When it comes to the wonderful world of pregnancy, the list of "dos" and "don'ts" can seem endless. For every "must do" suggestion a pregnant woman receives, there are at least three more things that she can't.
The first trimester is famously loaded with "no-nos." Everything from caffeine to conventional medicines to sushi gets the red light once those two pink lines show up on the pregnancy test.
The third trimester has just as many forbidden things as the first trimester does, though!It might even have more. As a woman moves further along in her gestational period, the list of things to avoid grows almost as rapidly as her burgeoning belly does. While it isn't always easy or fun to have to miss out on activities that mom has become used to doing, it's often for the best. Here are twenty things that should cease once a woman reaches the thirtieth week of pregnancy.
Just because the end is in sight doesn't mean the rest of the pregnancy journey is a stroll down Easy Street. This is merely the universe's way of preparing moms-to-be for a lifetime of sacrifices and selflessness.
21 Steam baths and sauna stints
Nothing relaxes a tired mama like a nice soak in a tub or twenty minutes of peace and silence in a sauna. Unfortunately for pregnant ladies entering their final trimester, these options for ending a stressful day are off the table. Both can increase a woman's core body temperature to unsafe levels, putting her fetus in harm's way. If you are genuinely craving an evening soak, make sure you do it in a clean tub full of lukewarm water. It might not be piping warm, but you can rest easy knowing your baby is safe and sound. If saunas are your thing, stick your head over the open dishwasher for a few seconds. That's all you get until your baby is born, ladies.
20 Heavy lifting
It's great to be self-sufficient and able to do things all by yourself, without the help of a man, but when you are in those final months of pregnancy, let your partner do all that heavy lifting for you. Dragging around large, cumbersome objects can cause strain and stress to your back as if you need any more aches and pains! The second time around mamas should encourage their toddlers to walk while holding their hands instead of riding around in mommy's arms full time. Soon enough the baby will be born, and mom will become the Queen of Heavy Lifting.
19 Heavy meals
Some evenings a bag full of cheeseburgers and french fries sounds like pure heaven when you are 30 weeks pregnant. As delightful as a heavy meal seems, they are not the best thing to allow yourself to indulge in when expecting. Because the baby is now sitting low in your belly, unhealthy and heavy meals can wreak havoc on a mommy's digestive system. It's a better idea to choose clean eating options like fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and fiber-rich foods. Do your best to steer clear of the drive-through window. Your body will also thank you for munching on smaller meals throughout the day, as opposed to one giant binge-fest.
18 Any contact sports or activity
If you enjoyed playing a rousing game of field hockey or another intense contact sport like soccer or football before your pregnancy days, worry not my pregnant friend. There will someday come a time that you can again play, but it won't be until after your baby is born. Contact sports and heavily pregnant women don't jive. You don't want to chance taking a hit to the abdomen and sustaining any hurt. At this point in your pregnancy, making sure your baby is healthy and safe is your number one priority. Everything else will have to take a back seat.
17 Flying the friendly skies
Pregnant women fly the friendly skies throughout the earlier months of their pregnancies all the time. Once you hit the thirty-week mark though, your doctor might suggest that you stay close to the ground and close to the hospital that you are hoping to deliver at. When humans fly up at higher altitudes, oxygen can become thinner, causing difficulties in breathing.
If you are getting close to your due date, you will want to remain within your doctor's reach. The last trimester is not the time to jet off to some far away land. Babymoons are cool, but consider keeping them close to home or taking them in the second trimester if possible.
16 Strutting around in stilettos
A lot of women, myself included, love a pretty pair of high heels. Women who work at office jobs might be accustomed to dressing up and slapping the halls with their sky-high stilettos. The thirty-week mark might be a good time to revamp your wardrobe and consider adding a few pairs of kitten heels of flats to the daily outfit.
Not only can a heavily pregnant woman's balance be off, making it easier to slip, trip and fall, but marching about in high heels can cause back pain as well. Pain and danger are two scenarios that you want to stay away from in pregnancy.
