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What Are the Different Types of Contraindications during Pregnancy?

By Bethany Keene
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are a number of contraindications during pregnancy that should always be kept in mind in order to protect the health of the fetus and of the mother. Regardless of advice found online, it is always important to follow the advice of a doctor, and to never take medications or herbs without first asking if they are safe. In general, the most common types of contraindications during pregnancy include certain types of herbs as well as various types of exercise. This is because they might induce premature labor or miscarriage, or could cause lasting harm to the fetus.

It is important to stay fit during pregnancy, and doctors generally recommend a combination of light aerobics, stretching, and strength training work in order to stay healthy and promote an easier delivery. There are some exercise contraindications during pregnancy, however; for instance, any and all extreme sports should be avoided, as well as particularly vigorous exercises such as horseback riding. In general, if it seems possible to fall, become injured, or reduce the oxygen levels going to the fetus -- by going scuba diving, for instance -- it should be avoided. It is also important to avoid laying flat on the back, and to stop exercising at any point if dizziness, shortness of breath, cramping, or bleeding occur at any time during exercise.

For women suffering from certain medical conditions, exercise of any kind is contraindicated during pregnancy. These can include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or high blood pressure, among others. For women who are carrying multiples, or have a history of complications or pre-term labor, they also may find that exercise is one of their contraindications during pregnancy. Again, it is important to strictly follow the advice of a doctor, and to bring any questions directly to him or her.

Certain herbal supplements, vitamins, and medications can also represent contraindications during pregnancy. There are some herbs that are safe in low doses, and some that should be avoided altogether for the reasons mentioned above. Parsley, for example, as well as blue cohos,h and a number of others, can cause uterine contractions, pre-term labor, or even miscarriage. As for medications, a doctor will be able to advise whether it is necessary to stop taking the medication entirely, or adjust the dosage. Women taking certain medications may even have to sign a waiver stating that they will not get pregnant, so it is very important to discuss any and all medications with a doctor before even trying to get pregnant. Though it may seem obvious, tobacco and alcohol should also never be used during pregnancy

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