Help your spouse steer clear of these pregnancy no-nos to help keep her and the baby safe and healthy:
* Avoid fish with lots of mercury in her diet. Get correct information from your dietitian on what fish to eat and what fish to avoid when she is pregnant.
* Don't disregard food borne illness. Eat, cook, handle and clean food safely! According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, food borne illness can cause serious health problems - or even death for both mother and baby.
* Protect her from using chemicals. Products including herbicides, pesticides, paint, stains, and some cleaning solutions may be harmful to your baby. If she must use these things, make sure she wears gloves, a mask, and keeps the room well-ventilated.
* Don't let her clean or change a cat's litter box. This could put her at risk for an infection called toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is caused by a parasite that cats can carry in their feces. Toxoplasmosis can harm a fetus.
* Don't let her take very hot baths, hot tubs, or saunas. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, high temperatures can be harmful to the fetus, or causing the mother-to-be to faint.
* Discourage her from using scented feminine hygiene products. Pregnant women should avoid scented sprays, sanitary napkins, and bubble bath. These products might irritate your spouse's vaginal area, and increase her risk of a urinary tract infection or yeast infection.
* Don't let her douche. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, douching can irritate the vagina, force air into the birth canal and increase the increase the risk of infection
* Avoid optional x-rays. X-rays are a form of radiation that is linked to a very small risk of cancer for an unborn baby. But x-rays are usually safe during pregnancy. So if your doctor says your spouse needs x-rays for a health problem you should follow her advice. But sometimes doctors can use other tests in place of x-rays. And other times, x-rays can wait until after the baby is born.
* Don't let her smoke tobacco. Tell your doctor if your spouse smokes. Quitting is hard, but she can do it. Ask your doctor for help. Smoking during pregnancy passes nicotine and cancer-causing drugs to your baby. Smoke also keeps your baby from getting needed nourishment and raises the risk of stillbirth and premature birth (a small baby born too early).
* Discourage her from drinking alcohol. Your spouse should stop drinking alcohol if she drinks it regularly. Experts are still unsure of the exact amount of alcohol needed to cause problems in your baby. But, both drinking every day and drinking a lot of alcohol once in a while during pregnancy can harm the baby.
* Don't let her use illegal drugs. Tell your doctor if your spouse is using drugs. Marijuana, cocaine, heroin, speed (amphetamines), barbiturates, and LSD are very dangerous for your spouse and the baby.