Being pregnant can be used as an excuse to get out of a lot of different physical activities. However, for any expecting mother who hears anyone denying their ability to pull off some amazing feats, pregnant women are far more capable than others may realize.
Despite eating for two and carrying a baby bump, women have fearlessly piloted aircrafts, swum long distances, and even managed to run marathons!
Instead of living in fear about what a woman can or cannot do when pregnant, it is better to do a closer investigation to uncover reality. Some people can still manage to hold onto outdated ideas, even when there are real-life women who have managed to do some of the unthinkable and impossible while pregnant.
Of course, it makes sense for any concerned mother to err on the side of caution, and be mindful of how her activities may impact the health of her pregnancy. It should go without saying that mothers shouldn’t risk the health of their unborn child during pregnancy, by engaging in risky behaviors such as not eating enough, using certain substances, and neglecting to get prenatal care.
When in doubt, expectant mothers should consider consulting their midwife or doctor for a second opinion.
24 Eat Cheese, but not the moldy kinds
Cheese is not only a good source of calcium, but it is deliciously yummy on sandwiches, pizza, fries, or fondue. However, once a mother discovers that she is knocked up, she might be quick to ditch cheese out of rumors that it will wreck havoc on her pregnancy and health.
For starters, soft molded cheeses such as Gorgonzola, Brie, and Roquefort are definitely off the list for moms. Also, any cheeses that are made with unpasteurized milk are equally risky to eat.
Mothers can enjoy chowing down on cheese as long as there is no risk of listeria. According to Baby Centre, mothers can enjoy cheeses like Cheddar, Edam, and Parmesan without much fear. Making sure that a cheese is thoroughly heated reduces some health risks, but not 100%.
23 Travel the world (in her second trimester)
Considering the popularity of taking a baby moon before a mother’s life changes forever, because taking a trip will require special planning and a baby bag, pregnant moms can indeed travel.
However, mothers to be should definitely wise up about some rules to follow when making travel plans.
According to Web MD, the second trimester is the best time for a mother to take a trip. During this time, a mother is less likely to deal with frequent non-stop morning sickness, and the pregnancy is more established.
Of course, mothers should avoid traveling to areas where there is the threat of a virus like the Zika virus, and get clearance with their doctor first.
22 Work as usual
Although it is important for a mother to get adequate rest and stay off of her feet when pregnant, it doesn’t mean that an expectant mother cannot work at all.
Many mothers may work up until the last few weeks or days of their trimester but may make some adjustments for the type of work that they do to stay safe. Re-assignment of job duties may be necessary, as well as scheduling breaks when needed.
According to the Mayo Clinic, women should be cautious about standing or sitting for long periods, as it can impact fluid buildup in the legs and feet. Pregnant women should be aware of their stress levels and feelings of fatigue. It is important to avoid heavy lifting, extreme temperatures, and exposure to harmful substances at work too.
21 Lift Weights
During pregnancy, most women are advised to avoid any heavy lifting, especially because of hormones like relaxin. When the baby bump is stretching out a mother in the front, and the pelvic bones and ligaments become more limber and loose, it is easy to incur an injury.
However, some women manage to defy the typical advice to stay away from lifting weights and stun the world.
Meghan Leatherman of Phoenix, Arizona was a huge fan of Crossfit. She stayed committed to weightlifting and fitness because it made her feel good during her pregnancy. According to Today, while Meghan was in her 40th week of pregnancy, she managed to complete a record 165 pound back squat with no problems.
Meghan later gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
20 Run A Marathon
Similar to lifting heavy weights, most pregnant women wouldn’t dare to think that they could run long distances. However, there have always been exceptions to the rule.
Perhaps, thanks to displays of athletic prowess and stamina from Olympic athletes, more enthusiastic women who run dare to run while pregnant.
According to the Daily Mail, athlete Alysia Montano completed an 800-meter race while 34 weeks pregnant.
Women who are in good physical condition and frequently run, have been spotted completing marathons. According to Runner’s World, at 34 weeks pregnant, lifelong runner Amy Weil successfully ran in her third marathon. Her time may have been slower, but the victory of crossing the finish line was definitely for two.
