The excitement of seeing a double line on the pregnancy test quickly gives way to feelings of uncertainty once you know that your body is busy growing a baby. What do I eat? What do I not eat? Can I exercise, wear a seat belt or dye my hair? These are all questions that start to consume your mind. After all, you are responsible for the most precious thing now – human life.
First, you head out to your local book store–shelves and shelves, rows and rows, of books about pregnancy. You feel overwhelmed and have no idea where to start, so you head home to search on Amazon–at least there they give you some reviews. After searching for “pregnancy” you find 133,977 books stacked with information that you need to know. From The Mayo Clinic Guide for a Healthy Pregnancy, to What to Expect When Your Expecting, you feel exhausted and your pregnancy has only just begun.
I have been pregnant three times, each of them very different despite the fact that the same uterus was involved in all three of them. One pregnancy left me terribly sick, one ended with a gush of water in a fine dinning restaurant at 36 weeks, and one blessed me with 20 weeks of bed-rest just waiting to hold my sweet baby. With all the information available, it’s no wonder that new mothers and fathers feel overwhelmed.
The part about pregnancy that amazes me though is just how much Mother Nature knows–learn to trust yourself and your body. It won’t be long before people start giving you all that unwanted advice–you can’t raise your arms above your head, eat tuna or red meat, paint the nursery, or lift anything heavy. I’m not saying that you should do these things, I’m just saying that if your body is tired, rest. If something is too heavy, put it down. If you want to eat tuna, do it in moderation. If you are craving red meat, you might need more iron (for the baby’s brain development). So often we get consumed with the “rules” of pregnancy and we forget to enjoy the amazing gift that our body is giving us.
Don’t be confused–on my book shelf there are hosts of pregnancy books all with different thoughts and ideas–I have read them all. Then after reading them, I meshed it all together will my own natural instincts and advice from a doctor or midwife that I trusted, and the result was three healthy babies. Bottom line is, don’t let the stress of “following all the rules” cause your blood pressure to rise and rise (trust me, you will get put on bed rest) and don’t forget to eat a lot of ice-cream, or chips and salsa, or BLT’s. Whatever it is your craving, I am sure it will be just one more ingredient to add to the sweetness of your future baby.