Pregnancy can be a magnificent experience for many women. But it can also be very delicate and fragile as well. Some women have to rearrange their entire life to accommodate a growing and developing fetus. There are so many things that most moms need to learn about and remember in order to try and have the healthiest pregnancy possible.
Even moms who have had several children find that they still have a lot to learn since things evolve and change all the time. Between pregnancies, new research could have become available. It’s always better to gain as much knowledge as you can while pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
There are so many different things that most women make the mistake of doing within their first trimester of pregnancy, and a majority of the time they are unaware that they are even doing anything wrong. Things like skincare products, eating for two, and announcing the pregnancy immediately after they find out they are pregnant are all things that can get classified under the ‘mistakes’ category. Stuff like those three things can either be harmful to the unborn baby, to its mother or even to both.
Continue reading below to find out why these things and considered mistakes. Plus, much more!
1. Ignoring The Pregnancy Test
This may seem hard to believe but some women actually downplay their first positive at home pregnancy test as if it were a major error. Sometimes they are majorly in denial and won’t believe it until they hear the three life-changing words, “You are pregnant,” from their doctor.
This can be a major mistake in the first trimester, or first 12 weeks because they continue to go on as if they aren’t pregnant. They won’t start a prenatal vitamin, they won’t stop or cut back on unhealthy lifestyle behaviors such as drinking and taking a puff every now and then, and they aren’t watching what they are eating and drinking. Taking the pregnancy test seriously should be your first concern when making the first lifestyle changes. It’s important to start thinking of the child inside you as soon as possible so it will be healthy for the long road ahead.
2. Holding Off On Calling The Doctor
As soon as you get that first positive pregnancy test, by the next time business day, you should automatically be on the phone with your doctor making your first appointment to confirm your pregnancy. I know the first time I had a positive pregnancy test it was a Thursday night. Come Friday morning, I was already of the phone with my GYN telling them my results of the at home test and by that afternoon I was sitting in my doctor’s office scared and shaking.
Not every office can get you in on the same day, but the sooner you make that call, the sooner you will be sitting in their office. This is something that needs to be done immediately. The sooner you start making lifestyle changes for your pregnancy, the higher the chance of having a healthy pregnancy.
3. Continuing To Take Hot Baths
Long hot baths can be so relaxing for the body and soul. Even sitting in a hot tub or jacuzzi may sound enticing. But if you are pregnant you may want to give up the hot water and settle for a warm bath instead. This is something that not all pregnant women know about, which can make it a mistake for women who are expecting. When you think about it, hot water heats up your body from the outside in.
Taking a bath raises your core body temperature, including the temperature inside your uterus.
What exactly does that mean you may be asking? Well, when your pregnancy, the fetus is developing inside your womb. Hot water can also overheat your developing fetus, especially before seven weeks of pregnancy, which can lead to neural tube defects according to BabyCenter.com.
4. Not Taking Your Pregnancy Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are vital for having a healthy pregnancy and baby. These vitamins have the perfect amount of folic acid in them to help fight of neural tube defects. You need less than one milligram of folic acid per day, according to Andrew Czeizel, M.D. If a woman is within the childbearing age she needs about 300 micrograms, and then during pregnancy, she needs 800 micrograms of folic acid daily.
Some women make the mistake of waiting to take prenatal vitamins until after they have their first OBGYN appointment. That is not the best thing to do. Sometimes it’s hard to tell when conception actually happened, so putting off starting them after the first positive at home test could be damaging to an unborn baby. Keep your baby safe and healthy and start taking a prenatal vitamin immediately.
5. Using Certain Skin Care Products
Changing estrogen levels during the first trimester can cause a pregnant woman to have acne breakouts, even if she had clear skin her entire life. When it comes to treating acne during pregnancy, moms have to be extremely careful because one the main ingredients called salicylic acid (which is also an ingredient found in aspirin) can be harmful to an unborn baby and has been known to cause congenital disabilities and other pregnancy complications when taken in the oral form.
Even the topical variations of this ingredient can cause complications when used in high doses, such as face masks and body peels. But when used in a toner or in minimal doses it can be considered safe. But since everyone uses different amounts and every woman’s body is different, it is still best to avoid products with this ingredient as well as benzoyl peroxide, citric acid and other beta hydroxy acids (BHA’s). Ask your dermatologist what acne medications may work best for you that is safe to use while pregnant.
6. Mistaking Symptoms For Something Else
For some women, it is very obvious to them that they are pregnant. It’s like their body whispers sweet nothings into their ear and informs them to take a test. While other women may have irregular menstrual cycles, so when they start experiencing symptoms of pregnancy they mistake it for just being sick instead.
Moms should always listen to their gut.
The bad thing about mistaking the typical symptoms as something else is that they are not getting the prenatal care that they need right away to have a healthy start to their pregnancy. They aren’t taking the prenatal vitamins, they aren’t calling their doctor, and they are most likely partaking in the same behaviors whether it be drinking, smoking, or anything else. If you aren’t feeling right, Aunt Flo is late, the girls or sore, or anything else it’s better to be safe and take a test anyway. They are fairly cheap these days and at some places, you can even find them for a dollar!
7. Completely Cutting Out Caffeine
If you’re an extreme coffee enthusiast and can’t make it one morning without your morning cup of java, this may be good news for you. There is a major misconception that you need to cut off all caffeine when you are pregnant. Some women find themselves going cold turkey, which is a mistake. Then they find themselves with such bad headaches that it feels almost like a migraine.
It is doctor approved that pregnant women can have up to 200 mg of caffeine a day without any adverse effects on the growing fetus.