19 Have a drink (but only certain kinds)
Thanks to a release of information by Harvard, women who enjoy raising a glass may have reason to celebrate.
Although there is no safe amount of alcohol that can be consumed by a pregnant mother, as there are risks of birth defects, miscarriage, or fetal alcohol syndrome, women who are in their first trimester may be in for a shock.
According to a study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, women who drink during the first trimester does not automatically equal delivering babies with low birth rates, premature babies, or an increase in blood pressure problems.
In case a mother is more cautious, it may be better to pass a bottle of non-alcoholic wine, and be satisfied with virgin cocktails until the baby arrives.
18 Wear Trendy Clothes
Mothers who are expecting a bundle of joy in the future can throw out the notion that being pregnant, or a mom, equal nearly a year or more of wearing frumpy maternity wear.
Thankfully, the fashion industry has caught on, and taking a hint that women rocking a gorgeous baby bump want to still look good too.
Women can experiment with wearing wrap tops for nursing, playing around with the volume and draping of tops, accenting a look with accessories, and wearing pants that have give but still fit well.
Maternity wear and flexible clothing for a perfect fit during pregnancy never looked so chic.
17 Take A Mid-term Test For College (While In Labor)
When some women choose to pause pursuing certain activities when pregnant, education is not one of them for one woman.
According to People, 21-year old Tommitrise Collins was in the middle of labor contractions, and managed to still successfully finish her college exams before the baby arrived. Tommitrise was so determined to spend time focusing on her newborn after birth, so she focused on finishing her college exam before her new bundle of joy arrived.
Not only did a picture of this mother go viral, but Tommitrise deserves extra credit for being able to power through a psychology test to boot!
Getting rest and relaxation while pregnant is important. But, being a couch potato and giving into cravings, and avoiding moving because of aches and pains is no good at all.
For a mother to enjoy a healthy pregnancy, reduce stress levels, and improve her blood circulation for both herself and the baby, it is essential that a pregnant woman exercise on occasion.
Low-impact exercise such as pilates, yoga, walking, and moderate aerobics are all safe and pregnancy-friendly forms of working out.
According to Fit Pregnancy, expecting mamas who work out enjoy higher energy levels, may reduce their labor time, and may be less likely to feel morning sickness.
15 Drink Coffee
For a pregnant woman, it has been long thought that drinking coffee was about as bad as drinking a glass of wine. However, studies are showing that women can enjoy getting a caffeine fix when there’s a bun in the oven, as long as they exhibit some moderation with consumption.
According to Today’s Parent, caffeine does indeed show a connection to low birthweight for a baby. But, if a mother can’t help herself for a cup of coffee to boost her energy levels, she should limit her coffee intake to 300 mg a day.
Mothers can also look toward decaf coffee, and other drinks to keep them naturally energized without risking the baby’s health.
14 Can Eat Spicy Foods
When a mother is dealing with vomiting and nausea because of morning sickness, she might not even think of eating anything spicy. And, as the baby bump grows and shifts around organs, eating anything spicy may help trigger additional heartburn and discomfort.
However, eating spicy foods will not necessarily do anything weird to the baby, or cause a baby to be born prematurely, no matter any old wives’ tales that may circulate.
According to New Kids Center, women can enjoy spicy food without complications. But, some women may experience increase tummy troubles or have to make frequent trips to the bathroom because of their cravings.
13 Can Go Swimming (One woman swam English channel)
Going swimming while carrying a baby bump can be therapeutic and relaxing. The bouyancy of the water naturally helps mothers relieve tension, aches and pains because of the weightless feeling.
And in some instances, being pregnant is an excellent time to make history and swim across historic waters.
One lifelong swimming enthusiast, Regan Scheiber, completed a lifelong goal to swim the 25 miles of the English channel While three months pregnant, Regan amazingly managed to swim 9-and-a-half hours between the shores of England until she reached France. She sped through the water, making 80 to 85 turnovers for every minute.
