Radiation is encountered everywhere — during X-rays and airplane travel, or when using cell phones or lying on the beach. Don’t panic. “It takes a fair amount of exposure before harm is done,” says Towers. But a concentrated high dose to the pelvis (as with a barium study) or repeated exposures to small amounts (something a flight attendant might experience if she flies overseas frequently) should be avoided, if possible.
Moderate lifting is not a problem in a normal pregnancy. But proper body mechanics — lifting with your legs, not your back — are more important than ever: Because your center of gravity shifts and your ligaments are looser, it’s easier to get injured. So when people say, “Let me get that for you,” let them.
Sushi And Other Raw Delectables
The risks of eating raw fish, shellfish or other meats include bacterial infection, hepatitis and parasites. Eating rare or raw red meat, such as carpaccio, can also cause toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that mothers can pass on to their babies. It can impair growth and brain development. To be perfectly safe, eat only well-cooked foods.
Hair dye is absorbed through the scalp and enters the bloodstream. Though scientists don’t know how the chemicals in these colorings affect the fetus, to be safe, wait until your second trimester before perming or coloring your hair.
Hot tubs can cause profuse perspiration. This means more blood is going to your skin and less to the uterus, which could be dangerous for the baby. Stick to a warm bath instead.
In high doses, some vitamins can cause birth defects. Megadoses of vitamin A have been linked to defects of the brain, face and heart. Vitamin E also poses the risk of thinning the mother’s blood. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women not take more than 5,000 international units of preformed vitamin A per day or exceed the Recommended Dietary Allowance of 10,000 micrograms of vitamin E.
A dangerous vitamin A derivative is found in the prescription acne medication Accutane. It often causes severe birth defects and should be avoided if there is even a possibility that you will become pregnant.