Being pregnant is hard, and sometimes it takes a village to get through it. Between the exhaustion, the morning sickness and the way the baby bump gets in the way of things from driving to picking up something heavy, moms-to-be need a helping hand, and they shouldn't have to feel guilty about asking for help.
There are regular tasks that pregnant women need help with — from changing the cat litter to getting on a ladder to get things out of the attic. But when there are complications, it's definitely time to ask for help. A woman on bedrest has to do all that she can to keep her baby healthy and growing, and that might mean she can't cook meals or even get up to get herself water. But her baby needs those nutrients, so she shouldn't feel bad putting her feet up and letting someone help — most family members and friends are happy to do it if it means that the mom and baby have a better chance at health. In this report, we've also included some times when it's imperative that a woman calls the doctor or rushes to the hospital to get help, as that can make all the difference in a safe and healthy delivery. Some women might hesitate, but she shouldn't feel bad about getting help when she needs it.
Here are 20 times pregnant moms should ask for help without feeling bad.
20 When She Can't Keep Anything Down
Morning sickness is a fact of life for about half of pregnant women. It's a notorious symptom in the first trimester that leaves some women feeling queasy and others losing their lunch. For some women, it's a lot more than a rush to the toilet in the morning; it's an all day, everyday sickness that interferes with all parts of life and leaves a mom-to-be feeling so bad that she can't keep anything down. In those cases, it's not only OK to ask for help — it's a necessity. Moms need to stay strong while their babies are developing, and the most severe form of morning sickness, called hyperemesis gravidarum, can leave women dehydrated. Princess Kate had to be hospitalized because of her severe nausea during two of her pregnancies, and we should all take a lesson from her. When a mom can't keep anything down, she shouldn't feel bad about seeking help.
19 When She Has A Really Bad Habit
There are three habits that can really hurt the baby during pregnancy — smoking, doing drugs and drinking in excess — and all three are really difficult to stop. All three are linked to severe birth defects, premature birth and even heightened risks of miscarriage and stillbirth because the toxic elements in them can cross over the placenta to the baby. The best time for a woman to quit smoking, drinking or doing drugs is before she gets pregnant, since the habits can cause problems even in the first few weeks of pregnancy before a woman realizes that she is with child. But if she finds out she's having a baby first, it's very important to do what she can immediately to stop. Most of the time, the best way to do that is with some help. Doctors can recommend programs that can help with smoking, and detoxing from drugs and alcohol can be dangerous without medical supervision. For the health of the baby, it's important to ask for help right away.
18 When She Needs A Nap
This next item doesn't have the severity of some of the times that women might need to get help, but it's still a big problem for pregnant women and one that they shouldn't be ashamed of asking for help. Exhaustion is one of the first signs that a baby is on the way, and when mama needs a nap, she shouldn't hesitate to ask for a break. We understand that this might be impossible in the office, especially since many women don't want to tell their bosses during the first trimester when the exhaustion is at its worst. But when she gets home, it's perfectly acceptable to ask your partner to fix dinner so you can rest. There's no need to apology for skipping out on a Saturday shopping trip with friends if you need a nap. Sometimes it's the most important part of the day.
17 When She Craves Something More Than Weird
Pregnancy cravings are an unusual and interesting part of the first trimester and beyond. A dad-to-be will laugh when his wife wants pickles in her ice cream or ketchup on her bacon or some other really weird combination. Usually those cravings are strange but not a problem. But some women end up suffering from a very dangerous form called pica. They might crave things like charcoal and soap, coffee grounds or even cigarette ashes. While some people think that pregnancy cravings are related to a need for a certain vitamin or mineral in the body, pica might be related to a mental or physical illness. Women who are craving something that is not food need to talk to their doctor, as these cravings should not be fulfilled.
16 When She Gets Anxiety
Every mom worries. It's just a fact of life. But for some moms-to-be, things can go beyond the typical worry over baby kicks and testing. Between 5 and 16 percent of pregnant women suffer from an anxiety disorder during pregnancy or in the postpartum period, according to Psych Central, and if it is left untreated, there is a risk for the mom and the baby. Stress can be harmful for the baby's development, and women could be at risk for post-traumatic stress symptoms after they go through childbirth. Anxiety has been linked to premature birth, which comes with a host of short-term and long-term struggles for the baby. It's OK to ask for help, and doctors may be able to prescribe medication or offer therapy that can make a big difference for the mom and the baby.
