How to keep your unborn baby safe

accreditation

I have a headache; can I take painkillers?

Generally you should avoid all painkillers during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. Paracetamol can be taken on a short term basis, but other painkillers like aspirin are not suitable for pregnant women. Try eating regular snacks, taking a warm bath, going for a massage, taking rescue remedy and watching your posture for natural quick fixes. 

Read: Managing migraines

Are car seat belts and airbags safe?

Never get into the car without fastening your seat belt. For comfort, place the straps above and below your bump rather than across it. Being hit by an inflated airbag won't hurt you or baby, but to lessen the impact, move your seat as far back as possible.

Is it dangerous to be around smokers?

Yes. Smoke is smoke. Secondhand smoke is just as dangerous, so stay away from smoking areas as much as possible.

Also read: Smoking and pregnancy

Can I use my regular cleaning products?

Cleaning your loo won't hurt your growing baby, as no studies have proven that the fumes from ordinary household cleaners are harmful to baby. One household chore to avoid is cleaning the cat's litter - cat faeces carry toxoplasmosis which can be harmful to the foetus. If you must, wear gloves.

Are laxatives safe?

Before you resort to laxatives, try to bulk up your diet with lots of fibre and drink plenty of water to ease constipation. If all else fails, ask your doctor for a pregnancy safe laxative.

I have pimples; can I start using acne medication?

Even though you may have more pimples than your high school days, marching to the medicine cabinet is not the answer. Common ingredients used in acne medications have been shown to cause birth defects. Accutane is off limits. Speak to your doctor or dermatologist to find out which medicines are safe. Tea tree oil is a great natural alternative. 

More about: Pregnancy skin problems

Are there kinds of makeup I should avoid during pregnancy?

Unfortunately, yes! Before you hit panic mode - we don't mean you can't wear makeup for the duration of your pregnancy - you just need to check through your products. Avoid makeup with parabens or fragrances. Also make sure to throw away any expired makeup products. Other than that, makeup is a good friend during pregnancy and works wonders to cover up spots and discolouration. 

Can I colour my hair?

There is little evidence to suggest that the small amount of chemicals in hair dye is harmful, but many experts advise against is - especially in the first trimester. Highlights are a safer option as the dye is kept off your skin.

Can I put a hot pad on my stomach?

Too much heat isn't a hot idea when you're pregnant. It can raise your body temperature too quickly (anything above 38.9 degrees is potentially harmful), and can be dangerous for your growing baby. You can still use a heating pad as long as you put a towel around it first.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24