Pregnancy comes with numerous rules and for the women who have been waiting for years. Even for those who just discovered their maternal instincts, these rules can be overwhelming. They can turn a situation that was meant to be totally joyful into one full of anxiety and in some some cases, sadness.
While some of these pregnancy rules are meant to safeguard the baby and the mother-to-be, most of them are nothing but myths and old wives tales that have been passed from generation to generation. Doctors will also give the expectant mother the dos and don’ts of pregnancy the very first time she comes in for her first prenatal visit.
The rule book on pregnancy keeps growing larger and larger, making pregnancy a time to be cautious and full of trepidation. If it is not the chemicals in the air, it is the chemical in the food and if it does not rule over mom's lifestyle choices, it rules over her health. Mothers who have been there know that these rules are not carved in stone. Even though it is not advisable to break too many of these rules too often, one can get away with breaking a few, but only with good reason.
20 Don’t Go on a Cruise After Week 24 of Pregnancy
This is a great rule and we advocate it because as much as cruises are fun, having a child in the middle of nowhere is not fun and even if the child can be named Sailor, labor and pregnancy can be unpredictable. The rule can be broken though in case the mother wants to say, celebrate something on the open sea or has a once in a lifetime opportunity to go on one of the grandest cruise ships of the century.
To do this though, she needs to get clearance from her doctor and ensure that there is an onboard doctor on the ship she will be taking. It may also be a good idea to go on a cruise ship with frequent stops just in case.
19 Eat a Hot Dog
For those who have been there, we all know those cravings we get for things we otherwise would not have taken a second look at. There are those of us who get midnight cravings for hot dogs and fries, while others crave for sand or cardboard.
For those who get the hot dog craving, doctors’ advise that women should avoid processed foods and that any meats should be well cooked to ensure that it does not come with bacteria that can harm the baby. An occasional hot dog will do no harm as long as it is well cooked. To make sure of this, making a home-cooked hot dog will appease a moms craving while eliminating the danger.
18 Beauty Products with Chemicals
It is quite hard to find a beauty product that comes without chemicals; from the shampoo to the soap, to the lotion to the lipstick. Having to completely overhaul ones beauty regimen can have some devastating effects on the skin, not to mention the pocket. Unfortunately, Phthalates, as well as formaldehyde and everything else in between, can be found in your favorite perfume and that signature scent may need to become a thing of the past.
According to Babble, "With my first pregnancy, I read every single label for everything that touched my skin and hair. This time, I chilled out a bit. I definitely still exercised caution with certain beauty products."
17 Lose it After the Baby is Born
Doctors recommend that a woman should try as much as possible to gain moderate weight as the pregnancy progresses. It would, therefore, defeat logic to tell a woman to lose weight while pregnant. The rule is to try and lose the weight after the baby is born, but that rule can be broken.
A pregnant woman can put measures in place to lose the weight, but remain active and ensure that even if she does gain weight, it is in the right places. Exercise during pregnancy is not for everyone, but for those who can do it, ensure you are safe and keep at it.
16 Buy a Pregnancy Wardrobe
Wearing constraining clothing during pregnancy is not advisable and women are advised to dress for the pregnancy. This is because tight clothing tends to make a woman light headed, not to mention uncomfortable. Getting that baggy t-shirt or that free-flowing maternity dress may be a good idea, but this rule can be broken.
If your pregnancy is not big and you can still fit in your regular clothes, then save the money for when the baby comes as nothing says a pregnant woman has to wear maternity clothes. JJ Heart Blog recommends saving on maternity clothes and spending more on nursing clothes. This is subject to your comfort as being uncomfortable in pregnancy is not a good idea.
15 Wear Nursing Bras
Mom gets pregnant and suddenly she can no longer wear her Victoria Secret bras and has to go shopping for nursing bras because the rulebook says, "buy nursing bras." During pregnancy, the girls tend to get bigger and fuller and for most of us who have buds for girls, that is a great thing.
