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Pregnancy "Rules"

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

First time mom here. I really want to reject some of the pregnancy "rules." I just really feel like all things in moderation is a reasonable approach to most things in life. I've never liked coffee for me, so that's a non-issue. But I do like drinking raw milk, I do not plan on giving up any kind of cheese (everything in the store is pasturized anyway), I like soaking in baths (I figure I can hydrate while I'm in there, get out if I get hot, and only stay in 15-20 minutes -- I would lounge in super hot water for an hour before I was pregnant!). I have sworn off prescription and OTC meds, and off alcohol for the 1st trimester for sure, but I am open to having an occassional glass of wine in the 2nd or especially the 3rd trimester. I don't know much about nitrites, like in bacon or lunch meat...what do you all think about that? Also, what's the deal with ginger? I plan to use it for nausea, but Susan Weed says it can increase the risk for m/c? Seriously? Not sure if I buy that. This is my first pregnancy, so this stuff is new to me. It's easy to freak out about every little thing, but I also resent that, feeling like most of these things must be overblown. Thoughts? Thanks!

post #2 of 15

Eh, everything in moderation I think. I carry my 31 pound 19 mo all day, eat any cheeses, drink raw milk, and pretty much do what I did pre-pregnancy. I'm not a big alcohol drinker nor do I take meds often and I eat healthy whole foods normally. Don't really like sushi anyway.


Maybe I'd avoid hottubs... And I don't lift anything heavier than my DS if I can help it.


I pretty much did this all with DS, my first pregnancy. OH, I do avoid painting now and being around dusty/dirty home repair situations. We have a fixer upper house so I'm around that stuff occasionally! 

post #3 of 15

I think it is really helpful to understand where the restrictions come from.


Listeria is very, very serious for pregnant woman so anything that can be contaminated by listeria should give you deep reflection. I eat raw cheese from small scale producers but I don't eat industrial pasturized cheese because listeria is much more wide spread. I wouldn't consume raw milk. However, since my last pregnancy one of my favorite, most well respected farmstead producers had listeria and it made me really, really pause. I also don't eat sprouts (lots of seed contamination) or heavily processed vegetables like salad mix because they are likely sources of contamination.


I wouldn't eat commercial sushi (rice spoils quickly, poor sanitation for uncooked fish) but I'd eat top quality nigiri at a place I trusted. I know mercury content well and can avoid it. But mercury and pregnancy and childhood is not something to mess around with.


I love to drink and am pretty relaxed while nursing. But I don't drink at all when pregnant. The data about development in the womb is so fascinating and delicate that I don't think it is worth the risk. And it is a slippery slope for me. It is really just easier for me not to do it then to have it as an occasional option.


But I do drink 1-2 cups of coffee a day.

post #4 of 15
I struggle with this a lot. Today I took my prenatal vitamin and DHA supplement. Then I ate turkey lunchmeat for lunch, carried a 40+ lb basket of laundry up two flights of stairs and tossed my toddler in the air a few dozen times. I eat bacon every day. I am less worried about nitrates than I used to be. The levels of nitrates in foods are actually pretty low, much lower than the FDA allowed amounts, and eati nitrated with vitamin c has been shown to neutralize the effects of nitrites (I might have that chemistry wrong, forgive me), AND the nitrates are there to kill harmful bacteria which are a more clear danger. I would advise against "uncured" or "nitrate-free" bacon, hot dogs, and sausages. Read the fine print. It will say "except those naturally occurring in celery powder" or sometimes it will list celery juice. America's Test Kitchen did a test of these products and found that they all contained MORE nitrates than the regular cured meats! Labeling practices in this country are a sham.

On a more personal note, my last pregnancy, I threw some rules out the window and stuck by some others, and ended up getting severe preeclampsia. My son is a happy, healthy, amazing two-year-old, but his entry into the world was rough on everyone. I have gone back and forth the past two years blaming myself, soul-searching, reading information on the Internet. There are a hundred million variables in every pregnancy, and you can only control so many. The line you draw will be different than anyone else's line. Just try to stay informed about the choices you're making, and don't feel the need to justify yourself to everyone, but know that everyone will expect you to. wink1.gif
post #5 of 15

This is my third and I'm pretty much a rule follower.  I still drink my morning cup of joe but that is about it. In the third trimester I will have a beer every now and then (and enjoy every delicious drop).  I have a "I'd rather be safe than sorry" feel about the "rules."  In my heart of hearts I'm sure that most of that stuff is fine in moderation, but if something did happen I would always wonder if it was because I did XYZ.  Ultimately it is what you are most comfortable with.

post #6 of 15

Oops, I did not know about the ginger rule!

