Everyone has their own interpretation of the “perfect pregnancy,” but after becoming pregnant for the first time this year, I was on the receiving end of all the advice, tips, and fear-inducing stories that pregnant women hear all the time.
The problem with all the advice is that no two pregnancies are the same. What worked for one person might not work for another. Here are a few pieces of advice I was told over and over during my pregnancy that turned out to be anything but true.
It's not a food baby! Source: instagram.com/ladyboss
“Dig in! You’re eating for two.”
While you may technically be eating for two, it’s no excuse to over-indulge.
Studies have shown that pregnant women only need an extra 200-300 extra calories on top of their daily diet to fuel their baby. To put that into perspective, that’s an extra handful of nuts or an additional chicken breast.
Think of pregnancy as your time to focus on caring for not only your growing baby, but also yourself. Fuel yourself with the best foods possible and chances are you’ll feel better for any other undesirable symptoms you’re feeling, too.
Which brings us to the second myth:
My recipe for healthy jalapeño poppers helped me get through my pregnancy cravings. Source: instagram.com/ladyboss
Get ready for those cravings!
As someone who was once clinically obese, and lost 65 lbs. (plus kept it off for over seven years), I’ve definitely experienced cravings.
When women warned me about these cravings I was expected to experience, it sparked a motivation within me. I wasn’t going to let my fear of a “slice of cake at 2AM” control me, or my pregnancy.
Throughout my weight loss journey I learned the importance of willpower, and focused on my goals. In this case, the ‘end goal’ was having a healthy and happy momma and baby.
Of course there were times that I wanted to stuff my face full of sweets, but I knew that wouldn’t benefit me, my pregnancy, or my growing baby. Instead of binging on cookie dough to fulfill my sweet tooth, I would make a protein shake or eat protein cookies. Healthy alternatives are key!
Everyone is different -- try sticking to healthy, whole foods, and concentrate on fueling your body.
On a "baby moon" with my husband in Hawaii at 29 weeks! Source: instagram.com/ladyboss
“It's okay to be tired. Your body is going through a lot.”
During your first trimester, your body will be going through a lot of changes, which can lead to fatigue and exhaustion. Ensure your body is getting at least eight hours of sleep every night so your body (and you) have enough fuel to conquer the day.
Getting plenty of sleep while pregnant can be a challenge for some, especially during the first trimester. Luckily, I experienced a surge of energy during my second trimester once the nausea started to subside. Hang in there!
I am definitely not a super-mom (or a medical professional), but using lack of energy or sleep as a reason to skip out on certain activities can create major setbacks for your mental and physical health.
This is what 20 weeks pregnant looks like! Source: instagram.com/ladyboss
“Women shouldn’t exercise while pregnant. You’ll hurt the baby!”
When I became pregnant, I initially thought that I wasn’t going to be able to do some of the physical hobbies that I love, such as wake-surfing and lifting weights.
Of course, I was willing to live without these hobbies for the sake of my child. But after speaking with my doctor, I found that engaging in physical activities while pregnant doesn’t necessarily put your child at risk.
Because I live an extremely active lifestyle, my doctor said it would be unusual for my body to not engage in physical activities while pregnant. I was able to lift light weights throughout my pregnancy, and wake-surf for my first two trimesters.
As always, ask your doctor about engaging in physical activity while pregnant, as every pregnancy is different.
What are some of the myths you experienced during your pregnancy? Let me know in the comments.