Drinking diet shakes during pregnancy

Drinking diet shakes during pregnancyDiet shakes are intended to replace all or some portion of meals, with the goal of reducing calories. In and of themselves, they may make for a good "snack" during pregnancy, but they should not replace a well-balanced diet. In general, dieting for weight loss is discouraged during pregnancy. The fetus needs a full supply of calories and nutrients for normal development. A balanced diet that allows for a total weight gain of about 30 to 35 pounds is usually sufficient for this. The supplements added to many...

Using my microwave oven during pregnancy

Using my microwave oven during pregnancyThe dangers of microwave radiation, much like the dangers of cell phone and other non-ionizing forms of radiation, have absolutely no basis in scientific fact. Microwave radiation can't change the molecular structure of anything, because it simply doesn't have enough energy to break apart chemical bonds. To put it in perspective, plain old visible blue light has many, many times the energy of a microwave, and can break apart weak chemical bonds (this is what causes photochemical smog). Microwaves actually h...

Taking vitamin C during pregnancy

Too much Vitamin C can cause cell damage in the fetus. You should consume a normal amount of vitamin C when you're pregnant. The recommended daily amount is 85 mg for pregnant women age 19 and older. The maximum is 2,000 mg per day. If you're taking prenatal vitamins, you'll be getting vitamin C in that supplement. You'll also get some from the food you eat. If you decide to take more, remember to keep the total under 2,000 mg.

Morning cup of coffee during pregnancy

Morning cup of coffee during pregnancyActually a morning cup is fine, but to be safe I would suggest that you limit your daily consumption to two cups (since some coffees may contain as much as 100 mg. each). A very extensive study a few years ago looked at women very early in pregnancy.The study found no effects on the fetus when moms drink up to three cups of coffee a day; very few women drank more than that.A more recent study found an increased risk of miscarriage when pregnant women drank more than 200 mg of caffeine per day.

Perm during pregnancy

What little evidence there is indicates that getting a perm or chemically straightening your hair is no cause for concern. The fumes might be annoying, but the exposure probably isn't significant enough to have any effect on your baby. Some hair-processing solutions may use solvents, and while there is concern about the effects of solvents on a developing baby, that's most likely an issue only for women who work around solvents all day and develop symptoms from the exposure.

Sushi for pregnant woman

Sushi for pregnant womanI would say no. Although the chances of getting a parasitic infection from eating sushi are slim, the consequences are severe enough that you wouldn't want to take the risk. Parasites live in the meat of raw fish. While sushi chefs are very careful, that doesn't mean they detect every single parasite. And because pregnancy suppresses your immune system, you're much more susceptible to serious illness from any food-borne organism. A parasitic infection probably couldn't get through the placental barrier, but...

Spicy foods during pregnancy

Spicy foods during pregnancyIt's safe, but whether it's desirable is up to you. Your body will tell if you shouldn't do it. Eating spicy foods may be uncomfortable, especially in the last half to last third of pregnancy, when your stomach is sitting somewhere near your throat and you're very prone to heartburn. And some women develop heartburn even earlier in pregnancy.

Raw oysters during pregnancy

Being pregnant doesn't make it any riskier to eat raw oysters. Anytime you eat raw shellfish there's a chance you could get something that's not good. Oysters can carry hepatitis. If you get hepatitis when you're pregnant, you'll probably get sicker than you would otherwise. But acute hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C are usually not transmitted across the placenta to the baby. So it really just depends on how much you want to eat those oysters.

Nonorganic produce for pregnant woman

Nonorganic produce for pregnant womanThe most significant difference between organic and nonorganic produce is that the former often tastes better than the latter. The differences in nutrient content are not really significant. There may be some pesticide residues on nonorganic produce, but this can be minimized by washing, peeling, or when appropriate, cooking the food. Eating only produce grown in the United States will greatly reduce your risk of exposure, because much of the worst pesticide contamination comes from imported produce. The mo...

