Mother and Baby

The Dos And Don'ts Of Pregnancy

So you’re pregnant and along come a million and one questions about what you can and can’t do. Panic not, we’ve got the rules covered.

When you barely feel like you can look after yourself, it can be scary to know how to protect an actual baby growing inside you. Let’s make it easier with these top rules on pregnancy.

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Cut down on alcohol

The current guidance is that you should avoid any alcohol at all for the first three months of pregnancy, after that the guidance recommends a maximum of one to two units per week. ‘Binge drinking and drinking more than one or two units (1 small glass of wine = 1.5 units) of alcohol per week may increase the risk of the baby developing fetal alcohol syndrome as the alcohol crosses the placenta and affects the baby's development,’ says Philippa.
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Quit smoking

The obvious one – here’s why – ‘Smoking is unhealthy whether or not you are pregnant, but during pregnancy it’ll also have an affect on your baby’s development,’ says GP Philippa Kaye. ‘It’s recommended that you stop smoking and your doctor or midwife will be able to give you help and support to do so.’ If you’re trying to conceive or have just got pregnant and need to give up cigarettes, we’ve got tall the advice you need.
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The food rules

The Department of Health advise pregnant women to avoid undercooked meats, like pâté and rare steak, as it could contain listeria, which may cause an infection and harm your baby.

‘You should avoid liver or liver products as these contain large amount of vitamin A,’ says Philippa. Don't have too much of certain fish like tuna, but sushi should be fine, just make sure it’s frozen first.

Check out more advice on your pregnancy diet and what to eat here.

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Take a vitamin

Now is the time to start taking vitamins. It’s important to get enough folic acid when you’re trying to conceive and during your first trimester, according to expert advice. It reduces your baby's risk of developing birth defects such as spina bifida.
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Skip some chores

Hurrah! An excuse to pass the cleaning baton to your partner. There are some chemicals in cleaning products you should avoid, like pesticides and insecticides – always check the label and consult your GP if you’re unsure.
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Strap on a seat belts

OK, so it may be a struggle to get them on, but you should always wear a seatbelt. The lap belt should be sit under your belly, level with your hipbone, while the top belt should sit above the belly. Never wear the belt across or above your belly, in case of a crash the impact might harm your baby.
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Avoid soft cheeses

Soft cheeses, like brie and Camembert, contain more moisture, which means harmful bacteria, such as listeria, can grow. ‘You should avoid eating blue cheeses and mould-ripened cheeses as there’s a risk of a condition called listeriosis,’ says Philippa. Avoid raw or undercooked eggs and products which contain them, like homemade ice cream, mousses or mayonnaise.
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Do gentle exercise

You really don’t have to avoid exercise. ‘Getting fit is a great way to manage weight during and keep healthy during pregnancy,’ says Laura Williams, fitness expert. ‘You can do gentle yoga or pelvic floor exercises, even aerobic exercise, but avoid getting too hot by keeping water with you – you should be able to hold a conversation while exercising.’ And if you were unfit before you got pregnant, it’s not a good idea to start practising for 10k runs now.

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