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Bad Habits that Pregnant Women Should Avoid

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4. Consuming Excess Caffeine

As a general rule, consuming 1 to 2 cups of coffee a day is not expected to be a concern for pregnant women . But if you drink a lot of coffee, you need to cut back.

Consuming too much caffeine during pregnancy can be harmful for your health as well as your baby’s.

Caffeine works as a stimulant and a diuretic. The stimulant effects include increasing your blood pressure and heart rate, both of which are harmful during pregnancy.

avoid consuming excess caffeine during pregnancy

It can also affect your sleep. Being diuretic in nature, caffeine increases the frequency of urination. This can lead to low fluid levels and dehydration.

A 2008 study published in the BMJ reports that high caffeine consumption during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of fetal growth restriction throughout the pregnancy. Sensible advice would be to reduce caffeine intake before conception and throughout the pregnancy .

When it comes to caffeine, remember that it is found in more than just coffee. It can also be in tea, soda, chocolate, and even some over-the-counter medications.

5. Taking Medicine on Your Own

Be it a headache or a little cold, many people rely on over-the-counter medicines for fast relief. But during pregnancy, use of any medicine should be carefully monitored.

Anything you ingest, including medication, can reach the fetus and potentially harm your unborn baby.

Pregnant women should be careful when using types of medicine that belong to group C, D and X. If you are already taking some prescribed medicine, you should bring it to your doctor’s attention immediately.

be cautious when taking medications

A 2009 study published in the Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Science shed light on the fact that it is the responsibility of all clinicians, including pharmacists, to counsel patients with complete, accurate and current information on the risks and benefits of using medications during pregnancy .

A 2017 study published in the Journal of Pregnancy analyzed the use of over-the-counter (OTC) medication among pregnant women in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

In the survey, 40 percent of respondents reported that they took OTC drugs during pregnancy, and the majority (94.2 percent) agreed with the survey statement that “not all OTC medications are safe to be taken during pregnancy.”

There is a need to educate, counsel and increase awareness among pregnant women regarding safe use of OTC drugs and herbal medicines while pregnant .

While you’re pregnant, always consult your doctor before taking any medicine, including aspirin and other over-the-counter medications.

Resources:

  1. Healthy lifestyle behaviours in pregnancy: A prospective cohort study in Ireland, British Journal of Midwifery, http://www.magonlinelibrary.com/doi/abs/10.12968/bjom.2015.23.12.874. Accessed March 12, 2018.
  2. Moderate Maternal Alcohol Exposure on Gestational Day 12 Impacts Anxiety-Like Behavior in Offspring. Frontiers. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnbeh.2017.00183/full. Published September 14, 2017. Accessed March 12, 2018.
  3. Tobacco, Alcohol, Drugs, and Pregnancy – ACOG. Women’s Health Care Physicians. https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Tobacco-Alcohol-Drugs-and-Pregnancy. Accessed March 12, 2018.
  4. The Impact of Maternal Smoking during Pregnancy on Early Child Neurodevelopment. Journal of human capital. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3262676/. Published 2011. Accessed March 12, 2018.
  5. Maternal Smoking during Pregnancy and Fetal Organ Growth: A Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study. PLOS ONE. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0067223. Accessed March 12, 2018.
  6. A maternal “junk-food” diet reduces sensitivity to the opioid antagonist naloxone in offspring postweaning. The FASEB Journal. http://www.fasebj.org/doi/10.1096/fj.12-217653. Accessed March 12, 2018.
  7. Maternal “junk food” diet during pregnancy as a predictor of high birthweight: findings from the healthy beginnings. Birth (Berkeley, California). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24635424. Published March 2013. Accessed March 12, 2018.
  8. Is caffeine consumption safe during pregnancy? Canadian Family Physician. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3625078/. Published April 2013. Accessed March 12, 2018.
  9. Maternal caffeine intake during pregnancy and risk of fetal growth restriction: a large prospective observational study. The BMJ. http://www.bmj.com/content/337/bmj.a2332. Published November 03, 2008. Accessed March 12, 2018.
  10. Drug Use in Pregnancy; a Point to Ponder! Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2810038/. Published 2009. Accessed March 12, 2018.
  11. Use of Over-the-Counter Medication among Pregnant Women in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Journal of Pregnancy. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jp/2017/4503793/. Published July 19, 2017. Accessed March 12, 2018.

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