Accepting That You Must Do Less
For many women who have lives that are happily full with careers, relationships, friends, activities, and interests, it can sometimes be difficult to let pregnancy step in and slow them down. It's easy to say to yourself that pregnancy won't change anything and while having a baby may require some minor adjustments, everything in life can go on as it did before. However, the truth is that pregnancy does require changes, and being a mother is more life-altering than you think it will be.
Just because you are pregnant you don't need to quit your job, cancel your gym membership, and relegate yourself to the recliner all day. It's important to stay active, do the things you love, and follow your interests during pregnancy. However, the simple fact is that there will be days when you're tired, sick, puffy, cranky, weepy, or just huge. And on these days, you will find that your previous schedule just doesn't cut it.
If you try and push yourself, refusing to yield to the needs of your changing body, you will probably find yourself extremely tired and overwhelmed. Your body has taken on a gigantic project of its own, and it needs some of your focus and energy to complete it. Thinking that pregnancy doesn't have to have an impact on your life at all is not realistic.
A study done in Poland found that heavy physical labor at work during pregnancy was linked to low birth-weight babies, whereas simply expending a lot of energy at work was not as clear a risk factor for low birth weight. The study showed that pregnant women need to be careful when it comes to heavy work, but there is no danger in using a lot of energy during pregnancy.
You can continue to do everything you want to do, but in moderation. Or you may find there are some things you want to cut out of your life to make more room for other things that are more important to you. For example, you may sign up for prenatal yoga and decide to drop your book club. During pregnancy your body is making adjustments, and you will probably find that you need to make adjustments in your daily life as well.
It's essential to continue to do the things that make you happy, keep you healthy, and keep you fulfilled. If you listen to your body, you'll find ways to trim back, find shortcuts, or make substitutions that will adjust things for your pregnant needs. You need to find a balance that works for you during pregnancy. Keep in mind that your life will always be changing from this point on, as your newborn baby grows and goes through different stages. Motherhood is all about change. You need to be prepared to be flexible so that you can adjust your life to your child's needs and your needs.
To continue to do things you love during pregnancy, consider making some adjustments such as these:
Decrease the amount of time spent on the activity, such as half an hour gardening instead of an hour.
Take a lighter approach to the task, such as baking one batch of Christmas cookies instead of five at a time.
Rely on conveniences, such as delivery, Internet shopping, or free carry-out service.
Decrease the frequency, such as working late only one night a week instead of two.
Quit sooner, such as heading home to bed at 11 p.m. instead of staying out till 1 a.m.
Sit down more often throughout any task.
Come prepared with food and water to any activity so you don't get hungry and thirsty.