10 Pregnancy Risk Factors that Every Pregnant Woman Should be Aware of

 


Visitors: 893

Many factors affect the development of a fetus into a healthy child, some which are beyond your control and others that are within your control. Here are ten of the most common pregnancy risk factors that can be controlled or influenced:

  1. Smoking - Smoking is not only bad for you, but bad for your baby as well. Smoking during pregnancy reduces the amount of oxygen that the baby receives and increases the risk of miscarriage, bleeding, and morning sickness. Chemicals inhaled while smoking may lead to other health problems with the baby. Reduced birth weight, premature birth, increased risk of SIDS, and stillbirth are other possible consequences. Pregnant women should also avoid second hand smoke.
  2. Alcohol - Drinking can cause fetal alcohol syndrome, including symptoms like low birth weight, medical problems, and behavior abnormalities. As soon as you know you are pregnant, stop drinking. For more detailed information on problems that can be caused by alcohol, visit http://www.nofas.org.
  3. Caffeine - There are many conflicting studies about caffeine and pregnancy and some believe that caffeine is not as harmful as it was once thought to be. Nevertheless, the FDA warns against caffeine consumption during pregnancy and suggests quitting or reducing consumption at the very least. Caffeine has been shown to affect fetal heart rates and awake time (fetuses grow when sleeping). Decaffeinated coffee can also be harmful since producers often add additional chemicals to remove the caffeine. Caffeine can also increase risk of stretch marks. Suddenly quitting coffee intake can cause headaches; so most experts recommend gradually reducing the amount consumed.
  4. Drugs and Herbal Remedies - Always be careful about drugs or herbal remedies that are not prescribed by a doctor. These substances may affect the development of your unborn child.
  5. Nutrition - Good nutrition is crucial to a developing child, particularly getting enough folic acid. Lack of folic acid can cause birth defects. At least 400-1000 micrograms of this B vitamin is suggested (about ten times more if you've already had a child with neural tube birth defects) starting one month before pregnant and throughout the entire pregnancy. Leafy vegetables, orange juice, and beans are some natural sources of folic acid. Many stores sell vitamins with folic acid.
  6. Exercise - Moderate exercise is helpful as it improves the mother's mental state and can increase oxygen flow to the fetus. However, over-exertion can be dangerous. Most experts recommend reducing your exercise intensity during pregnancy. Activities like walking, swimming, and yoga are popular for pregnant women.
  7. Prenatal Care - Regular doctor visits are important to your baby's development. The body undergoes many changes during pregnancy. Some side effects may be completely normal, whereas other may not. Regular monitoring by a professional will help ensure that your baby will be born healthy.
  8. Multiple sex partners - Multiple sex partners can increase risk of STD's, which in turn may lead to birth and pregnancy complications, like low birth weight or premature birth.
  9. Exposure to chemicals - During pregnancy, reduce exposure to unnatural chemicals, particularly pesticides in food. Many people now eat organic produce, which is grown without chemicals. The simplest precaution to take before consuming vegetables or fruits is to wash them thoroughly. Also, removing the outer surface of vegetables can be helpful since most pesticides will rest on the outside of the vegetable or fruit.
  10. Other factors - Many other factors can affect fetal development, including heart disease, the mother's age (before 15 years and after 35 years is riskier), asthma, excessive stress or depression, diseases, and bleeding. Consult your physician if you are affected by any of these conditions.

About the Author - Criss White

Criss White is a professional web writer on baby and new mother topics for baby and pregnancy websites. For baby shower supplies, information, and more baby related articles by this author, visit My Baby Shower Favors and Babies and Showers .

Note: If you find this article useful, you may reprint it on your website, e-zine, or in your newsletter as long as the credits above remain in tact and the hyperlinks stay active.

(731)

Article Source:


 
Rate this Article: 
 
Needs Of A Pregnant Woman
Rated 4 / 5
based on 5 votes
ArticleSlash

Related Articles:

First Pregnancy Sign Symptoms: Are you Aware that You are Pregnant?

by: Apurva Shree (February 08, 2007) 
(Home and Family)

Folic Acid And Pregnancy - What Every Woman Should Know Before Becoming Pregnant

by: Chima Njoku (March 09, 2008) 
(Home and Family/Pregnancy)

Tips on Getting Pregnant - Risk Factors That Need to Be Looked at First - Part 1

by: Emma Wize (August 21, 2008) 
(Home and Family/Pregnancy)

Risk of Caffeine in Pregnancy - Nutrition For Pregnant Women

by: Alicia McWilliams (January 14, 2009) 
(Home and Family/Pregnancy)

Pregnancy and Fertility - High Risk Pregnancy? Let 'High Risk' Work To Your ..

by: Deirdre Morris (April 27, 2008) 
(Home and Family/Pregnancy)

Pregnancy - The Benefits of Connecting With Other Pregnant Women When You are ..

by: Deirdre Morris (December 26, 2007) 
(Home and Family/Pregnancy)

Chubby and Pregnant? - Risks You Need To Be Aware Of

by: Melissa B. Rayn (April 14, 2006) 
(Home and Family/Pregnancy)

Hereditary Risk Factors for Type 1 Diabetes - Who Is At Risk?

by: Elle VanHamagansky (June 25, 2007) 
(Health and Fitness/Diabetes)

SEO – Key Factors You Need to be Aware of

by: Andre Nievo (May 18, 2010) 
(Internet and Businesses Online/SEO)

Needs Of A Pregnant Woman

by: Tarang Bhargava (January 29, 2008) 
(Home and Family/Pregnancy)