I think everything is ok in moderation (like once a week or something insignificant). I would eat a turkey sandwich or even a tuna fish sandwich, once a week. I would have an occasional glass of wine or beer, and I think after the 1st and second trimester maybe a glass a few nights a week. I think the "rules" are there to avoid excessive intake/ use. Rules are meant to be stretched a little bit sometimes.

post #7 of 15

A friend told me recently that alcohol has been shown to be the most harmful in the 1st and 3rd trimesters due to how and when the brain develops, but I haven't had the time to look this up -- anyone have data on this?  In previous pregnancies, I've had a drink once in awhile after the 1st trimester.  (My SIL actually measured out the appropriate serving size of wine -- I think her OB had told her she could have 4 oz per week.)


When coffee doesn't make me sick anymore, I'll go back to drinking it in moderation.  I would eat any type of cheese.  I've already eaten sliced turkey.  

post #8 of 15
The things I take seriously are: no alcohol during the 1st tri at least, no smoking, no lemongrass (confirmed this one with the ladies at my favorite Thai place. They agreed it was a no-no. I was so sad!), and no caffeine. I know caffeine is said to be ok in moderation, I'm just avoiding it anyway. Oh, and no MSG.

Other than that, everything in moderation. I eat soft cheeses from a trusted source. I'm chewing Ginger gum to help with the nausea. I've been craving sushi and may get some soon.
post #9 of 15

I'm all about moderation.  If I have a strong craving for a turkey sandwich, I will get one at a restaurant I trust--even though I'm normally a pesco-vegetarian (eat fish but no other meat).  I avoid the high-mercury fish always.  Not worried about cheese.  If I feel like eating sushi, I get the vegetable kinds; I don't like raw fish enough to risk it when pregnant.


I had to quit drinking before my first pregnancy (I seem to be allergic) but my church uses real wine for Communion, and I continue with that 1-3 times a week; it's just a sip!


Coffee smells and tastes horrible to me at the times when it's most risky--at least, that's how it was last time, and this time it became unappealing in the 3rd week.  I figure my body knows what it's doing and I can resume drinking coffee when it smells good again.  Meanwhile I am drinking green tea at times when I feel especially drowsy at work--but I just seem to need caffeine less than I do when not pregnant.  Convenient!


I've quit taking ibuprofen and Benadryl (each of which I was normally taking once or twice a week) and because of the latter, I will have to be especially careful to stay away from dogs because my allergy was worse during my last pregnancy--haven't come near any dogs so far this time.  I took my prescription migraine drug (Maxalt) the day before my BFP and was worried about that, but my midwife says that taking that type of drug once in a while probably endangers the embryo less than having a full-blown migraine, because of the way migraine affects the circulatory system.  She recommended treating migraine with caffeine instead, though.

post #10 of 15

Just wanted to chime in here and say I went out for sushi last night and stuck not only to the veggie-only rolls but also the ones with cooked meat in them (shrimp tempura roll, crab, etc.). I was surprised at how much I was able to order without feeling worried. YUM.


Also, I had ONE SIP of my partner's beer, just to taste it, and felt a little buzzed. I have always been a lightweight, but this was ridiculous. I wondered if it had to do with being pregnant. Think I'll stay away from alcohol entirely from now on...

post #11 of 15
Thinking about the ginger thing...I had only two aversions my last pregnancy. Deviled eggs and ginger! I put a piece of pickled ginger on my tongue with a pair of chopsticks and literally picked it right back up off my tongue. It tasted like dirt! I never heard it being a no-no before. Funny.

I was looking up more info about listeria too. From the American pregnancy association:
"According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 1,700 persons become seriously ill each year in the United States and among these, 260 will die. Although the CDC states that pregnant women are 20 times more likely to become infected than non-pregnant healthy adults, the number of cases of listeriosis in pregnant women is about 17%."

