20 Pregnancy Guidelines That Moms Don’t Actually Have To Follow

Whenever two people are thinking about expanding their family, they will be doing everything they can to make sure that they are prepared to have a healthy pregnancy- and to bring their new baby home in nine months.

That means they will be doing plenty of research of the rules one must abide by when they are pregnant. They will also be likely planning to get rid of anything in their home that is not healthy for the baby. It is also advisable to visit one’s doctor for a preconception appointment just to make sure that their health is up to par so they can maximize their chances of having a healthy pregnancy. And, it is most definitely wise to quit drinking since there is no known safe amount to consume during pregnancy.

However, mom doesn’t have to abide by every pregnancy rule in the book- or she can abide by these rules loosely. There are many things that pregnant women are told not to do because of the unborn baby. However, there are some pregnancy rules that you may have been told that you don’t need to follow entirely. In fact, let’s look at 20 pregnancy rules that moms can break.

20 Drink That Java

When I was pregnant in the early 2000s, I was told to avoid coffee like the plague. That was because at that time it was believed that any consumption of caffeine during pregnancy would put the unborn baby at risk of being born prematurely. Additionally, it was believed that caffeine increased the chances of losing the pregnancy as well.

However, according to Dr. Jennifer Lincoln of Bundoo says that it is perfectly safe to have up to 200 mg of caffeine during pregnancy a day. That is about two cups of coffee or one cup in addition to some chocolate. That said, if you are craving a cup of java, then go for it but remember the limit!

19 Skip Taking A Prenatal Pill

When you are thinking about jumping on the TTC train, you were likely told by your doctor to always take your prenatal vitamins along with folic acid and to not skip a day. However, what if one of those days you are having a rough time with morning sickness or your appetite is nonexistent? What do you do then?

According to Dr. Jennifer Lincoln of Bundoo, your baby will not be affected if you are unable to take your prenatal vitamins here and there. Or, if you simply forget to take it even if you are not sick, it’s not the end of the world. If you skip taking your vitamins at times, your baby will still be fine. Don’t fret if you are unable to take it daily.

18 Take A Break From Your Work Out

Back in the olden days, such as a half of a century ago and before that, pregnant women were told not to exercise. They were believed to be fragile, and if they exerted themselves, it was believed that would have affected the baby.

However, research conducted over time since then has shown that pregnant women need to be moderately active to stay healthy.

However, according to Dr. Jennifer Lincoln of Bundoo, if you were to take a break from your prenatal workout sessions, then there would be nothing wrong with that at all. And, if you are feeling extremely fatigued, uncomfortable or nauseated, then it is best to rest. But once you are better, then you should get back into the exercise routine.

17 Sleep On Your Back

Pregnant women are advised not to sleep on their backs because it can interrupt the blood flow to the placenta, which means the unborn baby would not be getting enough oxygen. And, you would also know from becoming dizzy or feeling faint. However, according to Dr. Jennifer Lincoln of Bundoo, if sleeping on your back is the only way that you will feel comfortable, then do it.

Sleeping on the back will not do anything to the baby.

And, if you did feel uncomfortable and dizzy while sleeping on your back- then you would shift positions. But if you are comfortable and feeling fine while sleeping on your back, then your baby is fine too.

16 Change The Litter Box

If you are pregnant and if you have a cat, your OBGYN may have already told you not to change the litter box. Additionally, you probably have heard the same advice from other pregnant women that you speak to on forums. There are plenty of articles about pregnancy rules, and keeping away from the litter box is likely one of those.

However, according to Dr. Jennifer Lincoln of Bundoo, it is perfectly fine to change the litter box while you are pregnant if your cat is an indoor cat. The risk of being exposed to toxoplasmosis, which is the bacteria from cat droppings that can affect your unborn baby, only happens if you have an outdoor cat. But if your cat always stays in, then it’s safe because of not having an opportunity to pick up the bacteria from anywhere.

