Most pregnant women don’t want to be seen as patients and would despise being treated as such. It can be extremely irritating if you have a partner who fusses over you too much, however, in contrast, receiving the least amount of attention during pregnancy can leave you feeling a bit neglected. It's nice to be considered and pampered from time to time rather than left to cope, but that doesn't mean most women want or need to be smothered.
Pregnancy is physically and emotionally exhausting, but women would have a less stressful experience if a lot of the annoying chores and responsibilities were attended to. Unfortunately, this isn't always possible, but when the opportunity for help does present itself, women should take full advantage of it, so that they can get as much rest as possible in time for the birth.
What follows is a wish list of expectations which should be met for and by pregnant women. Pregnancy isn't an illness; it is a special and unique time that deserves some extra attention.
7 Gorgeous, Comfortable and Sexy Clothing
The main problem in the later stages of pregnancy is finding clothing that fits well and is above all, affordable. This can be difficult to achieve if you don't want to break your budget by buying specially designed maternity clothing, but still want to look stylish. When people buy clothes and underwear for pregnant women, they choose comfort over style. Women can find themselves inundated with huge granny pants and bras thought to help them stay comfortable, but which often have the opposite effect.
When we put on weight we tend to buy bigger clothes thinking that they will be more flattering on a larger frame, but the opposite is usually true. Swamping the figure in baggy clothing can leave you looking shapeless. Underwear should be fitted well to keep you comfortable and create the best silhouette for your outfit. There are lots of items that adapt to a pregnant figure, are comfortable to wear and look great.
- Stretchy Woolen Jersey Dresses
These dresses flatter a baby bump and are very easily wearable. They are comfortable without being frumpy and can be matched with accessories or worn casually.
Leggings used to be frowned upon by some as looking a bit cheap and nasty, but that is mainly because a lot of people weren’t wearing them right. If you find a pair that fits you and are in a comfortable material, they can be an essential part of your wardrobe during pregnancy.
- Shift and Empire Line Dresses
Both dresses are extremely flattering whether or not you are pregnant. They maintain shape while allowing room for your growing bump. They can be dressed down with a cardigan and boots or dressed up with accessories and heels.
6 Food Cravings and Delivery Service
Sending your significant other out for food to satisfy your cravings can become a military operation. The specifics involved, including sourcing a particular brand of potato chips or added extras for a takeaway, can and often do get forgotten. Time delays in getting your order can often result in heated arguments between couples over the strangest of culinary requests.
Cravings don’t usually last past pregnancy but at the time they control your thoughts and behavior to the point where you see no problem in sending your partner out at midnight to find pickled eggs. When you're pregnant, a fondness for vinegar and chocolate with every meal, or other unusual mixtures, can become all-consuming. However, most women would consider that in light of what they have to put up with, a gherkin and chip sandwich is not too much to ask for.
Check Out Restaurants in Your Area
A catering business with a larder containing a variety of tastes and condiments would still be sure to fall short of the requirements of a pregnant woman's appetite. If such a business did exist it would be in high demand, but until then there is always a willing partner to send out in rush hour traffic for liquorice and peanut butter.
However, you may want to check whether any restaurants in your area cater specifically to pregnant women. The Doraku, a Japanese restaurant in Miami Beach at one point offered a meal for $25 that was free of sushi and included banana tempura and vanilla ice cream. The T'ang Court Restaurant in Hong Kong were charging £40 for a meal that catered to pregnant women and included diced cod, asparagus and tofu, and other dishes designed for each trimester to maximize nutrition.
There are less costly ways of having your pregnancy tastes catered to and many restaurants will be willing to make alterations to a meal or even create a dish from off the menu. You could speak to your local pizza place about whether they can order in and add specific toppings to your pizza.
5 Massage Therapy On Demand
Whatever stage of pregnancy you're in, as soon as the aches and pains set in and you can no longer reach for pills, a massage becomes an excellent alternative to relieve pain and discomfort. However, accessing a decent pair of hands to work on your shoulders and back is not always easy. Some partners are excellent at giving massages and know just the right amount of pressure to apply, although the experience can be over prematurely due to complaints about their own aching limbs.
Amateur masseurs often complain after about half an hour and those who are more willing are often too heavy-handed. It's great if you have a partner or friends and family members prepared to massage you, but you may want to consult a professional first who can advise you on the safest way to administer a massage in pregnancy.
Benefits of Massage Therapy
Massage therapy can help alleviate stress, increase circulation and help reduce nerve pain. It's advisable to invest in a session with a professionally qualified massage therapist. Opt for a Swedish massage that involves long strokes rather than deep tissue massage.
4 Friends Who Understand You
When you need to sound off about the trials and tribulations of pregnancy, it's extremely important to be surrounded by friends who understand where you're coming from, and who you can turn to for support. Non-pregnant friends are an excellent source of relief and relaxation from the seemingly constant reminder of your condition. It is also nice to chew the fat with pregnant friends who understand exactly what you're going through and are experiencing similar feelings of anxiety and excitement.