Meat from livestock that were given antibiotics for pregnant woman

The antibiotics in meat aren't dangerous, and none of the antibiotics given to livestock will harm a fetus. In addition, eating meat, including red meat, is very important for a well rounded diet and pregnancy. You need the iron and other nutirents from the meat. There is no research that shows eating meat from animals treated with antibiotics leads to resisitant bacteria. It is also important to know (and scientific documents exist) that children raised on farms and rural areas are typically healthier, hav...

Deli meats for pregnant woman

Deli meats for pregnant womanIt's not safe to eat precooked meats such as deli meats, hot dogs, and pâté when you're pregnant unless they're heated until steaming hot. Pregnant women are about 20 times more likely than other healthy adults to get listeriosis, and newborns – not moms – suffer the most serious effects of infection during pregnancy. Listeria can cross the placental barrier or, more commonly, be transmitted in the birth canal, and it can be devastating for the baby. Every year or so, an outbreak occurs in which miscarriage...

Cured or smoked foods for pregnant woman

You should limit your intake of smoked and cured foods, such as pepperoni and hot dogs, whether you're pregnant or not. There is evidence that when consumed in large amounts, cured foods can increase the risk of cancer. The nitrates used as preservatives in those foods are the problem. In your body, nitrates are converted to nitrosamines, a potential carcinogen. Another reason to limit those foods is they're not very nutritious; they are very high in fat and sodium. So I would save them for occasions and no...

Blackened foods during pregnancy

There's no danger in having an occasional piece of grilled steak or blackened fish. Theoretically, anyone who eats a lot of blackened or grilled meats could have a problem because of potentially carcinogenic (cancer-causing) compounds that form on the surface of the food, but you'd have to eat an awful lot of burned, blackened food over a long period of time for that to happen. In another case, traditionally blackening is a southern style spice blend that imparts potent flavor to food. The traditional defin...

Vegan diet during pregnancy

The only data on the effects of vegan diets is from a few small studies done at a place in Tennessee called the Farm. Everyone there ate vegan diets, including the pregnant women. The studies found that when you eat a really strict vegan diet, you don't get enough vitamin B12 and you may be low on folate and iron, all of which are found in animal products. Some of the women there became profoundly deficient in these three essential compounds. The first consequence of these deficiencies would be that you'd b...

Unpasteurized juices during pregnancy

If you make your own juice from fruit and make sure to wash the fruit with soap and water and squeeze it yourself, there should be no problem. If you haven't washed it well, there could be chemicals and insecticides on the fruit. I'd stay away from the unpasteurized juice you find in health food stores. You don't know what processes it went through when it was made. Chemicals or bacteria could have gotten into the juice and could make you and the baby sick.

Tap water during pregnancy

Tap water during pregnancyMost tap water is regulated by the government and therefore worrisome chemicals like arsenic are present only in trace amounts. Also tap water, unlike bottled water, contains fluoride, which is essential in keeping your teeth healthy and preventing cavities. You need that fluoride even more during pregnancy — you're especially susceptible to dental decay and tooth problems due to the increased blood flow to all your tissues, including the gums.

Drinking milk from cows that were given BST during pregnancy

The FDA says bovine growth hormone is safe, although the issue is controversial. Some consumer advocates and environmental groups are concerned that milk from cows given this hormone may contain substances that are harmful to humans. (No one's claiming that the hormone itself is dangerous, but it may have side effects for the cow, which could lead to other substances turning up in the milk you drink.) Although some of the hormone given to cows does get into the milk, it turns into a protein that's broken do...

Herbal tea during pregnancy

I don't think there is anything on the market that in the dose of a cup of tea a day could cause any harm (although I do tell my patients to try to avoid herbs in general during the first trimester when the fetus may be particularly vulnerable). Teas are so much more diluted than herbal tinctures, for example. I would avoid teas that contain ingredients with well-known pharmacological actions, such as kava or St. John's Wort. I would also stay away from teas that might cause the onset of menstrual or uterin...

Caffeinated sodas during pregnancy

You shouldn't drink more than three 8-ounce servings a day. That's the limit we use because in studies of dairy cattle, when pregnant cows were given any more than that, their calves were born smaller. Caffeine can cut down on the amount of blood flowing to the placenta, and you don't want to do that because the baby won't be getting as much oxygen. But in moderate amounts, caffeine poses no measurable risk to the fetus.

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