“Make sure to do squats.”
“Definitely don’t do squats.”
“Don’t go hungry. Eat plenty.”
“Don’t eat too much. Stay under 35 pounds.”
“Don’t jump too much.”
“Jumping will help that baby come out.”
“Riding a bike is a great cardio workout while pregnant.”
“Riding a bike is the absolute worst thing you can possibly do while pregnant.”
“Everything you can have in moderation, except alcohol. Do not touch it.”
“You can have a glass of wine here and there. It’s fine.”
“Stay out of the sun. You’ll burn easier.”
“Make sure to get some sun. You need that Vitamin D.”
Everyone of these statements were said to me throughout my pregnancy by loved ones. They all meant well in their advice, but to be honest, it got old! I have no doubt that others have experienced similar statements, probably even more bizarre.
When I first became pregnant, I didn’t want to take any chances with my unborn baby, so I tried to listen to everyone! About halfway through my 2nd trimester, I snapped. At first, I thought it was one of my crazy hormonal breakdowns. I had just come home from spending an evening with some girlfriends and began to unwind for the night. I slipped on my pjs and realized they were now too tight. I’m not sure if it was the realization that I could no longer fit into even my baggy clothes, or that the pregnancy was quickly nearing the end, and I still had no clue what I was doing, but I just fell to the floor. I cried and cried and cried. I truly believe that everyone has their breaking point, and this was mine.
My husband was home, and he happened to come into our closet to find me in a fetal position just staring at my too small clothes. At the time, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. Why was I acting this way? Like any caring husband (who has no clue why his 7 month pregnant wife is on the floor crying), he sat with me and just listened. I told him my fears, my concerns, and everything that was on my mind; however, even after talking it out, I couldn’t figure out why I was still so down, and then I simply said, “I’m so sick of listening to everybody.”
My husband said the simplest, yet profound words that changed my entire outlook on the remainder of the pregnancy: Then stop.
And at that moment, I did just that-I stopped. I stopped listening to everyone who wasn’t my doctor, and I began listening to my body. As long as my Obstetrician gave me the go-ahead, I kept doing what I wanted.
I did my best to watch my weight while still eating, for the most part, what I wanted. I went to Zumba several days a week, rode my bike miles (even on a busy highway-gasp), took long walks, and didn’t touch alcohol.
Enjoying the day at the beach.
And guess what-I never felt better. I was happy and still smiled when I got the occasional advice, but I just didn’t care anymore. Every pregnancy is different, and each should be treated as such. For every article or statistic stating what a woman should do, there is another one rebutting the same “facts.”
So now, the only advice I ever offer is simply this-Listen to your doctor and your body, and enjoy this time in your life.