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5 Pregnancy Don'ts That I Do

By ErinBehan |

Every pregnant woman has a moment–in the midst of doing something they’ve always done–when they find out that that very thing has been decreed by someone to be totally verboten in pregnancy.

For me, it was drinking green tea. As I was warming my hands around a cup during my first pregnancy, I decided to see what great benefits green tea gives pregnant women, so I Googled it–Googling, of course, always brings up a wealth trouble when it comes to pregnancy health.

And there on the pages of Google, I found out that drinking green tea can reduce a woman’s folate levels. I, of course, then imagined I was damning my unborn child to birth defects thanks to my love of a morning cup of green tea.

A totally overblown reaction, of course (moderation in all things!), but when it comes to the health of your unborn baby–especially your first–you want to do no wrong. The second time around, I’m a little more moderate in my views, and here are five common pregnancy don’ts that I do.

1. Drink coffee. A non-pregnant friend was recently shocked to learn pregnant women can drink coffee. I did actually give it up for a week when in the deepest lows of morning sickness; it was a very miserably week. Now that my nausea has stabilized, I find that a half cup of coffee in the morning after breakfast mixed with milk (normally I prefer it black) pretty much makes my day. If I’m out, I’ll get a small single-shot cappuccino.

2. Eat lunch meat. No, I’m not talking about the pre-cut kind that comes in a plastic tray in the grocery store or something that comes off a dirty slicer in a bodega. I’m talking about high-quality lunchmeats from a reputable deli that I put in my refrigerator and make into sandwiches myself.

3. Dye my hair. I am waiting until the second trimester to attack the gray hairs that have been creeping in with a semi-permanent dye, and I’m going to have it done by a salon owner who has given dye jobs through both of her pregnancies.

4. Lay on my back. OK, maybe not at 9+ months, but the hysteria regarding laying on your back for a few minutes really confounds me. If it feels better to lay on your back and it doesn’t make you feel sick … listen to you body!

5. Stand on my head. Don’t even get me started on the advice the online world will give you in regards to yoga and pregnancy. Many sites act as if yoga should be done while pregnant only with extreme kid-glove caution. I did headstands against a wall into my third trimester with my last kid, and it felt great.

What about you? What “rules” do you break while pregnant?

Photo: Moscow Coffee Review

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0 thoughts on “5 Pregnancy Don'ts That I Do

  1. Kim says:

    I’ve been running throughout my pregnancy, and, boy, do I get looks! And not just looks of “wow, you look ridiculous running with that big belly.” These are definitely more “you are already giving your child shaken-baby-syndrome.” I want to scream “doctor-approved!” but I haven’t yet.

  2. Kathy says:

    At 24 1/2 weeks, I do all of these, minus the headstands. I couldn’t live without my coffee…I convinced my husband to go to 1/2 caff so I could have 2 cups :)

  3. Jenny says:

    I have 2 diet cokes a day.

    which is better than the 6-8 per day pre pregnancy. Still under the caffeine limit, but maybe pushing it on the chemicals. But do you want me to turn into a crazy person?

    I also lie on my back, as often as possible. Which is not often, since my husband always makes me roll to my side if he catches me.

  4. Emma Johnson says:

    I’m 9-months pregnant with my first, and I really hated all the new rules for pregnant women. I am proud to announce I have a daily Diet Coke or Diet Dr. Pepper, I still end up on my back every night even with a pillow fort around me and it feels great, I’ve done highlights in my hair, I’ve done BodyPump at the gym lifting weights (gasp!), and eaten lunchmeat without cooking it (grossness). I also had to clean out the cat litter a few times, because my husband got lazy. But seriously, all in moderation. The worst part about doing all these things is that others judge you. Don’t mention these sins to anyone, because they will think you are trying to deny your baby a brain and 10 fingers and toes!

  5. Niki says:

    I eat sushi. I’ve been going to the same place for years and never gotten sick, and a blanket ban on raw fish doesn’t really hold up in my mind to millions of healthy Japanese babies, despite sushi being an accepted part of a healthy pregnancy diet in Japan. We might have to start getting take-out, though – last time we went I wasn’t really showing, but I know that if anyone tries to get between me and my eel rolls I will bite them.

  6. Abby says:

    I have the occasional glass of wine. I tell people I am pretending I am french. I teach high school. Between my hormones and theres I think the baby is better off with me having an occasional drink (I don’t drink during the first trimeseter at all.)

  7. ldancer says:

    I did Crossfit – regular at first, and then Crossfit Mom. Pushups and weight lifting felt great, and helped me deal with the fatigue and queasiness. I also bellydanced – taught, performed, and trained – until 7 months. Went to Egypt at 5 months, had a blast, wandered all over Cairo, climbed up the inside of the Great Pyramid (sounds more interesting than it was), rode in insane traffic in 100-degree-heat, got a little sick from The Demon Tomato Of Cairo, puked into a plastic bag at 7 am in front of the Sphinx, ended up getting an ultrasound (just to make sure everything was cool) at a Cairo hospital and was given the local antimicrobial drug. I’m sure this would have horrified my midwives, but it was fine. Also ate sushi, in Maui where it was amazingly fresh, after reading that all sushi fish has to be flash frozen, which kills the same things that cooking kills (or so I read; I was fine and it was delicious). The most dangerous thing I did while pregnant was probably crossing the street in Cairo. That, or inhaling in Cairo.

  8. Alicia says:

    I drank a cup of coffee every day while pregnant once my nausea was gone because I was so exhausted the whole time. And even though I still slept all the time, at least I could function for a little bit in the mornings. Oh, and I had to change the cat box a couple of times. (I’ve been living with cats continuously since 12, so no doubt I’ve already been exposed to Toxoplasmosis.) Next pregnancy I’m going to ignore all of the scare tactics. If I want sushi, I’ll eat it. Want a small glass of wine or beer? I’ll have it. Caffeine? Yup! Like the article says, moderation is key, and that’s true whether you’re pregnant or not!