12 Can Eat Seafood (certain types okay)
Thanks to fears about mercury poisoning, and concerns over exposure to harmful compounds such as microplastics in fish because of ocean pollution, it makes sense for many pregnant women to eschew eating seafood.
However, seafood does provide some nutritional sources, such as Omega-3, that can be beneficial for a woman during pregnancy. The important this is to know what type of seafood to enjoy, and which to avoid.
Pregnant mothers may want to stay away from eating raw fish, shark, swordfish, mackerel, and marlins.
According to About Seafood, salmon, cooked sushi, shrimp, and tuna should be a safer bet for expectant mothers.
11 Can Take Medication (over-the-counter/prescribed)
According to sources like The New York Times, some doctors fear that pregnant women may be over-medicating. Taking over-the-counter medication is relatively safe when taken as directed. However, medical professionals do have some concerns about how much, and what types of medications women are taking during the crucial first-trimester.
Of course, women should feel comfortable consulting their physician about prescribed medications when pregnant, in case an alternative should be prescribed to reduce any unwanted risks to the unborn child.
Staying aware of what is in a medication, and how it can affect a child’s development is critical to reducing the chance of birth defects or other health problems.
10 Run A Company As A CEO
Unfortunately, in a lot of industries, the glass ceiling for women can manage to still exist. And especially when a mother is pregnant, the threat of losing a promotion, losing respect to confidently lead a company or questions about whether a mother prioritizes motherhood or work come into play.
Thankfully, some women manage to successfully defy expectations, and have managed to lead a company as a CEO while pregnant.
According to The Bump, CEO and co-founder Talia Goldstein, of startup company Three Day Rule was in need of fundraising. Afraid that she would not be looked at seriously from colleagues, and investors who thought a pregnant woman would cause a business to fail, Talia hid her pregnancy.
Her choices worked out for her, and she proved everyone wrong that she could be successful with a bun in the oven.
9 Climb A Mountain
Getting outdoors to enjoy exploring and fresh air is good for a pregnant mother.
For some women who are passionate about climbing the faces of mountains, being pregnant is merely a bump in their plans.
Being in excellent physical condition has a significant impact on how successful a pregnant woman’s climbing adventure will go. Care should be taken regarding the altitude difference, air quality, and a woman may want to go slowly with ascent and descent.
Lower oxygen levels can have an impact on a baby’s growth and development, and equally affect an expectant mother. According to Fit Climb, hiking at 9,000 to 10,000 feet shouldn’t pose a risk to an unborn child if a mother does not have a high-risk pregnancy.
8 Compete In A Triathlon
The thought of a woman running long distances, pushing her body to the limits physically through challengs may seem daunting enough. Now, imagine that woman is pregnant.
Committing to completing a triathlon of running, cycling, and swimming may seem like the ultimate hardcore exercise in physical fitness. Training for a triathlon is pretty intense and requires focus, discipline, and a good physical condition.
According to Triathlete, women such as Beth Gerdes, have managed to compete in a triathlon while 5-and-a-half months pregnant.
In order to be successful, pregnant women may have to modify their training schedule and approach to stay safe while rocking a baby bump.
7 Fly In An Airplane (And Pilot Too)
If a woman is a first-time mom that is expecting, it is a good time to take a trip before the baby comes and siphons away personal time to get away for a vacation.
There are some restrictions for women flying on airlines, but it is typically limited to women who are late in their third-trimester and are expecting to deliver at any moment.
When it comes to women in the cockpit who are flying planes as a captain, being pregnant can be a tricky thing in the aviation industry. Some women have flown under the radar, unaware that they were pregnant, which helped them keep their jobs.
There are still issues revolving around sexism and being pregnant when an airline pilot or crewmember, and some women choose to hide their pregnancy or may feel pressured to take their leave. Depending on a country’s regulations, as long as a pilot is medically fit, they can fly.
