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What else to avoid during pregnancy

Besides the graphic above, the following items are regularly discussed between a patient and her OB to minimize the possibility of a sick pregnancy or an increased risk of miscarriage.

Drug use and medications that are not approved by your health professional (for example, NSAID use during conception and early pregnancy, which may increase the risk of miscarriage)

Papaya, which when unripe can cause the muscles of the uterus to contract leaded to a miscarriage.


Tobacco smoke

Hot tubs and saunas

Toxoplasmosis or E.Coli infection, which may come from raw meat, poultry, or seafood; unwashed fruits or vegetables; and cat feces.

Mercury toxicity, which is known to come from shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, more than 6 oz of white albacore tuna per week, or fish which haven't tested as safe.

Pesticides, household cleaners, and paint will leach out fumes which can be harmful to a developing fetus, especially in the first trimester. While pregnant, use chemical-free cleaning alternatives. If you must use chemical cleaners, wear gloves, ventilate the area, and avoid inhaling fumes.

Lead exposure typically through paints found in homes older than 1960 or toys which have originated from certain Chinese toy manufacturers.
Nail polish contains a number of hazardous chemicals linked to an increased risk of early pregnancy loss.

Hair permanents and Bleaches are generally discouraged during the first trimester.  While there is no known connection to fetal harm it is best to be cautious.
Radiation exposure: X-rays, air travel, and electrical appliances.  It is a good idea to avoid unnecessary X-rays.  However, be sure to tell the technician that you are pregnant even when it is only dental x-rays.  When necessary, they can be performed with a lead apron that shields your abdomen.

If you travel by plane frequently it is possible to exceed the cosmic radiation limit considered safe during pregnancy (1 millisievert, or mSv). Although the occasional flight doesn't pose a risk, frequent low-altitude domestic flights or several high-altitude international flights may increase a fetus's risk of developing cancer during childhood. You can track your exposure using software from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), available online at


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