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Five things pregnant women should avoid

December 28, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Many pregnant women know what they should do -- eat right, exercise and sleep well. But what's off limits? Here are five things pregnant women may want to avoid in order to have a healthy pregnancy:Anne Kush already has a two-year-old, and she's expecting a newborn. With a new baby comes new concerns.

"I'm guessing that pretty much every mom worries," said Anne. "I don't know. I know I do."

Like most moms-to-be, Anne has heard a lot about what she shouldn't do.

"Some people tell you there's certain exercises you can't do, foods that you shouldn't eat, and things like that," said Anne.

The latest research suggests pregnant women may want to steer clear of too much caffeine. Those who consumed 200 milligrams or more a day had twice the risk for miscarriage. M.D. and OB/GYN, Christine Isaacs, Virginia Commonwealth, says pregnant women should aim for less than 100 milligrams of caffeine a day.

Researchers from the Netherlands found eating peanuts every day during pregnancy raises your child's risk for asthma by almost 50 percent. Experts say limit your nut intake to three servings a week.

Most know alcohol is a no-no during pregnancy, but a new study shows the effects start very early. The risk for a premature baby doubled even if a mother stopped drinking before the second trimester.

"Binge drinking at any point -- before, during or after pregnancy -- is not advised," said Isaacs.

One study found women exposed to high levels of hairspray in the workplace were up to three-times more likely to have babies with a genital birth defect. Experts say it's not time to give up your spray, just use common sense.

"In areas where high levels of hairspray are used, make sure there's good ventilation, the windows are open," advises Isaacs.

The last thing are water bottles. In animal studies, those exposed to the chemical BPA are more likely to have offspring with fertility defects.

Anne ate better, exercised more and gave up caffeine. She's hoping her healthy habits will pay off for her new baby boy.

"You worry until, you know, until you see the child, until you know that everything checks out okay," said Anne.

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