When we have a headache it releases stress hormones, and as we know, stress hormones can put stress on the fetus. While it’s not life-threatening, it can weigh on a moms-to-be conscience, which will just add more stress to her body.
8. Pushing Your Muscles
It’s good to get some physical activity in when you’re pregnant, but there is such a thing as doing too much or “overdoing it.” This is especially true within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, the first trimester. Usually, but not always, the 12th week represents a sort of rather checkpoint when most women are in the clear and the chance of a having a miscarriage is greatly reduced.
But by pushing yourself to the limit by either partaking in very strenuous physical activities, things that you usually would never do on a regular basis, can be harmful to a pregnancy as well as for the mom-to-be. It can increase stress on the body as well as the mind.
It can zap a pregnant woman of all her energy and make her feel horrible as well as putting the pregnancy at risk for having a spontaneous abortion; more commonly known as a miscarriage. You can still do the things you love, just try not to push yourself too hard.
9. Not Eating Enough Calories
Sticking to a strict diet such as a severe calorie or carb restrictions or foods lacking in protein is not a good thing to do when you are pregnant. This is because you have to eat a healthy balanced meal in order to have the healthiest possible pregnancy that you can.
The unborn baby needs proper nutrients to grow, develop, and thrive in mom’s stomach.
If you are restricting during your pregnancy, your baby is not getting what it needs, which can make for an unhealthy baby such as, he or she is delivered prematurely with a low birth weight and prone to having more medical problems than a healthy baby. That is why it is always best to do what you have to do during your pregnancy for the sake of your little one who will be here soon enough.
10. Avoiding Physical Activity All Together
Being physically active and getting in some daily exercise is excellent in helping to have a healthy pregnancy. Unfortunately, some moms–especially moms who have had a hard time getting pregnant or who have been through the tragic loss of a miscarriage–will intentionally avoid physical activity and exercising in fear of something bad happening to their unborn baby. This is especially common within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy before a woman has made it to that 12th-week checkpoint.
Without exercise, you will not be able to burn off the excess calories. You can have a higher chance of developing preeclampsia or even gestational diabetes, which isn’t good for you or your baby. You may be doing the opposite of what you set out to do–instead of helping your baby, you are harming it. Exercise helps reduce the stress hormones in your body as well, and it has also been known to help with fetal development and growth, according to TheHealthSite.com.
11. Starting To Shop For Baby Clothes Immediately
Starting to shop for baby clothes and accessories immediately after finding out you are pregnant, may not be advisable. This is because before the first 12 weeks of pregnancy the risk of having a miscarriage is very high compared to after the first trimester. According to VeryWellFamily.com, 15 to 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriages, and of that 80 percent happen within the first 12 weeks. It can happen to anyone. The women who have never had to suffer through such great loss should consider themselves very lucky.
You don’t want to go out and buy all this baby stuff, and the unthinkable happens to you and now you are left with all the baby gear which only adds to the hurt. Since there is only a 20 percent chance of loss after the checkpoint, it’s best to wait until after that before you buy your unborn baby’s first teddy bear and outfit.
Self-medicating, in general, and regardless if you are pregnant or not, can sometimes be a bad idea. It becomes an even worse idea when you find out that you are pregnant. According to WebMd.com, “no drug can be considered 100 percent safe to use during pregnancy,” for many different reasons. Every woman is unique as well as every pregnancy. Just because something was safe for one mom to take, or nothing really happened, does not mean that it will be safe for you to take.
There are certain medications and supplements that are known to have adverse effects on an unborn baby.
Aspirin, cold medicine with guaifenesin, high doses of vitamin A, senna, and even some essential oils can be harmful during pregnancy. Always check with your doctor before you consume or use any type of medication to be on the safe side. Self-medicating is a mistake that a lot of moms make during their first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
13. Eating For Two
A lot of women tend to take eating for two in the literal sense and double their calorie intake. That is definitely a mistake some moms make before their 12th week of pregnancy. You actually only need to add an additional 300 calories to your normal intake–given that you weren’t severely restricting your calories! If your intakes were at 2,000 per day, then you would only need to go to 2,300. That’s it!
Doubling the intake is a major myth. All that will do would be adding unwanted pounds to your body for absolutely no reason at all! And no one wants that! When you increase your daily calorie intake too much, that could put you at an even higher risk for complications such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia later on in your pregnancy, which is bad news for mom and baby. Don’t forget to eat a healthy and well-balanced meal!
14. Not Watching What Is Being Consumed
By not watching which foods you are consuming, and no we don’t mean watching it go in your mouth, you could potentially be putting your unborn baby at risk. There is a major list of foods that have been put on the no-no list during pregnancy. This like consuming deli, raw, or undercooked meats, unpasteurized milk, cheese, and even fruit juice is harmful to a pregnancy and the developing baby. Not washing your produce or even certain types of fish that are high in mercury are unsafe as well. The list could go on, honestly.
It is very important that you consult with your doctor about what is and isn’t safe to eat during your first 12 weeks of pregnancy and beyond.
The goal is still to be able to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet while avoiding problematic and unsafe foods. So, please, be careful what you put into your body while you are pregnant.
15. Still Partying
When you find out you are pregnant you have to be careful what with what you do and consume. So, needless to say, it is a major mistake when soon-to-be moms continue to party hard and drink, use cigarettes, and take substances. It’s also a mistake that some women make during pregnancy when they are promiscuous and is having unprotected relations with people who they do not know very well.
All of the above can be very harmful to an unborn baby, as well as for the mom. These are all negative lifestyle habits that need to change while you are pregnant. As well as afterward if you plan on breastfeeding. Finding out that you are pregnant is a major life-altering event and moms need to take care of themselves in order to have the healthiest pregnancy possible.