Being a parent is hard work, but pregnancy is definitely harder! First, there’s the nausea, the aches and pains, the dizzy spells and pregnancy brain! Let’s not forget that pregnant moms will also run out breath just from getting the mail. They can’t sleep, and when they finally do get to sleep, it won’t be long until they're so uncomfortable that it wakes them up. They also can’t be more than three feet from a bathroom. And, don’t get them started on the hormones…
The point is, creating a life and being the only one who can give the little babe the essentials they need to grow and flourish into a healthy baby is a superpower in itself. Unfortunately, there are things in this great life that can make a pregnancy even harder than it has to be. Relaxing and “taking it easy” are important tasks in order to have an enjoyable pregnancy. Luckily, there are ways to make pregnancy easier and let a woman cruise through the entire nine months with minor discomfort. For example, putting that gorgeous couch-potato husbands to good use when mom is craving greasy burgers at three in the morning. She may even bribe him with her new-found hormones that are throbbing, all for him to return with burgers while we complain of heartburn and “we can’t eat that, what is he thinking?”And especially, no lovin’ like promised. It’s all part of pregnancy.
Let’s break it down and tell everyone exactly what a pregnant mom can do and what they should opt out of doing!
20 Shouldn't Do: Put Baby Furniture Together On Your Own
Pinterest called, you broke their server with the amount of pins you saved into your “Baby’s Nursery” board. You’re finally inspired enough to create the ultimate nursery for your highly anticipated baby. This is also the moment you realize how amazing Amazon Prime is and have officially nicknamed yourself “Mrs. Add To Cart.”
However, the very next day, your items will show up to the door and your very pregnant self won’t be able to haul in the newest Twinkle Twinkle Annie Swivel glider through the door and into your little babe’s empty room. And yes, that is the actual name of the rocking chair. Lone and behold, your useful-looking husband just so happens to be heading into the kitchen for what could be his third bowl of cereal… or is it his fourth? In fact, lifting heavy objects can lead to a pulled muscle, a hernia and even premature labor. While you’re in your current fragile state, use your husband for the hunk of muscle you first fell in love with.
19 Shouldn't Do: Paint Your Own Nursery
At this current moment, there is no confirmation that paint fumes have any risk to a pregnant woman or her unborn baby as scientist wouldn’t simply put a group of pregnant mamas together in a room of harsh chemicals. However, studies show that there was an increase in miscarriages in female painters according to Sara Twogood, MD from the University of Southern California.
Although there may be no confirmed data, think of it this way: if they don’t want to test it, it’s probably not safe. And, if you’re breathing in strong toxic chemicals, it’s probably not safe for the baby either.
Either way, with the heavy boulder of a bump you will be carrying, there’s no way that you’ll want to get up on the ladder to do the trimming around the borders, come down to grab a roller and paint the room. No way.
18 Shouldn't Do: Over-Exercise Yourself
Read the title of this entry carefully, don’t over exercise. That does not you can't exercise, it just means you must work out in moderation. In fact, even a quick thirty minute walk around the block will benefit you in the labor and delivery room. Not only does it reduce your time in stirrups, but it also helps those painful back pains that make you have a complete hormonal breakdown. To save the best for last, exercising during pregnancy may even convince you to opt out of receiving an epidural.
However, it’s always important to speak with your OB/GYN when it comes to exercise, especially if you never exercised pre-pregnancy. There’s no reason to risk any preterm complications, or complications at all for that matter, just to maintain a certain figure or look.
17 Should Do: Surround Yourself In The Love
Stress is something that we all go through, pregnant or not, and it is something that is difficult to avoid. However, it’s important to at least try. Yes, creating a little human is a difficult job, physically and emotionally draining, and a lot of uncertain thoughts will arise: Will we be able to afford our lifestyle? Will we find a spot in a daycare? Will he/she be healthy at birth and in the future? Will they be happy and well behaved?
