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    Promoting Healthy Full-Term Pregnancy: 7 Things To Avoid

    Staying healthy while pregnant is important not only for your physical and mental well-being but also for your growing baby.

    Here are some things to avoid in order to have a healthy full-term pregnancy:

    1. Avoid alcohol

    Alcohol is a big no-no for pregnant people, as its consumption is responsible for an array of birth defects and complications.

    Drinking alcohol significantly increases the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth, makes it more likely that your child will have developmental disabilities later in life, and puts your baby at risk of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).

    2. Cut out caffeine from your diet

    Caffeine consumption while pregnant is linked to higher rates of miscarriage and birth complications. It is best you avoid it.

    3. Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat

    Certain food-borne illnesses are often present in undercooked and raw meat. These illnesses can be quite dangerous to a developing child, making it best to avoid the foods that carry them.

    Avoid eating any shellfish, raw fish, rare or seared meat, and raw eggs.

    4. Cut out mercury-heavy fish

    Heavy metals, like mercury and lead, are incredibly damaging to a growing baby and can even cause death in high enough amounts.

    Read also: 6 Natural Ways to Relieve Pregnancy Symptoms

    Some fish have particularly high levels of mercury, making them dangerous for pregnant people to consume. These fish include swordfish, shark, king mackerel, tuna steak, and tilefish. However, fish such as canned tuna, salmon, halibut, and cod are all still safe to consume while pregnant.

    5. Smoking

    It is generally recommended that smoking of any sort be avoided, as it is very damaging to the lungs.

    This is especially true for pregnant people, because whatever you smoke, your baby smokes as well. Nicotine and tobacco in the blood stream is absorbed by the child, increasing the likelihood of stillbirth, miscarriage, and a low birth weight.

    Cut out all smoking, including cigarettes, e-cigs, cigars, and marijuana.

    6. Stay away from all illicit drugs

    Drugs of any sort, particularly ‘street’ drugs, are incredibly dangerous for a developing child.

    Illicit drugs almost guarantee your child will suffer from a birth defect or complication, because they have such a significant impact on your body and brain function, and therefore your child’s.

    7. Avoid environmental toxins

    Certain chemicals and toxins are particularly dangerous for pregnant people to come into contact with, even though they may not be for a non-pregnant people.

    Cleaning solvents, strong chemicals, heavy metals (like mercury and lead), and some biological agents (like asbestos) are all associated with birth complications and defects.

    • If you work or live in a place where you may come into contact with these toxins, do your best to avoid them at all times. Make lifestyle changes to do so, if necessary, like asking for a different assignment at work.

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    Photo credit: Getty

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