Common Mistakes Pregnant Women Make


Getting pregnant can be so exciting, if you have been planning it, and more so if it comes after a long wait. What news could be more cheering than getting pregnant in that situation? Nothing, I tell you.

However, you can make mistakes in the nine-month journey. Especially, if you are a first time mom, and that’s because you are dealing with mostly handed down information and myths, internet information, or even lack of information. But by the time, you have been into the labour ward, at least once, you get to know what works for you and what doesn’t.
Some of these mistakes include:

Eating for two

This is perhaps the most common mistake a first-time pregnant mom makes. If a woman has struggled with eating in moderation before, pregnancy becomes the license to over-indulge. If you ask such a pregnant woman, she would most likely tell you she’s eating for two. Not to worry, by the time she’s had her baby and has the weight to contend with, that’s when it would dawn on her exactly what damage she had done.
If you have been indulging under the guise of eating for two, use this as a guide; your daily calorie requirement is roughly between 1800 to 2000 calories, and doctors recommend that your growing baby needs around 300 calories of the right nutrition to make it up. So try to keep it within range.

Lack of sleep

Most pregnant women do not know sleep until their bodies refuse to do whatever they want. That’s when they realize they have been pushing themselves too hard. The hormonal and physical changes that happen within the body during pregnancy demand more rest. Less sleep would, in fact, add to your pregnancy-fatigue. And if you have been playing super-woman, like so many women do, know that pregnancy is not the time for such a stance. Get enough rest and shut eye, because your body will need you to be physically fit enough to go through the strains of labour and delivery.
To help you sleep well, try going to bed an hour earlier and waking up an hour later. To fix things on the home front, hire a maid, or ask your family to help out. Let them call you lazy, it does not matter! Let them ask if you are the first person to get pregnant, tell them no, but that rest and sleep is what your body needs. Try to take a nap in the afternoon if you can, and if not, make up for it at the weekends. The key is to find a balance between resting enough and oversleeping.

Not talking to your baby

Pregnancy can be nice, but can leave you tired and exhausted at the same time. All this fatigue can take away attention from your baby bump…the reason you are tired in the first place. Until you experience your baby’s kick. But that is not a healthy way to be reminded about your baby. Experts say that it is essential to bond with your baby-bump before you receive the actual reward. Some people pat their bump all the time but never talk to it, speaking to the bump is a great way of forming an attachment with your baby and stimulating its senses too.
It is important for you to put a hand on your belly and while gently caressing it, talk to your baby, often. It is never too late, even if you have reached your third trimester, you can still experience these blissful baby-bump (The triple B) moments.

Not exercising

If you were never interested in exercises pre- pregnancy, then you have the perfect excuse to sit back and put up your feet. Most pregnant moms would claim that their daily commute, taking the stairs in their office, residential building, or doing the usual household chores, constitutes enough exercise, and helps burn those extra calories.
It’s true, to some extent, but not exercising at all during pregnancy can harm your body like no other. Exercise helps to combat stress hormones, boosts circulation, prepare the body for labour and delivery and help in fetal growth and development.
To get in the groove, start exercising from the initial days of your pregnancy. If you have never exercised, then you need to talk to your doctor before you start, and if you have a gym membership, then you can talk to your trainer, about suitable exercises for your condition. Remember not to do anything drastic, or take up any new challenges during your pregnancy. Most importantly avoid putting any pressure on your core (stomach muscles). If you are well into your pregnancy and have not exercised enough, start to make time for it. Take walks after dinner, or in the morning, and slowly graduate to more advanced stuff, but please seek professional advice.

Not joining an antenatal class

In our forums, there have been at least two enquiries on how soon to start ante natal classes. My answer is simple – start as soon as you find out you are pregnant. Of course, there are people who would tell you to “Wait until the second trimester”, “Wait until you are in the third trimester”, some will even say, “Just register at a clinic, don’t bother going to the clinic until you are in labour, take your supplements, and you will be fine”
You might even be told, that there is nothing to be learnt from your antenatal clinic, and you will learn more about pregnancy experiencing it on your own. But ask yourself, if you know enough about post natal care? How to breastfeed right? What to eat to lactate well? What exercises one should do during pregnancy? How to manage labour? What about all those concerns you will have during pregnancy? Who would you talk to?
I listened the first time and started antenatal when I was almost in my third trimester. The second time, I started immediately I found out I was pregnant, and I don’t regret it. I got to meet the doctors regularly, and even my consultant more than once, which was an opportunity to pick his brain about my multiple pregnancy, especially, as he had concerns about the growth of the babies, which ultimately meant more scans than I had ever had.
Antenatal clinic will give you all the information you will need on pregnancy and childcare, and prepare you for the onslaught of delivery. If you haven’t started ante natal clinic, please find one and register, preferably in the early stages of your pregnancy, so you have a lot of time to learn and do the right things for you and your baby.

Godspeed for the nine month journey!

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  1. Hi Ajoke, the best you can do now is walking and some very light stretching if you can manage it. But going for walks in quite good for this trimester. You can try in the mornings too, so you get the benefit of the morning sun’s Vitamin D. Safe delivery to you.


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