It’s important for parents who are going through pregnancy together to try to be understanding and patient with one another. For you men, be kind to us, our hormones are out of whack and everything you say will make us emotional - anger included. For us women, your honey doesn’t know what you’re going through and how you’re feeling. If you feel like he looks like a deer in headlights, try taking down the screaming a notch. And, together, support each and keep the communication and bedroom fun alive.
16 Shouldn't Do: Indulge Your Tastebuds In Sriracha
Yes, it’s delicious and yes it’ll clear out your sinuses, but Sriracha may need to be forgotten at the back of the fridge for the duration of your pregnancy. During pregnancy, you will already experience long-lasting heartburn, which old wives’ tales say this means your baby will have more hair. Adding hot sauce, or any additional hot ingredients to your recipes will simply increase the frequency and intensity of your heartburn.
For those mamas who are currently eating Buffalo hot wings, don’t worry the heat has no effect on your baby. In fact, according to Dr. Kathryn Wright, OB-GYN at Facey Medical Group, eating spicy food will not make your baby more or less active in the womb. After you’ve eaten a regular meal, your baby normally drifts off right to sleep, making him less active. However, if the spicy foods you just ate contained a lot of sugar or carbohydrates, it will make your baby more active.
15 Shouldn't Do: Wash The Downstairs Too thoroughly
There are certain things you simply shouldn’t do, pregnant or not. For example, douching is one of them. Both, pregnant and non pregnant, douching will imbalance your PH levels. It may make you feel fresher, but in fact, it does not refresh your lady bits or make you smell like roses. As a matter of fact, your intimate lady bits naturally cleanses itself of bacteria, semen, dead cells and infections on its' own.
WebMD explains that douching can actually cause infections and even cause cervical cancer, among other unpleasant things. Simply stated, pregnancy is already uncomfortable enough, you don’t want to add a yeast infection to the mix. If you’re worried about a smell or discharge, consult your OB-GYN. He or she will give the necessary products to use to balance your PH levels back in harmony.
14 Shouldn't Do: Change The Kitty's Litter Box
Though you can technically change the litter box, it’s highly recommended that you don’t as per BabyCenter. First, the new litter is heavy to carry, so right away you have to call your honey to bring it to the actual litter box. Second, cat droppings create a parasitic infection called toxoplasmosis and this can be extremely dangerous to your unborn baby. In fact, you can catch toxoplasmosis and never have symptoms, or you’ll have a flu-like side effect.
However, if you are effected by this infection, it can be passed on to your baby and your baby can be sick. It is best to simply stay away from the kitty litter box until after you’ve had your baby. Unfortunately, if you do have to change the litter box, it is recommended to do so every day as toxoplasmosis is created after 48 hours. In addition, it is recommended to wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly after every cleaning.
13 Should Do: Get As Much Sleep As Possible
It may sound like a no-brainer to sleep when you’re pregnant since you’re probably exhausted at every waking moment of the day, but this is something we cannot stress enough. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Because once the baby comes, believe us when we say, you will never sleep in again. Waking up at 4:45 in the morning just to have your “quiet and alone time” with yourself, to get dressed and enjoy a hot cup of coffee will actually be your zen moment of the day.
If you’re having trouble finding a comfortable position to attempt at this thing called sleep, we feel your pain. Flop on over to your left side like a seal, prop a pillow in between your thighs and curve your back until you find that sweet spot you think you can manage to sleep with. Sleeping on the left side opens up your lungs so you can still breathe throughout the night, even with a five pounds baby sleeping in your rib cage.
After a few nights of this position, it will become the only position you’ll be able to fall asleep in during your pregnancy. We believe in you.
12 Shouldn't Do: Give In To Your Coffee Cravings
Some websites say yes to coffee with limitations, but there are some websites that offer a zero tolerance caffeinated pregnancy. Pregnancy is quite confusing at times. However, the facts are the facts and Health Canada has stated that pregnant women should not consume more than 300 mg of caffeine per day.
