The Alternative Dos and Don'ts of Pregnancy
There is no shortage of incredibly prescriptive instructions out there pertaining to the dos and don'ts of gestating.
Everything from booze to trampolines to luncheon meats to recreational drugs is verboten to the Incubator. And obviously, for the most part, these guidelines are in place for very good reason. Sometimes though despite the very sensible aims of these lists, one can't help but feel a bit of instructions fatigue.
"I just want to eat a soft boiled egg," I whinged to my equally expectant friend.
"So do it," she said quite reasonably, "if you don't think it's a problem, and you're comfortable, just do it."
She had a point. I do still have free will. If I think it's okay to keep jogging or eating pastrami, then I can choose to do so.
I think the main thing is whatever stance you take on anything from sushi to surfing while pregnant, you need to be comfortable with it. There's so much advice crowing from all corners of the internet on appropriate pregnant person behaviour; the cacophony can be wearing not to mention confusing. My advice is to pick one source that you trust and take their lead. I use the NHS website because they are cautious without being hysterical, but whichever you choose just be comfortable with it. There's no point in eating smoked salmon and fretting about it later.
Now For Some Fun Alternative Dos and One Don't of Pregnancy:
Draw a face on your belly when it gets sufficiently big enough – it'll look like a giant Mr. Potato Head.
Moan incessantly to whomsoever put that foetus inside you – Moaning is kind of pleasant and medicinal sometimes, it can actually make you feel better.
Take pictures of yourself – even if you're hating the way you look right now, you'll be glad you did one day. At least, until you take out the picture, look at it again and go "Ugh, I looked like Jabba the Hutt in a smock shirt" and quickly hide it away again.
AVOID people who are literally dying to tell you all their birth horror stories about how Mairead from bridge club's daughter Saoirse had an 18 lb baby with no epidural on the floor of the 46A with only a prepubescent boy to assist. Not helpful.
Prepare for the birth. But only prepare in a way that you're comfortable with. Watching videos of real births is fab if that's your thing, so too is pretending the baby will calmly make it's own way out of a conveniently placed (and large enough) escape hatch on your body that you never noticed before. If you do want to look this thing in the eye have a read about the Positive Birth Movement.
Sleep as much as you can/want.
Buy yourself a fleece jumpsuit for lounging in – there's nothing cuter than a pregnant person in a fuzzy onesie.