Things that are good for your body often don’t seem like the most attractive option. Whether it’s a burger instead of a salad, or taking a nap instead of getting outside and getting some exercise, it can be hard to break these bad habits even when you’re not pregnant. However, when you do learn the good news, it’s important to note that your body choices now affect not only yourself, but also the child you’re carrying inside of you.
When it comes to unhealthy habits that you should kick once you find out you are expecting, there are typically five common bad habits that are the hardest to break:
- 1. Avoiding the Doctor
- 2. Smoking
- 3. Taking Drugs not prescribed by a physician
- 4. Eating unhealthy food
- 5. Not Getting an adequate amount of rest
DON’T Avoid The Doctor
Going to a physician is no one’s favorite task. It’s never fun to visit an almost complete stranger and allow them to check out your most private areas on your body. While it may not seem like a big deal to avoid the physician when you feel fine, pregnancy is a different story. Things can go wrong before you realize or feel a change, so making those regular visits to an OB/GYN will keep you and your baby healthy and moving right along in your pregnancy.
DON’T Smoke While Pregnant
It is widely known that smoking while pregnant can cause serious harm to your baby. Cigarettes are packed with carbon monoxide, which harms your blood’s ability to circulate oxygen. They are also filled with addictive nicotine that coats your lungs. Smoking is extremely harmful for your baby and prevents the needed amount of oxygen from reaching the baby, speeds up an already rapid heartbeat, increases your risk of miscarriage, premature and stillbirths, and increases the possibility of future lung problems for your child. This habit can be hard to kick since nicotine is addictive, so it’s important to change up your routine. If you usually step out on the porch and smoke a cigarette before bed, watch a movie to get your mind off the routine. Switch things up so your brain isn’t stuck in the habit of when to smoke.
DON’T Take Prescriptions Your Doctor Doesn’t Prescribe
Taking drugs not prescribed by a physician can be very dangerous for the future of your child. Alcohol and drugs can cross the placenta and cause fetal alcohol syndrome, miscarriage, early birth or stillbirth, low birth weight or developmental problems. Not only can these substances cause problems in your child’s birth, if they are consumed too much your child can actually be born already addicted to whatever you have been consuming.
DON’T Give in to All Unhealthy Food Cravings (Limit Yourself)
Eating a hamburger or some ice cream may seem more appealing than a salad or an apple, especially when that’s what you’ve been craving all week. However, not only is your body using what you’re eating as fuel, but the tiny person inside of you is also getting a taste. It is best to follow the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food guidelines: the healthy plate that replaced the better-known food pyramid. Most things are okay in moderation, just make sure you’re getting the fruits and vegetables too instead of catering to cravings you may have. Better yet? Try to crave some veggies!
DON’T Deprive Your Body Of Sleep
Get enough rest. The importance of sleep during your pregnancy cannot be stressed enough. Remember when you were little and mom or dad would make you take a nap so that you could grow up big and strong? The same applies when you’re pregnant. Your body is literally growing a little human inside of you, so sleep is vital for your body to carry out the needed processes to keep functioning as well as allowing your baby to grow healthily.
There are many more habits that some women have that they should rethink after learning they’re pregnant. If you have any questions about something you have been doing for years, make sure to consult your OB/GYN. Remember tip # 1: don’t avoid the doctor. If you live in East Texas, make an appointment with us and we’ll help you nip those habits in the bud!