Pregnant women attract a lot of commentary and judgment from all areas of society whether in a news story about consuming alcohol in pregnancy to more general advice given by strangers. After hearing all the advice and contradictory news reports telling you what you can and cannot eat, having friends with no expectations of how you should behave can be a Godsend.
Friends who don't pull you up on how much coffee you've consumed will help to reaffirm your individuality and provide conversation that has nothing to do with your baby, but everything to do with you.
A Soulmate is What You Need
So many women can feel that they don't measure up to the ethereal earth mother images presented to them in the media. Celebrities are often pictured looking serene and healthy with impossibly clear skin and perfect baby bumps. They are usually accompanied by perfect and doting partners and appear far from being stressed or anxious. These perfect representations are enough to make any non-celebrity mum feel inadequate and that she doesn't measure up to expectations.
Finding a soulmate in pregnancy who doesn't buy into the myths presented in magazines and TV, but enjoys chewing the fat about the reality of pregnancy, warts and all, is priceless. There are also a few sites that will provide relief from the otherwise perfect presentations of motherhood. Such sites will appeal to anyone who refuses to mount the pedestal of parenting perfection and who needs to connect with like-minded parents.
3 Help with Other Responsibilities
In an ideal world, the only cares of an expectant mum would be the well-being of herself and her unborn child. Leaving work aside, which in a lot of cases provides an essential distraction from motherhood, all other responsibilities can now seem like a mountain of bother that you have little energy to climb.
Partners, children and finances all still require attention and even though loved ones may feel that they're being supportive, for some women, there will still be a niggling concern in the back of their minds that they are falling short of the balancing act that is modern motherhood.
We put so much pressure on ourselves to continue to attend to everyone else's needs and fail to realize that no long-term psychological damage will be done to a sibling who has to take the back seat for a while, while their mother rests, nor will a family member or friend suffer because you forgot to respond to their last text message. Any partner worth their salt will accept that you are the most important part of your family throughout, and some would argue, beyond pregnancy.
Ask for help
Housework is a chore that will always be there, which makes it all the more irritating, especially when you're too tired and too pregnant to be bothered. It can be wishful thinking to expect the less domesticated half of your partnership to know instinctively when a particular chore needs doing, so if this is the case, tell them about it.
Most of us wait until we are brimming with anger that the same consideration for our home looking presentable is not shared by our other half. Instead of getting to that point, tell them early on as to what needs to be done and they might surprise you with their previously untapped domestic skills.
The same approach should be taken with childcare. Another infant to look after can be especially draining at this time so you're partner may have to step in to take more of their share of responsibility. If this is difficult due to work or other commitments, try to enlist the help of family members and friends who may not have thought to offer their services. Asking for help where and when you can get it throughout parenthood is not an admission of failure and is crucial to your physical and mental wellbeing.
2 Full Pay for Time Off Work for Sickness in Pregnancy
In the UK, pregnant employees are entitled to paid time off for antenatal care, maternity leave and maternity pay. If a woman needs to take time off because of pregnancy related illness, her maternity pay will start automatically four weeks before her baby is due. Pregnant women are entitled to the amount of sick pay that is written in their employment contract.
Women's experiences of pregnancy differ; while some can sail through with little illness, others find the process a lot more difficult. Some suffer from morning sickness temporarily and go on to be well later in their pregnancy, while some feel worse in their last trimester. All working mums-to-be receive the same sick pay entitlement as their co-workers. However, if they have a particularly difficult pregnancy and need to take a lot of time off, they can find themselves financially disadvantaged.
Many women find themselves on statutory sick pay (SSP) after being off work for more than four consecutive days and this will affect their finances. While the same would be the case for other employees, the added stress of preparing for the birth and budgeting on less money during illness can put extra strain on parents.
A Few Considerations
Women need to ensure that if they are taking time off for pregnancy related illness that it is noted as such so that any absences could not be used against them in the future as a reason for disciplinary action. Statutory maternity pay is paid at 90% of your average earnings for the first six weeks and then a flat rate of £136.78 for 33 weeks is paid. SSP is paid in the UK after four consecutive days at just £86.70 per week. It is payable for up to 28 weeks.
1 Consideration, Not Special Treatment
When hormones dictate your mood and your irritability levels are high, you may feel that there is a fine line between feeling cared for and being smothered with attention. Partners and loved ones will attempt to tread that line carefully and correctly, but will undoubtedly stumble and fall before the feet of an impatient pregnant woman. The irritation extends further than friends and family to the general public on both ends of the spectrum, who are usually either considerate or insensitive.
Using public transport when you're pregnant can be really uncomfortable particularly if you have to stand for your journey. Most women don’t expect special treatment and the offer of a seat on a train or bus hardly makes you high maintenance.
Don't Exhaust Yourself
Getting help at work or from friends and family should not be regarded as taking advantage of your condition, but should be seen as something that will help benefit everyone in the long run. Pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion to prove that pregnancy will not affect your work ethic is a damaging mindset that some women can find themselves in when trying to maintain their professional work reputation.
As with most areas of women's lives, pregnancy is a balancing act, which, if someone else spun the plates occasionally, would be a lot less stressful.