The first trimester is the riskiest period of pregnancy. This is because the risk of a miscarriage is highest during the first three months. In a study conducted by the American Pregnancy Association, most miscarriages have been diagnosed during the first trimester.
In addition, exposure to harmful substances may lead to developmental problems in the fetus.
If you want your baby to go through the first trimester safe and healthy, there are 5 things that you need to avoid…
1) Watch what you eat
During the first trimester, you should not eat raw/undercooked meat, raw fish, shellfish and other seafoods (Ex. Sushi), raw and soft-boiled eggs, and soft or blue-veined cheeses. You may get exposed to harmful bacteria, parasites and worms, like Salmonella, Listeria, Toxoplasmosis, and Anisakis, which may cause miscarriage.
You should also avoid FDA-prohibited fish such as shark, king mackerel, swordfish, and tilefish since they contain high doses of mercury which may lead to delays in growth, development and brain damage in the baby.
2) Avoid dieting
Dieting in the first trimester of pregnancy can lead to a deficiency in essential nutrients, particularly folic acid, iron, vitamins and minerals, which may have detrimental effects on both the mother and the baby. Overweight and obese patients can undergo some form of dieting, but only under the strict supervision of a doctor.
3) Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol
Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke is accompanied by an increased risk of placenta previa, miscarriage, premature rupture of the amniotic sac, and neonatal death. The baby, in turn, is at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and may exhibit withdrawal symptoms throughout most of its life.
Alcohol, on the other hand, causes an impairment of the physical and mental development of the baby known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Aside from health problems, the child may have a low IQ and behavioural problems as well.
4) Avoid Medications and Chemical Exposure
Over-the-counter drugs and other medications have been found to cross the placenta and into the baby’s bloodstream, which may result in miscarriage or the development of genetic defects in the fetus. If you are taking medications for an existing or chronic illness, your doctor may prescribe a safer alternative or lower the dose of the drugs you are taking now and monitor you carefully.
You should also avoid exposure to household chemicals and other environmental pollutants. Certain household cleaners and pesticides have been implicated in the development of limb deformities, neural tube defects, and other disorders. In the pregnant woman, it also increases the risk for premature birth and preeclampsia.
5) Avoid stress
High stress levels and depression can result in the production and release of hormones and neurotransmitters that constrict your blood vessels and thus reduce the oxygen supply to your baby inside your uterus. It can also increase your risk of a miscarriage.