Pregnancy is a wonderful stage in a woman's life, at least it should be and could be. Whether she are pregnant on purpose or not, there are many advantages to be grateful for, other than the most obvious one of a precious new baby in her life. This mom believes that the miracle of pregnancy and bringing a child into this world is the greatest experience a woman can have.
The thought of being pregnant can be daunting even for experienced moms. There are definitely lots of changes looming, but the good things can outweigh the not so good if mom lets them and focuses on them. Moms should embrace the changes in her body and her life for a healthier, happier pregnancy. Her peace of mind and the physical and mental health of the unborn baby depends on it.
Instead of dwelling on all the things mom cannot or should not do while pregnant, she should start considering all the annoying and frustrating things she can stop worrying about for at least nine months. Believe it or not there are lots when one starts looking for them. Some of these things are quite obvious, others not so much. This list might remind readers of a few they had not yet considered.
15 Keeping Up High Standards
Because you are so tired when pregnant and need to sleep more, lowering your standards for cleaning and cooking is perfectly acceptable and understandable. These standards are much easier to maintain when you only have yourself to consider. As soon as you are pregnant, you have much more important things to concentrate and focus on.
If you live with someone that stresses about things like household chores, encourage them to step up and pick up the slack. Don't be a martyr, get (ask for) help. Others may not do these chores quite the way (as good as) you do, but stop worrying about that. Sometimes when a partner feels left out with the obvious changes in a pregnant woman, adopting a nurturing and helpful attitude is the best way to cope. That's a win-win solution!
14 Wearing Baggy Clothing
When your waistline starts to expand don't worry about giving in to the much more comfortable (if less fashionable) solution of wearing baggy clothing. Who knows if the sensation is merely psychological or not, but it seems like the moment you know you are pregnant the waistline of your pants and skirts starts to bother you. The skin around your waist gets itchy and waistlines feel tight even if they do not yet look too tight.
Maternity clothes these days are much nicer than they used to be. Rather than the tents women used to be stuck with when pregnant, maternity wear is currently more fitted to show off their baby bumps instead of hiding them. Although this option is encouraging and liberating, believe it or not, baggier clothing can be fashionable too. It's the confidence you wear it with that counts.
13 Getting Along With The Mother-In-Law
One of the best things about carrying your mother-in-law's grandchild is that she will be indebted to you forever. That means you can stop worrying about getting along with her. If she offers you advice and you like it, take it and use it. If you hate it or think it's antiquated or both, realize that it's coming from a good and positive place, and delete it from your brain. Because your MIL wants nothing but the best for her grandchildren, it should go without saying that she wants nothing but the best for you too.
The fact that she gave birth to your partner or baby daddy means she has some good qualities. The reverse applies too. The fact that her son chose you to be the mother of his child means he (and indirectly your MIL) must believe you have good qualities too. Because she loves her son, and her unborn grandchild, she will soon love you too. That's what mothers do.
12 No Shame In Napping!
Just thinking about all the cells that are multiplying frantically in the miraculous process that is called pregnancy can make you exhausted. Don't worry about feeling excruciatingly tired when you are pregnant, it is perfectly normal. Not only is it normal, the tired feeling should be indulged by napping whenever you can.
A tired mom is a cranky mom and a potentially unhealthy mom and baby. Lots of rest is important for your peace of mind as well as your physical health and the health of your baby. Think of it as nurturing yourself and your baby.
Getting a good night's sleep may be close to impossible when pregnant. This is especially true in the later stages when a big belly and the urge to head to the bathroom every few hours dictate your sleeping patterns. If you are not getting a good night's sleep, and even if you are, napping whenever you can is still acceptable.
11 Constant Contraceptive Concern
Starting with one of the most obvious ones, it is highly doubtful that anyone ever misses their birth control, regardless of what contraceptive device or method they used. It is no secret that birth control can be expensive, complicated, downright annoying and sometimes even unhealthy on a long term basis. When a woman is pregnant, her ovaries stop releasing eggs, meaning she cannot get pregnant until her ovaries start releasing eggs again. This egg suppression is controlled by elevated levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone while pregnant. These hormones return to normal levels after delivery causing the menstrual cycle to resume.
Giving up birth control for at least nine months is a huge advantage for pregnant moms and dads. Extending this luxury for even longer if you breastfeed exclusively is even more enticing
10 The Pesky Time Of The Month
Going without suffering through a period for at least nine months is a huge bonus of being pregnant. Some lucky women (I have yet to meet one of these women, but am told they are out there) barely notice their periods, but many others are annoyed every month. From cramps and migraines to ruined clothing to the mood swings associated with PMS, menstrual cycles can feel like a punishment.
The scientific reason periods or menstrual cycles stop while pregnant is because the uterine lining normally shed each month is required to protect and nurture the growing embryo. Progesterone production normally (when you are not pregnant) drops off mid cycle causing the uterus to slough off its lining. However, when pregnant, extra progesterone is secreted causing the uterine lining to thicken instead of shed. The human body is amazing isn't it?
9 Eating Whatever You Want
Being pregnant is a great excuse for eating whatever you want, whenever you want. Whether or not cravings for certain foods is an old wives tale or not, indulging yourself somehow feels acceptable while pregnant. Your partner may also feel the need to indulge your eating habits because you are carrying their child. They may even gain weight themselves.
Of course there is a limit to what and how much you can actually eat, but the boundaries are much more flexible when pregnant. For some reason, probably related to the fluctuation of hormones happening in our body, some foods are much tastier and more desirable than others. Some foods you enjoyed when not pregnant may turn your taste buds and stomach completely off. Others you would not have considered eating when not pregnant may all of a sudden be your favourites. Whatever brings you comfort is the norm now, although nutritional value is still important if not more important.
