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Ban "Iffy" Habits While Pregnant

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Published January 2nd, 2019
By Kiera Ashford

Ban "Iffy" Habits While Pregnant

Increase Baby's healthy development by taking good care of yourself.

Being pregnant brings an exciting turning point in life for you, but it can also come with some hard adjustments. When you're expecting a baby, you need to take a few hard looks at some of your habits. Maybe you love to exercise. Maybe you love to vape. Maybe you take prescription meds or smoke marijuana. Here's good info on what this may mean to your teeny, developing nugget.

excessive exercise

You're on time every single day for your workout routine. That's not such a bad thing, right? However, now that you're pregnant, it's time to look at your particular routine and whether it's safe for you and Baby in your pregnancy. "If you're healthy and your pregnancy is normal, it's safe to start and continue most forms of exercise," says Hannah Dudney, M.D., OB/GYN with Centennial Women’s Group in Brentwood. "Women with certain pregnancy complications should not exercise during pregnancy including certain heart and lung conditions, cervical insufficiency or cerclage, pre-term labor, placenta previa, pre-term ruptured membranes and preeclampsia," she adds. Regular exercise is beneficial to both Mom and Baby as it promotes a healthy weight gain during pregnancy. In addition, Dudney says exercise may also decrease your risk of gestational diabetes as well as preeclampsia. Further, it can reduce back pain and constipation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. Moderate intensity means you raise your heart rate and break a sweat — brisk walking, pilates, yoga, barre, light running and circuit training. However, you should still consult your doctor and keep an eye on your overall balance. "Throughout pregnancy, your center of gravity shifts forward thus changing your balance," says Dudney. "Falling in pregnancy can be harmful for both Mom and Baby, so avoid activities that increase your risk of falling," she says. You may find that you get out of breath more easily and may need to take more frequent breaks during exercise. In addition, Dudney says the hormones from pregnancy cause your ligaments to become relaxed which makes you more injury prone. She says to avoid high-impact activities or those with jumping, cutting and quick changes in direction. "If you're a competitive or rigorous athlete and wish to continue your sport through pregnancy there may be a safe way to achieve your goals," says Dudney. "However, you shouldn’t do this alone. Speak to your obstetrician early in your pregnancy and together you can design a plan with modifications tailored to your specific needs."

vaping

Time and time again, you hear you should stop smoking while you're pregnant, but what about vaping? Women should quit all types of tobacco products. Jennifer Bell, M.D., OB/GYN with Centennial Women’s Group at Summit, says this include smokeless products like vapes. "Vaping products contain nicotine. Nicotine in babies can lead to low birth weight and shortened pregnancy," says Bell. "Nicotine patches may be used by pregnant women with close supervision while attempting to stop smoking. This should be done with proper counseling and discussion of risks of exposure to nicotine," she adds.

medical marijuana

If you're thinking about trying to conceive or you're currently pregnant, Bell says to avoid using both medical and recreational marijuana. "Marijuana smoke contains many of the same respiratory illness causing components as tobacco and sometimes in even higher concentrations," adds Bell. "Scientific data on the effects of marijuana in mother and baby are limited, but some suggest there may be developmental issues, low birth weight, slight increased risk of stillbirth and possibly pre-term birth. Furthermore, medical marijuana is not regulated by the FDA, which means there are no safety precautions or dosing recommendations for women who are pregnant or nursing."

opioid addiction

In 2016, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported 1,186 opioid-related overdose deaths­­­ in Tennessee. "Unfortunately, opioid addiction is on the rise across the country and especially in our state," says Bell. "With nearly half of all pregnancies being unplanned, many women struggling with this addiction may become pregnant as well," adds Bell. It's important to seek prenatal care and discuss opioid use with your provider early and often during your pregnancy. This gives you the chance to get proper care and treatment in order to minimize harm to both you and your baby. "Opioid use in pregnancy has been associated with restricted growth in the baby, placenta problems, pre-term labor and even death," says Bell. "Following delivery, neonatal abstinence syndrome may be encountered which may mean an extended hospital stay for Baby. This is when the baby goes through withdrawal and is typically accompanied by high-pitched crying, feeding trouble and sleeping." You want what's best for Baby, right? Why not give yourself the benefits of life without the harmful habits that could potentially hurt you and your child? Experts says you need to want to change. Don't be afraid to seek help with anything that worries you during your pregnancy. Cut back on unnecessary routines and enjoy your pregnancy to term.

More about: Kiera Ashford
Kiera Ashford is associate editor for this publication and mother of three ages 2, 8 and 12.
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