Pregnancy is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting and challenging experiences a couple (but most especially, a woman) will ever go through. As soon as anyone learns that their friend is expecting a baby, the first reaction is joy and celebration, because it is exciting to bring forth life. However, behind closed doors, every couple knows just how tough it is to take care of a pregnancy to term, and how even more challenging the delivery and the many years after that are.
The sad thing here is that although all women, even those who are yet to give birth, know just how challenging the nine months are, but some still make it even harder. Most of the women who end up having pregnancies that are more challenging than normal usually have a small role to play, though this is not to claim most of them bring the challenges upon themselves.
Some women, especially those with medical conditions, can only seek assistance from doctors or other women with more experience, and the challenges they face only need managing from a medical standpoint. However, some women go through challenges most people know are unnecessary, owing to their ignorance or genuine lack of knowledge in matters concerning pregnancy.
Here are 20 things many pregnant women do that end up making their pregnancies unnecessarily challenging.
20 Exercising Too Much
Pregnancy is already difficult on its own because of all the body changes. But some women can make it unnecessarily challenging by working out too much especially if they were not fitness diehards before pregnancy. Pregnant women are encouraged to do mild exercises like walking, jogging, and swimming.
Prenatal exercise is not a bad thing. It does a pregnant body good for a lot of reason but if done too much can cause harm to the unborn baby. Working out too much can strain body tissues and muscles causing unnecessary challenges. No matter how fit a woman is, it is important to get a doctor’s approval before embarking on any kind of fitness while pregnant.
19 Let Themselves Be Affected By Peer Pressure
Pregnant women are increasingly feeling the pressure to conform to peer pressure at a time when baby gains and body changes are not only normal but are also part of helping the baby grow. There is no doubt that social media platforms are putting pregnant women under pressure to look perfect.
Succumbing to peer pressure are some of the unnecessary challenges pregnant women put themselves through. People's lives on the Internet are just carefully constructed highlights they choose to share and not their realities and women should avoid making self-comparisons and putting pressure on themselves. Also, not all body types are the same.
18 Not Learning As Much As They Can About Pregnancy
Pregnancy gives rise to a multitude of questions and choices which most women are curious about. Pregnant women undergo a lot of changes and if they are not continuously educating themselves on what is happening to their bodies, their pregnancies can be unnecessarily challenging.
Some women don’t want to learn about pregnancy and birth because of worries and negative stories but also not knowing can lead to anxiety. Certain things can happen to them and they have no idea why. Educating oneself on prenatal and postnatal care is sure to help prevent complications and give women the information they need about important steps they should take to keep their unborn baby safe and make sure that the pregnancy remains healthy.
17 Overworking Themselves
Working too much is one of the things pregnant women do that can make their pregnancies unnecessarily challenging. Some pregnant women bite more than they can chew in the name of being independent. They feel they can do it all. Some jobs can be too physically strenuous or toxic for women to perform during pregnancy.
It's usually difficult for pregnant women to accept they cannot be as active as they were used to and trying to keep up only makes things harder. Overworking themselves can put them at risk of fatigue, stress, and dehydration. Pregnant women should avoid overworking themselves. If they really need to perform a task, they should take breaks in between.
16 Not Avoiding Nausea Triggers
Morning sickness is usually one of the biggest challenges for women during pregnancy. Morning sickness is usually nausea that typically occurs in the first few months. It affects very many women during pregnancy. After a few weeks of experiencing it, most women will be aware of what triggers their nausea.
Not staying clear of anything that triggers nausea, can make pregnancies unnecessarily challenging. If a pregnant woman knows that that smell of eggs or meat can trigger her nausea, then she should stay away from it just until the morning sickness fades off. Instead, they should focus on alleviating the symptoms.
15 Not Taking Prenatal Vitamins
As part of prenatal care, pregnant women should always take prenatal vitamin and supplements needed for fetal development. No matter how healthy their diets may be, it is very important to take the pills. Some, refuse to take this medication, which can make their pregnancies unnecessarily challenging.
