Precautions for Pregnant Women

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Precautions for Pregnant Women
The first three months of pregnancy is the most crucial stage in your baby's development as all organs are forming. Throughout your pregnancy, but especially during the first three months, be very careful about using alcohol, drugs and medication. The following information outlines substances that require special precautions during pregnancy. Instructions are also given on how to keep track of fetal movements, an important sign of your baby's health.
Fish and seafood are excellent low-fat sources of many nutrients and an important part of a healthy diet. However, there is a concern about eating fish and seafood during pregnancy, since some types may contain high levels of mercury. To be safe, choose wisely among types of fish.
Caffeine is a stimulant that affects people differently. Caffeine can cause nervousness, irritability, anxiety, irregular heartbeats and problems sleeping. How caffeine affects an unborn baby is still under investigation. Some scientists believe caffeine can cause premature or smaller than normal babies or possible birth defects.
Cigarette smoking may lead to serious health problems. Women who smoke during pregnancy usually give birth to babies that weigh less than those of women who don’t smoke
Whenever possible, try to minimize your use of:
•        Processed food items, such as hot dogs.
•        Foods containing sodium nitrate, such as cured meats like ham or bacon. These substances may be carcinogenic (cancer-causing).
Be sure to wash fruits and vegetables and peel carrots to avoid eating pesticides used on farms to kill insects.
Avoid saunas and hot tubs that maintain a temperature greater than body temperature. They can potentially cause overheating and affect the development of your baby.