Bleaching teeth during pregnancy

Bleaching teeth during pregnancyWe don't have any evidence that bleaching your teeth will pose a significant risk to you or your baby. But we don't have enough data to say it's safe, either. The peroxide used in bleaching causes an oxidative process, and we know that oxidation can be harmful to tissues and cells. But we don't know whether that can affect either you or your baby. There's another whitening process called microabrasion that uses acidic components to remove stains, but we have even less data on the safety of that in pregnancy...

Vacation at high altitude during pregnancy

Keep in mind that pregnancy makes you short of breath. So if you're not used to being at a high altitude where there's less oxygen in the air, you're going to compound your shortness of breath. And you won't have as much endurance and stamina as you would at low altitudes. A short vacation won't affect the baby. But over the long term it can. Women who live at a high altitude tend to have slightly smaller babies. In fact, places like Denver actually have their own growth charts.

Riding the bumper cars at an amusement park during pregnancy

Bumper cars are much too violent to ride in if you know you're pregnant. Imagine the fetus being thrown about in there. Just as in a car accident, should you be thrown against the steering wheel or out of the car, serious damage could occur to your fetus and of course you. A ruptured uterus — which would be very serious and life-threatening to you and the baby — may occur due to hemorrhage. Don't be tempted. Pregnancy only lasts nine months — then you can be a NASCAR wannabe.

Riding horseback during pregnancy

Riding horseback during pregnancyAs long as you're having a normal uncomplicated pregnancy, it wouldn't cause a problem. (There might be some pregnancy complications where you'd restrict activity, like pre-term labor or placenta previa, where you're at risk for bleeding from the placenta.) Otherwise, if you're a regular horseback rider, and you feel confident about your skills and aren't doing things that are treacherous, there's no reason you can't keep on riding.

Playing tennis during pregnancy

Playing tennis during pregnancyIf you're a very good tennis player, it probably is safe. But the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends avoiding sports with a high likelihood for contact or falling — and that includes tennis. One of the concerns with racquet sports such as tennis is that they often involve rapid changes in direction. With the changes in your center of gravity during pregnancy, these rapid twists and turns could make you more prone to falling. If you fall you could start bleeding if the placenta de...

Moving furniture during pregnancy

No safe limits have been established as a guideline for lifting (or moving) weight during pregnancy. This means that you can move furniture in the first trimester, but after that I don’t recommended. If you do move furniture, make sure you know how to protect your back so you don't get a backache. Bend from the knees and keep your back straight when lifting. If your back muscles are weak and you have a very large, protruding abdomen, a maternity belt can provide valuable support. But it would be best to enl...

Jogging during pregnancy

It's generally safe to jog pretty much throughout your pregnancy. It gets harder as you get further along and are carrying more weight, but there's no danger to the fetus. As pregnancy progresses, even the expert runner generally needs to modify her routine. It's not okay to jog, however, if you have placenta previa, where the placenta covers the cervix, because too much jolting can make you bleed. It's also unsafe if you have pregnancy-induced hypertension or preterm labor or are at high risk for a preterm...

Ice-skate or Roller blade during pregnancy

There's a risk of falling in any sport where maintaining your balance is an issue, and that can carry added risks if you're pregnant. A fall could cause abdominal injuries that could affect the pregnancy. Trauma to the abdomen can cause premature separation of the placenta or premature labor. It could even fatally injure the fetus. So it's a matter of personal judgment: Do you feel confident enough in your abilities, and do you want to take the risk?

Go to a rock concert during pregnancy

Going to an occasional rock concert is fine, but I wouldn't recommend doing it every night. It's hard to measure exactly how much noise can affect a developing baby. One study showed that women who work eight hours a day around very loud noise (at levels so loud that hearing protection is needed) run a higher risk of delivering babies with hearing loss. Another study looked at whether amniotic fluid buffered or amplified sound. It turns out that low-pitched sounds (like those from a bass guitar) are slightl...

