during pregnancy?
In a study done in San Francisco, CA, an informal electronic poll showed that, physicians and gynecologists discuss with patients more than 60% of the time about dietary myths at the initial prenatal visit, being the most common one Deli meats.
In this blog, we will discuss those myths including dietary myths (including fish, sushi, natural supplements, cheeses, meats, caffeine) alcohol, smoking, hot tubs, exercise and hair dye.
Myths During Pregnancy
- Fish: Almost everyone likes to eat fish. It is high in protein, rich in omega 3 and low in saturated fats. However, fish contains Methylmercury, and this can impair fetal motor and cognitive skills. The FDA, which is the regulatory agency for food and drugs in the USA, recommends to eat up to 12 ounces (two average meals) per week of fish. However fish selected must be low in mercury. Fish that don’t live for a long time in the water, small fish and those who do not eat other larger fishes. Examples of fish to avoid are: shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, whale and albacore. Ask your OBGYN what other fishes you can eat during pregnancy.
- Sushi: Infectious disease from raw fish is not common in the USA since most sushi is frozen, which kills bacteria and pathogens that might cause problems during pregnancy.
- Supplements: Unless deficient, or if your OBGYN recommends, additional supplements should not be used during pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins contains all the nutrients you need during pregnancy and for the unborn baby. Taking extra Calcium, vitamin D, Omega 3 products is not recommended. You should eat a healthy diet that contains all this elements and should include foods that improve iron absorption like orange juice, grape juice, strawberries or broccoli. Avoid taking extra Vitamin A, since it is a known Teratogen.
- Cheese: Listeria is a bacteria that can cause miscarriages and stillbirths. When affected, most of the time this bacteria reaches our body while most commonly through Hot Dogs. However, soft cheeses, queso fresco, luncheon meats or smoked seafood.
- Caffeine: In the past, it has been associated with low birth weight, anomalies of the bay, and even delay in conception. However, recent studies deny that information. They have found no evidence of negative fetal effects when taken in moderation.
- Alcohol: Never good. Big NO NO!! Associated with congenital abnormalities, developmental delay and fetal alcohol syndrome. Do not even try a little. FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME
- Nicotine: This is associated with multiple health conditions and adverse reactions that is considered a big NO NO as well. Rupture of membrane, preterm birth, preeclampsia, miscarriage, abruption placenta, maternal lung conditions, all those have been linked to maternal smoking. Don’t even bother asking. Just too bad for you overall health and for the health of your unborn baby.
- Hot Tubs: When water is heated above 100 degrees F, it’s potentially teratogenic. Saunas have been linked to first trimester pregnancy losses and risk of neural tube defect (Spina bifida). For this reason, don’t use sauna, hot tubs, Jacuzzis with hot water during pregnancy.
- Exercise during pregnancy: Unless your OBGYN tells you not to (due to a high risk condition) exercise during pregnancy it’s always good. General recommendations are to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise. This can prevent you from getting gestational diabetes, reduce the risk of pre eclampsia and premature labor. Yoga is good but avoid something called hot yoga. Also avoid contact sports, scuba diving, supine activities. Visit ACOG.org also for more information. EXERCISE DURING PREGNANCY
- Hair Dye: Avoid during first trimester. Use masks and gloves when dealing with hair chemicals. Always dye your hair in well ventilated areas. Visit HAIR DYE DURING PREGNANCY
OB Gyn Katy Texas
Pink Women’s Center is a board certified OBGYN in Katy Tx and west Houston Tx. We manage normal and high risk pregnancies, gynecologic and menopausal problems, including abnormal vaginal bleeding, abnormal pap smear, stress incontinence, osteoporosis, sexual dysfunction, endometriosis and much more. We are a certified menopause OBGYN group, the only one in Houston Texas
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