Prenatal medication usually supplies the baby with the necessary vitamins and minerals they require to grow. Pregnant women should also eat healthy to add on to their nutrition level. Skipping prenatal medication is not advisable as it prevents birth defects or irregular baby development. Pregnant women should ask their doctors which prenatal vitamins are best for them.
14 Wearing Tight Clothing
Another reason why women make their pregnancies unnecessarily challenging is by wearing tight clothing. Pregnancy can cause a woman’s body to change shape and size until the baby arrives. While pregnant, a woman’s circulatory system is already burdened, and the last thing they should do is restrict themselves by wearing tight clothes.
During early pregnancy, a woman’s blood vessels expand, in preparation for the increased blood volume that develops to provide for the baby. Tight clothes can cut off blood circulation and create numbness in some areas. Pregnant women should opt for loose and comfortable clothing instead. They should buy clothes that will be able to accommodate the growing bump.
13 Eating Spicy Foods
A woman’s diet during pregnancy is of utmost importance. Some women are addicted to spicy foods and foods that give them gas which can cause unnecessary challenges during pregnancy. Despite the myths, spicy foods are usually safe for the baby but they can make a woman really uncomfortable especially if she is not used to them.
Pregnant women are more vulnerable to acidity and gas, therefore, should avoid spicy foods. When a woman eats more spicy foods than her body can handle, she is sure to develop digestion issues and this will trigger heartburn-related problems which can be a nightmare for her. If possible she should avoid spicy foods at all costs.
12 Staying Up Past A Reasonable Bedtime
Sleeping while pregnant is sometimes challenging but we cannot overemphasize the importance of resting properly enough. Pregnant women who usually stay up past their bedtime and need to be awake at the wee hours of the morning make their pregnancies unnecessarily challenging.
Poor sleep among pregnant women can adversely affect their health. It may reduce the amount of growth hormone released leading to developmental problems for the unborn baby. Pregnant women should get at least a minimum of seven hours sleep every day. Anything less will definitely make pregnancy difficult. Investing in a good pregnancy pillow helps mom-to-be relieve some of the belly discomforts and catch on some good sleep.
11 Wearing High Heels
Wearing high heeled shoes when pregnant can cause unnecessary pregnancy challenges that can be avoided. Shoes that offer little support to the body during pregnancy can definitely make things harder. Some women do wear these heels through their nine months but doctors strongly advice against it.
High shoes put a woman at a risk of falling, which can be dangerous especially with a growing bump. They also can cause back pains as a result of altered postures. When expectant, support should always be prioritized over style. There are a lot of shoe options that are cute and comfortable. Also, pregnant women tend to experience swelling on their feet and comfortable shoes come in handy at such times.
10 Not Being Active
The combination of morning sickness, exhaustion, hormonal imbalances and growing a little human can urge a pregnant woman to stay in bed all day but this should never be the case. Not being active can lead to unnecessary pregnancy challenges. Moving around improves blood circulation and alleviates fluid retention.
Being active does not necessarily mean exercising. Running an errand and taking walks is definitely better than being a couch potato in the house. Also, being active helps relieve those annoying pregnancy symptoms. As a precaution, physical activities should be limited to things which will not be harmful to the unborn baby.
9 Caring Too Much About How She's Changed
Gaining too much during pregnancy can be a problem but also the flip side can be even more dangerous. But most women are never okay with gaining even half a pound, pregnant or not, it's all they think about. Gaining during pregnancy is inevitable. Pregnant women should just ensure they are gaining the right amount and not necessarily eating for two.
Obsessing over these changes can make pregnancies unnecessarily challenging. What pregnant women should do is to try and manage it instead by eating healthy, being active and avoiding fatty and sugary foods and drinks. Pregnant women should also ensure they stay hydrated. Eventually, the excess comes off after birth.
8 Not Attending Regular Checkups
Prenatal care is very important for expectant women and should be taken seriously. Regular check-ups are usually to monitor how the mother-to-be and the baby are fairing on and if they are progressing as should be. It is also an opportunity for the doctor to answer any questions and concerns the mother has about her pregnancy.
A lot of women skip on regular prenatal checkups which can definitely cause unnecessary challenges during pregnancy. With regular doctor’s visits, women can reduce the risk of developing serious conditions and monitor the baby’s health. As a bonus, soon-to-be mothers also get a lot of advice that can make their pregnancy easier.