15 Skip The Childbirth Class

The one thing that your OBGYN or midwife has probably told you to do is to take a childbirth class. This is how you will be more or less prepared for what to expect while you are in labor. However, according to Dr. Jennifer Lincoln of Bundoo, if the idea of spending time with strangers and watching graphic childbirth videos freak you out- then don’t take the class!

Instead, educate yourself by reading good pregnancy books.

‘You can also go online to read about what to expect on reputable sources like WebMD, and well-known and good-quality pregnancy sites like What To Expect.

14 Give Into A Sweet Craving

You have likely been told by your nutritionist and your OBGYN to not eat sweets and to be careful when it comes to giving into your cravings. However, according to Fit Pregnancy, if you were to enjoy some candy, a sundae or a chocolate bar in moderation during pregnancy- there is nothing wrong with that at all.

The key is to eat the sweets in moderation. Eating too many sugary foods not only will increase your chances of developing gestational diabetes, but it provides no nutrients for your unborn baby.

But if you have a craving for a chocolate bar and you have been eating well all week, then go for it! And, enjoy it.

13 You Don’t Need To Take The Glucose Test

More often than not, OBGYNs will want to test their pregnant patients for gestational diabetes. Therefore, they will tell them that they have to take the glucose tolerance test towards the end of the second trimester. However, according to Babble, this rule does not apply if your weight gain has been healthy and gradual and if you have not shown any signs of having sugar imbalances.

By the way, my father is diabetic and I have always been on the heavier side. I ate well during my pregnancies and put on a healthy amount of pounds. I never once had to do that test, and I had no reason to because there was no evidence pointing that I had issues with my blood sugar. If you are in the same position, then you do not have to take that test.

12 You Can Touch Receipts

If you are pregnant, you may have been told by your OBGYN or have been told by other expectant moms to not touch receipts because they are full of chemicals like BPA. However, according to Babble, as long as you are not rubbing the receipts all across your body, there is nothing that would happen if you were to touch the receipt at all.

And, when I was pregnant, I had no idea that this rule even existed because it may not have at the time. There were no problems I had encountered by touching receipts. If you are concerned, you can always just wash your hands after. But touching a receipt will not affect your baby.

11 You Can Use Beauty Products

Here is the deal. If the beauty products you have are made with chemicals that are hard to pronounce, then you definitely do not want to use them. But that does not mean to not go out looking your best during your pregnancy. In other words, you can most definitely wear makeup as long as they are not filled with weird chemicals.

According to Babble, you most definitely can wear all-natural makeup that will not affect you and your unborn baby. Just make sure that if you are about to purchase makeup, that you know the ingredients. If you are concerned about the safety, you can always talk to your OBGYN or contact Motherisk.

10 You Can Dye Your Hair

If you wanted to dye your hair, you probably were under the impression that you had to do that before you got pregnant. That is because hair dyes can contain chemicals that could affect your unborn baby. However, according to What To Expect, you absolutely can dye your hair during pregnancy.

You just will want to make sure that your stylist knows that you are expecting if you decide to go for it. This way, they can prevent the dye from touching the scalp.

Additionally, it would be best for them to use lighter dyes that are free of ammonia. Then, you won’t need to worry about your baby being affected.

9 You Can Take A Bath

Are you pregnant and in the mood to take a bath, but you aren’t doing that because you were told that taking a bath during pregnancy is unsafe? There is good news. You can take baths, but make sure the water is not piping hot.

According to Babble, you will only want to spend no more than 10 minutes in a tub and to make sure the water is lukewarm.

You don’t want it to raise your temperature over 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, that could be too hot. But going for a quick soak in water that is comfortably warm is quite acceptable.

8 You Can Take A Cruise

You may have been told to not take a cruise, especially after being 24 weeks pregnant. However, according to Babble, you can most definitely enjoy a cruise as long as you are not having any pregnancy complications and you are healthy.

The author who had written about this particular rule in the same source said that she had booked a cruise months before, and did not predict that she would be pregnant at the time. But her midwife said she was the picture of health, and that it was fine for her to go. And, all was well. If you are having a good and healthy pregnancy, go on that cruise if you had already booked it beforehand.