Unfortunately, this means that the bras we have no longer fit and they start to dig into our backs or interfere with our posture. In this case, getting a nursing bra is a great idea. Sometimes though, that lacy cute number can serve as a nursing bra as most bras are made in such a way that they can act as regular bras and still serve as a nursing bra.
14 Rock the Bump
There is a new rule in town rocking the bump. The likes of Khloe Kardashian made pregnancy glamorous and most of us wish we could look half as good when not pregnant.
The number of Instagram postings these days glamourizing the bump are so many that most women feel the pressure to conform and rock their bump too. Even when they feel less than glamorous and even when all they want to do is don that tee and lie on the couch. This is one rule you most definitely can break. If you are pregnant and do not feel like having that photo shoot or wearing that slinky dress, then girl, don’t.
13 Take the Glucose Test
Most of us hate taking tests, not only because most of them come with very bad side effects, but because they are quite constraining on the pocket. Some pregnancy tests are important, but there are those tests one can get away with not having.
On Babble, one mother says, “I didn't take my glucose test. It made me feel horribly sick during my last pregnancy, so instead, I opted to buy a cheap glucometer at the drug store and take my blood sugar levels for a week along with journaling my meals. I actually thought this was much more helpful. My blood sugar levels ended up being slightly on the high side of normal, but nothing worth stressing over, and it helped to see what foods triggered my higher numbers which help me make better diet choices now.”
12 Skip Your Prenatal Vitamins
Every mom knows not to break this rule, as not taking these vitamins and supplements can result in some rather devastating outcomes for the baby. Because we all love our children, seeing a child grow with a birth defect and feeling we caused it can be quite heartbreaking. One does not, however, have to take the prenatal vitamin every day, especially for those who get nauseated.
According to Bundoo, “It’s true that prenatal vitamins are important, especially since many American diets fall short when it comes to the nutrients a pregnant woman needs to keep her and her baby healthy. However, skipping them occasionally is OK and will not cause any harm.”
11 Have an Occasional Glass of Wine
Pregnant women are advised not to indulge in alcohol as alcohol dependency can lead to a lot of birth defects and brain and development defects for the baby. Doctors advise pregnant women to go cold turkey until the baby is born for those who do not plan to breastfeed. For those who plan to breastfeed, the wait gets a lot longer.
The good news is that an occasional glass of wine is not bad and this rule can be broken, but not often. If you are having an awesome baby shower, then having that one glass of wine with your friends will do no harm as long as you do not take a second.
10 Eat for Two
Or at least one and a half people. Most women can hardly keep anything down. Not the supplements and not the meals and for some, the nausea is so bad that even the water won’t stay down. Most mothers know that as the pregnancy progresses, one is supposed to eat a lot more than they used to and to gain a healthy amount of weight.
Eating for two or at least one and a half is recommended, but this does not mean that one has to eat all the required calories all at once. Eating small meals throughout the day will still cover this rule and hey, if one wants that second helping of cake then, by all means, break the rule.
9 Take a Break From Your Workout
The rule in earlier years was to keep our legs up now that we have a baby in the bun. As the years went by, doctors discovered that inactivity was leading to a lot of lifestyle diseases, not to mention preventable issues during pregnancy and birth. These days, the rule is to keep exercising in pregnancy and the benefits for this are many.
Pregnant women who exercise gain the recommended amount of weight, find labor a lot easier and are able to snap back faster and without much fuss. This does not mean that one has to keep exercising even when she feels tired. If your body can’t take it then put your feet up and enjoy the rest.
8 Drink Coffee
Caffeine has been labeled baby's enemy right from when he is in the womb and even when he is breastfeeding. Mothers are warned to ditch this delicacy for the sake of their babies and a mother who indulges in a cup feels guilty and spends months scared she may have caused some harm to the baby.
