The Pregnancy Rules
(Obviously, I am not a doctor and I’m not recommending you go out and do risky things. I believe in being healthy and eating right and avoiding drugs, and all that. You can read my tongue-in-cheek approach to this, right? This was written in the first trimester of my seventh pregnancy, in 2011.)
Is it just me or does pregnancy seem so…..complicated? It cannot have been this difficult for all of time. There are so many things you are supposed to remember and do and eat and not eat. Makes my head swim.
Do take prenatal vitamins. Don’t eat soft cheese. For that matter don’t eat fish more than twice a week and never eat sushi.
Do exercise. But, don’t bounce, sit in a hot tub, do leg lifts or lay on your back. Not even while you are sleeping. Also, don’t do anything that requires balance such as riding a bike, walking a balance beam or for me, walk up stairs. While we’re at it, don’t wear high heals for the same reason.
Do keep having relations with your husband. But, don’t do anything kinky. Or during your last few weeks. Or if you experience spotting. And remember about the not lying on your back thing.
See your doctor regularly. Like every couple weeks. Take every test and give them whatever they ask for including your blood, urine, swabs and cultures of every kind, pictures of your baby, and hair samples if they ask. Don’t even think about refusing a Group B Strep test or a 24 hour glucose test. And what? You don’t want an ultrasound? But, it’s protocol.
Don’t have any dental work done that requires Novocaine. It’s not safe for the baby. But, if you’re in labor narcotic drugs administered by your OB team are completely safe.
Get fresh air and get out in nature. But, if you build a campfire, don’t breath in the wood smoke. Be very careful what you breath, in general. If you have a cat, don’t change the litter box. Since we are talking about air quality, travel to high altitudes only with caution while pregnant or your baby may be born too small. (Those poor ladies who actually live at high altitudes….)
Other things on the no-no list are traveling to developing countries (again, never mind those who actually live and work in developing countries), take homeopathics, get acupuncture, gain more than 35 pounds, drink unpasteurized juice or milk, eat raw honey, or deli meats or pate (unless they are steaming hot). The same geniuses also claim it’s completely safe to ingest artificial sweeteners.
No matter how hard we try and no matter all of our good intentions, no pregnant women can possibly remember all the rules–especially since they seem to change all the time. Some new discovery and all of sudden your favorite food or activity is off-limits. Bummer. Should have got pregnant last year; would have been considered safe.
I think each pregnant woman really should approach pregnancy–like she approaches all of life–with a healthy dose of common sense and a liberal amount of education. I think an educated woman who knows the basics of health and wellness won’t be caught saying things like, “My doctor said I didn’t have to give up my diet soda and Twinkie habit.” At the same time she won’t freak out, “I drank a glass of wine before I knew I was pregnant! Oh no!” And she won’t buy into things like “say no to drugs–unless you are in labor, load me up!”
Sarcasm aside, we all have cheated on the pregnancy rules. Who wants to confess? I’ll go first.
I eat soft cheeses, quite frequently actually.
I still eat seafood including sushi.
I still eat chocolate, drink tea and occasionally a little bit of coffee (like half the cup filled with milk and the rest coffee).
I have never had an ultrasound, a Group B Strep Test, or blood glucose test.
Now it’s your turn. What was your indulgence? What rules did you cheat? ‘Fess up! Feel free to remain anonymous in the comments. 😉