During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes many hormonal changes. These can lead to extra sweating, discharge in the vagina, less lubrication, nipple leaks and more, varying in outcomes and intensity in each pregnant mom.
1. Keep Handwash or Sanitizer Handy: Varied pathogens enter our bodies through the mouth and nose, so wash hands every time – before and after using the toilet, before and after eating and also when you return home or touch someone suffering from cold or when you come in touch of dirt.
2. Practice Vaginal Hygiene: Pregnant women experience increased vaginal discharge which sometimes stimulates bacterial growth. It can lead to ‘bacterial vaginatis’ and, if left untreated, can cause complications for the mother and get passed onto the infant during delivery. A simple solution to maintaining your personal hygiene is wearing only pure cotton undergarments, avoiding very tight jeans or pants to maintain air circulation between your clothing and skin. This will keep your vagina dry and limit bacterial growth.
3. No to Douching: Practice of cleaning vagina aggressively with specialised products is a no-no since any change in the delicate chemical balance in the vagina and the vaginal flora can create more trouble than good. If you notice an odour or unpleasantness, it is best to consult your gynaecologist.
4. Maintain Oral Hygiene: Increase in estrogen during pregnancy can lead to inflammation of the gums and cause pain and frequent bleeding. Also elevated levels of progesterone are a perfect breeding ground for the bacteria present in plaque, which can cause gingivitis. In case of any gum condition, take it seriously and schedule an appointment with a dentist.
5. Hygiene of Breast & Nipples: Wear cotton undergarments and use breast pads if you experience leakage. For itchy, dry or sore nipples, gently apply any light oil at home but avoid massaging your breasts. Massaging can lead to stimulation of the mammary glands and aggravate the problem further. Keep the skin dry.
6. It is necessary to maximize the hygiene of the food with a good conservation and preparation. Avoid utensils that can transmit the toxoplasmosis.
7. Wash Vegetables & Fruits before Consumption: Clean the vegetables & fruits well and do not eat in places that are not trusted for cleanliness or use shared glasses and cutlery.
8. Some fundamental issues would be to cook food more than 75 degrees, do not eat raw meats or fish, cook eggs well, do not mix raw and cooked products that may come in contact and keep the refrigerator and kitchen utensils clean.
9. Take Care of the Hygiene of what we Breathe: do not go as far as possible to closed and loaded environments, or where there are toxic products and, of course, not around smoking, also avoid exposure to tobacco smoke since the risk of congenital problems associated with tobacco smoke is also real in passive smokers.
10. Avoid Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: Also avoid company of a smoker, as it is related to problems ranging from premature birth, preeclampsia, congenital defects and it can even affect the brain of the baby.
11. Beware of Varied Chemicals: You must be especially careful with exposure to chemicals but we discovered that absolute protection does not exist and there are many chemicals in the environment that can be dangerous to the fetus. The cleaning of the house should not be problematic, but it will always be better to do it with non-aggressive or even natural products. Regarding cosmetics, you must look at their composition well, as some could pose a risk to the baby. Stay away from chemicals such as hair colours or other hair straightening/chemical treatments. The logic behind it being that since the skin is more sensitive during pregnancy, chemical products can sometimes cause an exaggerated allergic reaction which then becomes a major concern for both the doctor and the mom-to-be.
In general, the environment can pose a risk to the health of the baby and it is convenient to be well informed and consider the hygiene habits essential for the pregnant woman.