Do’s and Dont’s of Pregnacy

Dr. Grigorios Derdelis, Gynecologist – Obstetrician, MD, MSc, PhD

Smoking: Undoubtedly smoking is harmful, not only for you but also for your unborn child. Smoking is a form of pharmacological dependence and is blamed for almost twice the risk of miscarriage, residual fetal development, prematurity, low birth weight and less commonly for premature placental abruption. Smoking cessation during pregnancy improves the birth weight of the new-born, especially if the cessation occurs before 16 weeks of gestation. If you smoke, now is the time to quit smoking.

Alcohol: Do not drink any alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is one of the most common non-genetic causes of mental retardation, as well as the main cause of abnormalities in the body of the fetus.

Bathing: You can take a bath or shower whenever you prefer, but during pregnancy you should avoid using the hot tub or jacuzzi.

Constipation: Regular bowel habits can be disrupted during pregnancy. Haemorrhoids may also occur (for the first time or more often than usual). If you have constipation, the increase of fiber intake (increased amounts of fiber in: bran, fresh and dried fruits and vegetables) can help significantly. To treat constipation, it is also recommended that you drink plenty of water and other fluids throughout the day. Do not use laxatives, enemas or any other medication without first consulting your doctor. To get more information, read more about constipation during pregnancy.

Caffeine: Consumption of caffeine in small to moderate amounts is not associated with a significant risk of complications during pregnancy. Nevertheless, it is an addictive (psychoactive) substance and it is good to avoid it as much as possible in pregnancy. Frequent use of caffeine can lead to potential problems such as low birth weight, symptoms of caffeine deprivation in new-borns and fetal loss. Remember that caffeine is found not only in coffee but also in tea, Coca-Cola, chocolate and in some medicines.

Clothing: Today, maternity clothes are available in a wide range of prices and styles. If you wear tights, choose some special maternity tights because the usual tights that are commercially available are likely to reduce blood flow. It is also good to wear a special bra throughout pregnancy, which provides good breast support. Prefer low shoes or shoes with not very high heels, which are comfortable and have non-slip soles.

Vaginal Washes: Do not do vaginal washes with special soaps while you are pregnant.

Work: You can continue to work safely for as long as you feel fit, but avoid strenuous physical exertion.

Exercise: After consulting your doctor, you can exercise during pregnancy, but you should participate in recreational activities and sports that require moderate physical condition and do not strain the body. Avoid activities such as jogging, horseback riding, paragliding, water skiing and other activities that can put your life in danger.

Fatigue / Strain: During the first and last trimester of pregnancy you may feel very tired. It is necessary to rest and if your schedule allows it, to sleep for a few hours at noon.

Chemical Substances: Do not come into contact with insecticides, herbicides or pesticides.

Iron: Iron is essential for haemoglobin, which is the protein that carries oxygen to the blood and its deficiency causes anaemia and other diseases. It is also necessary for the formation of red blood cells. When you do not have enough iron, you may feel overwhelmed. It is important to check your haematocrit and haemoglobin levels regularly. Particularly beneficial is the daily consumption of foods rich in iron such as beef, pork, chicken, eggs, lamb, fish, peanut butter, dried peas and beans, green leafy vegetables and nuts.

Oral Hygiene: You need to be very careful about your oral hygiene, but at the same time you need to be very careful when brushing and flossing.

Travel: A trip does not adversely affect pregnancy. You should avoid sitting still for many hours and you should urinate as regularly as possible to empty the bladder and reduce the risk of urinary tract infection. Finally, it is important to carry on you your medical records (examinations).