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15 Things To Remember When Your Loved One Is Pregnant

15 Things To Remember When Your Loved One Is Pregnant

Very few things in life hold such a profound significance and bring on such big changes as going through pregnancy. It not only affects the woman and her partner, but all the people in their lives. It’s true that the an expecting mother has a certain glow about her, but the miracle of life comes with a long list of side-effects that you have to have to keep in mind if a loved one is pregnant. It can be someone challenging at times to stay on a pregnant woman’s good side, so it is important to remember a few things about women who are carrying a child.

1. They can develop a powerful nesting instinct

Some women can develop a strong urge to clean up and decorate their home for the newborn, particularly during the first trimester. It’s only logical that some changes have to be made to accommodate another member of the family, but don’t be surprised if most of a pregnant woman’s day consists of looking for baby stuff, talking about baby stuff, rearranging furniture, shopping for furniture and paint and so on. It’s best to just play along and offer a helping hand, but stay out of her way when it comes to big interior decoration decisions.

2. They can also become incredibly lazy and expect plenty of help

While there might be a strong nesting instinct in one group of pregnant women, others will start to get increasingly lazier. You will be expected, if not outright asked, to help out with the chores, which usually means doing the lion’s share of the work. With some luck you’ll probably be able to avoid big problems around the house, e.g. parts of it rotting away, and a few DIY home maintenance tips can help you keep things relatively tidy – don’t expect to be able to keep the home spotless, and don’t moan about her not helping.

3. They will get annoyed if you get overprotective

Here’s the kicker, pregnant women are quite the paradox, and depending on the woman things can go a few different ways. Some may expect help and not really be up to any type of physical work, while some will want to do some chores and stay active, but in most cases they won’t appreciate you treating them like a small child. If you become overprotective and just want them to sit around all day, lest they strain themselves from pouring a glass of water, you will get the full brunt of their pregnant rage (a phenomenon that has its own separate entry on this list). Lend a helping hand when needed, but don’t be overprotective.

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4. They get incredibly absent-minded

To picture how foggy a pregnant mind can get at times, imagine going to school or work after only 4-5 hours of sleep at night for a couple of consecutive days. If you have been there, you know how sluggish your brain can get, and how going from room to room is a sure way to forget what you needed or misplace something that you were carrying. A pregnant woman can get fairly absent-minded, so don’t expect her to tell you where she left the keys, and be sure to check if the oven is off if she was cooking in the kitchen.

5. They go from happy to boiling with rage to sad within minutes

Mood swings during pregnancy are a real thing, and a big, tearful, messy heap of a real thing at that. She will be just sitting there, watching her favorite show one minute, then before you know it she is crying – it might be a particularly emotional scene her hormones reacting to, or she may have seen a sad puppy in a commercial. Brace yourself, keep calm and weather the storm.

6. They will often stop mid-sentence and run off to the bathroom

You may not even get to hear her sad puppy story, because, statistically speaking, she needs to pee right now. No seriously, hold that thought, she’s already out the door and running down the hall. As the pregnancy progresses and the baby gets larger, it starts to press on her bladder and she will be cutting you off mid-sentence to go to the bathroom – every hour on the hour, like clockwork.

7. They can transfer their weird eating habits onto you

Everyone knows that pregnant women can get some very weird cravings and that they need to eat for two. It’s only natural, as the mommy and baby need a wide range of nutrients and plenty of calories. You know who doesn’t need all those extra calories? You. In a lot of cases a pregnant woman’s appetite can become contagious, affecting all those who spend a lot of time with her. It’s easy to start munching on some of the snacks that are always lying around, so be careful if you don’t want to put on a few extra pounds yourself.

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8. They don’t appreciate you being Captain Obvious and mentioning their size

I don’t know what it is with people, but someone always has to point out weight and size changes to a loved one who is pregnant. While a life partner commenting on the impressive size of her breasts is usually well-received, flat out saying something like: “Wow, look at how big you’ve got” or “Who says white girls don’t have booty, look at that thing” is frowned upon by the childbearing community – and by frowned upon I mean “you will get hurt if you don’t move out of the way of incoming projectiles fast enough”.