7 You Can Eat Soft Cheese

You were probably told to avoid soft cheeses during pregnancy because it can contain a bacteria called listeria, which can affect your unborn baby. However, does that really mean that you must avoid all soft cheese?

According to Babble, the answer is not at all. However, you do need to read the label.

If the cheese is soft and is pasteurized, then it is likely safe for you to eat. Cheeses and any foods that are not pasteurized are what you need to watch.

You can also cook soft cheeses if you are not sure if they are pasteurized because the cooking will eliminate the bacteria. That said, it is safe to eat soft cheese during pregnancy but under the condition, it is pasteurized or cooked.

6 You Can Take Some Over The Counter Meds

If you have a headache or are having allergies while you are pregnant, you are likely trying to just tough it out because you are afraid to take anything that is OTC. However, the good news is, according to What To Expect, there are many OTC medications that are safe to take during pregnancy.

For instance, if you need to take the occasional Tylenol because you have aches and pains, you can. The Tylenol that you are taking once in a while during pregnancy will not affect your unborn baby. If you are unsure of what medications are safe to take, then you can talk to the pharmacists and they will recommend the best ones. There is no reason to suffer.

5 You Can Fly

If you are pregnant, and you were invited to a cousin’s wedding that lives across the country, and the big event is happening in a few months- you may have declined the invitation. The only reason for that is because you have been told that flying is not an option while pregnant.

However, if you are not even close to being 36 weeks along, and you are having a healthy pregnancy with no serious complications- then you can accept that wedding invitation, and go to the wedding. According to BabyCenter, you can safely fly during pregnancy if you are under 36 weeks along and you are healthy. Just be sure to get up every hour to walk around so your circulation is kept going.

4 You Can Eat Tuna

You may have already heard that eating tuna during pregnancy is off-limits because of the high mercury levels. However, the good news is that you actually can have some tuna during pregnancy, according to Parents Magazine. It is safe to eat up to six ounces of albacore or white tuna per week.

That said, if you have a craving for a tuna sandwich, you can have one. Especially if you have not had any at all during your pregnancy. Just be mindful of how much of it you do eat. The best thing to do is to have one tuna sandwich a week in order to be safe.

3 You Don’t Need To Wait To Announce Your Pregnancy

If you were told that it is bad luck to announce your pregnancy prior to the end of the first trimester, when the risk of having a miscarriage drops a lot- then you don’t need to listen to that. You can announce your pregnancy as soon as you find out or sometime in the second trimester. It is completely up to you. There is no set rule.

According to What To Expect, many couples should not hide their pregnancies in the first trimester just for the concern of a miscarriage happening. That is because, if you do end up miscarrying, then you will be carrying the pain alone if no one knows. However, again, this is completely up to you.

2 You Can Wear Heels

Even though wearing heels is not recommended during pregnancy, it does not mean that you cannot do that either. According to BabyCenter, you can wear high heels early on in your pregnancy. However, once your baby gets bigger, and once your body starts to drastically change, you will want to wear lower heels towards the end of your pregnancy.

You will also have a harder time keeping your balance during your later stages of pregnancy due to shifts of gravity. So you will want to keep that in mind if you want to wear heels. If you fall that could potentially be risky for you and your baby. But you can still wear lower heels at that point.

1 Don’t Quit Cold Turkey

If you have been smoking and you just found out that you are pregnant – the first thing to do is to calm down and relax. Because you will be understandably upset. Especially if you know how stressed out you will be if you quit cold turkey. The good news is that you do not have to quit smoking cold turkey once you find out that you are pregnant.

According to BabyCenter, if you come up with a plan with your doctor to wean you off by the time you are 14 weeks along, your unborn baby will be fine. In fact, it is better to stop smoking gradually instead of quitting cold turkey. Your stress levels will be lower as well which is just as important for your unborn baby as it is by being smoke-free.

Sources: Bundoo.com, FitPregnancy.com, WhatToExpect.com, Babble.com, BabyCenter.com