Most people would say that I’ve had a dream pregnancy so far and I would have to agree for the most part. No morning sickness (thank goodness) and the only real discomfort I’ve experienced so far have been the standard third trimester symptoms that I’ve written about here. I think I stayed up for hours and hours on end during the first trimester of my pregnancy reading massive laundry lists of dos and don’ts; taking mental notes (or at least tried) of everything I read.
Truth is, whilst we’re particularly blessed these days to have access to amazing healthcare and professionals to guide us through our journey on what is pregnant friendly – it’s important to not get too carried away with doing everything by the book. Just think, our parents and grandparents wouldn’t have had these guidelines and encyclopaedias of acceptable foods during their pregnancy journeys and look how wonderfully dysfunctional we’ve all turned out (haha).
I was hyper-aware during the first trimester and even managed to cut coffee completely from the equation when I really needed it to combat the fatigue during those early months. It wasn’t until I found myself standing outside of my favourite local sushi train that I started having long internal debates between my knocked up angel and devil on what was okay to eat and what wasn’t. I eventually settled that a little sushi wasn’t going to kill me or my child – as long as I trusted the place to stock fresh fish. Here begins my journey of rule breaking for the remainder of my pregnancy.
At the end of the day, all mom-to-be’s should be able to make their own choices of what rules to bend without having to worry about public shaming by society. We sacrifice so much when we make the decision to continue with a pregnancy that it’s sometimes ok to do something to treat yourself if your body craves it. Here are the pregnancy rules I’ve broken and of course, I’m not advocating that you break these rules too but encouraging that this is a safe and open place to share if you do! I won’t judge – I pinky promise!
Pregnancy Rules I’ve Broken
Eating raw seafood, runny eggs & soft cheeses.
We’re allowed to eat the crap that comes from fast food places but not allowed to have fresh seafood? Does that strike you as a little strange because it sure did with me (mind you, I eat both haha). After all – if raw seafood and sushi was truly the devil then what do Japanese women survive off during their pregnancies? They definitely do eat raw fish and then some.
The risk doesn’t usually lie with the food itself but how it’s prepared and handled by the restaurants. Chances are – if you’re eating at a decent and reputable place; you’re about as at risk as anybody else eating there. As for the cheeses and runny eggs, I’ve definitely enjoyed a few brunches with eggs benedict and smoked salmon but these are treats I allow myself when I really do crave it. Just make sure your cheeses are made from pasteurised milk and you’re golden!
Taking hot baths.
You’re never meant to raise your core body temperature too much because it’s considered to be unsafe. If you’re anything like me and frequently experiencing hot flashes – why they hell would you get into a scorching hot bath in the first place?!
I’ve settled for taking warm baths to relieve some of the swelling in my feet and pressure off my back. If you find yourself heavily pregnant like me during an Australian Summer then a hot bath is the least of your worries when it comes to raising your core temperature.
I was pretty good for the first three months but eventually the pregnancy got to me and I surrendered to the sweet calling of my usual skinny lattes. Truth is, if your list of to-dos grows exponentially each day (and trust me, it does) then getting a little assistance from a small cup of coffee is going to help you more than its going to harm you. Research shows that about 200mg a day of caffeine is fine which roughly equates to one cup. If you want to indulge in two cups (like me) then order half strength each time so that you can have your morning kick-starter and an afternoon pick-me-up.
Colouring my hair.
So my skin goes to sh*t and my body turns into a giant marshmallow – I dare anyone to challenge me or try to stop me from colouring my hair. I’ve continued to get my six week appointments where we’ve refreshed my highlights and I couldn’t be more thankful that at least some part of my body is still looking great – even if it is just my hair.
There’s very limited research on the effects of colouring hair during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding. The research conducted has indicated the chemicals found in semi and permanent dyes are not highly toxic and if it doesn’t have direct contact with your scalp (like when you get highlights) then it’s unlikely to be absorbed into your bloodstream.
I’ve done my research and experts say that you would need massive and long-term exposure to nail products before there are any chances of problems developing. So unless you’re bathing in the stuff and then soaking yourself in it for hours on end – I’ve decided that mani-pedis are a must. Just choose a place that doesn’t have an overwhelming stench because no one needs to breathe in that stuff in such concentrations. We want to be relaxed and feel our best in the lead up to D-Day and I say do whatever makes you smile.
Getting firm massages.
I can’t tell you how many massage places I’ve been to where they’ve literally told me that they can’t apply any sort of pressure to my body at the risk of causing a miscarriage. What I usually get is half-arsed strokes up and down my body that tickle and irritate me more than it does to relax me because I’m a weirdo that enjoys painful massages. It’s quite a laughable conundrum because unless your therapist is jumping and playing bongos on your stomache – I don’t think your baby is going to mind a little pressure on the shoulders.
Regardless, I’ve managed to find a local place where the experienced therapists (both of mine are women and moms) are actually willing to help get those knots out from my back and shoulders. My body couldn’t be more thankful for it!!
Sleeping on my belly (until I physically couldn’t anymore).
I managed to be bump free until about 5 months in which meant I could actually sleep on my stomache without the discomfort. I don’t know why people say you can’t because our bodies are made for keeping a safe amount of space for the baby so that you’ll never be at risk of “squashing” them. Quite frankly, I enjoyed my tummy time for as long as I could and now it’s just physically impossible unless I’m trying to do helicopters on it (see GIF below).
So there you have it – the list of pregnancy rules I’ve broken and I’m almost certain I’ve forgotten a few. What about you? Tell me about what rules you’ve broken!