15 Sitting for long periods
When I was nearing the end of my pregnancy, all I wanted to do was plant myself somewhere comfortable. I was huge, tired and sore. Sitting around sounded like music to my ears. Sadly, this is not what women should be doing after the thirty-week mark. The recommendation is that women nearing the pregnancy finish line engage in light activity, keeping the blood pumping and the muscles warm and loose. A little stroll around the block can also lift your spirits if you are starting to become frustrated at the ever-growing lost of pregnancy no-nos.
14 Cleaning out the litter box
You don't have to get rid of your furry feline friends when you have a baby on board, but you do have to find a willing friend to help out with the kitty litter. If you are expecting, handling cat litter is off the list of chores for a while. I never minded this particular no-no, I'll admit. Cat litter can carry a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, and that is something that you'll want to avoid like the plague.
Contracting toxoplasmosis can have effects on unborn babies. If you have no one to help you out with this chore, make sure to wear rubber gloves when handling litter issues and wash your hands thoroughly after changing the litter.
13 Skipping prenatal appointments
It might not seem like a huge deal to miss the occasional prenatal appointment early on in your pregnancy, but you will not want to skip those monthly appointments once the third trimester hits. Frequent doctor trips might become daunting once the seventh month rolls around because the monthly appointments become bi-monthly and sometimes even weekly.
As annoying as they are, they are incredibly important. Doctors will monitor both mom and baby as they near their finish line and make sure that no one is in imminent danger. Whatever you do, make it a point to get to these appointments.
12 Relying on Google for your urgent pregnancy questions
It's so tempting to turn to the Internet every time that you have a random question regarding your pregnancy and your baby. Mothers are constant wheels of "what it" and "I wonder what" especially when their babies-to-be are involved. As you move into the seventh month of pregnancy, you will want to direct your questions to your doctor, NOT Google.
Google is great for a whole lot of things, but being responsible for your unborn child's well being is not one of them. Leave the inquiries to your medical professionals. They can be trusted and counted on at the end of the day.
11 Testing out new exercise routines
Many women can continue their exercise routines right up to the end of their pregnancies, assuming they have not developed any conditions deeming them high risk. If a woman was a runner before getting pregnant, then she can likely carry on with her morning jogs. Later on in a woman's pregnancy is not the time to start up a new exercise routine though.
Many doctors won't encourage a woman in her third trimester to adopt new workout routines, especially if the workout routines are physically taxing. That marathon training will have to wait.
10 Sleeping on your back or right side
Sleeping in your third trimester can be a pickle thanks to a kicking baby, aches and pains, heartburn, restless leg syndrome, and insomnia. If you are lucky enough to catch a few zzz's, you'll want to sleep in a particular position come the thirtieth week. Experts recommend that women in their second and third trimester refrain from snoozing on their backs.
Moreover, sleeping on your left side particularly will help blood and nutrients flow to the placenta, helping to nurture your little one. Propping pillows up around you may help encourage your body to stay in position as you sleep.
9 Ignoring kick counts
Once you hit the thirtieth-week milestone, you are pretty used to the punches and kicks that have been taking place in your tummy. They are nothing new at this point, so you might not find yourself paying close attention to them any longer. As you get closer to your due date, you should be doing the opposite!
You'll want to hone in on your baby's kicks. Kick counts should be done at this point in pregnancy because by now your baby has developed kick and movement routines. Time how long it takes to feel ten kicks. If a few hours go by and you are struggling to reach ten kicks, or if your baby's pattern has drastically slowed, consider calling your doctor.
8 Skipping oral hygiene
Even if you are already in bed and too tired to do one more thing in the day, if you forgot to brush your pearly whites, you will have to lug yourself to the sink and get to the oral hygiene immediately. Do not neglect your teeth and gums in pregnancy. Make sure to visit your dentist regularly, because your oral health is directly linked to our overall hygiene.
