Things to be avoided during pregnancy

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Many women choose to start pregnancy planning prior to conception so that they may minimize possible toxic exposures to the fetus. Women or couples with an increased risk or family history of genetic (inherited) diseases may undergo genetic counselling as a step in pregnancy planning.

For the best outcomes, chronic medical conditions should be treated and under good control prior to attempting pregnancy. Smoking cessation and avoiding alcohol or illicit drug use strongly improve a woman’s chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby. The amount of weight that a woman should gain during pregnancy depends partially on her pre-pregnancy weight.

As soon as a woman stops using birth control, she is able to become pregnant. Some long-term hormonal contraceptives may require a period of time for the hormonal effects to wear off. Women who are planning to become pregnant should take folic acid supplements to reduce the likelihood of neural tube defects in the fetus. Some types of fish may be high in mercury or other toxins and are not recommended for pregnant women.

Exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle and is recommended for most pregnant women with uncomplicated pregnancies. It is important to review all medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter (OTC), with your health-care professional if you are planning to become pregnant.

Sexual activity is safe for most pregnant women. Certain infections, including Zika virus, rubella, toxoplasmosis, and parvovirus B19 can pose risks for the fetus. Women who do not have immunity to the rubella virus should be vaccinated before trying to conceive. Women who have been infected with the HIV or hepatitis B viruses can receive medications during pregnancy or at delivery to reduce the likelihood of transmitting these infections to their newborn.

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  1. Healthline. Foods to avoid during pregnancy. Accessed on 24th September 2018
  2. American Pregnancy. Foods to avoid during pregnancyAccessed on 24th September 2018
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