There aren’t many hard and fast rules about what not to do during your pregnancy, beyond abstaining from alcohol and drugs, of course. For the most part, you can continue with most of your prepregnancy life.
But because the health and safety of your growing baby is essential, here’s a list of 11 things not to do while pregnant.
1. Don’t eat these foods
The biggest list of don’ts for pregnant women involves food.
During your pregnancy, you should avoid:
- Raw meat and shellfish: Uncooked seafood (we’re looking at you, sushi), including oysters, mussels, and clams. Also avoid rare or undercooked beef and poultry. These can be contaminated with toxoplasmosis or salmonella.
- Deli meat: Deli meats can be contaminated with listeria, bacteria that can cross the placenta and infect your developing baby. An infection in utero could lead to blood poisoning and could be life-threatening for your baby.
- Fish with high levels of mercury: That includes fish such as shark, king mackerel, swordfish, and tilefish. Wondering about tuna? In general, canned, chunk light tuna has lower levels of mercury, but it’s still smart to eat it sparingly.
- Smoked seafood: Avoid lox, kippered fish, jerky, or nova style salmon. There’s a risk that this refrigerated, smoked seafood could be contaminated with listeria. Smoked seafood that’s shelf-safe or canned, however, is probably fine.
- Raw eggs: This includes foods that contain raw eggs, so be wary of homemade Caesar dressings, Hollandaise sauces, mayonnaise, and certain custards. Raw eggs can pose a risk of salmonella.
- Soft cheeses: Some imported soft cheeses can have listeria, so steer clear of soft cheeses like Roquefort, feta, Gorgonzola, Camembert, and Brie. Mexican cheeses such as queso blanco and queso fresco should also be avoided, unless they’re made from pasteurized milk.
- Unpasteurized dairy: These products could contain listeria.
It seems extensive, but there are still plenty of great nutrition choices during your pregnancy. While it’s always important to eat a balanced diet, pregnancy is an especially critical time. In your daily mail plan, try to incorporate:
- lean proteins
- healthy fats
- lots of fresh vegetables and fruits
2. Don’t paint the nursery
There’s no way to measure toxicity from actual exposure to paint, so this recommendation is based on the likelihood of toxicity. Paint toxicity depends on the individual solvents and chemicals in the paint, as well as exposure. While it’s assumed that household painting has a low exposure level, the safest course of action is to seriously reduce your exposure to the fumes from these paints.