Pregnant women are highly encouraged to follow an extremely healthy diet while carrying their baby to term. Developing fetuses are vulnerable to contracting illnesses from the substances that the mother comes into contact with. Avoiding foods, like unpasteurized milks and cheeses that potentially contain harmful bacteria is a prudent choice for pregnant women. These foods can potentially contain listeriosis bacteria which can seriously harm a fetus.
Smoked meats, hot dogs, deli meats, store-made salads, swordfish, white snapper, large amounts of albacore tuna, medicinal herbs, alfalfa sprouts, radishes, and mung beans can potentially carry listeriosis bacteria and high levels of toxic chemicals. In addition to avoiding harmful foods it’s important for mothers to avoid cosmetics with concentrated or high levels of preservatives.
Other substances that prospective mothers should not ingest include common over-the-counter drugs like aspirin, pepto bismol, dimetapp, theraflu, ibuprofen, aleve, nicorette gum, and sudafed. Sometimes these medicines are acceptable for consumption within the first two trimesters, but a doctor should always be consulted before taking them.
The FDA has created a classification system in order to rank medicines as they pose risk to the development of fetuses. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) like Prozac, Lexapro, and Zoloft are classified under pregnancy category C, which indicated that though animal testing has revealed some birth deformations, there is not enough evidence to suggest that it affects humans in the same way.
Drugs classified under pregnancy category X are extremely harmful to the wellbeing of a forming fetus. Some drugs under category X include Restoril, Leflunomide, and Accutane. Restoril is a drug prescribed to people that suffer from insomnia. Patients with arthritis are sometimes prescribed Leflunomide, while Accutane is a popular drug for people affected by cystic acne. If a woman is prescribed any of these drugs, and is capable of becoming pregnant, a they are often encouraged, or even required to take birth control medication in tandem with these prescriptions.