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Tshepiso Makhele
4 minute read
19 Nov 2018
3:13 pm

Festive no-nos for expectant moms

Tshepiso Makhele

Right now, let your most precious activity be taking good care of yourself and your growing baby.

Picture: iStock

The festive season is upon us, and all those fun times and activities that come with this period of time are close. But for you, mommy-to-be, activities need to be highly scrutinised and closely analysed before you jump in and have your usual fun.

With your pregnancy, it’s important to grasp that you are at a very delicate point of your life, and that it’s not just about you anymore because you have a belly with a living human being inside to think about. But lucky for you, there are also alternatives, so don’t let this get you down.

I’m a huge wine lover, and there are days when only a gin and tonic will do, so among all the activities I will miss out on, unwinding with a good drink rates tops. And I know my siblings won’t be too kind on me, and I will have to watch as they sip on one drink after the other alternative; juicing. I will purchase all my favourite fruits and juice them, adding a bit of crushed ice and making them my unwinding drinks this December; healthy and yummy for both me and my baby.

While there are obvious things a pregnant woman should stay away from, such as the one I’ve just mentioned, others include smoking, consumption of caffeine, and raw meat or raw fish.

Picture: Thinkstock

However, it does not stop there. Yes, chilling in a sauna, jacuzzi or steam room might seem like a perfect activity to accelerate one of the body’s natural mechanisms for ridding itself of impurities, these cosy places are not recommended when you are pregnant.

Pregnant women should by all means avoid overheating. An excess amount of body heat can inhibit the baby’s development, particularly in the neural tube. So, a dip in the pool is most welcome, as long as you stay clear of hot tubs.

While still on the topic of water, scuba-diving is also very risky when you are expecting, as diving can cause bubbles to form in the bloodstream when a diver surfaces from the water. Air bubbles, believe it or not can cut off circulation, and become extremely harmful to the developing baby. The same goes for water-skiing. With this one, the risk of falling is a major fear.

During pregnancy, it’s always best to keep your feet on the ground, so activities that put you at risk of falling should be given careful thought. Clichéd as it may sound, it’s better to be safe, than sorry.

Riding a bicycle or horse-riding should be avoided. Look at it this way: there is nothing but your clothing protecting your body from the road or other vehicles. How safe is that?

Graphic: Costa Mokola

Again, horses are animals, and animals are unpredictable, meaning that there is no foreseeing when a horse can throw you off its back, and this would be fatal for your baby. It does not matter how great a rider you are. A speedy change of the weather or a quick slippery turn could leave you unsafe, and a mild fall can be disastrous.

Tempting as it is to go to the amusement park with your family or a bunch of friends, and natural as it is to want to go on all your crazy favourite rides that move at the speed of lightning and stop unexpectedly, should you really go for it?

The answer is a strict no. While there is no research that proves the danger of these rides, it is worth mentioning that the amount of pressure and force that some of these rides can cause, could result in the untimely separation of the placenta from the wall of the uterus – which is fatal to your baby.

So rather go to the park, take a walk, feed the birds and take in the beauty of nature. Avoid the noise of carnivals while listening to your little one kick.

Remember, pregnancy only lasts nine months. Soon you will be back to your usual self and doing all your favourite activities. But right now, let your most precious activity be taking good care of yourself and your growing baby.

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