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.
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.
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.
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