As soon as someone finds out she’s pregnant, she gets a list of restrictions that are often taller than she is. Some are obvious: Don’t smoke, don’t do drugs, don’t eat raw meat or fish. Other is startling. Did you know that pregnant women are supposed to avoid coffee, brie, ibuprofen, lunch meat, and hot tubs? With so many do’s and don’t’s, it can get confusing for expectant moms, especially when she’s not feeling her best. Some pregnant women get so frustrated with all the rules that they break them. But which rules are okay to break? The answer might surprise you. Keep in mind that every pregnancy is different, and it’s best to consult a doctor before deciding to do any of these yourself while pregnant! (Note: smoking is not one of the items on this list, even though it is shocking!)
“OK,” you might be thinking, “It’s probably okay if a pregnant woman eats a turkey sandwich, but alcohol is definitely not okay!” Believe it or not, a small amount of alcohol may be okay for most pregnant women. Although many will choose not to take the risk at all (and good for them!), many studies have found that light drinking, meaning a few drinks per week in the second and third trimesters, may not be as catastrophic as some people believe. Of course, drinking three martinis in one sitting is probably not a good idea, no matter which trimester you’re in or if those are the only drinks you have all week. But next time you see a pregnant woman sipping a glass of chardonnay, keep any judgmental thoughts to yourself unless you’re her doctor.
Whenever a photograph of a pregnant woman running a marathon or doing CrossFit goes viral, the internet lights up with criticism. In reality, though, most healthy women can get away with continuing the level of exercise they did before pregnancy. If there are any concerns, however, her doctor should be the first one she asks.
Although there are plenty of scientific studies and healthy vegetarian babies in the world, people still get nervous upon finding out that a pregnant woman is eschewing animals and maybe even animal products. Thankfully, most of us live in areas where there are plenty of nutritious options for people with limited diets. For strict vegans, it may be best to consult a nutritionist to ensure that mother and baby are getting enough nutrients, but there are actually many benefits of having a meatless pregnancy.
Unless an expectant mother is having complications, it’s usually okay to have sex within a monogamous relationship. In non-monogamous relationships, mothers should consult their doctors and use protection to avoid acquiring any infections. Some women, especially those with a history of miscarriage, may need to avoid sex during the first trimester.
What’s the craziest or most shocking thing you’ve done while pregnant? Do you regret it? Did people judge you for it?
Remember, consult your doctor before trying anything on this list or in the comments!