Health and Safety
What Should I Know About Being Healthy and Safe While Pregnant?
Here are some things you should consider during week 10 of pregnancy baby development.
• Choose your obstetrician
Choose your doctor wisely, as they will be with you for the next 30 weeks. Your OB is there to advise you and answer any questions you may have.
• Work out your due date
Find out the day you ovulated or otherwise determine the first day of your last period as well as the average length of your cycle to estimate the baby’s due date. Your OB will calculate a due date 40 weeks from the beginning of your last cycle.
• Consider your maternity options
Start exploring options for your preferred mode of childbirth. The safest way of giving birth is at a hospital. The environment is more controlled and there are doctors at the ready should anything unforeseen occur.
• Prepare a budget
It is of utmost importance to get one’s finances in order especially if you are expecting. There are costs not only for hospital charges but for costs after your baby is born. Another tip is to calculate your average income for the last three months. This should give you an idea of how much you will earn for months before the baby is born. Calculate costs for rent or home mortgage, utilities, groceries, gas or commute costs. You will then see how much more or less you can spend during pregnancy.
• Plan for the second trimester
The second trimester begins at week 13 and the development of your baby will go even faster. Prepare appointments with your OB for ultrasounds, pregnancy announcements and baby arrival prep.
• Know your do’s and don’ts
Identify your cravings and what foods you should avoid early on, as there is a variety of food that can cause illness or infection not only for your baby but for yourself as well.
Be careful of the following:
• High-mercury fish
In large quantities, high-mercury fish can be toxic to an individual’s nervous system, immune system and kidneys. It is also highly likely to cause developmental problems in children. High-mercury fish include shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tuna (albacore tuna). However, low-mercury fish is very beneficial to a developing fetus and may be consumed up to two times each week. Fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are also nutritious for the fetus.
• Undercooked or raw fish
Bacteria and parasites that can be detrimental to the overall health of both mother and baby may contaminate raw and undercooked fish and shellfish.
• Undercooked, raw, and processed meat
The same rule goes for raw or undercooked meat, which may also contain bacteria. A good rule to follow during pregnancy is to cook meat all the way through.
• Raw eggs
Raw eggs are unsafe as well as they may be contaminated with Salmonella that increases the risk of premature delivery or stillbirth. Pasteurized eggs are a good alternative.
• Organ meat
Eating large amounts can lead to vitamin A and copper toxicity. Thus, pregnant women are advised to limit their consumption to not more than once a week.
Coffee or any substances containing caffeine (e.g., softdrinks) should also be strictly regulated. Limit intake to 200 mg per day (two to three cups of coffee). Too much caffeine in the system can affect growth of the fetus and cause low birth weight.
• Raw sprouts
Raw sprout seeds may also be contaminated with bacteria. Cooked sprouts are safe to eat.
• Unwashed produce
It is important to thoroughly rinse all fruits and vegetables in order to minimize the risk of ingesting contaminants, like the bacteria Toxoplasma.
• Unpasteurized milk, cheese and fruit juice
In general, avoid unpasteurized milk, cheese, and juices as these increase the risk of bacterial infections.
Pregnant women must not drink alcohol at any time during the pregnancy as it can increase the likelihood of miscarriage, stillbirth, and fetal alcohol syndrome.
• Processed foods
This can increase the risk of excess weight gain, gestational diabetes as well as other complications and pose chronic health implications for your baby.