Staying healthy throughout your pregnancy

by Kaiser Permanente |
Pregnant woman running in park against clear blue sky.

When you’re pregnant, the list of things you need to keep in mind gets a little longer. Some you should cut back on, while others you should avoid entirely.

Alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs

During pregnancy, there is no safe amount of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs like marijuana. These can all be passed along to your baby through your placenta, so you should avoid them completely.


Not getting that caffeine boost in the morning can be hard, but it’s best for your baby. If you can’t give it up completely, try to cut back. Remember that there’s caffeine in tea and soda, so try to limit those as well.

Hazardous chemicals

Many everyday household cleaners contain chemicals that could be harmful to your developing baby. Some people choose to switch to “green” products for the duration of their pregnancy.

Heavy lifting

You can continue most of your regular workout while you’re pregnant, but make sure to eliminate the heavy weights at the gym. This includes lifting heavy items around the house even when you’re not exercising.

Hot tubs and tanning beds

Stay away from hot tubs during your first trimester. Later in your pregnancy, you may be able to have some limited soaking time as long as the water isn’t too hot. Ask your clinician if it’s safe. Tanning beds should be avoided altogether.

Kitty litter

We all love our furry friends, but you’ll need to get someone else to clean the litter box. Litter could release fumes that are harmful to your baby, and cat feces can contain harmful parasites.

Undercooked meat

Eating raw or undercooked eggs, meat, chicken, or fish can be dangerous. Make sure all meats have been cooked thoroughly.


Your clinician needs to know about all medications you take, including over-the-counter drugs, herbal supplements, vitamins, and homeopathic remedies. They can let you know if it’s safe to take these products while you’re pregnant.

This article has been created by a national group of Kaiser Permanente ob-gyns, certified nurse-midwives, pediatricians, lactation consultants and other specialists who came together to provide you with the best pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and newborn information.

Some of the content is used and adapted with permission of The Permanente Medical Group.