So this is all the alarm that a mainstream medical group can muster about it.

That being said, I am feeling skeeved out by the sliced turkey in my fridge. I think I'll tell my hubby to eat it. smile.gif
post #12 of 15

What's this about ginger? I'm eating ginger chews and drinking ginger tea every day to deal with the nausea!


Since it's my first pregnancy, I'm probably being overly cautious - I used to drink green tea every day at work and I've cut that out. I'm sure it's fine in moderation, but I'm just paranoid. I don't drink alcohol or eat fish anyway, so those aren't hard for me.

post #13 of 15

HI! It's my first time, too, and I'm struggling with all the sudden "rules" - in fact, I'm overwhelmed. I keep thinking I will accidentally eat or drink the wrong thing because I didn't do enough research and then I will have a miscarriage and it will be all my fault. I'm also older - 36 - so the risk of miscarriage is higher and I have to be even more careful.


That said, I still drink one cup of coffee in the morning but avoid all other caffeinated drinks. I don't drink alcohol anymore even though I enjoy drinking very much. My mother works with children who suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome so I've long been averse to drinking even a small amount while pregnant. I've never been a smoker and don't do any kind of drugs, so those things are really easy to avoid.


I am using ginger even though some people claim it's risky, because if I don't, I literally cannot stop vomiting. Two days ago I vomited for 24 hours straight and was so weak I couldn't get out of bed. Then I started drinking ginger-root in hot water, about two small slices of ginger each time, and I felt like a new person. Food stayed down and I felt stronger and hydrated. So to me, the choice is clear. It's the lesser of two evils. If I could find something which works as well I would use that.


The worst was catching a bad cold yesterday and knowing there was nothing I could take for it! I just rode out the fever and have been in bed all day today. It's not the end of the world, but I do feel like a big baby.


As far as my daily activities, when I stop feeling nauseous all the time I'll keep up my workout routine, including a very vigorous Vinyasa yoga. I used to run until I started feeling like crap, so hopefully I can take it up again after the morning sickness goes away. I've always been a very fit and active person, so this thing about staying in bed all the time is really getting me down.



post #14 of 15

I'm kind of middle-of-the-road. I've had two miscarriages before, and they were completely crushing to me. I followed most of the rules to a 'T' during those pregnancies, so I do know that you can do everything right and still lose your baby. But I also know that if something were to happen, I would be very upset at myself for taking the rule lightly. So I try to look at each rule individually and determine whether that particular rule is worth keeping. For example, I absolutely won't take advil or aleve during pregnancy, because the risk of miscarriage is something like 5x greater with women who take it. However, I will take benadryl, claritin, and zyrtec because there are no studies showing adverse affects from any of them, and since I have asthma I would much rather take those relatively mild medicines than have to use my inhaler. And if it came down to it, I'd rather use my inhaler than cut off the oxygen supply to my baby.


In my opinion, most things are okay in reason. One cup of coffee, a half glass of wine, those things aren't going to cause serious issues except in very, very rare cases (though to be honest, I don't drink anything with caffeine or alcohol when not pregnant, so those aren't issues for me smile.gif ). But to me bacteria is another matter. You know there's caffeine and alcohol in your coffee and wine, and you can have a pretty good idea of how much is in there. But with meat and cheese, you're rolling the dice every time you eat it. The odds are much less, but it's still a gamble. So I do try to lower my risk when I eat those foods. I will eat deli meat, but only if I cook it first. I cook my eggs longer than I usually would when not pregnant (though I'm sure they're still softer than some people want them). Etc.


Anyway, that's my philosophy.

post #15 of 15

I'm follow some rules and bend others. I have a cup of coffee almost every morning (with a toddler that wakes religiously at dawn, I should be entitled to a caffeine IV). I took sips of wine, but never more than that. No deli meat, but I don't really like it anyway. I love lox but gave it up last pregnancy and will again. No raw sushi. Eggs always get cooked well. No soft cheeses. No fast food, but I never eat it anyway. We stick to mostly organic fruits and veggies. I don't like ginger, but have a cup of RRL tea each night. 

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