Skiing during pregnancy

Actually, it's probably not a good idea, especially in your last trimester. As you get further along in your pregnancy, your sense of balance decreases and your weight distribution changes. So things that require good balance — like skiing and diving — will be more difficult as you head into the third trimester. You don't want to trip and fall because that could be dangerous to the baby and to you. It's true the baby is very well protected in the uterus — it usually takes a car accident or major trauma to h...

Mountain-biking during pregnancy

While biking is fine for most people, if you have placenta previa (which means the placenta is covering the cervix), you wouldn't want to do it because the bumping up and down could cause bleeding problems. And as you get further along in your pregnancy it'll be harder to bike and riskier. In the last trimester, it's more difficult to balance and there's more risk that you could fall off the bike. You might want to consider riding a stationary bike as an alternative during pregnancy.

The safty when sitting in a hot tub during pregnancy

The safty when sitting in a hot tub during pregnancyHot tubs are usually too hot to be safe for pregnant women to use. We know that water over 105 degrees is damaging to developing cells. It won't damage yours, but the baby is sitting in fluid that's also going to get very warm. And extreme temperatures can damage early embryos. So hot-tubbing in the first trimester could cause malformations in the fetus or cause you to lose the baby.

When your heart rate over 140 beats per minute during pregnancy

You don't want your heart rate to go too high for too long or to exercise so hard that you get overheated. If you're healthy, you generally shouldn't raise your heart rate over 140 beats per minute while pregnant. You need enough time between beats to get blood to the baby, and as the heart rate goes up you don't squeeze out quite as much blood each time and the blood is not as well oxygenated. You want to avoid getting too hot for a different reason: There's some concern that if you get overheated during t...

Sit-ups or abdominal crunches during pregnancy

That's fine. The only problem is that lying flat on your back tends to lower your blood pressure, which could inhibit the blood supply and oxygen to the fetus. About 6 to 10 percent of pregnant women experience rapid drops in blood pressure when they lie down — even if it's only for a few minutes. The problem can begin in early pregnancy, though it's more likely to occur after 20 weeks. If you really want to work your abdominal muscles, a better exercise would be to get on the floor on your hands and knees ...

To carry around my toddler when I’m pregnant

It depends on how heavy the toddler is and how far along in pregnancy you are. You don't have your tummy muscles to help you lift, and if you don't use good back mechanics when lifting, you could get back problems. So be sure to always bend your knees and keep your back straight when lifting. In general you shouldn't be lifting heavy things, more than 5 or 10 pounds, when you're pregnant. Obviously a toddler weighs more than that, so it's not a good idea to carry her once you've gone past 30 weeks.

To bowl while I’m pregnant

Bowling should be fine. While your joints and ligaments do relax during pregnancy, how much they relax varies from woman to woman. In most cases, expectant mothers aren't likely to injure themselves while bowling. I do have one caution, though: Once you hit your third trimester, be extra careful to lift your bowling ball in a way that won't strain your back muscles. That means making sure to bend at your knees and to keep your back straight.

To be on my feet all day while I’m pregnant

It's fine, though it does become more difficult as your pregnancy progresses. In general, walking is good for you during pregnancy; it reduces your chance of blood clots and keeps you in shape. One thing that can help when you're standing for long periods is support hose. These provide compression so your legs feel better — and they help hold the blood in so it doesn't pool around your feet and make them puffy and swollen. Wearing a maternity belt can also help at the end of the second trimester and during ...

To wear high heels when I’m pregnant

It may not be comfortable. And as you get further along in the pregnancy you'll probably want to go to a lower heel, because your center of gravity will be constantly changing and walking in heels will be harder to manage. Usually at about 25 weeks I recommend going to a lower heel, especially if you're having a lot of back pain. Wearing high heels (even wide-based, clunky ones) is not a good idea during pregnancy. That's because your weight increases and your body shape and center of gravity change, making...

To use chemical hair removers like Nair during pregnancy

I'm not aware of anything in those products that would increase the risk of birth defects. Most things you use topically are absorbed far less into the mother's bloodstream than products taken orally or injected. So the amount of a topically applied product that gets to the fetus would be minimal. If you choose to use one of these products, try to minimize your exposure by using it in a well-ventilated area and limiting the amount of time it stays on your skin. As long as you use it as directed, it shouldn'...

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