8 Mood Swings All Over The Place
Everyone knows pregnant women are famous for their mood swings, especially during the first three months and the last three months. That only leaves three of the nine months where they are not so common. If you are feeling moody, don't worry about it, own it! Instead of trying to control the mood swings, learn how to manage them.
The main cause of these mood swings is the elevated levels of hormones progesterone and estrogen circulating in your body. The thing is you cannot do much about your hormone levels so don't worry too much about them. The stress of worrying about them might make you moody.
Other causes of mood swings include fatigue and stress. Get plenty of rest, make sure you are eating well and try to avoid stressful situations. Discuss your concerns with friends or your doctor to avoid worrying. Light exercise such as walking or yoga are also helpful to regulate mood swings.
7 Tying Shoes
Another very obvious but not often thought about thing you no longer have to worry about when pregnant is tying your shoes. As your belly grows you will be amazed at how far away your feet appear to be and just how hard they are to reach. Your feet and lower legs may be swollen too making shoes with laces or boots with zippers uncomfortable to get on and off or to wear for long stretches of time.
This is not nearly as important in summer when you can slip on sandals or even go barefoot. No worries there. The winter months however can be a bit trickier, especially if you live where sandals and bare feet are no longer good choices.
Slip on shoes and boots will be your answer in colder weather. Or, you can always enlist the help of your partner to worry about tying your shoes or zipping up your boots. Don't worry about what the shoes or boots look like, you won't be able to see them anyway.
6 Getting On The Scale
Quit worrying about the numbers on your scale. In fact, put it away, you will have to stand on one at your doctor's office often enough. It's not about the numbers. When pregnant, your body has a funny way of telling you what is healthy and what is not including the number of pounds you gain.
Every woman and every pregnancy is different. Some women gain more early in their pregnancy, slowing down in the later stages. Others barely notice a difference within the first months, adding their weight at the end. Some women only gain twenty pounds, others gain closer to eighty. Some look like round bowling balls, others like they just swallowed a beach ball. The point is your doctor will worry about what is right for you and your baby. So, quit worrying about it. It is one of the many things you have very little or absolutely no control over.
5 Doctor's Visit Nerves
Usually when we go to visit the doctor there is something wrong with our health and we expect to hear bad news. Not so when you are pregnant, so nothing to worry about. In fact many women actually enjoy their visits with their baby doctor (gynecologist or obstetrician or both).
You get updates on the health and size of your baby which can be very exciting for you and your partner. Modern technology makes it possible to view your baby on a TV like screen. You can see baby moving around or perhaps sleeping. Not to mention you can see if baby is a boy or girl. If you do not want to know the gender of your baby ahead of time, don't look too hard. Some parents discover they are expecting twins when they see two babies on the screen.
4 Spending Money
Everyone knows babies cost money, so stop sweating about spending it. Of course there is a limit to what you should spend while you are pregnant, especially as your baby is still not born yet. It is true that babies can get along with the basics in clothes, furniture and toys, but that will change as they grow. You have the next eighteen years at least to spend your money on this child. Be prepared and start a baby fund before you start a family so you won't worry as much about spending money,
You are also allowed and should be encouraged to spend money on some nice maternity clothes especially if you are working outside the home. Once again, you might have a budget to stick to, but stop worrying about it. You could always sell your maternity clothes when you no longer need them. There are consignment shops that specifically take in and sell maternity clothes, especially work clothes.
3 Taking Time Off Work
Enjoy whatever time off work you can get as a maternity leave without worrying about your job. If you do not enjoy the company of your boss or coworkers or both, this is a perfect time to stop worrying about that issue. Take a reprieve from that stressor in your life.
If you are fortunate enough to enjoy your work including your boss and coworkers, you still deserve time off to spend with your newborn baby. Don't fall into the trap of feeling guilty for taking time off work. Believe it or not, the work will get done even if it is not done as well as you would do it yourself. If you are lucky you can get back to it when you and your baby are ready. If not, it was not meant to be, but you will find something else.
2 Hosting Dinner Parties
If you have always hated and dreaded hosting dinner parties or family gatherings, this is your chance to bow out gracefully. Don't worry about offending anyone by not taking your turn or being too tired to host dinners or gatherings of any kind. Other moms will understand. If you enjoy hosting, do it, on your own terms, and don't be afraid to ask for help. No one expects you to be Martha Stewart, especially when you are pregnant.
Similar to the way all women carry their babies differently in pregnancy, all women have different strengths and weaknesses. Some women enjoy and look forward to hosting guests, others shy away from it. Some women are good cooks, others burn water. Don't waste any time worrying about things you don't enjoy. In other words, don't sweat the small stuff.
1 Going To Bed Early
Another common occurrence when pregnant and something you should not worry about or apologize for is heading to bed early. Fatigue is a common complaint with pregnant mothers, so indulging in extra sleep is as common as it is important. The more rested you are going into your delivery, the easier your delivery will be. Fatigue is also known to play a large role in postpartum depression, something no mother wants to experience.
Napping is different than getting a good night's sleep. Although naps can help with the fatigue common to pregnancy, a good night's sleep is more important and beneficial. This is because your sleep at night is generally deeper and more restorative. For this reason, aim to get to bed early every evening especially when fatigue is weighing you down. This is especially easy to do when you are pregnant with your first baby. It gets a little trickier to manage, but is just as important with subsequent pregnancies.