Pregnancy & Birth

Five surprising things you need to consider when you’re pregnant

We didn’t realise how much we didn’t know...

Pregnancy and Google go hand-in-hand. Whether you're trying to fall pregnant or are already expecting, there are endless questions you'd stay up all night scouring the internet for answers to.
Seriously, think about it: you may be (sort of?) confident that you know what you should and shouldn't eat when pregnant, but there are plenty more weird and wonderful things – things we had no idea about – to be learnt along the way.
Pregnant or not, here are five little-known facts we recommend committing to memory to further ensure the health and safety of you and unborn baby. Trust us, you'll find them as eye-opening as we do.

1. Stick to the pool and ditch the sauna

The Mayo Clinic suggests that even though more research into the connection between saunas and the dangers to an unborn baby is needed, pregnant women should veer on the side of caution by limiting time spent in a sauna or spa. This is because an abnormally high body temperature can potentially increase the risk of miscarriage.

2. Steer clear of painting when pregnant

Want to decorate your child's room before their arrival? Know this: online parenting hub BabyCenter states that paint contains chemicals and solvents, which, on very, very rare occasions, could lead to birth defects.
This is not to deter you from dressing up your baby's nursery in other ways, though - nesting is an exciting part of the pregnancy journey! Just consider leaving the stripping of or application of paint to someone else; pregnant women who are regularly exposed to these chemicals are most at risk.

3. If you have bacterial vaginosis (BV), it can affect your baby, too

Often confused with thrush, BV is a common vaginal condition that 12% of Australian women suffer, but don't know even exists (think a fishy odour and greyish discharge down there). Not only that, but according to the Department of Health, BV in pregnant women can also increase the risk of premature birth.
If you are experiencing BV symptoms, especially if you are pregnant, be sure to book an appointment with your local GP; while BV can be treated with a new, non-antibiotic treatment available at pharmacies, it is important to discuss your options with your doctor.

4. When attempting to conceive, the man’s health matters, too

Studies have long documented that a man's diet impacts their sperm quality when trying for a baby. However, combined research from the University of Cincinnati, the University of Western Australia and the University of Sydney has uncovered a link between a man's nutrition and the viability of an embryo.
This is why experts stress that the healthier a man's diet is pre-conception, the better the health of their baby will be in the long run.

5. Pat your cat - just don’t change the kitty litter

If you ever needed a reason to get out of cleaning up after your kitten, this is it.
As pointed out by UK health site NHS, cat faeces and kitty litter can contain a parasitic disease called toxoplasmosis. Despite toxoplasmosis being a rare infection, doctors warn that if a pregnant woman is exposed to it, it could affect their unborn child, with the potential to lead to miscarriage or stillbirth.
Permission to pass kitty-litter duties to your significant other, ASAP.
This article is sponsored.