Most women have an idea of what they should (and should not) do while pregnant, and the list of such things can appear to be endless. However, what is clear is that moms need to make some adjustments so that they can safeguard both their health and that of the baby to improve their chances of carrying the pregnancy to term.
Soon-to-be moms should especially be mindful of the tiny human being developed inside them by checking what they eat and how they carry themselves because these will most likely affect the baby throughout pregnancy and after birth.
It's perfectly normal for moms to want to play it safe and avoid everything deemed harmful during pregnancy, but most of the "don'ts" out there are pure fiction. In fact, pregnant women should continue performing their day-to-day activities unless otherwise advised by their doctor. Moms should do their own extensive research and put their worries to rest, although it is always a good idea to check with the doctor just in case.
Keeping those prenatal checkups is very important because it gives the doctor an opportunity to monitor the development of the pregnancy. They are also able to catch a problem early and advise accordingly.
Moms-to-be reading this should get their pen and paper ready as we are going to make work easy for them by listing down 20 surprising things pregnant women can continue doing while pregnant!
20 All Those Rules For Sleeping
Expectant moms have difficulties finding comfortable sleeping positions. It is okay for them to sleep in whichever position they feel is most comfortable. Before the bump starts to bulge out, doctors allow moms to sleep on their bellies, according to BabyCenter. There are mattresses that even have perfect cutouts that can allow them to continue to sleep on their tummies.
However, as the belly grows, moms will even find it uncomfortable to sleep on their tummy and will resort to sleeping on their backs or sideways. Doctors do not recommend that moms sleep on their backs starting mid-pregnancy because the bump normally puts pressure on a large vein that contains very important fluid for the baby.
19 No Coffee For Nine Whole Months? Really?
In general, an expectant mom can have all the coffee she wants, but the US College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists differ with this generalization to some extent. These professionals claim that moms can have a cup of coffee but no refills. Going over 200 milligrams a day can be risky for the baby because coffee has a relationship with low birth scales and loss of babies in early pregnancy, as claimed by What to Expect.
Mom should also note that coffees are caffeinated differently; a cup of one brand may contain more caffeine than of another brand. They should also avoid foods that contain coffee like certain chocolates. Moms should also note that decaffeinated drinks are not always caffeine-free.
18 Being Pregnant Doesn't Make You A Vampire
Although it might feel great, pregnant women should not bask in the sun for long hours. The heat of the sun increases their body temperatures making them more easily dehydrated which is a serious symptom of preterm labor.
However, a little bit of sunshine is okay. Sunlight exposure supplies mom and baby with a dose of vitamin D, which is essential for bone creation in the baby’s body, according to Parenting First Cry. However, moms should not stay too long outside because their skin is sensitive and can easily get sunburnt. They can use sunscreens like physical blockers to reflect harmful rays.
17 Poor Pregnant Woman Needs Help Lifting Every Little Thing
Being pregnant is not an inability, moms can lift things and move them from one place to another. Lifting stuff during pregnancy is unavoidable for most of the moms but knowing the limits is important. According to Livestrong, pregnant moms should also take note that they are not of the same physique; some can lift relatively heavy objects while others will require assistance to do so.
Nevertheless, moms should always ensure that they lift items correctly to avoid hurting their backs. They can do this by squatting to pick an item rather than bending down for it. However, as the bump grows moms should try to avoid heavy lifting and request for assistance.
16 You Don't Have To Endure Your Dental Problems Until Baby Is Born
It is important to have regular appointments with a dentist and more so when one is expecting. In fact, dental cleaning and annual checkups are greatly recommended and especially when one is pregnant. A woman’s gums are usually sensitive during pregnancy because of the increased flow in her body. A number of women complain that their gums bleed a lot when brushing their teeth.
Going through dental works like cavities, fillings, and crowns treatments in advance help to reduce chances of infections but it is ideal for moms to push such procedures further into the future. Dental works like teeth whitening and cosmetic procedures should wait until mom gives birth to avoid exposing the baby to any unnecessary risks.
15 Can We Change Our Hair Color At All?
For the longest time, moms have been banned from changing the color of their hair or applying permanent chemicals when pregnant but now most doctors think moms can use dyes or chemicals in their hair as long as they wait until their first trimester is over. By then the development of most of the baby's organs is notable. Chemicals found in dyes are not highly toxic and are therefore safe to use when pregnant.