15 When The Cat Litter Needs Changing
There is one common household chore that can be really dangerous for pregnant women. It might not seem like a big deal, but changing the cat litter while pregnant can cause problems. With a weakened immune system, the mother can pick up toxoplasmosis, a common ailment caused by a parasite that can be found in cat feces. The illness can be passed on to the baby via the placenta, and that can cause birth defects or even miscarriage or stillbirth. While adults can usually combat the disease with no problem, it can have a devastating impact on a pregnant woman. That's why a mom-to-be shouldn't feel bad about asking someone else to do it.
14 When She Needs Something Done With A Ladder
When a woman is pregnant, it's best that she keep both feet on the ground. Her center of gravity is off, and she is probably more clumsy than usual. But it's not good if a mom-to-be falls because that could cause more problems than a sprained ankle. In the worst case scenario, the placenta could detach from the uterine wall, which would be devastating for the baby. So anything that requires a ladder is something that a woman should definitely ask for help on. That even includes using a footstool to get something off the top shelf in the pantry. During pregnancy, it's better to ask for help than to be sorry.
13 When She Can't Get Up
At the end of pregnancy, it can be kind of hard to move around. The belly changes everything, including how a woman walks and how she gets up from bed or from the ground. It can be difficult, so moms shouldn't feel bad about asking for help to get up. A mom-to-be might have a hard time because her abs might even separate a bit during the pregnancy. She needs a hand to give her the momentum to lift up. Or if she gets on the floor to play with older kids, she might find herself needing a boost. After that, she's fine, but it's better to ask for help than to be stuck.
12 When Contractions Come Too Early
Babies need nine months in the womb to fully develop, but for many reasons sometimes labor begins before the baby is considered full term at 37 weeks. If the contractions start too early, then a mom-t0-be should definitely call the doctor right away and get to his office as soon as possible. Thanks to medical advances, doctors might be able to stop the contractions with medication, and if not, they may be able to give the mom steroid injections to help boost the baby's lungs, as they are the last organ to fully develop. Because of the risks — which can be devastating if the baby comes before the 28 week mark — it's best to seek help right away.
11 When Her Tooth Hurts
Pregnancy is a condition that impacts the entire body. It even effects the teeth of a mom-to-be. And while a lot of moms tend to try to manage their aches and pains during pregnancy, it's a good idea to seek out help. Women have an increased risk of tooth decay during pregnancy. That may be partly because a mom-to-be indulges in sweets, and morning sickness can increase the amount of acid in the mouth that washes away the enamel that covers the teeth. Some women also get pregnancy tumors on their gums. Conditions like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia can also contribute to the issues. It's important to continue to have good oral hygiene during pregnancy, and if your teeth hurt, it's important to seek help from the dentist.
10 When The Nursery Needs To Be Painted
Many moms want to set up the baby's nursery before they reach the end of their pregnancy, as the third trimester nesting sets in. But they shouldn't feel bad for asking help to paint the nursery because they should definitely sit that one out. While the research is spotty, most house paints include petroleum-based chemicals that can be harmful when they are inhaled. They could expose the baby to a risk of miscarriage, birth defects or learning problems, although according to Baby Center, most moms will be fine if they choose to paint. We don't think it's worth the risk, especially since painting a room often involves getting on a ladder as well. Just ask for help and leave this task to someone else.
9 When She Swells Up
To a degree, swelling is normal in pregnancy. Some women are likely to retain water, which leads to swelling in hands and feet and maybe even the rest of the body. Most of the time it's harmless, although it can mean that a mom-to-be really wants to put her feet up after a long day of standing. The problem with swelling comes when it's really excessive and comes on rapidly. Along with high blood pressure, headache and protein in the urine, severe swelling can be a sign of preeclampsia, a condition that can be fatal for the mom and baby unless the baby is delivered quickly. If it seems like too much, call the doctor immediately. A woman shouldn't feel bad about checking out a strange symptom, especially when the baby's life or their own could be at stake.
