The convenient thing about this pregnancy was that I finally got a smartphone only a few weeks after finding out I was pregnant. This meant when I was out at a restaurant and wanted to know if I could eat something or not (was it one of the “not while you’re pregnant” foods?) I could go ahead and google it really quickly. Of course, googling other pregnancy related topics while pregnant can lead you down a rabbit hole of panic and worry. DON’T DO IT. Even though I did. The few times my OB/GYN mentioned a minor concern, you bet I googled the topic until I was basically in tears with worry. And then of course there was no actual issue after all.
This all being said: searching online for answers during pregnancy can be both useful but also misleading if you’re not looking in the right places (Avoid pregnancy forums! Stick to trusted sources!)
So, I got a pretty good idea of what foods I should stay away from. I even read the book Expecting Better before getting pregnant, so I got a good idea of why certain foods were on the restricted list, and what foods were actually okay to eat. Basically: listeria is one of the top worries for foodborne illness, but it’s also the most difficult to reliably prevent 😦
Another (of many) upsides of reading Expecting Better was finding information about other potential hazardous exposures, like mercury (i.e. what fish I should eat and what fish I should avoid) and what medications and products were safe to use while pregnant (I found out about safefetus.com which I checked whenever I was prescribed something new or wanted to use something over the counter). Of course, you can also ask your OB/GYN or Midwife if you have any questions about medication (or other concerns!)
But one other concern that came up for me was the safety of my baby while I worked in the lab. I spend a good part of my time in a research lab, so I wanted to make sure I wasn’t exposing my baby to anything in utero.
I reached out to one of my twitter friends, @Chemjobber , who had in the past posted a link to a reddit page where people discussed the potential hazards of working in certain environments while pregnant. I asked him if he knew of any good resources for figuring out what to avoid besides using MSDSs. He in turn reached out to a colleague who wrote a post on additional advice for scientists who are or plan on becoming pregnant. He also sent along a few other links to check out.
Now that we have our adorable baby and I’m breastfeeding, I’ve found yet another resource for what medicines and other products are okay while breastfeeding, LactMed. Similar to safefetus, it reviews what medicines and other chemicals are safe or dangerous while breastfeeding. (I also came across this list of other resources from Kelly Mom) Again, don’t be afraid to ask your OB/GYN, Midwife, or Pediatrician if you have a concern about what you can or can’t use while breastfeeding!
What were your go-to resources when you had questions about what you should/shouldn’t eat/do/be around while pregnant?