Along with the joy and excitement of pregnancy, parents-to-be often experience a lot of worry. Is there anything you can do to help ensure that you and your baby remain healthy and safe throughout the months leading up to delivery?
Dr. Alan Lindemann is a past recipient of the Rural Health Care Provider of the Year award and co-author of “Modern Medicine: What You’re Dying to Know.” In forty years of practice, Dr. Lindemann has delivered approximately 6,000 babies and achieved a maternal mortality rate of zero.
He addresses the 5 surprising things not to do during pregnancy.
1. May I safely leave worries over my blood pressure variations to my doctor?
No. I have always recommended that women check their blood pressure at home every day. In fact, I suggest women know what their baseline blood pressure is before they get pregnant. If your blood pressure gets above 120/80 or increases to 30 points above your first blood pressure, call your doctor.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that if your blood pressure reaches 150/100, delivering your baby needs to be considered.
2. Don’t ride a bicycle outdoors.
Many people ride bikes and perhaps you are one of them. But when you’re pregnant, I advise against riding a bike outside because of the risk of falling or being knocked down. But by all mean, if you ride an exercise bike inside, continue as you were as long as you are comfortable.
3. Don’t change diets when pregnant.
You may have been on some sort of diet before you were pregnant. After all, who can avoid dieting in some form these days? This is not the time to try fasting or avoiding carbs. In fact, you should eat like a diabetic. Three meals with a combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, and three snacks. Eat ice cream, but be sure it’s full fat. This isn’t the time to cut out fat.
4. Avoid public swimming.
Public swimming pools are full of chemicals you should probably avoid, including kids’ urine. That includes the swimming pool in your apartment complex. How about your own personal hot tub? Eh, probably not. Anything with water which is chemically treated should be avoided.
How about the ocean? The water may be salty, but it isn’t germ free. Furthermore, this is not a good time to get caught in a rip tide.
5. Don’t change your exercise routine.
This isn’t the time to become an extreme cyclist. It’s O.K. to continue whatever exercise program you did before you became pregnant, but this isn’t the time to add extra moves to your routine. And don’t hesitate to cut back if you feel like it.
More about Dr. Alan Lindemann: An obstetrician and maternal mortality expert, “Rural Doc” Alan Lindemann, M.D. teaches women and their families how to create the outcomes they want for their own personal health and pregnancy. A former Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of North Dakota, he is currently a clinical faculty member available to serve as preceptor with medical students in rural rotations. In his nearly 40 years of practice, he has delivered around 6,000 babies and achieved a maternal mortality rate of zero! Learn more at LindemannMD.com.