8 When It Gets Too Hard To Drive
This doesn't happen to every pregnant woman, but some find it difficult to drive at the end of their pregnancy. They have to adjust the seat to make room for their belly, which makes it harder to reach the pedals, and the range of motion of the arms is also hindered. At that point, it's definitely time to ask for help. And pregnant women shouldn't feel bad about it. After all, their precious baby is so close to the air bag that it's safer to become a passenger for a while, even in the back seat. It might be a little tough to manage schedules for a few weeks, but if the baby is safer, that's a great thing. And you can always call an Uber.
7 When She Needs Something Heavy
Moms do some heavy lifting as part of their job. But with a couple dozen extra pounds in the middle, it's a good idea to leave the boxes and bags and other heavy things to someone else. According to American Pregnancy, lifting can be a problem because of the way the baby is already pulling on the abdominal muscles and the hip joints are loosening to prepare for the baby. After the first trimester heavy lifting could lead to premature labor, although some women who already lift as part of a workout routine might be OK. Otherwise, it's time to ask for help, even if it means asking a stranger to grab the bag of dog food for you at the store.
6 When She's On Bedrest
There are a variety of reasons that women go on bedrest during pregnancy, and all of them mean that the health of the baby is at stake. From premature labor to blood clots or placenta issues, a woman needs to pay attention to the doctor's orders and do all that she can to relax and give the baby time to develop. That means that she is going to need help with getting meals and other daily tasks done. It's OK to ask for help. In fact, this is the time when most family members want to band together for the sake of the baby. It's not too much of a burden, and it's all with a mindset that there will be a new member of the family in the end.
5 When She Needs Some Baby Lessons
For some women, having a baby is so scary. That's because they have absolutely no idea what to do with a newborn. They need information on everything from how to change a diaper to how to hold the little one. And breastfeeding has its own challenges. No matter how many books you read, it can be difficult to get a handle on what to do. A mom-to-be shouldn't feel bad about asking for help from a friend or loved one — or even signing up for a class, which many hospitals host. The need for lessons comes from a desire to be the best mom for the baby, and we admire anyone willing to study up beforehand. Some things can only be learned by doing them, but it's a good thing if a mom does her best to prepare.
4 When She Can't Stop Itching
When you are pregnant, your skin stretches, especially over your belly. That can leave a mom feeling itchy at times. But when she can't stop itching, it's definitely time to get help and get help fast. The symptom could be a sign of intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, which is a liver condition that can mean that their baby is not getting healthy blood from her. It can lead to stillbirth, so a mom shouldn't feel bad about getting help. There are some medications that can help with the condition, and if not, the baby might have to be delivered early. But that is better than losing the baby because you were afraid to ask for help.
3 When She Gets Sick
Getting sick while pregnant is no fun. And it can also be dangerous for the baby. According to WebMD, a mom-to-be should call the doctor any time she has a fever that goes over 100 degrees. That's especially true in the first trimester, when the baby's organs are developing each day. It's also hard because moms might have to skip many medications that can help other people get better because of the possible impact on the baby (anything for congestion is off limits). The best thing a mom can do when she gets sick is to rest, so she may little choice but to ask for help. But it's definitely worth it.
2 When She Thinks Something Is Wrong With The Baby
We are full believers in mother's intuition. Yes, pregnancy is a process that no one can have a complete understanding of, even if they have gone through it a few times. But if a mom feels in her heart that something might be wrong, we believe that she should call the doctor immediately. Even if she arrives at the hospital only to be checked and sent back home, she shouldn't feel bad about it. She needs to trust her instincts because we would never want her to regret not following up on them. It just might mean saving her own life or the life of her sweet baby.
1 When Her Water Breaks
It can be hard to figure out when to get to the hospital during labor and delivery. Many midwives and doctors recommend staying at home until the labor has reached the stage where contractions are regular and the cervix is dilating, and hospitals might even turn away a mom whose labor hasn't progressed to the active stage. But once the water breaks, that's certainly a time to get help. For most women, the water will break sometime during the active labor stage, and sometimes the doctor or midwife has to break it for them. A smaller fraction might have their water break spontaneously. Doctors want to make sure that the baby is born within 24 hours of the water breaking (unless it happens really early and they are able to stave off labor for a time) because of the risk of infection after that point. That might mean that induction drugs are necessary, but it's safest to follow the doctor's recommendation and get any help you need.