The first trimester of pregnancy is the most critical one. A lot of women don’t even realize they are pregnant at this point, and that’s why they need to be very careful with what they eat or drink. If you’re confused about which products are safe to use during pregnancy, we are here to help.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through all the items on your shopping list that could be harmful to your baby:
Certain medications can pose a risk to the developing fetus during pregnancy. Expectant mothers need to consult with their healthcare provider before taking any medication, including prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications.
The recent Tylenol lawsuit is the most notorious instance of detrimental medication use during pregnancy. Tylenol (acetaminophen), a common over-the-counter pain reliever, has recently been linked to an increased risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Studies have suggested that prolonged use of Tylenol during pregnancy may increase the risk of ASD in the child.
As a result, parents and children who claimed that the use of Tylenol during pregnancy caused autism in their children filed a Tylenol Autism lawsuit against the manufacturer of the drug. The plaintiffs argued that the active ingredient in Tylenol, acetaminophen, was responsible for the development of autism.
TorHoerman Law, LLC, one of the legal firms handling the case, reports that a study published in The American Journal of Epidemiology indicated that children who were exposed to acetaminophen in-utero had a 20% increased risk of autism (ASD) and a 30% increased risk of ADHD. TorHoerman Law and many other law firms offer free consultations to parents affected by the drug.
Pregnant women must discuss the risks and benefits of taking any medication during pregnancy with their healthcare provider to ensure the safety of the developing fetus.
Household Cleaning Products
The chemicals in household cleaning products can be harmful to you and your baby. Some of these chemicals include:
- Bleach (sodium hypochlorite)
- Chlorine bleach
- Dyes (including Blue No. 1, red dye No. 2 & Yellow 5)
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it is best to avoid using these ingredients in your household cleaning routine. They have been linked with an increased risk of miscarriage.
However, some natural alternatives are just as effective at getting rid of dirt and stains. These include baking soda and vinegar.
According to Women’s Health, Dr. Anjali Mahto, a consultant dermatologist and author of The Skincare Bible, explains that the reason why certain skincare products are not safe for pregnancy is simple.
According to her, some active cosmetic ingredients can be absorbed through the skin during pregnancy. This means that these agents may enter the bloodstream and cross the placenta, potentially harming the developing fetus.
Hair dyes, for instance, contain chemicals that can be absorbed through the scalp, while certain skincare ingredients can be absorbed through the skin. Nail polish can also contain harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate.
Pregnant women should be careful while selecting products and opt for safer alternatives without any harsh chemicals. It is advisable to read labels carefully and avoid products that contain harmful ingredients, and consult with a healthcare provider if there are any concerns about the safety of a particular product.
Caffeine and Alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol are two products that you should avoid during pregnancy. It has been shown to cause low birth weight and premature birth when consumed by pregnant women at high levels (more than 300 mg per day).
According to Euronews. next, health professionals commonly recommend that pregnant women abstain from alcohol due to its known risk of harm to the developing fetus.
Consuming alcohol during pregnancy can result in a range of conditions known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, which can cause learning difficulties, behavioral issues, and delays in speech and language development in the child. The study cautioned that a significant number of pregnant women may not be fully informed about the potential impacts of alcohol on the developing fetus.
Certain foods can be dangerous for expectant mothers to consume. While most of these are well-known and common sense, it’s important to know what you should avoid during pregnancy so that you can make an informed decision about what is right for you and your baby.
Some of these foods are:
- Raw fish or sushi: Raw fish has the potential to contain parasites and bacteria such as listeria, which can cause serious health problems in both mother and child.
- Undercooked meat or poultry: Cooking meat thoroughly will kill any harmful bacteria present in it. If meat isn’t cooked properly, this could result in food poisoning that causes severe vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps (source).
- Soft cheeses like feta, brie, or camembert: These types of cheese contain listeria monocytogenes which cause fever-like symptoms such as nausea/vomiting – but more importantly its presence during pregnancy might lead to miscarriage or stillbirth (source).
X-Rays and Radiation
When you’re pregnant, it’s important to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure. X-rays can be harmful to the fetus and should only be taken when necessary. If your doctor recommends an x-ray, ask them about the safest time for you or your baby during pregnancy for this procedure.
Tobacco, Cigarettes, and Cigars/Pipes
The dangers of smoking during pregnancy are well-known and well-documented. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking during pregnancy carries significant risks for both the mother and her unborn child.
Smoking while pregnant can heighten the chances of health complications for unborn babies, such as premature delivery, low birth weight, and congenital abnormalities affecting the mouth and lips. Continuing to smoke during and after pregnancy can also escalate the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Furthermore, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products containing nicotine – the addictive substance found in tobacco – are not recommended for usage during pregnancy. Nicotine poses a significant health hazard for both pregnant women and developing fetuses, potentially causing damage to a developing baby’s lungs and brain.
In addition to these potential health problems for you as an expectant parent, and let’s not forget that secondhand smoke is harmful too, smoking also increases your chances of having:
- Gestational diabetes (a condition in which blood sugar levels become too high).
- Placenta previa (where part of the placenta covers part or all of the cervix).
The most important thing to remember is that you should always be vigilant about what you put in your body. You can avoid many of these products by simply not using them, but if you do find yourself with a product in hand, make sure to check the ingredients list for anything that might cause harm.
If there are any questions about whether or not something could be dangerous for your baby, ask your doctor before using it.