5 things I did while pregnant... that I wasn't supposed to do 3 years ago

5 things I did while pregnant... that I wasn't supposed to do

Pregnancy is nothing if not full of 'rules'.

In fairness, if those aforementioned rules are endorsed by medical professionals and delivered to you personally in the context of your antenatal care, you'd be wise to very much take heed.

However, there is also an awful lot of bullshit (from your mate, or the internet, or your mam, or your cousin) when it comes to carrying a foetus.

I've been pregnant twice, and thankfully both pregnancies resulted in the straightforward delivery of two healthy babies: a girl, now five, and a boy, aged two-and-a-half.

But I'll be the first to admit that I flouted the rules at times - opting for common sense over a military-approach to impending parenthood. In a nutshell, I'm a firm believer in the huge benefits of having a relaxed, stress-reduced pregnancy, and in not putting yourself under silly amounts of pressure to be 'perfect'.

Here's how I did it...

1) I worked passed my due-date

When pregnant with my daughter, I played ball and finished up work the allocated two-and-a-half weeks before my due-date. Bad move in hindsight: 18 days of sitting around waiting for things to stir while my maternity leave allowance whittled away was a rookie mistake.

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So when I was expecting my son a couple of years later, I just fudged the dates... working for another two days after my due-date. He arrived two days after that, so all-in-all it was exceptionally well-timed in my opinion - and it ultimately meant more time at home with him.

2) I ate what I liked

There are very few foods you can't eat nowadays, and most of the traditional restrictions actually applied to our mums' generation (and not so much to ours). Runny eggs and fresh mayonnaise were once best-avoided because of the risk of salmonella, but in 2018 food safety standards are much, much higher. Smoked salmon is also fine (it's not raw) but yes, sashimi or undercooked meat is still best avoided.

Same goes for blue cheese - avoid it - but a lot of the rest gets the green-light, including chèvre, brie, and camembert if it's been cooked in advance.

In short, stay healthy and put an emphasis on a nutritious, balanced diet, rather than worrying yourself silly with all the hypothetical contaminations or poisons that could be in your food.

maternity clothes maternity wear

3) I (once or twice) drank alcohol

I'll admit this is controversial - and the advice now is just to avoid alcohol altogether. I largely did, but a few times during my pregnancy (at a wedding or for a special occasion) I sipped a glass of prosecco or had a little red wine with food. It was sporadic, small amounts and my GP had said not to worry about it... so I didn't.

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However, medical advice has in more recent years become streamlined. So I reckon if I was pregnant again, this is one thing I'd probably change - eliminating alcohol entirely for the nine months.

Still, if you have had mixed messages from family (or even your doctors) about alcohol and you have had a little at some stage, I'd say don't fret or beat yourself up about it.

4) I got on a plane

On my second pregnancy, I was feeling pretty smug about recognising the signs of labour. That and my daughter was born bang-on her due-date. So I had no reason to think hopping on a plane to Paris - at 35 weeks' pregnant - was an issue. Of course, (understandably) airlines would disagree.

Luckily for me, my bump was pretty small throughout both pregnancies and I was able to board without an eyebrow being raised or a question asked.

If you are thinking of travelling (at any stage) make sure you have your European health card in order, and your insurance is up-to-date. I also really wouldn't recommend going anywhere more than a couple of hours away, or leaving the EU, unless you absolutely have it.

antenatal class types of parents

5) I skipped antenatal classes

I just didn't have time. So I never went to one on my first pregnancy, and on my second I figured I had enough first-hand experience and that a class would be pretty useless.

Some women I know adored their antenatal classes and couldn't endorse them highly enough. Others were horrified by their experiences and wished they hadn't bothered. So do your research and get informed; ask for recommendations and then make your mind up.

But don't feel you absolutely have to go if the prospect makes you feel anxious; explore your alternatives instead.