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Pregnant women are often given some “common” advice on avoiding eating, doing, or taking during their pregnancy, such as not eating raw seafood or drinking alcohol. But there are some lesser-known activities and items you should avoid while pregnant, and some might even seem strange or unusual.  

Things you shouldn’t do when you’re pregnant: 

Eat cold deli meats or soft cheeses

Medical professionals share the reasoning behind this: according to the FDA, deli meat and other cured meats that are sliced have more surface area for bacterial growth and can cause food-borne illnesses. It’s also important not to eat unpasteurized (raw) milk or cheeses and to eat only pasteurized versions of these items.


Research has shown low birth weight is most likely to occur for babies born to women who smoked during their pregnancy, along with an increased risk of being born with learning disabilities. 

Don’t sit in a hot tub or sauna

Research suggests that sitting in hot tubs, jacuzzis, or saunas is dangerous for expecting mothers and can cause them to overheat or raise their body temperatures too quickly, which can cause complications.

Paint the nursery

Pregnancy is a great time to outsource some activities you might have been used to doing yourself prior to pregnancy. Painting the nursery is one of those activities you’ll want to outsource to family, friends or professionals because of the toxicity of chemicals used in paint and paint fumes. 

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Wear stilettos/high heels

Pregnancy is a beautiful time to update your wardrobe. Include items that accommodate the needs of your growing body and provide extra comfort during this strenuous period. It is recommended not to wear stilettos or very high heels during pregnancy due to a changing center of gravity. It’s recommended to wear heels that are 3 inches or less.

Clean the litter box

You should not change the litter box while pregnant because feline feces contain parasites and bacteria harmful to humans. Ask your partner, friend, family member, or pet sitter if they can take over this task during your pregnancy. 

Take certain medications

You should always consult your Doctor about taking anything during pregnancy, including any prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines, and any vitamins or supplements. WebMD advises against taking aspirin or ibuprofen during pregnancy. You should always consult your medical health professional if you have any questions or concerns about taking a medication or supplement. 

Lift heavy things

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“Prolonged standing or heavy lifting can cause an increased chance of miscarriage or preterm delivery (premature birth).” There are also changes in a woman’s hormones when she is pregnant that impact the ligaments and joints in the spine to accommodate the developing baby. Ligaments and joints should be treated with care. 

Get spray tans

It is recommended that you should not get spray tans during pregnancy because of the danger of inhaling potentially harmful chemicals and the possible risk of an adverse reaction due to hormone changes during pregnancy. 

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Horseback riding

Regardless of how trained a horse or the rider may be, there is always a danger of falling. For safety reasons, it’s advised that you don’t go horseback riding while pregnant. 

Fortunately, there are lots of wonderful and enjoyable activities you can participate in during your pregnancy, such as the activities available at the Motherhood Center. Activities include pilates, yoga, prenatal massages, and classes in our New Mother’s School– designed to help you find support, connection, and guidance. Pregnancy is a time filled with transition and adjustments; at Motherhood Center, we want to come alongside and support you in your journey. 

If you are interested in taking classes or using one of many services designed to support you throughout pregnancy and beyond, please call our staff at 713-963-8880. Or fill out a form online; visit us at 3701 W. Alabama Ste 230, Houston, TX 77027.

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