4 hidden dangers to avoid during pregnancy

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As soon as the test read ‘pregnant,’ you most likely bid adieu to certain lifestyle choices. Gone are the days of after work happy hours, smoke breaks and even trips to the gym’s sauna – at least for now. While you’re cleaning up your act, be sure to kick these hidden dangers to the curb, too:

1. Gardening

Who knew a green thumb could get you and your little one into trouble? With spring finally here, you may find yourself itching to get out to the garden. While there’s no reason not to don your gardening gloves, there are some precautions to take now that you’re expecting. Gardening can increase an expectant mom’s risk of contracting toxoplasmosis, a serious condition that can make a pregnant woman sick and cause birth defects for her unborn baby.

Stay safe: Always wear gardening gloves when working with soil. Wash your hands thoroughly when the job is done, and never touch your eyes, mouth or nose without cleaning up first.

2. Bean sprouts

The same pesky bacteria that makes deli meat off limits during pregnancy may contaminate bean sprouts too. Listeria causes food borne illness and flu-like symptoms, but may also lead to birth defects and complications with unborn babies.

Stay safe: Avoid dishes with bean sprouts altogether or, when dining out, ask the server to ensure yours are cooked thoroughly.

​3. Unpasteurized juices

Sipping juice during pregnancy could be cause for concern if your drink wasn’t properly prepared. While some say that pasteurization kills off beneficial nutrients, it’s this process that keeps consumers safe from harmful bacteria and foodborne illnesses. During pregnancy, your immunity is weakened, leaving you more susceptible to getting sick.

Stay safe: Always check the label to ensure your drink has been pasteurized. Steer clear of juicing bars and farm fresh cider for now – and when in doubt, always ask how your drink has been prepared.

4. Dry cleaning

Traditional commercial dry cleaners make use of heavy duty chemicals to clean your clothing. One such chemical, perchloroethylene, may be linked to higher risk for miscarriage and preterm birth.

Stay safe: Until baby arrives, get to know the delicate cycle on your washing machine. Or, ready yourself for life with a little one and pack away your fancy clothes altogether.

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