Pregnancy Pitfalls: What I should have done differently

With the clarity of hindsight, there are some things that I wish I had done differently during those many months I was caring my child.  Next time, I’m going to try to remind myself how I felt this time around, and follow my own advice. Photo: (posed shot) J. Kubin

SILVER SPRING, Md, August 20, 2011—Now that I am embarking down the road of motherhood with a new little one in my life, I am looking back on my pregnancy, at what I did and didn’t do, and all of the advice people gave me.  

With the clarity of hindsight, there are some things I wish I had done differently during those many months I was carrying my child.

Exercise More

Immediately before I found out I was pregnant, I had prepared to start a new, rigorous exercise routine, including weight training and heavy cardio.  I didn’t pursue this new workout after numerous people advised me against it.  I did try to get exercise throughout the pregnancy by walking.

However, as all good intentions start out, I fell prey to some simple roadblocks.

Early in my pregnancy, I didn’t spend as much time outside walking my 2-mile route because of the intense cold and the amount of snow and ice my area received.  During the spring, I took advantage of increasing temperatures and was more disciplined about getting out to exercise.

That is, I was more disciplined until horrible back pain interfered, impeding my movement.  I got my back pain in check just in time for a series of intense heat waves with temperatures near 100 degrees and the onset of summer heat. 

Pregnant Woman doing low weight exercise. Photo by George Stepanek. Click to enlarge.

In retrospect, I could have started a new workout routine, one that included light weight training and the use of prenatal exercise videos.  Both of which would have circumvented the weather issues. 

Also, as I found after succumbing to the back pain, it was sitting for long periods without changing position that caused the pain and made it worse.  Walking, while painful, ultimately would have been beneficial in alleviating that pain had I just taken shorter walks. 

Eat Healthier

Eating healthily is important during pregnancy. Photo by James Gethany. Click to enlarge.

While I did cook meals at home that tried to focus on healthy choices, there were definitely times throughout my pregnancy where nutrition wasn’t the watch word.  With multiple long car trips to see out of town family before the baby was born, there were times when fast-food and rest stop snacks were easier than trying to find a diner or grocery store where I could grab an apple instead of a box of chocolate covered raisins. 

Carry out menus and take out became more appealing during the third trimester when swollen feet and the return of fatigue set in. Coupled with late work nights on the part of my husband, standing in front of a hot stove for an hour seemed more like a burden than a preferable mealtime option. 

In these instances I would try to find veggie heavy options.  But even with the best intentions, most restaurant food is higher in calories than the meals I would have been preparing myself and rarely as nutritious.

Ask For More Help

I felt as though pregnancy was easy and nothing that should hinder any of my normal activities…up until the third trimester.

Somewhere around week 30, I hit a wall.  Suddenly, I was challenged to do the little things that I normally could do with ease.  Reaching the floor became more of a challenge, as did getting up off the floor or out of a chair.  Trying to break down cardboard boxes while I unpacked baby gear became difficult as my belly got in the way.  Cleaning the tub became a challenge as I couldn’t reach all the way across due my growing bump and the change in the center of gravity. 

In retrospect, I should have gotten some help with the housework.  I felt awkward taking my friends up on their offers to help.  Something about asking them to clean my house didn’t feel right.  Now, I wish I had hired a cleaning service, if only for the last few weeks of my pregnancy. At least then I wouldn’t have come home from the hospital to sleepless nights and housework.

All in all, I had a happy, healthy pregnancy.  But next time, I’m going to try to remind myself how I felt this time around, and follow my own advice.

What would you have done differently?  What will you do differently next time? 

Follow Brighid on Twitter at @BrighidMoret and receive updates on when new columns post on Facebook. Read more about first time parenting issues in Parenting the First Time Through at The Communities at The Washington Times.

 

 


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Brighid Moret

Brighid is a freelance writer and first time mother.  She holds an MA in Writing from Johns Hopkins University.  Find her on Facebook @Brighid Moret

 

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