cat sitting in litter box

Activities to avoid while pregnant

As much as you may love snakes, rollercoasters, and tampons, there are just some things that you can’t do during pregnancy for the sake of your (and Baby‘s) safety, like any of these activities! But don’t worry, in just a few short months you can fake-tan away…

Changing the cat’s litter box

Cat poop can contain bacteria that can be dangerous for you and Baby, so it’s best to stay away from the litter box.

Healthy alternative: If you have a cat, you should have somebody else change the litter box to be safe. If that’s not an option, wearing gloves, changing the litter box in a well-ventilated area, and not breathing in over the litter box while changing it can help to cut down on risk, though it’s really not advisable if there’s any way of avoiding it.

Caring for large or excitable dogs

Physical contact can cause harm to your growing baby, so wrestling with the Rottweilers is not the wisest choice you could make.

Healthy alternative: Make sure you are prepared and aware around any large, wild pets.

Handling amphibians and reptiles

Amphibians and reptiles may play host to billions of salmonella bacteria, so pregnant women should avoid handling these creatures.

Healthy alternative: Well, the healthiest alternative to holding amphibians and reptiles is to not hold amphibians and reptiles – and since reptiles and amphibians are not recommended as pets for children under 5 years old, if you already have a pet like this, it may be time to start looking for a new home for it.


Pregnant women should take care to avoid overheating, as an excess amount of body heat can lead to stunted fetal development, most notably in the neural tube.

Healthy alternative: Take care to stay cool during the summer, and avoid hot tubs.

Sun tanning

Pregnant women are even more susceptible to the dangers of UV radiation, and should take great care to stay shielded from the sun, and not get over-exposed.

Healthy alternative: If you are out in the sun, make sure you apply a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, drink plenty of water, and wear a hat to avoid any risk.

Carnival rides

Carnival rides could be dangerous when you’re pregnant, so you should avoid the ones that go fast, or could result in physical harm.

Healthy alternative: The ferris wheel, and some rides at water parks are safe ways to seek some thrills with Baby on board!

Outdoor biking

Biking should be avoided during pregnancy, as it poses the ever-present risk of falling.

Healthy alternative: Stationary biking, or spinning, is a great, safe way to work the legs and lungs, and for open-air exercise, walking and swimming in an outdoor pool are both great during pregnancy.

Contact sports

Pregnant women should avoid playing contact sports like basketball or football, as large applications of physical force to your belly and baby are possible.

Healthy alternative: You should talk to your healthcare provider about any sport that you wish to play, as opinions on the matter may differ.

Downhill skiing

A high-speed tumble could result in very serious damage to your baby’s development, so downhill skiing is not a good activity while pregnant.

Healthy alternative: Cross-country skiing is perfectly pregnancy-safe.


Many gymnastic events put women at risk of falling and hurting themselves, or their babies, and should be avoided during pregnancy.

Healthy alternative: There is no safe alternative for flying gymnastics, but stretching and yoga are good ways to stay limber.

Horseback riding

Riding horseback during pregnancy, at even the most pedestrian of paces, is thoroughly ill-advised.

Healthy alternative: Horseback riding is only safe for those who are expert riders, and even then you should consult your healthcare provider first.

Hot tubs

Expectant moms should avoid using hot tubs or saunas, as prolonged exposure can result in overheating, known to be deleterious to Baby‘s neural tube development.

Healthy alternative: Regular bathtub temperatures are safer.

Scuba diving

Scuba diving can cause bubbles to form in the bloodstream when the diver surfaces from the water. Air bubbles can cut off circulation, and prove very damaging to the developing baby.

Healthy alternative: Snorkeling is a great way to mermaid it up, and explore under the sea.


Tough as it may be, expectant moms should take a break from shredding the slopes, and chill out in the lodge while they are pregnant.

Healthy alternative: There is no safe alternative to snowboarding.


Waterskiing is a very risky activity for expectant women to engage in, considering the high likelihood of falling.

Healthy alternative: There is no safe alternative for waterskiing during pregnancy.

High-altitude exercise

Exercising in high altitude areas causes changes in the blood’s oxygen level, which could bring fetal damage with the fluctuation.

Healthy alternative: Mountain climbing is not a good idea when pregnant.

Dieting for weight loss

Pregnant moms should under ZERO CIRCUMSTANCES intentionally diet to lose weight, unless specifically instructed to by their healthcare provider. Not gaining enough weight can cause miscarriage, premature birth, or seriously stunted development.

Healthy alternative: can maintain a healthy weight gain by eating fresh fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed foods, which will also help the post-delivery weight loss.

Heavy lifting

Heavy lifting can cause physical damage to both you and Baby, and should be avoided during pregnancy. This is an excuse for people to carry everything for you, live it up!

Healthy alternative: Lifting light weights is still totally pregnancy-safe. And now other people can help you move those heavy boxes!

Live virus immunization

Immunizations that use live versions of the virus to inoculate the subject should definitely be avoided, as there is always a small risk that the immunization can infect baby with the disease.

Healthy alternative: Pregnant women should not get live virus immunizations. Just try to stay healthy!

Walking in tall grass

Ticks carrying lyme disease frequently make their homes in tall grass, so pregnant women should avoid these areas at all cost.

Healthy alternative: Make sure you keep the grass mowed, and to wear long pants on any wilder walks – you don’t want any ticks!

Frequent exposure to loud noises

Loud noises cause certain hormone levels in your body to fluctuate, which is very dangerous considering the hormones in your body are what regulate your pregnancy.

Healthy alternative: Expectant moms should crank the switch back down to 3 or 4 when jamming out.

Cosmetic surgery

Needless to say (hopefully), you shouldn’t get cosmetic surgery while you are pregnant. Cosmetic surgery would put your baby at risk from both physical harm, and the potential effects from certain chemicals used during the surgeries.

Healthy alternative: Pregnant women should wait until after they give birth to get any cosmetic surgeries.

You should call your healthcare provider about the pregnancy safety of any activity that you are unsure about.

Read more


  • “Toxoplasmosis.” March of Dimes. March of Dimes, 6/03/2016. Web.
  • “Salmonellosis.” March of Dimes. March of Dimes, 3/13/2015. Web.
  • Julie A. Lamppa, C.N.M., R.N. “Pregnancy beauty routine: What’s safe?” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 6/03/2016. Web.
  • “Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Number 548.” ACOG. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 1/13/2015. Web.
  • “Pregnancy and exercise.” Better Health Channel. Better Health Channel, 11/14/2015. Web.
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