20 Surprising Things You Can and Can’t Do During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of joy, anticipation, and many surprises, especially when it comes to navigating the dos and don’ts for keeping both you and your baby safe and healthy. While some advice might sound familiar—like avoiding alcohol—other recommendations of things you can’t do while pregnant might surprise you. Can you trampoline or scuba dive while pregnant? And what if you’re in need of a manicure? We’re here to answer all your burning questions and help you navigate what to avoid during pregnancy and what you can safely continue doing.

Pregnancy Dos and Don’ts

Prepare to juggle a mix of dos and don’ts that might just surprise you! In this fun section, we’ve gathered 19 Q&As to guide you through the dos and don’ts of pregnancy. From common things to avoid in early pregnancy, to surprising things you can and can’t do while pregnant, let’s make navigating these nine months a breeze with a sprinkle of humor and heaps of practical advice.

1. Can You Get a Tattoo While Pregnant?

It’s generally advised to avoid getting a tattoo while pregnant, as the risks associated with this are unknown. It’s best to wait until after you have given birth and finished breastfeeding to get inked. If you’re considering getting a tattoo while pregnant, it’s important to discuss it with your healthcare provider to fully understand the risks involved.

2. Can You Breastfeed While Pregnant?

Yes, if you have an older child who you’re still breastfeeding during your subsequent pregnancy, you can generally keep breastfeeding. After birth, some parents choose to continue breastfeeding both their new baby and older baby—this is known as tandem nursing. You may experience some uterine contractions while breastfeeding during pregnancy; however, these are generally harmless.

You might wish to consult with your healthcare provider for more guidance and to ensure it’s ok for your specific situation.

3. Can You Take a Bath While Pregnant?

Yes, you can take a bath while pregnant. Soaking in a warm bath can help those pregnancy aches and pains, but it’s important to avoid very hot water or soaking in a hot tub. Keep the water temperature warm, not hot, to avoid overheating, which can be harmful to the baby.

4. Can You Paint a Room While Pregnant?

Yes, if you want to paint your little one’s nursery or painting is your hobby, you can paint while pregnant. But it’s important to take precautions to minimize any risk:

  • Use water-based paints instead of solvent-based ones.

  • Ensure good ventilation in the area where you’re painting.

  • Wear protective gear like gloves and masks if you’re painting a room.

  • Avoid eating or drinking in the area to prevent ingesting chemicals.

  • If you’re using a ladder, be careful because your balance and center of balance change during pregnancy and may cause a higher risk of falls.

  • Consider having someone else do the painting if possible.

Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any project that involves chemical exposure.

5. Can You Sleep on Your Back While Pregnant?

If you’re wondering what not to do in your third trimester of pregnancy, it’s recommended to avoid sleeping on your back during the second and third trimesters. This position can put pressure on a major blood vessel and reduce blood flow to your heart and baby. So, can you sleep on your right side while pregnant? Sleeping on your side (right or left) is the best position when you’re lying down. You might even find it more comfortable to place a pillow between your knees or under your bump.

6. Can You Get Your Nails Done While Pregnant?

Yes, thankfully you don’t have to sacrifice those manicures during pregnancy. You can get your nails done when pregnant, but it’s important to take certain precautions due to the chemicals in nail polish, removers, and other salon products that might be harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin in large amounts.

Take precautions such as ensuring you’re in a well-ventilated room while getting your nails done and washing your hands afterward.

Discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider and ask if they have any recommendations for you to follow.

7. Can You Get in a Hot Tub While Pregnant?

Soaking in a hot tub is one of those things to avoid during pregnancy, especially in early pregnancy. The high temperatures in hot tubs can raise your body temperature which can be harmful to your baby.

8. Can You Use a Sauna While Pregnant?

Just like our answer above about using hot tubs, using a sauna is another activity to avoid during pregnancy due to the high temperatures.

9. Can You Bleach Your Hair or Get Highlights While Pregnant?

Yes, you can bleach or dye your hair during pregnancy, but it’s advisable to wait until after the first trimester. While there’s little research showing that chemical hair treatments are harmful to your developing baby, being cautious is wise.

Consider using a more natural/gentle dye, a temporary dye, or opt for highlights or balayage that reduce or even avoid using hair dye on the scalp. Also, ensure the room is well-ventilated, and do a patch test on your skin to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction.

10. Can You Get a Massage While Pregnant?

Yes, you can get a massage while pregnant and let your worries, aches, and pains drift away. Massages can be beneficial, relieving stress and alleviating muscle and joint pains. It’s important to select a certified prenatal massage therapist, who understands the safe techniques and areas to focus on during pregnancy. You may have to lie on your side during the massage or some massage tables have a hole cut out for your stomach.

Consult with your healthcare provider to confirm that a prenatal massage is suitable for you, considering your overall health and pregnancy progress. This approach ensures a relaxing and safe experience for you and your baby.

11. Can You Jump on a Trampoline While Pregnant?

No, jumping on a trampoline during pregnancy is generally not recommended. So, save that bouncing for after your little one’s arrival.

Jumping or jerky motions can strain your joints and increase your risk of injury. It’s important to choose low-impact and safe pregnancy exercises that reduce the risk of injury and are safer for both you and your baby. Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting or continuing any exercise regimen during pregnancy.

12. Can You Ski While Pregnant?

No, it’s best to avoid skiing during pregnancy. Activities such as skiing, surfing, horseback riding, and gymnastics increase your risk of falling and injuring yourself and your baby.

13. Can You Bowl While Pregnant?

You don’t have to rule out all your favorite activities while you’re pregnant! And bowling is one of those activities that you can continue during pregnancy, but with some considerations for safety and comfort. As your pregnancy progresses, your balance and center of gravity change, and ligaments and joints loosen due to pregnancy hormones which can increase your risk of injury. Some tips when bowling include, using a lighter ball, listening to your body if you feel any pain or discomfort, wearing supportive shoes, and avoiding overexertion.

