You have probably read (and/or been told) about everything you need to do to make sure your pregnancy goes smoothly, your birth will be a walk in the park, and your baby will be perfect. No smoking, no alcohol, no sugar, no gluten, no chemicals, get your beauty rest but don’t sleep too much, exercise but don’t over-exercise, eat supplements but not as a substitute for organic power foods, relax but don’t get lazy, expect weight gain but try not to gain too much baby weight - the list goes on and on!
It’s impossible to live up to every guideline or restriction, no matter how noble your intentions are. There will be days when your nausea or cravings dictate you eat nothing but cinnamon buns from IKEA or pickled herring with Nutella. There will be days when your body anchors you to the sofa because everything is uncomfortable or baby is restless, just when you had planned to go for a run or a gym class.
If pregnancy can teach you one thing, it’s to get completely in sync with your body. Most signals will be so overpowering they’re impossible to ignore! It’s reconstructing itself WHILE building another person – give it a break, and indulge a little, if that’s what it takes to keep morale high.
- Follow your cravings – your baby will be fine! Although, if you ONLY eat junk food or start craving chalk or house plants, maybe talk to your doctor to check you’re not missing vital minerals or vitamins.
- During pregnancy, your tendons soften and relax, and your proportions and balance shift, which can make you more prone to injury. If you can’t exercise like you’re used to, be open to trying something different. It’s okay to slow down. Walk instead of running. Try restorative or pre-natal yoga instead of your usual gym class. Float in the pool and do a few exercises instead of swimming your usual mile.
- Give in to sleep when you need it. The first three months are typically when people struggle with exhaustion.
- Make friends with your dust bunnies if your doctor has instructed you to rest. (They’re peaceful and won’t attack you in your sleep.)
- Aches are normal – but outright pains should be taken seriously. It’s okay to slow down.