Of all the times to chicken out on dentist visits, the nine months of pregnancy is not one of those times. Suck it up and get used to doing things you despise in the name of parenthood. This is only the beginning.
7 Shunning vaccines
Doctors want moms to keep up with their shots, in most cases. We understand that as your fetus starts feeling more and more like a real baby, the less you will want to inject anything foreign into your (and their) body. Shots can be unnerving for sure, but so are unwanted diseases. The pertussis vaccine is one particular shot that doctors will urge women to get, come the third trimester.
The flu vaccination is another shot that pregnant women are said to benefit from. These vaccinations are said to protect mom and baby, according to some doctors. Moms should do their research when it comes to any medical intervention, as vaccine are not a one-size-fits-all type of thing.
6 Home renovation projects
If you are all about the paint roller and the sledgehammer, you'll have to consider finding a few more hobbies while you are incubating. Many home renovation projects aren't safe or healthy for women who are past their thirtieth week of pregnancy. Chemical solutions should be avoided, or at the very least used with plenty of adequate ventilation. Heavy duty tools should also be set aside for a few more months.
The third trimester isn't the best time to tackle putting an addition on the back of the house or redoing all the wood floors. Stick to painting the nursery with low odor paints if you have to get a bit creative.
5 Skimping out on daily food intake
Sometimes it can be hard to see your body growing at rapid rates. When the third trimester hits, the baby starts growing quickly and so does mom's belly and other parts of the body. Remember that all this growth is for a good reason. Your baby needs those extra calories to develop and grow properly.
The third trimester is not the time to cut back on food intake in hopes of slowing down the creeping numbers on the scale. If your doctor is happy with growing belly, then you should be, too. Remember, pregnancy is beautiful, and you are lovely, also.
4 Missing out on beauty rest
Mamas... get yourself some rest while you can! While you should not be spending the majority of your day lying on the couch while watching an entire Netflix series, you should be getting some stillness. Running yourself ragged won't do you or your baby any great favors. Once he or she arrives, you'll be plenty exhausted, so don't rush it. You need to gather some strength during these final weeks of pregnancy.
Try meditating, deep breathing, the occasional nap or sitting outside in nature throughout the day. Finding a balance between activity and rest is somewhat of a challenge in the final trimester, but if you can master that, then you can pretty much conquer anything.
3 Ignoring the Kegels
Kegals are a must once you enter the third trimester and ignoring them could leave you with some annoying and embarrassing issues to deal with later on in life. Also known as the pelvic floor exercises, Kegels aim to strengthen the pelvic floor, which will become weakened and stretched out from housing that human of yours. Don't neglect these easy to do exercises or you may end up with a lifetime of urinary incontinence. You'll curse yourself every time you laugh or pee for choosing not to do them in the last trimester, trust us seasoned moms on this one.
2 Neglecting your prenatal vitamins
So you religiously took those giant-sized prenatal vitamins in your first trimester, right? You figure you can maybe phase them out now that thirty weeks came along and your fetus is pretty much fully-formed huh? Think again. During the third trimester, your baby's bones are growing at rapid speed.
Prenatal vitamins give your little one a healthy dose of Calcium and Vitamin D, which are both critical to bone development. They will also provide you with iron, which you need more of as you move further along in your pregnancy. Now is not a good time to give up the daily pill.
1 Mommy and daddy time in high-risk pregnancies
While one on one moments of a particular nature between mommy and daddy aren't an absolute no-go in pregnancy, not all pregnancies are created equally. If a woman has a perfectly healthy pregnancy, her doctor might give her the green light when it comes to behind the bedroom door activities.
If there are any concerns, making her pregnancy a high-risk situation, then those acts will have to sit on the back burner for a few more months. Certain conditions will force mom and dad to remain abstinent for the remainder of the pregnancy. It can be a bummer for both parties, but safety always comes first.
Sources: boldsky.com, parenting.firstcry.com, romper.com, healthline.com