For example, a Starbucks “Grande” coffee contains 330 mg of caffeine, which is already over the allotted limit. The reason for this is low birth weights have been linked back to pregnant caffeine consumers, especially that caffeine passes through the placenta as well.
Think of it this way, coffee makes your heart race so image what it does to someone an inch your size. It’s also important to note that coffee ice cream, chocolate, iced tea, and teas also contain caffeine.
11 Shouldn't Do: Surround Yourself In Stress
Life is stressful as it already in, but factor in the tidbit of information that you’re creating a human life and everything you inhale, eat, drink or think will affect your baby. That is why all doctors and midwives will advise you to stay away from stressful situations and stressful factors throughout your pregnancy. Although stress is toxic for your body non-pregnant, image what it could do two bodies when you are pregnant.
Luckily, yoga is an exercise that will relax your body and your mind. It also elongates your ligaments, making it easier for you to give birth. According to Prenatal Yoga Center, it will also reduce your labor and delivery time.
10 Shouldn't Do: Treat Yourself To A Mani and Pedi
The answer to this topic will change from person to person, profession to profession, when you ask them. Some doctors will tell you it’s safe to get a manicure and a pedicure from time to time during pregnancy. They will say that that you’re not exposed to the fumes for long enough to do any harm to the baby. However, if you work in the aesthetics field and you’re breathing in the nail polish fumes every day for hours, then it’s something to worry about.
Then, there are other doctors that will, of course, contract and say even the smallest dose of nail polish and nail polish remover fumes will effect the baby.
At the end of the day, if you go from time to time, you’re totally safe. It’s important to make sure the salon uses sterilized equipment and the salon is well ventilated. But, it’s best if you know now, pedicures can induce labor.
9 Should Do: Get A Ton Of Fresh Air
Most people instantly feel happy when they think of their happy place, which may include sunbathing on the beach or hiking through lush green mountains. The point is, we’re think of the great outdoors often throughout the day. Just because you’re pregnant, doesn’t mean you’re housebound. Get outside and fill your lungs with nature’s crisp air. It’s much better than that stuffy house that hasn’t seen the light of day since the test lines turned pink.
In addition to the cleaner air, the sun also plays an important role in why we love the outdoors. The rays instantly make us feel happier, awake and more energized. Bringing your exercise routine outdoors as well will help open your airways and lungs receiving the most amount of fresh air as possible.
8 Shouldn't Do: Colour Treat Your Hair
Let’s be honest, the peroxide and ammonia in hair dye stinks and if you’re breathing those harsh chemicals in, so is your baby. Hair dye and hair bleaching is another topic of pregnancy-don’ts that is debatable, we’re only here to tell you the facts.
There is no scientific research data that proves that hair dye and hair bleach will cause you to miscarry or for your baby to have birth defects or low birth-weights. This is natural as doctors’ wouldn’t group a bunch of pregnant women together and test harsh chemicals on them. However, doctors suggest you should wait until the 12th week is over when the baby’s organs are fully formed. But, as we said what you breathe in your baby also breathes in.
7 Shouldn't Do: Use Chemical Cleaners
Nesting will come and go during your pregnancy but there are other times where you will simply won’t want to get up to vacuum, dust, clean the over and mop your house. These are all tasks that your lovely and supportive honey can do on a Sunday morning before football games start. It’s a win-win situation for everybody, even though he may not feel like it is when you ask to clean.
As we all know, he still won’t get the job done right so you will end up offering to take over because you can do a better job at a quicker pace. Cleaning products are not overly dangerous for pregnant women to use as long as the room is well ventilated, the doors and windows are wide open and you wear rubber gloves. Try to avoid bleach and products with ammonia if you can, and you’ll be golden. The only product and cleaning task that should, at all times, be avoided is cleaning the interior of the oven, as this is a very closed and confined space.