14. Can You Scuba Dive While Pregnant?

Scuba diving is an activity that is recommended to avoid during pregnancy. Scuba diving can increase the risk of your little one getting decompression sickness.

15. Can You Be Around Cats While Pregnant?

Yes, luckily you generally don’t have to shun your fur baby during pregnancy. You can be around cats during pregnancy, but it’s important to take precautions due to the risk of toxoplasmosis, a disease that can be transmitted through cat feces and can harm an unborn baby.

Common questions about cats and pregnancy, include, “Are indoor cats bad for pregnancy?” and “Can you change the cat litter during pregnancy?” Indoor cats that only eat cat food and do not have contact with outdoor animals are generally low risk for transmitting toxoplasmosis during pregnancy. If your cat goes outdoors or eats prey, ask someone else to clean their litter box, or use gloves and wash your hands thoroughly if you come into contact with cat feces.

16. Can You Fly While Pregnant?

Yes, you generally can fly while pregnant, but consider these important factors when traveling during pregnancy:

  • Airline policies. Airlines may have restrictions for pregnant passengers, particularly in their final month of pregnancy. A note from your healthcare provider might be required.

  • Best time to fly. The second trimester is generally the safest and most comfortable period for flying.

  • Hydration and movement. Stay hydrated and move regularly to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

  • Comfort tip. Wear compression stockings and choose aisle seats for easier movement.

  • Travel insurance. Verify that your insurance covers pregnancy-related issues.

Consult your healthcare provider for advice specific to your pregnancy if you’re thinking of jetting off.

17. Can You Perm Your Hair While Pregnant?

Yes, you can perm your hair while pregnant, but it’s advisable to wait until after the first trimester. Similar to getting your hair dyed, it’s recommended to choose well-ventilated places and consider doing a patch test first, as skin sensitivity can increase during pregnancy. Consulting with your healthcare provider for personalized advice is also recommended.

18. Can You Drink Wine While Pregnant?

Drinking alcohol, including wine, is one of the things you definitely shouldn’t do while pregnant. Alcohol is harmful to your baby.

19. Can You Eat Shrimp While Pregnant?

Yes, you can eat shrimp while pregnant, but it should be well-cooked and consumed in moderation. Shrimp is low in mercury, which makes it safer compared to high-mercury seafood. It’s recommended for pregnant people to eat 2 to 3 servings of low-mercury fish or seafood per week, including shrimp. Always ensure it’s thoroughly cooked to avoid the risk of foodborne illnesses.

20. Can You Eat Sushi While Pregnant?

No, it’s best to avoid eating any raw or undercooked fish during pregnancy. This is because it can carry bacteria and parasites if it hasn’t been handled properly.

If you want to know what else to avoid during pregnancy, check out our informative article to find out what not to eat when pregnant.

Fun Things to Do While Pregnant

Enough of the things you can’t do while pregnant, here are some fun things you can do to make your pregnancy an enjoyable and exciting time:

  1. Prenatal yoga. Stay active and find relaxation through prenatal yoga classes, tailored to support your changing body.

  2. Maternity photo shoot. Capture the beauty of your pregnancy journey with a professional photo session.

  3. Babymoon. Take a relaxing vacation or staycation with your partner before the baby arrives. The second trimester is considered the best time to travel.

  4. Pregnancy journaling. Document your thoughts, feelings, and the milestones of your pregnancy. This will be lovely to look back on after your pregnancy or to share with your little ones as they get older.

  5. Crafting a baby nursery. Unleash your creativity by designing and decorating your baby’s nursery.

  6. Cooking and freezing meals. Spend some time cooking your favorite meals and freeze them for an easier postpartum period.

  7. Baby name game. Have fun with your partner choosing potential baby names, creating lists, and discussing options. Use our Baby Name Generator for some inspiration.

  8. Attend a birthing class. Not only educational, but these classes can also be fun and a great way to meet other expectant parents.

  9. Start a DIY project for the baby. Whether it’s knitting a blanket, painting a mural, or assembling a mobile, a personal touch adds warmth and love to the nursery.

Extra Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

How to have a healthy pregnancy? Here are a few extra things you can do to maintain a healthy pregnancy:

  • Eat a balanced diet. Focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy products.

  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.

  • Take prenatal vitamins. Ensure you're getting enough folic acid, iron, and calcium.

  • Exercise regularly. Engage in moderate exercise, such as walking or prenatal yoga, with your healthcare provider’s approval.

  • Get adequate sleep. Aim for 7-9 hours per night and use pillows for extra support.

  • Attend all prenatal appointments. Regular check-ups are crucial for monitoring your health and your baby's development.

  • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands regularly, especially before eating and after handling raw meat.

  • Educate yourself. Attend childbirth and parenting classes to prepare for labor, delivery, and your new arrival.

  • Enjoy “me time”. Take time to relax and enjoy some special “me time,” before your little one arrives.

  • Prepare your hospital bag. As your due date gets nearer, get your hospital bag ready with all the essentials. Use our helpful hospital bag checklist to ensure you have everything you need for the big day.

Top pregnancy dos and don'ts

The Bottom Line

The journey of pregnancy is filled with its ups and downs, but with a little guidance and care, it can be a beautiful experience. So, if you’re wondering what to stay away from during pregnancy, hold off on those sushi dinners, glasses of wine, and scuba diving sessions for just a little bit longer—it’ll be worth it! Remember to listen to your body, indulge in self-care, and cherish every moment as you prepare to welcome your little bundle of joy into the world.

How We Wrote This Article The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.