6 Get Pregnant Again (While Still Pregnant)
If a woman or her signifcant others thinks that being pregnant equals not being able to get knocked up, Mother Nature might enjoy throwing a curveball. According to Health, there’s this phenomenon called superfetation. Superfetation means that during the early weeks of a woman’s pregnancy, she may release another egg which can be fertilized if she is intimate.
The condition is rare to happen, but for one 31-year old surrogate mom, she believed twin babies were actually half-brothers.
Studies of this medical phenomenon are scarce because of limited cases of superfetation happening. Typically, only mammals like minks or badgers have a history of this taking place.
5 Wear High Heels
Celebrity mothers can be seen daring to wear high heels in the name of fashion, despite rocking a baby bump. Wearing high heels when pregnant is not outright dangerous, but if a mother’s balance is already off because of a baby bump at the front, a tumble and fall when wearing towering heels could prove problematic.
Women who are in their first trimester may still flirt with heels. However, according to sources such as Mom Junction, wearing heels can encourage cramping in the legs, further throw off a mother’s center of gravity, and may exacerbate back pain.
Wearing shorter heels or sturdier heels may be a safer bet for expecting mothers, and it is still fashionably chic.
4 Have Private time With the Significant Other
When there’s a growing baby bump and hormones are fluctuating, a pregnant mother may not feel up to spending any intimate time with a significant other. If a woman lives in fear of experiencing the rare phenomenon known as superfetation, it is even more understandable why a pregnant mama doesn’t want to risk getting close.
However, spending close time with a significant other, getting hugs, massages, or other forms of affection may help a pregnant woman reduce stress levels, relax, and feel loved.
Depending on how a mother feels about her pregnancy and provided she is not high-risk for miscarriage or other health conditions, personal levels of comfort will dictate what is acceptable or not in her relationship.
3 Eat Pineapples And Papaya (in moderation)
Eating a varied diet that is filled with fruits and vegetable for a rich source of nutrients is essential to a healthy pregnancy. However, some fruits may get a bad reputation because of the fear that they can cause a miscarriage.
According to sources such as Healthline, pregnant women can eat papayas and pineapples. But, during pregnancy women need to be aware of the type of fruit they choose to eat and how much. Ripe papayas are okay for a pregnant woman to eat, but unripe papayas are not.
Pineapples contain a compound called bromelain, which can lead to abnormal bleeding. In order for a pregnant woman to incur a miscarriage from eating pineapples, she would have to eat nearly 10 entire fruits!
2 Keep the pet Cats (just avoid litter)
Mamas who are cat lovers, but also have a bun in the oven, may have heard that it’s bad luck to touch felines. However, time spent cuddling with or petting an animal can help bring comfort and reduce stress levels.
One reason that cats get a bad reputation with pregnant women is because of their litter. Pregnant mamas can most certainly enjoy handling a cat without worry, provided they steer clear of cat litter. The reason? Cat litter may contain parasites that can cause infections and deformities in unborn babies, and make mom very sick.
Toxoplasmosis is a rare thing for a mother to contract. But, to be on the safe side, expectant moms should wash their hands after handling a cat according to Baby Med.
1 Take A Bath
Some women may freak out about taking a bath when pregnant, in fear that somehow the bathwater will reach the baby in the womb. Showers can be a little tricky and require a slip-proof bathmat, and preferably an extendable shower hose and nozzle for bathing hard to reach places.
However, pregnant women can definitely take a bath safely, as long as some precautions are taken.
According to VeryWell Family, pregnant mamas want to avoid taking very hot baths, as it can inadvertently cause the baby’s body temperature to heat up to dangerous levels. Additionally, moms may want to avoid using bath oils which can make things slippery and to avoid bathing if the water is broken.
References: CBS News, First Cry.com, Glamour, Top Tenz, Ultra Running, Shape, The Bump, Baby Centre, Bon Appetit, Web MD, Mayo Clinic, Today, Daily Mail, Runners World, Harvard, People, Today's Parent, Fit Pregnancy, New Kids Center, Health, Left Seat, New York Times, The Bump, Fit Climb, About Seafood, Daily Local, Very Well Family, Baby Med, Self, Healthline, Mom Junction