I may not be the best one to give advice because there are several things I may not have followed, but when you have a baby on the way your body is no longer your own. The little person growing inside you is so fragile and small and it is our job to protect them as best we can. In an ideal world we would all get nine months off to enjoy pregnancy, to put our feet up, prepare for baby and not worry about stress at work, housework or anything else. In reality, life goes on and we have to continue our day to day jobs with a few minor adjustments.
Earlier this month we moved house. I was midway through my second trimester and growing at an alarming rate. My back is starting to ache after a long day and my energy levels are starting to dwindle, especially after a long day chasing a toddler around! That said, the house was not going to pack itself up and so I decided to put the pregnancy aside for a week and just get on with things.
Lesson 1 - Listen to your body
If you are struggling to pick up a box, then don't. It can usually wait and someone not pregnant can move it for you. You are unlikely to harm your baby by heavy lifting, but do you really want to spend the later half of your pregnancy on crutches? All the ligaments in your body loosen during these 40 weeks and your back is no exception. You are much more likely to get hurt and it will not make the third trimester any more fun being on bedrest!
Also, if you start to get sharp pains in your tummy you are quite clearly doing far too much. Go and sit down, put your feet up and let other people get on with the work for a bit. After 8 hours of moving house I realised the baby was trying to tell me something when I was bent over in pain. Luckily as soon as I sat down with a cup of (decaff) tea the pain went away. You can over do it, and sometimes that tiny little thing is actually much smarter than you are!
Lesson 2 - Taking it easy is not always a great idea either
They say that being physically fit can make labour easier. The idea is that if your body is used to moving and long days you have a certain level of endurance, a certain stamina that is priceless in an unpredictable and painful situation. When we go into hospital to have our first child we have no idea if our labour will be 5 hours or 55. Chances are though, if you are not used to walking for more than ten minutes your body won't be ready for a long period of being awake and contracting. This isn't to say that you should be running marathons at 38 weeks pregnant, (Although some weird people might think this is fun - What was I thinking!) but staying fit can be very beneficial when it comes to the big day. Obviously lesson 1 is still important.
I think the main point then is;
Lesson 3 -Find the right balance for you
Every woman is unique and our bodies are capable of amazing feats. they manage to grow perfectly formed human babies for a start! Avoiding stress and over doing it, whilst also avoiding becoming a couch potato is the key to having a healthy mum and a healthy baby
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