Let's face it, there is nothing more guilt inducing than pregnancy. Now, I'm sure you really want to say, "What's there to feel guilty about?" I mean seriously, doesn't everyone want what's best for their baby?
The answer is a resounding yes. It is just not that simple. Look at all of the changes a pregnant woman is supposed to make suddenly. Do this but not that, eat this but not that, go here but not there. It can be overwhelming.
When you talk to pregnant moms you absolutely understand that they are well meaning and doing their best, but they all feel guilty about something. Here is a list of some of the things that make pregnant women feel guilty and why they shouldn't:
- Mistakes with prenatal vitamins.
This one actually seemed to top the list of most pregnant women. Some felt guilty for forgetting frequently, while others simply weren't able to keep prenatal vitamins down. While prenatal vitamins are important, they are a safety net. Eat well, switch vitamins to see if another brand is helpful and do what you can. Talk to your practitioner for advice, you're not the first person to have trouble with prenatal vitamins and you won't be the last.
- Nutritional choices.
Let's face it, there are days that eating well is harder than others. Sometimes eating well means planning ahead. This can be hard to do when you're battling exhaustion, morning sickness and raging hormones. If you're eating well the majority of the time, forgive yourself a skipped meal or piece of chocolate cake every now and again.
Ah a major addiction for many people - caffeine. With conflicting studies about the harm in pregnancy, many moms aim for moderation in this category. Though one mom pointed out that her baby's heart rate was high at a prenatal after a tall latte. Then it hit home for her, what she drank, so did her baby. Most doctors and midwives acknowledge that moderation is the best bet here. If this one really annoys you, try switching to half decaf and wean yourself from there.
- What happened before the big fat positive.
Since fewer than 50% of pregnancies are planned, you will still hear plenty of stories of wild partying before a woman knew she was expecting. The good news is that the majority of the time it's an all or nothing thing. Harm is generally dealt with via miscarriage rather than severe ongoing problems. So if you're 20 weeks pregnant and still worried about the two beers at week five, it may be time to let that worry go.
Sex is a double edged sword. You may be feeling guilty or worried about having sex in pregnancy. Many moms are worried that sex will hurt their baby. (It won't.) Unless your doctor or midwife says to stop, you're good to go. But, the other half of pregnant women are feeling guilty for not having sex. Being too tired, too sick, to sore... all good reasons to avoid sex. Ask for a massage or a nap, and promise a rain check.
- Not enough attention paid to pregnancy.
This is particularly guilt inducing if this is not your first pregnancy. You may feel like your new baby is already getting the second child shaft. You've already been there, done that and don't care about the t-shirt. Consider ways to help you increase your attention paid, take childbirth classes for a refresher, join a mom's group, get your older child involved, or write a blog. In the end it will all work out, even if the only pictures in your new baby's book are those drawn by an older sibling.
- Sleeping on their backs.
Lots of attention is paid to the sleeping habits of pregnant women. If you find yourself accidentally on your back, just roll over and get on with your sleep. It happens.