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5 New Year’s resolutions to avoid if you are pregnant

It’s the New Year, and many men and women are gearing up to make (and hopefully keep) their New Year’s resolutions. However, if you are pregnant, here are some resolutions you should probably skip.

1. Getting healthy by trying a juice cleanse or juice fast

Cleanses and other quick-fixes are popular ways to quickly shed a few post-holiday pounds, with the added thought that these food regimens will release “toxins” from your body. These methods of weight loss are questionable in terms of their long-term efficacy (that is, you may lose some weight quickly, but it often tends to come right back when you start eating again) and can be especially dangerous in pregnancy. It can be very hard to get all your nutritional needs from the limited juice diet alone, and this could lead to big shifts in your blood sugar and other components in your blood (such as potassium and sodium). The end result could leave you feeling miserable and nutrient-deficient. Healthy juices can certainly be a part of your diet, but always make sure they are pasteurized and just a small part of what you consume in a day.

2. Starting a vigorous new exercise program

While exercise is absolutely safe in pregnancy and good for you and your baby, what isn’t safe is going from doing nothing to trying to complete a triathlon during your second trimester. If you are pregnant and want to start working out, talk with your doctor or midwife first about how to start safely and what exercises to avoid. Getting in shape is always a good idea, but pregnancy is not a good time to be extreme about it if you are not active at baseline. 

3. Going vegan or vegetarian

It’s true that you can avoid animal products and have a perfectly healthy pregnancy where all your nutritional bases are covered. However, if you are just now making the choice to go vegan or vegetarian you should be sure to check in with a dietician who is familiar with the nutritional needs of pregnant women. He or she can discuss some supplements that you will likely need to make sure you are getting all your vitamins and minerals. 

4. Replacing your medications with herbal supplements to be more “natural”

It’s never a good idea to just stop your medications or self-medicate with herbal supplements without checking in with a medical professional, and this is even more applicable in pregnancy! Most herbal supplements are not regulated in a standard way and have not been vigorously tested in pregnant women. Before you do this, talk with your doctor or midwife so you can make a safe plan together.

5. Joining that hot yoga class

Yoga in pregnancy can be wonderful, but hot yoga can be dangerous. Your core body temperature can get too hot, which can pose a threat to you and your baby. Stick to regular yoga classes instead, and enjoy the increased flexibility and relaxation!

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About Dr. Jennifer Lincoln, Bundoo OB/GYN

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln is a board-certified generalist obstetrician/gynecologist and attending physician in Portland, Oregon. She primarily works on labor and delivery has recently been certified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

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