According to What to Expect, a little of the chemical used in dyes can be absorbed through the skin but it is not normally enough to harm the baby. However, even though they are not harmful, moms should take extra precaution and opt for highlights or lowlights, which can be done without reaching the scalp.
14 You're Not Bound To One Place, Mama
During pregnancy, many women find it challenging to travel because of the accommodations they have to make, but generally, moms can travel. For most women, traveling during pregnancy is safe as long as mom and baby are healthy. Moms can even travel until they are 36 weeks pregnant.
However, a majority of airlines prohibit women from traveling after the 36th-week. A majority of pregnant women prefer going on vacations in their second trimester when the morning sickness has subsided and when they are not too heavy. What to Expect reminds women that they should wear support stockings when traveling because of the possibility of clots and swelling.
13 When #SelfCare Is Life
Contrary to what people say, pregnant moms can go to the spa although there are some treatments they should not have during this time. Jacuzzis and heated saunas are off-limits during pregnancy. Today's Parent points out that anything that can cause a mother’s temperature to rise is risky for the baby.
Moms can get massages to help relieve pregnancy-related aches and pains but they should avoid deep tissue massages, full-body massages, and body wraps. They may skip many skin procedures because of skin sensitivity but beauty treatments like facials, pedicures, and manicures are okay. Moms should also look for spas that specifically cater to pregnant moms.
12 Guess There's No Excuse For A Messy House Anymore
Expectant moms can clean around the house as they'd like. Most cleaning products are safe for use during pregnancy and moms should therefore not abandon their chores. However, according to American Pregnancy, some cleaning products have smells that can trigger nausea, so moms should avoid using them or have the room properly ventilated beforehand.
They can also wear protective gloves and clothing to protect the skin. However, as the belly grows moms should avoid some household task, especially those that require bending and heavy lifting. If mom needs to fumigate, she should hire a professional and stay away from the house for a few hours until the task is complete.
11 Go Ahead And Indulge
One thing that ranks high on the list of foods pregnant women should not eat is seafood. Expectant moms can indulge in seafood but to some extent. In fact, according to Healthline, different kinds of seafood are rich in vitamins, minerals, iron, and omega three acids — all of which the baby needs.
Moms should always ensure that they only eat properly cooked seafood. They should avoid fish with high levels of mercury like tuna, shark, tilefish, and swordfish. Sushi that includes vegetables and cooked seafood is okay as long as they do not have any fish that contains mercury. Moms should avoid raw meats at all cost.
10 Don't Have To Give Up This Fridge Staple, Either
Moms can indulge in dairy products while pregnant but as is the case with all other foods, they should be cautious. They should only have products made from pasteurized milk and avoid any products made from milk straight from a cow or goat.
Dairy products are a good source of calcium, essential proteins, and minerals, which are all important during pregnancy as they help in baby development. Unpasteurized milk can cause listeria, a foodborne bacterial illness that can lead to preterm births and other complications according to Mayo Clinic. Therefore, moms should also avoid cheeses and dairy products made from milk that contains these bacteria.
9 Weird Hobby, But Okay
Carrying a pregnancy is hard work, and all current and soon-to-be moms deserve medals for it. However, as they carry out the noble task of preparing to bring new life into the world, a pregnant woman can have fun with her bump by painting it into whatever she wants.
Some creative moms have painted their bumps to look like their favorite cartoons, maps of places in the world, or even an image of a baby inside the womb. The important thing to note here is that moms should go for body paints that do not contain toxic elements in them — especially lead. Parenting Squad recommends moms to make their own paint at home using things around the house.
8 Take Your Prescribed Meds
Getting sick while pregnant is almost inevitable and sometimes moms may need meds to help them feel better. Although not all prescribed meds are safe to use when pregnant, moms sometimes can take small doses in the course of their pregnancy. Doctors can always advise on the meds that are safe to take and which ones are not.
Meds for treating minor ailments like; colds, headaches, heartburns, allergies, constipation, and rashes are safe but it should be taken after consulting with the doctor. Nevertheless, pregnant women should avoid any meds that can affect the baby, especially during the first trimester because this is the most sensitive time for development, as claimed by March of Dimes.
