Steer Clear – Jacuzzis
“Using a Jacuzzi raises your core body temperature, so if you’re in one, it raises the temperature in your womb, too,” explains Emma Lees Laing, midwife for Tommy’s, the baby charity. “There’s also a risk of fainting if you get too hot, so avoid hot tubs and saunas, too.”
Try this instead
“I had a fairly stressful pregnancy with my daughter and worried a lot, getting myself pretty emotional. I found the best way to relax and chill out was to go for a walk or to read something non-pregnancy related to take my mind off things.”
Sarah Briggs, 32, from Essex, mum to Ethan, 4, and Evie, 9 weeks
Remember – no-one is looking at you, they’re all wondering if they’ve got it right!
Go For It – Exercise
“Exercise is recommended if you haven’t been advised otherwise,” explains Wendy Powell, founder of No More Excuses pregnancy and postnatal personal training. “If you didn’t exercise before you were pregnant, start slowly, walking and gradually increasing the pace and the duration. If you exercised before, it’s safe to maintain a similar level, but adjust the intensity, and obviously stop sports where there is any risk of impact or falling.”
Proceed with Caution – Fake Tan
Although there are no known dangers of using tanning lotions, they may cause an allergic reaction. For this reason, it’s advisable not to use them in pregnancy, as changes in hormone levels can make the skin more sensitive than normal. If you do use fake tan, always test the product on a small area of skin first. “Sun beds are no-go as your skin will be really sensitive,” adds Emma. “If you’re sunbathing, make sure you use a higher factor sun lotion than normal.”
Go For It – Sex
Sex is absolutely safe during pregnancy as long as you haven’t had any complications or been told not to. “Some women experience light spotting afterwards, and this is perfectly normal as you’ve stimulated your cervix during sex,” reassures Emma. “If it goes on for more than 24 hours or gets heavier or darker in colour, contact your midwife.”
While we know heavy drinking in pregnancy can damage your unborn baby, experts still aren’t sure whether there’s safe level of alcohol consumption in pregnancy, so you’re advised to avoid it completely.
Steer Clear – Alcohol
Consuming large quantities of alcohol in pregnancy can lead to your baby being born with foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), which causes growth defects, facial abnormalities and learning disabilities.
“A blanket ban on alcohol during your nine months of pregnancy will eliminate this risk,” explains Emma. “One unit of alcohol takes just 20 minutes to get into your baby’s bloodstream and a large intake of it can result in FAS, so it’s best to cut it out of your lifestyle completely.”