7 Not Eating Right
Some pregnant women can opt to indulge in foods that are a complete no-no for them. Eating foods like raw fish and caffeinated drinks can make pregnancy unnecessarily challenging. It is safe to eat foods consisting raw fish when you are not pregnant. But this should be avoided when expectant.
Occasionally, raw fish contains bacteria which can cause illnesses that are life-threatening to the mother and the baby. During pregnancy, a woman’s immune system is usually suppressed making her more susceptible to food-related illnesses. Some fish should be avoided even when cooked because they contained high levels of mercury which can affect the baby’s growth.
6 Being Too Hard On Themselves
Pregnant women can sometimes be too hard on themselves. They may be eating right; taking their prenatal vitamins, going for check-ups, and doing everything their doctor advice but still feel they are doing something wrong. Such women tend to make their pregnancies a little challenging which can lead to stress and anxiety.
It's understandable for expectant women to want the very best for their unborn baby. Pregnancy is something new especially for first-time mothers and they may be afraid of doing anything that can jeopardize the baby’s health. As long as the doctor says everything is okay, there is no reason for moms to be hard on themselves.
5 Continuing Bad Habits
Some women find it difficult to break bad habits that may not have seemed like a big deal before they got pregnant. These bad habits are not only unnecessarily challenging to pregnancies but can also be very risky for the unborn baby. There are well-known risks caused by common vices.
Smoking during pregnancy can cause a baby to be born too early or have low birth size. Some women even cause more permanent negative outcomes. Babies born to women who indulge in their vices are twice as likely to be born with certain birth defects. Continuing such habits when pregnant is putting the baby in harm's way and giving up the habits is the only way to go.
4 Not Preparing For The Baby
Some women think they have a lot of time to prepare for the baby before its arrival. But nine months can pass by so fast especially with all the fatigue and nausea that are the result of being pregnant. Not preparing for the baby in time can make a woman’s pregnancy unnecessarily challenging.
Clothing, baby items, and diapers should be bought and furniture fixed to avoid anxiety and stress especially when the due date is around the corner and mom does not have sufficient baby supplies. Soon-to-be moms need to start preparing for the baby as soon as they enter their second trimester. This reduces a lot of last minute hassles.
3 Letting The Body Overheat
There are lots of ways pregnant women can overheat their bodies. Going for sauna and Jacuzzi treats, tanning or staying for long periods under the sun. Pregnant women should avoid overheating their bodies as tends to make their pregnancies unnecessarily challenging. Overheating poses danger to the baby and can result in hyperthermia.
In worst cases, the baby can even develop birth defects. Moms think visiting the saunas or taking hot bathtub soaks will help them relax, but in the real sense, the activities can raise their temperature and lower their blood pressure, which in turn affects the baby. The womb temperature is just perfect for the baby’s growth and development.
2 Worrying About Personal Appearances
Women, in general, have a specific beauty regime that involves trimming up around the bikini area every once in a while during bath time. But when they become expectant, this regime becomes a little difficult when pregnant because they are not able to see or reach downstairs with the growing belly. Shaving during pregnancy is unnecessarily challenging.
Yes, no woman wants to show her unkempt area to a room full of doctors and nurses, but the truth is, they have seen it all and could care less. Shaving while pregnant is not a one-person job and it is recommended that your partner should help out. If one must shave, they should look for safe ways to do so, like waxing. Laser hair removal and some chemicals are not safe for pregnant women.
1 Fighting With Loved Ones
Couples get into fights a lot and conflicts don’t cease to exist when a woman gets pregnant. A lot of things can cause couples to fight which can make pregnancy unnecessarily challenging. They can fight over baby names, cravings, hospitals, dishes; they can fight over just about anything which can cause anxiety and depression to the mother.
The shouting and yelling can be harmful to the mother. It can cause headaches, distress, cramping, and in some cases premature labor. Normal arguing will not cause any harm, however, the couple must always avoid excessive arguments. Couples should look for peaceful ways to resolve arguments for the sake of the mother and baby’s health.