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Post Conception Pre-Conceptions

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There are so many varied opinions out there on what is safe during pregnancy and what isn't. Chances are if you're pregnant you've already heard conflicting theories on what you should eat, the activities you should do and what things are dangerous to you and your baby. Of course, there are definite things to avoid while pregnant, but many women panic over something they did before they knew they were pregnant, or worry about exposure to something during pregnancy that won't hurt them or their baby.

Medications: Although some medications like Accutane (acne medication) can cause birth defects, others won't harm your baby. If you've taken over the counter cold medications, continued with your birth control pills, or popped an aspirin for a headache early in your pregnancy, there won't be any problems. Once your pregnancy is confirmed, your doctor will advise you to stay away from many medications..

Hot Tubs and Saunas: There is some medical evidence that suggests that a fever which lasts longer than 24 hours may cause spina bifida, but doctors say that the odd hot tub or jacuzzi soak is nothing to worry about. Just take care not to overheat.

Caffeine: While java junkies should definitely cut down on coffee consumption, most doctors say there are no adverse affects from even 3 or 4 cups of coffee a day. However, some point to studies that show links to hyperactivity or low birth rate from too much coffee. Go with moderation, the odd latte here and there will be fine.

Chemicals: While it's healthier for you and your baby not to inhale fumes while pregnant, many household chemicals don't pose a threat for your unborn baby unless you inhale them deeply and get sick. Basically, fumes that don't make you sick won't make your baby sick either. Things like hair dye – which many women believe is dangerous during pregnancy, moth balls and paint won't cause any damage.

Alcohol: Many women worry their baby might be born with defects because they had a few beers or a little too much wine one night before they were pregnant. Alcohol in the early stages of pregnancy is unlikely to cause any problems. Today, doctors are also divided on the subject of alcohol during pregnancy. It's common sense that large quantities or everyday drinking can cause serious health problems, but many doctors say that a small glass of wine or beer even late in pregnancy won't hurt you. Talk to your physician if you have concerns about your drinking.

However, there are some dangerous preconceptions that you need to be aware of for your safety. Many pregnant smokers feel that by cutting down they are decreasing risk, but there are thousands of toxins that reach your fetus, and things like asthma, SIDS and low birth rate have all been listed as side effects of smoking while pregnant. Or, some women may forget that soft cheeses like Brie and goat cheese, which are made from unpasteurized milk, can be extremely dangerous and cause miscarriage or death of the baby.

If in doubt, it's better to avoid it altogether. Your physician will also be able to give you a better idea of when your concerns are misconceptions, and when they are to be taken seriously.


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