9. They instantly win any argument and that’s OK

Too tired from work to go get a tub of ice cream, Pringles and a burrito? She’s carrying your child, you insensitive bastard! Can’t help your pregnant sister by massaging her feet? Wow, I guess she can just spend the rest of the day in pain because her little sister is too busy texting – wait till the rest of the family hear about this. Why would you say that Twilight sucks? You know you shouldn’t upset a pregnant woman, what with her hormones raging and all. What’s wrong with you? You see, at some point every pregnant woman is going to abuse her total immunity to losing arguments, but it’s just something that you’ll have to get used to.

10. They won’t be able to fit into their shoes so expect to give foot massages

The foot massage comment in the last paragraph wasn’t just random – during pregnancy, a woman will gain some fat, but she will also hold a whole lot of water weight, and her blood can have trouble getting back to the heart effectively because the uterus is pressing on certain veins. This means that her ankles and feet will swell up, and some of the things she can do to combat the swelling is to stay of her feet, elevate them above heart level and massage them. So, get ready for some serious massaging.

11. They will lash out at you for the tiniest of things

We’ve already gone through the mood swings in a previous paragraph, but it is important to stress just how irritable and aggressive pregnant women can get. Oh, the hate, the unbridled anger that a sock left on the floor can cause. Have you mispronounced a word, or maybe you were talking too loudly or mumbling unintelligibly, or, heaven forbid, left a bottle of soda open? Well, be prepared for a long lecture or some screaming, because here comes the rage. It’s best to stay calm and relaxed, politely tell her that she is getting incredibly worked up over nothing and proceed to evacuate the area – say you’re going for ice cream and take your time.

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12. They become bored sitting around the house and need company

While the best way to avoid trouble is simply not being there, you can’t use that tactic all the time. You’ll need to help her out around the house, but more importantly, she will need someone to talk to and someone that she can have fun with. There’s not a lot of fun and exciting activities a woman can do in the later stages of pregnancy – she can’t exactly go running, have a few drinks with friends or dance the night away – so it’s up to the people who love her and care about her to provide some fun for her. If she wants to talk about babies for an hour, then so be it. Speaking of which.

13. They will do tons of research and keep talking about baby stuff

New mothers want to know all they can about pregnancy, childbirth, childcare and all sorts of baby-related stuff, and the internet allows them to do tons and tons of research on the subject. As with anyone who starts delving deeper into a subject and spending a few hours a day learning about it in detail, pregnant women will talk endlessly about baby stuff. They will manage to turn any conversation into a baby conversation within a few sentences. Go ahead, try talking to them about anything that comes to mind and time how much it takes for them to start the baby talk. Get in a few sentences on the topic you enjoy while you can, and then strap on because you’re in for a long ride.

14. They don’t like hearing pregnancy and parenting horror stories

Pregnant women are not the only ones who like to talk about children. Couples with kids love giving out advice to new parents, which can be quite helpful and is usually appreciated, but more often than not the conversation goes south and they end up talking about things like not getting any sleep, difficulties during labor and all kinds of negative things. Sure, they’re just venting a bit of frustration or trying to prepare the new mother, but she doesn’t want to hear about that kind of stuff. People with horror stories about doctors messing up or similar things they’ve read online should just keep their mouths shut.

15. They are extremely self-conscious and need some reassurance

Not being a jerk and making sure not to point a finger and call a pregnant woman fat is just common sense, but it’s not enough. You have to make an effort to make them feel comfortable, appreciated and beautiful, as they will become self-conscious and all those hormones won’t really help them deal with the physical changes quite so calmly. Once again, there is no need to be overprotective – just keep it straightforward and give them some reassurance.

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It may seem like a loved one who is pregnant is a minefield that should be carefully navigated, but there’s a reason for all this. With all the changes happening so quickly and hormones raging, she will need some help, patience and understanding from her family, but there will be some great moments, and seeing her with that motherly glow can be enough of a reward in itself.

Featured photo credit: Pregnant woman sitting on a bench. on background the children play. warm weather via shutterstock.com

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Ivan Dimitrijevic

Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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Last Updated on August 12, 2020

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

How to Listen to Your Gut

The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

1. Tune Into Your Body

Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

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Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

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4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

5. Challenge Your Assumptions

When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

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Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

7. Trust Yourself

It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

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Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

The Bottom Line

The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
[2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
[3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

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