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Pregnancy Safety


Being a SmartMomma takes intuition, education, and just plain common sense. We bet you know the answers to these safety issues. See if you can guess: safe or not safe?

Pregnancy Safety Quiz:

Wearing your seatbelt – safe or not safe?

SAFE – It is safer to wear your seatbelt when pregnant than not wear it at all as long as you wear it the right way. Do not place the lap belt over your stomach. The lap belt should fit securely below your belly and over your pelvis. If there is a shoulder belt, be sure the strap crosses your chest between your breasts. Remember, if you are in an accident, your little one is cushioned by your amniotic fluid, uterus, muscles, organs, and bones. If you keep yourself in tact, your baby will most likely remain well too. 

Visiting your dentist for a cleaning – safe or not safe?

SAFE – Regular visits and cleanings are safe; however, elective procedures and x-rays should be held off until after delivery. Cleanings should not be scheduled during the first trimester, so as not to cause any risk to the baby’s early development of the organs. You should also hold off scheduling any appointments in the third trimester, since many dentist chairs recline so that you are lying on your back. Any cleanings would be ideally scheduled for your second trimester. Be sure to tell your dentist that you are pregnant before any dental work is done.

Tanning – safe or not safe?

NOT SAFE – Although the jury is still out on whether tanning in a tanning bed is safe or not for pregnant women, it is better to avoid them at this point. You should avoid overheating yourself or raising your temperature above 102 degrees, especially in the first trimester as this can lead to fetal defects. Also, you should not lie on your back in later pregnancy because this can restrict blood flow to your heart. To achieve that tan you’re looking for, stick with self tanning creams instead. 

Eating fish – safe or not safe?

SAFE – some kinds. You can eat fish, but be aware of the amounts you consume. Also, do not eat any fish caught recreationally in lakes, rivers, or bays. Some fish are safe and healthy to eat regularly. These fish are high in omega-3s, which contribute to the healthy development of your baby’s brain and nervous system. Consume these types of omega-3 rich fish about twice per week: Alaskan or Atlantic salmon, farmed trout, sardines, herring, pilchard. Fish low in contaminants but with less omega-3 include flounder, sole, catfish, cod, haddock, mahi mahi, perch, and shellfish. Avoid swordfish, shark, marlin and tuna fish, as they contain the highest amounts of mercury, which is harmful to a developing fetus. Also, avoid all types of raw fish and sushi.

Coloring Your Hair – safe or not safe?

GOOD QUESTION. While it is not proven that the chemicals in hair die can be harmful to your baby, there are no studies to refute it either. Most doctors agree that it is a good idea to not color your hair in the first trimester. If you can get away with skipping your color in the 2nd or 3rd trimester, do so. Highlighting your hair is safer than coloring, because your scalp is not absorbing color.

Painting the Nursery – safe or not safe?

NOT SAFE – Here’s your chance to get out of painting a room in your house. This should be dad’s job. If he’s not available, have a friend or family member step up to the plate. Some paints contain glycol, which some studies show, is linked to a higher chance of miscarriage. Although not all paints contain this solvent, all paints contain chemicals, and it is not clear which are safe for pregnant women.

Aspartame – safe or not safe?

SAFE – commercially called NutraSweet is found in Equal, diet sodas, and sugar free foods. It seems to be safe for most pregnant women, however; it is still better to stick with natural sweeteners for caution’s sake.

Hot Tubs and Saunas – safe or not safe?

NOT SAFE – anything that raises your body temperature above 102 degrees is not safe for you or your baby. This goes for any woman trying to conceive too. Raising your body temp above 102 degrees increases your baby’s chances of developing neural tube defects in the first few weeks of pregnancy.

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