It always seems that every person you know has a big long list of pregnancy do’s and don’ts. We have the underwhelming basics you need to know!
Basic Pregnancy Do’s and Don’ts
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As with anything having to do with health, there are lots of do’s and don’ts. While pregnant, the same thing goes. There are many normal everyday things that you can and should do, and other things that you should shy away from.
Let’s start with what you should Do! Because who really likes to be told what they shouldn’t be doing?
Take Prenatal Vitamins
The most crucial time to load up on vitamins and minerals is actually before you conceive. Taking them consistently 3 months before getting pregnant is ideal. Don’t sweat it if you didn’t supplement before you got pregnant. Prenatal vitamins are fantastic for growth and development of your baby when you surprisingly find out about your new addition because certain nutrients like folic acid, calcium, and iron are in those.
Eat Well-Balanced Meals
Along with taking vitamins, eating healthy well-balanced meals is really the best way to get all the needed nutrients for you and your baby.
Many people are surprised to hear that eating seafood is appropriate when pregnant. Of course, stay away from raw foods like raw meat or raw fish.
Raw or undercooked meat can carry foodborne illness such as listeriosis and toxoplasmosis. They can cause life-threatening illnesses that increase the chances of severe birth defects and miscarriage.
Seafood is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It needs to be cooked thoroughly. A few fish to avoid because of high mercury content are swordfish, shark, tilefish, and king mackerel.
Make sure to drink lots of water! When I’m pregnant, I retain a lot of water. From what I understand, it’s partially because of how I am naturally during pregnancy, but it is also because I’m awful at making sure I drink enough throughout the day. Don’t be like me!
Try to get at least 8 to 10 glasses a day. The easiest way to for me to keep track is to carry a water bottle and know the number of times I need to fill it up that day to get the recommended amount of liquid during the day.
Get Lots of Sleep
Pregnancy is super demanding on your body! You need your sleep! Pregnancy is not only demanding physically but mentally as well. It might be difficult and uncomfortable, but you should really try to get as much sleep as possible. Take it from someone that has been through 4 pregnancies, the amount of sleep you get is monumental during pregnancy compared to the amount of sleep you get after the baby comes.
Getting a daily workout in is great for mom and for baby! Keep in mind that during pregnancy, trying to lose weight is a big no-no! It’s fantastic to eat healthier and be more active, but trying to shave off a little extra weight is not the way to go.
It’s best to stick with the same routine or amount of exercise you did before you became pregnant. Taking it slower or lessening as things become uncomfortable is totally normal. Listen to your body and what it can handle.
If you didn’t exercise or workout before you became pregnant, consult your doctor on what is best!
Alright, now onto the dreaded don’ts of pregnancy.
Standing and Sitting
I know it sounds counterintuitive, but you shouldn’t stand too much or sit too much while you are pregnant.
Balance in all things!
When I was pregnant with my first baby, I had a call center job that required me to work several 12-hour shifts. I was sitting way too much and as a result, I had awful cankles! They were quite unsightly and very uncomfortable. I wish I would have known about compression socks during that time. They probably would have helped me a lot!
With my third pregnancy, I stood too much and had awful hip pain as a result.
Try to actively switch between standing and sitting throughout the day.
Lift Heavy Things
Be smart about what and how you lift something. Be sure to stay under the 30-pound threshold and lift with your legs, not your back.
I moved several times during pregnancy, and it is no cake walk! It definitely is doable though.
Be mindful when working out and picking up other children. I often found myself using my back to lift my sweet toddlers when I was pregnant.
My best advice is to just not lift it if it seems to big, bulky, or uncomfortable. It isn’t worth it!
Everyone knows that pregnant women are super hot all the time! I was grateful to be pregnant during the winter months with my first because when I felt myself getting too hot, I could just walk outside and cool off.
Remember that if you feel hot, the baby does too. It’s smart to shy away from showers that are too hot and hot tubs or saunas.
If you’re too hot, the baby is too hot.
Drink Alcohol or Smoke
It doesn’t take much bad to affect a fetus. Fetal Alcohol Syndrom is the biggest risk for babies with mothers who drink while they are pregnant. Why risk it? Just stay away from any kind of alcohol. Smoking has been found to cause low birth weight and higher risk for learning disabilities in babies born.
Change the Cat Litter
I feel like this is pretty common household chore that many pregnant women know to stay away from, but it needs to be said just in case! Toxoplasmosis is a dangerous parasitic infection carried by cats that can negatively affect a pregnant woman. Let someone else help out and change the cat litter!
Are you waiting to see if you are pregnant? Check out our post about that seemingly forever waiting period.
Are you having a difficult pregnancy? Me too! Read about it here.
Were these tips just a refresher while you prepare for your second baby? Check out our checklist for preparing for your second baby!
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Shiree is my other half. She calls herself boring, but she is far from it! She lives in Kansas City with her husband and her 4 kids ages 7, 5, 2, and 1! She really is super mom as she spends hours working on the blog and finding a way to still take care of her kids effortlessly! Shiree was married young and started a family right away. She jokes all the time that nothing could have prepared her for motherhood other than motherhood!
After becoming a mom she decided to get as much knowledge as she could about raising kids and strengthening families so she decided to go to college. She obtained her degree in Marriage and Family studies and is now a Family Life Educator. She has a desire to pay it forward and help other parents raise kids and strengthen their families.