  9. WildernessBarbie says:

    I have also eaten sushi (just had some again today at 39 weeks pregnant). It was a good source of protein when I was so sick with morning sickness for 16 weeks and didn’t smell… couldn’t stand cooked meat smell.
    @LDancer- I’m not sure that ALL sushi has to be flash frozen… I think it has something to do with fish that go between fresh and salt water (like salmon) to kill off certain parasites. Regardless, flash freezing has nothing to do with getting food poisoning which can be a lot easier to get from raw fish and make us extra sick. I went to my local Health Department’s inspection website and read up on what restaurants in the area had the best reports and went from there. I was surprised that my favorite haunt actually had some pretty bad marks on their last several inspections, so they’re off the list for now.

    I will also have an occasional half glass of wine… in Europe the mantra is don’t get drunk while pregnant… moderation would go a long way towards helping us to not feel like we’ve been cut off from so many of our favorite things. That and better education and research.

  10. ldancer says:

    Wildernessbarbie – Yeah, I’m not sure, either, but I did read it…just can’t remember where! However, I was not worried. More people get sick from chicken than sushi. And the place I was in was fetishistically clean. I think we’re pretty paranoid in the US, and I’m not exempt from that, but it was instructive to travel while pregnant. I’m sure every country has its own version of Pregnancy Don’ts.

    Every source I read, and my midwives, told me that moderate amounts of coffee were fine. Which is good, because I didn’t want to be the cause of an international incident. And clearly my unborn child loved coffee, because in the first trimester, it was the only thing I could stand to smell. That, and bacon.

  11. Andrea says:

    I am 34 weeks and I drink coffee every morning. If I didn’t I believe my internal plumbing would malfunction :) I also take a few sips of my husbands beer when he has one. I drink a couple diet drinks a week and just last week ate cold cuts for the first time since before I was pregnant. I didn’t get sick so I might eat them again..!!

  12. v2011 says:

    I have had migraines for most of my life and when I was pregnant with child number 1 I was lucky to not have a single migraine for a year or so. Not so with kid number 2. I couldn’t shake a magraine that had me puking my guts out the other day so I called the doctor and asked for the largest dose of Tylenol I could take. She also said I could have some caffiene with it to help. That night I told my husband to bring home extra stength pain meds and a Dr. Pepper. I felt great the next day.

  13. Cosette C says:

    I am pregnant and regularly change the cat litter box- my own and others. I work part-time for an animal hospital, and spoke about it with the vet. It is very hard to contract toxoplasmosis from your pets. You basically have to be very unsanitary- as in touching the feces and then sticking your hands near in your eyes, nose or mouth. All pregnant vets she has worked with continued to work throughout their pregnancies; they just wore gloves and a mask if they felt like it- and washed hands often.
    Plus, it is more common in outside-only animals, especially if they are strays and eat rats, squirrels, each other’s poop, etc. My pets are all indoor animals, so it is highly unlikely that they have toxoplasmosis. Some vets can even test your cat for it.
    I wear gloves when I am at work, and a mask (but mostly to mask the odor), and wear gloves at home to clean the litter boxes there. I did move the litter box out of my bedroom, since occasionally cats get the litter stuck in their paws and track it on the bedsheets. I am not worried about contracting toxoplasmosis. I think it has been negatively hyped up by people who do not bother to find out what it is and how cats, and even dogs, can contract it.

  14. Alysha says:

    I’m so happy I came across this article, and all the comments to boot! I’m 8 months along with my first. I have been drinking coffee daily (though less than pre-pregnancy), and have had occasional glasses of wine or beer (I actually had 3 glasses of wine watered down with club soda on new years eve so I could “fit in”). I have mostly tried to stay away from lunch meats, but have caved on occasion and had assorted subs. I don’t know why I have been determined to stay away from steak, since I love it medium rare, but after reading this I might cave on that too, especially since I have been craving it soooo bad. I don’t like sushi, so that’s not a issue with me, but I have been having my husband change the cat litter (I think I will continue with that, it’s nice not having to :P ). I died my hair once, and have cleaned a few things with harsh chemicals. And last but not least, and certainly the worst, I’m not proud to say, I still smoke (I will quit). All of these no-no’s and the OB visits are always the same, everything is progressing normally and perfectly.

  15. Heather Polum says:

    I, too, still smoke, though significantly less than pre-pregnancy. I will quit, and have gone from a pack a day to a pack a week. The OB visits all go well, and everything is progressing normally. I also have a cup of coffee a day.

  16. Melissa says:

    Halfway through my first pregnancy, one of the teenagers I worked with was shocked to see me drink a Coke. I’d never even hear that it wasn’t allowed! The thing about the lunchmeat is new to me as of this article. I’m 14 weeks into my second pregnancy, and I was eating a lot of ham and cheese sandwiches for about a month because I didn’t end up feeling sick afterward. Is this issue undercooked meat? Because ham is cooked once before it’s packaged. I still drink the Coke a little, but sweets don’t taste good to me this time around, so it’s not much effort to keep it minimal.

  17. Lisa says:

    I’m not pregnant but hope that I can continue running and working out (doctor approved) as much as I can. I fully expect people to be total a-holes about it. I think people are super judgmental about pregnant women. “You’re eating THAT!” or “You’re not supposed to do ____ when pregnant.” Right right. Mind your own bees wax.

    As long as pregnant women aren’t drinking, smoking or doing drugs, do what the doctor says.

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