Pregnancy: Are You Taking Unnecessary Risks?
Author: Jeannie Fleming-Gifford
Perhaps you like to go out on the town. Maybe you have a house full of cats. Does your history include some things in it you’d rather forget, such as trying drugs or smoking? Is a caffeinated beverage always in your hand? And now, you’re pregnant.
With pregnancy, there are many changes that occur. Of course, there is the obvious weight gain with the development of a fetus. There are also the changes that will occur emotionally as your feelings and dreams may change as your child grows.
All of this may make you take a look at the previous and present actions in your life that will now not only affect you, but will affect your baby. The moment you find out you are expecting, it is important you stop and take stock of your life. Consider how your actions may impact this new life.
If you’ve been a girl that likes to go out on the town with your friends, be sure to consider the risks that you are now creating for your child. First of all, you should eliminate any consumption of alcoholic beverages. Drinking during pregnancy may cause your child to be born with a condition called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAE), a disorder characterized by both behavioral and developmental conditions. Additionally, if you are going out, consider the atmosphere you are exposing your unborn child to. Will people be smoking? Are there any other environmental conditions that may provide ill effects upon a developing child?
Maybe you are the kind of person who would rather stay at home and curl up with a good book and your friendly feline. Now that you are pregnant, do you know the risk factors that are associated with having a cat(s) in your household? Cats may be carriers of a disease called toxoplasmosis. However, before you decide that you now have to get rid of your furry companions, don’t react too quickly. Chances are that if you have been living with your cats for a period of time, you and your baby will be just fine. To be safe, simply wear disposable gloves when changing the cat litter (or have someone do it for you), and wash your hands after interacting with your cats.
Finally, if you have tried drugs in the past or are a current user, the time to stop, talk, and get help for any type of addiction (whether it be with over the counter, prescription, or illegal drugs) is now. Don’t wait another day into your pregnancy.
Remember, pregnancy is temporary, but the decisions you make during pregnancy may have a long lasting effect. Many things are just not worth the risk.