5 Pregnancy 'Rules' That Are Meant to Be Broken

Mom Moment 48

I'm glad I'm done with pregnancy for all kinds of reasons, but maybe in particular because I don't have to worry about the ever-changing guidelines about what's supposedly safe or not safe to do or eat when you're expecting. It felt so hard to stay on top of those nutritional ideals and activities to avoid, because they were moving targets. One day lunch meat was fine, the next it was an express train to ListeriaVille. Tuna was supposedly ideal for getting healthy omega-3s and B vitamins, until seemingly overnight everyone was all, MECURY CONTAMINATION!!! Exercise is good! Exercise can lead to miscarriage! AIEEEE.

I mean, that shit was stressful, you know? Now that I'm well past the baby-making stage, I can opine more comfortably about what pregnancy "rules" are okay to break. Not that I'm a medical professional, mind you, but here's my two cents about the supposedly helpful advice you should just ignore.

Don't take baths. Dude, you can totally take a bath. Just don't recline in an actual hot tub, because that can raise your core body temperature above 102.2º F, which is not recommended. A warm bath, though? Completely fine. I took one every single night.

Don't eat for two. Okay, I'm not saying that it's actually okay to eat twice as much during pregnancy as you normally would, because blah blah blah excessive weight gain unhealthy BLAH. I'm saying that the current trend towards maintaining a laserlike focus on maintaining a figure-friendly diet seems fraught with the potential of missing out on one of the biggest joys of expecting a baby: ICE CREAM. (Of course, dietary interventions for obese pregnant woman have been shown to reduce complications like preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, and preterm delivery, so ... maybe I should just shut up.) (I'm just saying: occasional treats! Don't completely deny yourself.)

Don't exercise. The details around this once-popular rule are always changing, but I think it's mostly been proven at this point that moderate exercise is good for you, pregnant or not. I wish I'd stayed more active during my pregnancies -- once I started doing some prenatal yoga towards the end of my last pregnancy, I couldn't believe how much better I felt. More energy, less aches and pains, and I slept better at night.

Don't drink coffee. No one will ever, ever, ever, ever agree on whether or not caffeine is safe during pregnancy. My take? A cup in the morning is less than 200 mg a day, and ohhhhh, that cup is SO good. I can't imagine giving it up completely, especially since the jury's still out on its effects in small amounts.

Don't wear heels. I wouldn't spend my every waking hour in a teetering pair of stilettos, and loosening ligaments and uneven weight distribution can make balance a concern, but a decently comfortable pair of heels that makes you feel pretty and pulled-together? Wear 'em with pride, girlfriend.

What pregnancy "rules" did you break?

Image via Linda Sharps

is it safe


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femal... femaleMIKE

I still drink my large coffee every morning.  I never did grow aversions to it like I hear alot of women do.  I just limit my caffeine intake for the rest of the day. 

I did eat an italian sub. 

I painted my bedroom.

I carry heavy stuff.


nonmember avatar Almost A Mom

I'm pregnant now and have broken the following rules:

-Traveled to a 3rd world country (much to the astonishment of the nurses in my doctor's office.) I've also taken 4 other international long haul flights.
-Eaten sushi (the raw kind, twice)
-Eaten an Italian sub from a local deli, more than once
-Eaten a roast beef sandwich with gorgonzola spread from another local deli, also more than once
-Had a 1/4 of glass of Prosecco on my MIL's birthday
-On the same trip where I had the Prosecco, I ate a platter of raw mozzarella and prosciutto that my MIL prepared.

Mothe... MotherGrace

I ate sushi, sandwich meat, undercooked steak and drank DP. My daughter is perfect.

Alexa... AlexaAdams

I honestly haven't heard of the no sandwich meat thing.

nonmember avatar Michelle

@AlexaAdams...Listeria, anyone? Most commonly found in processed meats (i.e. deli meat, hot dogs, etc) but can be found in damn near everything, including fruits and veggies. Soil-borne organism that is fatal in 50% of cases, including unborn fetuses. Frankly, a lot of pregnancy rules are stupid. My OB used to say "Japanese women have healthy babies every day!" (Meaning eating sushi while pregnant won't kill you). Just use common sense...moderation, ladies. Moderation.

nonmember avatar Cara

The exercise one cracks me up. Do we really think pregnant women just sat around for most of human history?

insei... inseineangel

Drank coffe, ate sushi (one of the few cravings I had), pretty much lived off Spicy Italians from Subway (another craving), rearranged my house TWICE, not to mention switching bedrooms so I could be closer to my daughter's room. Took a warm bath every night to soothe the aches and pains. Did all the grocery shopping and carried at least $200 worth of groceries into the house, by myself, at least once every 2 weeks. I could go on and on...

I had absolutely no health issues during my pregnancy, and no adverse effects on my daughter have presented yet.  

lalab... lalaboosh

I wore heels and ate sushi last weekend. I stuck to the lower mercury level fish, but OMG it was good! I'm due the first week of April. :)

nonmember avatar Catey

I ran a marathon while pregnant. With my dr's blessing. Obviously pregnancy isn't the time to take up some new intense routine, but if you feel great, your body is used to it, and you don't have any risk factors or complications, keep on with what you're doing! Anyone silly enough to continue the "don't exercise" stance is doing women a great disservice.

Ironically my favorite post run meal was always a turkey sandwich...

And I wore heels through each pregnancy too. *gasp* How did all nine of my babies survive?

Christy Musch

I'm pregnant now and ice cream is a necessity. An absolute necessity!

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