The moment you realize you’re pregnant, you’re hit with an onslaught of do’s and don’ts in regard to doing things the right way. Sifting through these can be tiresome, but very informative and essential to having a healthy pregnancy and baby. Of course, that means you’ll need to do more than rely on what you hear from others, even other educated mothers.
There is a big difference between authority sources and casual ones for information. Take for example the debate on drinking while pregnant. A quick internet search will yield millions of results ranging from people’s personal experiences to medical documents. It’s hard to sort through so much information, but to get to the crux of the issue, dig through the casual, often heated, conversations and look for studies and authority sources. Even newspapers and magazines can skew the facts, so as much as possible, try and find the information you’re seeking form the source.
While certainly not advisable in all matters, there are some restrictions on those two pages you receive from the doctor that make you wonder. Is it really so dangerous to lift fifteen pounds? After all, should you have a second baby, that toddler will weigh considerably more than fifteen pounds and still want to be carried, regardless of your pregnancy. If you’ve experienced bleeding and are having a difficult pregnancy, it makes more sense to avoid anything outside of a bubble of protection. But if you’re healthy and things have been going well, you can probably heft that grocery sack or pick up that toddler without worrying about major complications.
Going with your gut should be limited, however, to certain elements. If your gut is telling you it’s important to relax and you immediately reach for a bottle of wine, perhaps you need to have a conversation with your gut instincts about other, possibly more beneficial, ways to relax. Again, go back to authority sources to learn why certain things are considered off-limits for pregnant moms. The rationale might make sense to you, for example weight lifting is highly discouraged late in pregnancy because joints are looser and injuries are more likely, or you might just become more informed and carry on with a healthy pregnancy on your own terms.
It’s not always clear who stands to gain from scaring pregnant women with the horror stories of pregnancy, but it happens constantly. A scene from Jenny’s McCarthy’s first baby book, Belly Laughs, comes to mind. In the book she relates the tale of relaxing in the hot tub after realizing she’s pregnant only to be screamed at by a fellow hotel guest that she’s “boiled her baby.” While raising your body temperature is something to be cautious about during pregnancy, boiling your baby is a bit outlandish to use as a scare tactic. For the record, Jenny’s doctor calmed her down, but the principle remains – beware of misinformation designed to scare the pregnant woman. It might be loosely based on fact somehow, or it might just be a myth that’s
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