Some things are harder to give up during pregnancy than others (Booze! Sushi!), but I'm all about focusing on the positive these days and I've discovered that there are some pretty awful things we can gleefully skip out on when with child. So toss out the well-meaning advice and other torturous beauty rituals we women endure and embrace the belly!
1. Changing the Kitty Litter
Yes, kittens are adorable, but their poop poses a real threat to both Mom and Baby in the form of toxoplasmosis, so stay away from their litter box when you're knocked up. You can also get it from surfaces your cat has walked on, like the kitchen counter or the dining room table. I'm sure no one's cats ever do that (*eyeroll*) but be mindful and make someone else in your house change the litter box.
I have to admit this one horrified me. Rubbing your nipples with a washcloth to "toughen" them up? My nipples currently cannot be rubbed by a cool breeze, let alone a washcloth. They hurt so much. The thought of touching them with a loofah freezes my blood. I was actually scared to Google that one because, what if it were true? But relax, it's not! Besides ads for "Big Puffy Nipples," I also found plenty of articles by lactation consultants and other medical professionals that say it's not necessary. So no Rocky training montage for the girls. Phew.
3. Squeezing Into Your Skinny Jeans
Oh, we all have those pants that sometimes are a bit too snug but we just do our tricks to shove ourselves in (the "lie down flat," the "shimmy," the "super hike"—you know the moves). Early in pregnancy, your clothes still fit but they get a little tighter each day and many women try to wait until the second trimester to buy maternity clothes. But squeezing into too tight pants is really unnecessary when pregnant and can make you extremely uncomfortable because of gas. I'm sure you're already aware of the delightful fart effects of pregnancy but wearing tight pants will make this worse. So put on your most comfy leggings and feel some relief.
5. Bikini Wax
Getting waxed is totally safe during pregnancy but it hurts like a mother. Not that it was a walk in the park before, but pregnancy makes your skin more sensitive (especially down there) and my waxer warned me in my first trimester that most women cannot go on with their waxing in pregnancy. To which I said, "Yay!" and promptly informed my husband that there would be no more waxing.
6. Skipping Out on Sex
Pregnancy can be a very horny time for some women. But many women and their partners worry whether it's safe. It. Is. Unless you have a high-risk pregnancy (in which case your doctor will advise you), generally speaking, knockin' boots while you're knocked up is a wonderful way to relieve stress, increase blood flow to your uterus and your baby, and to connect with your partner. So if you're in the mood, have at it. Reassure your husband there is no way he can poke the baby.
Do people still douche? I hope not, it's not recommended by doctors. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests women avoid douching completely. Your vagina cleans itself by naturally secreting fluids. Douching increases your chances of infections and you definitely don't want to get an infection while pregnant. Skip it, but feel free to say it when someone cuts you off while driving or to describe a jerk if you're feeling crotchety.
8. Hot Tubs, Saunas & Steam Rooms
OK, I know plenty of people enjoy using these amenities at their gyms, but the germaphobe in me says, "Ew." When I've been particularly sore in the past, I have bit the bullet and gone for a soak but hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms are off-limits while pregnant. That's OK with me and my fear of getting some gross fungus. It also spares me from that lady who is always doing some deep stretching in the steam room totally naked ... you know who I'm talking about.
I can't believe people do this but they do. I'm sure all you adrenaline junkie moms are like, "Whatever silly blogger, you don't know the THE THRILL!" That's right and now I don't have to know it, because I'm pregnant and I don't want to skydive anyway but now I have a great excuse. Also good for sledding, skiing and any other outdoor activities and extreme sports I don't want to do.
10. Painting your Own Toenails
Your big belly will get in the way so fuggedaboutit and get thee to a nail shop and treat yourself to a pedicure. And while you're at it get a manicure too. Pretty hands and feet can go a long way when one is feeling like a fat lump.
Bonus: Anything You Deem Horrible (Or Just Don't Feel Like Doing)
Pregnancy is a great time to get spoiled. Take advantage. Because soon you will have a baby and the sun will no longer rotate around you. If you don't feel like doing something, just say, "It's not good for the baby." Our bodies go through enough during pregnancy and we don't need any added stress. So relax, enjoy and let others take care of you. And don't worry about your bikini line—eventually you won't even be able to see it.