What happens in labourDuring pregnancy you have to take special care to ensure the safety of your baby. There are many things that cause a harmful effect on your baby's health about which you should be aware of. The following is a guide to some risks thought to affect conception, pregnancy and lactation.

vitamin A:
Excessive levels of vitamin A are associated with birth defects including cleft palate and heart malformation. Do not take a vitamin A supplement during pregnancy and if you are taking a multi-vitamin, check that it does not contain vitamin A. Also, avoid cod liver oil supplements as they contain Vitamin A. Also avoid anti-ageing creams/acne treatments containing retinol, a form of vitamin A.

Medical Drugs:
The following list of drugs and medicines are thought to be high-risk:

  • Lithium
  • Carbimazole
  • Thyroxine
  • Warfarin and other anti-coagulants
  • Metformin
  • Vaccines for measles, rubella and yellow fever
  • Phenytoin
  • Tetracyclines
  • Chloroquin
  • Roaccutane, tetracycline, minocycline
  • Anti-cancer drugs
  • Radiation from x-rays

X-rays should be avoided, including dental x-rays, as they can damage the foetus.

Exposure to lead when you are pregnant may cause brain damage or affect the nerve development of your baby. Lead is also thought to affect your baby's intellectual development and cause behavioural problems and illnesses in children. It is also linked to miscarriage, premature delivery and low birth weight and stillbirth. Sources of lead include petrol fumes, lead-based paint and busy highways.

Stress :

High stress levels have been linked to difficulties conceiving, hormonal imbalance and miscarriage. Stress is also known to stall the progression of labour by inhibiting the release of oxytocin. If left untreated, it can manifest as physical, emotional and mental conditions. It is thought to be the largest cause of illness in western society.

Essential Oils Some essential oils used in aromatherapy treatment have the ability to bring on menstrual bleeding and therefore are considered unsafe during pregnancy. Research indicates that neroli (orange blossom flower) and mandarin are the two oils most beneficial and safe to use throughout pregnancy. Lavender is considered safe for use after the first trimester.

Antiperspirants and Deodorants:
Many women become concerned about the use of antiperspirants and deodorants during pregnancy. Use only aluminium-free deodorants as it is safe and will not cause any damage to your baby


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