Ultimate Survival Guide: 4 Tips for Pregnant Moms & Couples

Welcome to another round of my Ultimate Survival Guide! This one is a must read for couples before the baby arrives…maybe even before you decide to get prego. Oh, I can’t thank the encouragement of my Ann Arbor gym buddies enough! You’ll see why in #2 and #3 below…

1. Get yourself a mantra (or two)!
While I was pregnant with my first, lots of people gave my husband and I unsolicited advice. I expected this and I¬†was armed with the mantra; everyone has an opinion, yours is the only one that matters. And I believed it. I honestly don’t recall being annoyed by advice from others and I think it had to do with 1-expecting it would come no mater what and 2- having my mantra.What I was not prepared for (and what really made my blood boil)
a lot of people constantly told my husband and I that ‘we had no idea what we were in for’. Even when we agreed, they would insist, ‘no, no, no, you don’t EVEN know that you ‘don’t know’ what your in for’. Of course we would obligingly agree- after all how could we know as parents to be?

The constant barrage of THIS one liner in oh so many forms from oh so many people is what really drove me nuts. Maybe because I wasn’t armed with a mantra. Maybe because I found it condescending and patronizing. So arm yourself, people.

2. You go girl! Don’t limit yourself !
People often limit themselves unwittingly by their own expectations and definitions. Do not let this happen to you, dude. I was able to work out up until my delivery date (a huge 41 weeks and 4 days). And I’m not talking a walk in the woods. I was a metal pumping, jump roping, kettle bell squatting, sweaty beast. No I wasn’t getting in as many reps, and yes, I decreased my weights a bit. Duh. Be smart. Be safe. But get your go on, girl! I really believe my level of fitness prevented a lot of pregnancy issues like water retention and unneeded weight gain. And if you’re a partner to a pregnant lady, help her jam it!

and while we’re on the subject of weight…

3. The numbers on that scale DO NOT MATTER

Throughout my whole pregnancy I went to the gym and got my sweat on 4x a week and typically had lighter weekend activities (think walking the dog and housework). It wasn’t always easy, but it was my routine before pregnancy so I was used to it. I was average weight before pregnancy and so the generic recommended weight gain for me was 25-35lbs. I gained 34lbs. I felt I was ‘cutting it close’ to those generic numbers- what would it have been like if I wasn’t so active? It’s not realistic for everyone to work out as much or sometimes at all because of medical reasons. What I came to believe is that those numbers don’t mean sh*t. I was NOT able to fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans (even if unzipped) as early as my second trimester. This freaked me out at first, but I quickly came to grips with the fact that our bodies are meant to store fat during pregnancy. Do yourself a favor and love your new beautiful body, ok? And for you partners, this can be a tough one for even the most self confident of ladies, so do us a favor and remind us how fabulous we look…and remind us a lot please!
4. Past your due date? Don’t sweat it- and DON’T LET YOUR DOCTOR BULLY YOU EITHER

I chose midwives because they typically encourage a more natural pregnancy and delivery experience. Even still, when I was approaching 42 weeks, induction was discussed at my midwifes office. What you need to realize is that it’s your own body and your decision. Arm yourself with information. Yes, you can say no to induction. I’m no crazy lady, but I happen to be a scientist and at the time had the privilege to access to a lot of articles on pubmed. I was prepared to go a few days past 42 weeks for several reasons, including the fact that mom and baby were both very healthy, but I was also open to induction after a certain point because of the risks to baby. Bottom line, it’s your responsibility to be informed and make decisions. You and your partner should be a united informed from ont his one.

Have some wisdom you’d like to share? Please do in the comments!

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