From Fast Food & Cola To Alcohol: Avoid These For A Safe Pregnancy

There are certain foods, drinks and activities that can be harmful during pregnancy

Written by: Shubhangi Shah Updated at: 2023-01-03 09:32

Pregnancy is challenging for any woman as, during this time, you have to take good care of both yourself and your baby. People around you give you all kinds of suggestions for a safe and healthy pregnancy. From what you must eat and drink to what exercises are good for you, every person has something to add. Although they’re trying to help, it’s better if you seek your doctor’s advice on matters related to your health and that of your baby. While many people tell you what you should eat, drink and do, what about those you must avoid? Are there any foods, drinks, and activities that are bad for your health and can even pose a risk to your pregnancy? To get an answer to this question, Onlymyhealth spoke to Dr Luna Pant, Director & Head, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Dehradun.

Foods You Must Avoid While Pregnant

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When pregnant, you must avoid:

  • Fast food
  • Packaged foods
  • Food prepared and sold in unclean and unhygienic spaces

According to Dr Pant, “fast foods are empty calories and low in nutrients.” These can make you feel full for some time, but these aren’t healthy. Also, these lack the vital nutrients needed to make your baby grow into a healthy infant. “We also don’t know how unhygienic the food might be,” she said. If cooked and sold in unclean and unhygienic, they can give you food poisoning or can even trigger allergic reactions. So, what type of food should you have during pregnancy? Fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. Also, you should consume freshly-prepared home-cooked food for a safe and healthy pregnancy, the doctor said.

Also read: Thyroid During Pregnancy: Can It Affect The Baby? Know Treatment From Expert

Drinks To Avoid During Pregnancy

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Just like some foods can be harmful to your health and that of your baby, so there are drinks that you must avoid. Such drinks include:

  • Aerated Drinks: Avoid aerated drinks such as colas as again, these are empty calories. These might make you feel refreshed or full for some time, but these have no nutritional value, and, hence, will not improve your health anyway. 
  • Caffeine: Caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee are staples. Energy drinks that contain caffeine are also commonly consumed. However, when pregnant, limit your intake of these as such drinks can harm your child. These can slow down your baby’s development and may cause low birth weight, Dr Pant explained.
  • Alcohol: It’s probably the worst drink you can consume during pregnancy. Studies have shown that drinking alcohol can increase the risk of miscarriage.

Activities To Avoid For Safe Pregnancy

Not just certain foods and drinks, there are activities, too, that you must avoid for a safe pregnancy.

  • Avoid travel especially on rough roads as jerky and bouncing movements can hamper your balance.
  • Avoid strenuous activities, and cause abdominal pain.
  • Similarly, those activities that involve your core strength, such as heavy lifting, must be avoided.
  • You can do activities while sitting, and even certain Yoga poses, but only under an expert’s guidance.
Also read: Can Ultrasound Harm Your Baby Inside The Uterus? Expert Explains

Tips For A Safe Pregnancy

Now you know about the things you must avoid for a safe pregnancy. Here are some other tips that can help you ensure the same.

  • Exercise Regularly: You’re pregnant, that doesn’t mean you should adopt an inactive lifestyle. If you are active and fit, it can help you to better cope with pregnancy-related changes. Also, it can help you manage weight. You’ll also find it easier to get in shape post-childbirth, according to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). However, avoid strenuous activities or those that require your core strength. Consulting your doctor regarding the workout that suits you is a better thing to do.
  • Nutritious Food: Have well-balanced and nutritious food for both your health and that of your baby.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink enough water and other fluids to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Hemoglobin: Go for regular health check-ups and do the requisite to keep your hemoglobin in check.
  • Avoid travelling as much as you can.
  • Be positive: By adopting a positive mindset, you can better deal with all the challenges associated with pregnancy.
  • Take a therapy session if you need one

A woman goes through countless changes during these nine months. These can feel overwhelming at times. But, try to accept these changes. And, enjoy the life growing inside you.

(With inputs from Dr Luna Pant, Director & Head, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Dehradun)

Photo Credit: Unsplash


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