Too much caffeine comes with side effects, but a small cup of coffee a day will do no harm and if one is addicted to the stuff or if it is what helps calm your tummy, then this is reason enough to break the rule.
7 Sleep on Your Back or on the Right
‘Sleeping on the side,’ or SoS is the one rule we all lay down for each other in pregnancy forums and even our OBGYN tells us that sleeping on the side increases blood flow to the fetus. So we struggle to follow this rule even when we cannot find a comfortable position for a restful night. The situation is even worse for those who are used to sleeping on their back.
According to Baby Center, while it is true that sleeping on the side increases blood flow, sleeping on the back, in most average pregnancies will cause no harm. The number of women who experience lightheadedness lying down is few and so if you cannot sleep and your back is the only comfortable position, occasionally taking it will do no harm.
6 Change the Litter Box
Bundo reminds us that pregnant women are advised not to change the cat litter so they can reduce the chances of exposure to toxoplasmosis. The good news is that if the cat is an indoor cat, this rule can be broken.
If you are alone in the house and your cat's litter box is full, it is quite unhygienic and it can lead to a lot more infections for you and your family if you were to let it sit there. Giving away the cat just because one is pregnant is not an option as cats are a woman's best companion and she can actually be of help to her emotionally during pregnancy. In such a scenario, wearing gloves, a mask and cleaning your hands thoroughly afterward is considered a risk worth taking.
5 Skip the Childbirth Class
Most women are career women who have jobs that call for them to be there 24/7, if not physically then electronically. The birth class is a good way to prepare for the baby and it helps a woman know what will happen and what to expect and how to cope. As useful as these classes are, motherhood is something that sometimes requires one to get the hands-on experience to fully get the concept.
Missing the birth classes due to life pressures will not make one a bad mother. Either does it mean that she will not be able to go through labor and breastfeeding? The world is interconnected these days and birth classes can be streamed online or substituted with books and tales from mothers who have been there.
4 Go in Hot Tubs
Most of us didn't even know that this was a rule and was caught by surprise when we found out while seated in one. Hot tubs are not recommended for pregnant women since their core body temperature should not be raised too high. If you have a young one or are in a family outing with your kids, then joining your child in the hot tub for ten or so minutes with the temperatures a little lower will not do any harm.
As much as one is pregnant, there are others members of the family to consider. Children especially tend to feel jealous of expected babies and they need to be shown that no matter what happens, mommy will still be a mommy and can still do all the fun things with them.
3 Dye Your Hair
Some of our spouses have no idea what our natural hair color is. There those who are hung up on blondes and who think that it is our natural hair color while others are into brunettes. For some of us, our hair color is our image and brand. Hair dye comes with chemicals that are considered harmful, but this danger is not as profound.
Our image is quite important to us and just because we are pregnant does not mean we want to feel less attractive than we felt prior to the pregnancy. Dying the hair once or twice will not cause any harm and if one wants to keep rocking her blond locks, then crack open the bottle and dye on.
2 Skip the Veggies
Veggie after veggie and even more veggies. Mom is expected to get as many nutrients as possibly naturally and the best way to do this is to indulge in all the veggies in the world. For mothers who were healthy going in, skipping veggies for a day or two will not do any harm.
For those who truly require all the nutrients pumped into the body all at once, it is recommended to eat as many vegetables as possible. This does not mean however that one should push themselves too hard. If you cannot stomach another veggie, then skip the veggies for a day or two and try to get your badge another day.
1 It Took 9 Months to Gain and Will Take 9 Months to Lose
Every new mother is told not to worry about the weight. It will go away on its own and it will take time to bounce back. After all, it took nine months to gain it. Every mother is different and everybody is different. Just because it took nine months to gain the weight, does not mean that it has to take nine months to lose it.
It will take whatever time mom decides it to be; nine days or nine years. Gaining or losing weight or the time frame to do the same will only be dictated by the mother and losing it in one year or two or two weeks is entirely up to her. If you can break the nine-month rule, more power to you.