I tend to believe that pregnant women receive the most advice, especially during the prepartum period. This advice can, at times, be conflicting or confusing; that’s why you are advised to visit a certified OB/GYN such as Dr. Pamela Snook, who will dismiss all the myths and give proper advice.
The 2018 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists provides an evidence-based review of most of the advice given to pregnant women.
In this article, I will list down some of the recommendations based on the review, which will be beneficial for you or your loved one during their pregnancy period.
Which Is the Best Sleeping Position?
Pregnant women are often advised to sleep on their side. This supposedly prevents compression of the maternal blood vessels, which could prevent placental blood flow. Some studies have been carried out, revealing an association between sleeping position and stillbirth.
However, there’s a need for more research to prove the accuracy of this recommendation.
Sexual Intercourse During Pregnancy
This recommendation, just like the one mentioned above, can’t be verified due to inadequate research. However, it’s important to note that if you are pregnant, it’s advisable to avoid sexual intercourse after 20 weeks of gestation to prevent any complications as well as preterm birth.
Should You Be Flying While Pregnant?
Contrary to popular belief, it is safe to travel during pregnancy because the level of radiation is too low to cause any fetal concerns.
The thing is, pregnant women are generally at risk of several complications. Therefore, depending on your destination, it’s advisable to find out about the potential infections that foreign travelers contract.
To Dye or Not to Dye?
Generally, some chemicals are not FDA approved due to their toxicity, making them harmful to everyone. Some studies have even revealed that some hair dyes are carcinogenic. Therefore, as long as you are using safe hair colors, you and your baby are safe.
Repellants such as N, N-diethyl-3-methylbanzamide (DEET), and permethrin clothing are safe for you if you’re pregnant. Specialists recommend insect repellants in areas that have reported zika and West Nile virus infections.
Women with uncomplicated pregnancies can exercise regularly as long as they don’t take part in sports that have a high injury risk, such as skiing and rock climbing. Additionally, there is no evidence showing the benefit of bedrest on pregnancy.
Swimming and Getting into Hot Tubs
Studies reveal that pregnant women who get into hot tubs are at risk of getting a miscarriage. The frequency by which a pregnant woman gets into a hot tub further increases the risk of miscarrying. Swimming is, however, safe because of the low temperature in the pool, which does not increase the maternal body temperature.
Use of Cannabis
There are very few studies investigating the relationship between preterm birth and marijuana use. Marijuana also doesn’t increase the risk of defects; however, pregnant women are advised to avoid using the drug just as a precaution.
Pregnant women are often advised to avoid undercooked and raw fish. This is because of the likelihood of contracting foodborne diseases as a result of parasites in the raw fish.
Smoking and Vaping
Cigarette smoking could lead to preterm birth, placental abruption as well as pregnancy loss. If you’re pregnant and are trying to quit smoking, then nicotine gum and patches are a safer option.
There’s little research on the use of vaporizers and electronic cigarettes. However, what you should know is that these techniques deliver higher nicotine amounts compared to patches, so it’s best to avoid them when pregnant.
There’s a need for more research on the dos and don’ts of pregnancy. Habits such as caffeine intake, for instance, have produced mixed results. So, it’s always better to be safe and to adopt preventive measures to ensure your bundle of joy is healthy. Again, the best thing you could do is take your OB/GYN’s advice.