7 Eating Weird Food Combinations Is Weird, But Okay
Many people find it strange that pregnant women can eat weird food combinations. This is because of the many cravings they get while pregnant. As stated by Romper, it is normal for pregnant women to eat weird food combinations.
The weird thing is that the majority of them tend to crave the same things. According to The Sun, many women have revealed they crave bananas on toast, garlic mushrooms dipped in custard, noodles with yogurt, and grated carrot mix with ketchup. One other thing they have in common is a good number of them craving ice cubes and having them throughout their pregnancy.
6 Turns Out You're Allowed To Move!
Doctors warn moms about the dangers of doing strenuous activities while pregnant but, surprisingly, pregnant women have permission to work out. However, moms need to make a few changes to their normal workout routine and pick exercises that do not strain the abdomen region.
It is important for them to discuss with the doctor what workout routine they intend to undertake. The level of exercise recommended will depend on the mother’s fitness level before pregnancy, as claimed by KidsHealth. Working out while pregnant has many benefits such as helping mom feel energetic, preparing her for labor and delivery, and helping her regain her pre-pregnancy body quicker.
5 Your Paycheck Doesn't Have To Take A Hit
It may seem impossible for moms to work until they reach their due date but, surprisingly, some do it. If a woman still feels energetic, nothing should stop her from working until she goes into labor especially if her job is not strenuous. Many moms prefer doing this so that they can save their maternity leave days for when the baby arrives, according to Verywell Family.
Some do it for financial reasons especially if their maternity leave is going to be unpaid. Working until the last day is always up to the individual, some mothers are not able to cope with pregnancy and work until their due date. They may have high-risk pregnancies or other complications that may hinder their work.
4 Your Fashion Doesn't Have To Suffer
For the longest time, the maternity clothes in the market were dull, oversized, and boring, which do not need to be the case. Moms would buy regular clothes several sizes too big to accommodate the bump but this meant that the arms, legs, and shoulder would not fit. Fortunately, the pleas of trendy moms have fallen into the right ears.
Surprisingly today, expectant moms can dress fashionably without feeling uncomfortable in their clothes. Maternity clothes can accommodate the growing bump and be fashionable at the same time. Whether mom is carrying high or low, small or big, they can find maternity clothes that flatter their beautiful shapes as pointed out by BabyCenter.
3 Growing Life Outside The Womb
As fascinating as it is for a woman to grow an actual human being inside her, it is possible for her to bring even more life into the world by planting a garden in the yard. A soon-to-be mom can plant a garden for fun, for the fresh food that she truly needs at this time, and for the therapeutic benefits of watching plants grow.
Since some gardening work can be tedious and lead to serious issues with their growing bumps, professionals encourage moms to do light gardening, especially after the first trimester. Furthermore, Gardening Knowhow encourages pregnant women to avoid gardening when it's really warm outside, to drink lots of water, and to avoid handling any chemicals during this time.
2 Soaking In The Tub
Many expectant moms know they should avoid soaking themselves in bathtubs especially if the water is too warm. Others just opt to refrain from doing so because of the dangers of slipping when getting in and out of the tub. However, moms can get a good soak but should avoid staying for more than 10 minutes in waters of temperatures higher than 102.2 degrees, according to BabyCenter.
If the water temperature is below 100 degrees, mom can get a good prolonged soak. To prevent slipping, a safety bar can be installed which she can use to safely enter and get out of the tub.
1 Having Some Privacy With Their Partners
Pregnancy hormones can make moms experience all sorts of emotions but this should not stop them from having some private time with their partners. This is great news, especially for men, because some moms often refrain from such moments out of concern for hurting the baby, yet it would take quite a lot to hurt the baby in such a case.
The amniotic sac, the strong muscles of the uterus, and the mucus plug that seals the cervix against infections completely protect the babies, according to What to Expect. However, the couple should be cautious and avoid positions that can strain the belly, since the mom's level of comfort is very important.
Sources: kidshealth.org, babycenter.com, healthline.com, verywellfamily.com, tommys.org, whattoexpect.com, todaysparent.com, romper.com, thesun.co.uk, parenting.firstcry.com, livestrong.com, mayoclinic.org, marchofdimes.org