6 Shouldn't Do: Anything That Irritates Asthma
This is a PSA: Asthma is a serious condition that can complicate a pregnancy. In fact, uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy can increase a woman’s chance for high blood pressure and toxemia, and preterm delivery. As for the unborn baby, having a mother with uncontrolled asthma can risk the baby for stillbirth, low birth weight, growth retardation and preterm delivery.
Some women will experience an improvement in their asthma, or it may worsen, or it may stay the same. It may also worsen at the 6th month mark. Controlling asthma flare ups with inhalers will be encouraged by your OB or midwife.
So stay oxygenated ladies.
5 Can Do: Drink Those 8 Glasses A Day
You may feel like avoiding drinking liquids throughout the day and night, just because you’re too tired and heavy to get up to go to the bathroom again, but staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do and one of the easiest things you can do to lower your chances at complications.
Stay away from sugary drinks and soda pops, and aim towards more H2O. Dehydration can cause preterm labor and, in turn, result in birth defects. It can also cause a poor breast milk productions, can cause complications in the placenta and amniotic sac.
4 Shouldn't Do: Wax The Downstairs
Making sure that you schedule an appointment for your bi-weekly bikini wax at a reputable and clean spa is the most important of making sure your areas are well groomed. For the women who may not want to shave once their bellies have outgrown their ability to see past their belly buttons, they may opt for a wax even though their skin is much more sensitive than it was pre-pregnancy. If this is the case, use a soothing lotion before your wax session and afterwards as well. For those with extremely dry skin, that may also be irritated, try using the soothing lotion and regenerating serum that can be found at most spas.
3 Shouldn't Do: Suggest Going For Sushi
Here’s another debatable pregnancy do and don’t. However, as times have evolved and so has research, your younger doctors will advise you that it’s safe to eat sushi, depending on the type of sushi and fish that it contains.
But, of course, we’re here to bring on some tips on how you can safely eat your favorite sushi (except those who love tuna or oily fish, sorry you’re still out of luck.) If you’re a fan making homemade sushi, freeze your fish for at least four days before making your perfect sushi roll. Also, if you’re running out of time and picking up a quick lunch at the newest sushi pop up shop down the street, it’s generally safe to eat as they receive their sushi from a third-party supplier, which mean the sushi initially underwent freezing beforehand. If you’re a lover for sushi containing shellfish, stay clear from raw shellfish but anything cooked, seared or charred is safe to eat.
2 Shouldn't Do: Carry Your Own Shopping Bags
Women have been told to avoid lifting heavy items for forever now and this study has not changed. I know it and you know it - that lifting heavy items during pregnancy can lead to complications that could have easily been avoided. It could also create hernias which is absolutely unpleasant and potentially dangerous in pregnancy.
It may be tempting to run over to Target and Costco for the latest fall decorations and baby outfits, but be realistic about who has to hoist the packed bags into the shopping cart, then the car and finally into the house.
1 Should Do: Sleep On Your Left Side
We quickly touched base on sleeping on the left side, but we felt we needed an entire section devoted to this and the importance of sleeping on the left side. Sleeping is made to relax your mind and body and regenerate you to be your best and functional self the next day, but sleeping during pregnancy is next to impossible. Perfecting your sleeping position will be crucial for you to do early on, before it’s too late.
In fact, sleeping on your back could stop blood flow to your heart, and that’s not good. As opposed to sleeping on your right side, which has no scientific proof that it’s harder to sleep on your right side, it just seems as though women find the left side more comfortable. We all have our own ways of sleeping and finding comfort, so if it feels better to sleep on your right side, there is nothing to stop you from doing so.
References: americanpregnancy.org, thebump.com, babycenter.com, romper.com, webmd.com, parents.com, babycenter.com, todaysparent.com, babymed.com, thebump.com, babycentre.co.uk, huffingtonpost.ca, webmd.com, babycentre.co.uk, acaai.org, thebump.com, nhs.uk, americanpregnancy.org, livescience.com, americanpregnancy.org, parents.com, fitpregnancy.com