Should pregnant women get a free pass on bad behavior?

Women have a variety of emotions during pregnancy, which can result in some questionable behavior. How can loved ones help with these emotions? Here are some ideas.

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  • When a woman is pregnant, her body is going through a lot. She is extra tired, battling morning sickness, and her body is growing and expanding in ways like it has never done before. She also is undergoing a lot of emotional changes. Hormones are all over the place during and after pregnancy. One minute she is fine, the next she is crying for no reason. It may seem frustrating for those around her to not know how to best deal with her emotional roller coasters, but it is more frustrating for her to not know, either. With all these changes happening, it may seem fair to give pregnant women a free pass for their extra emotions, sometimes insane demands and overall bad behavior. However, just because she is pregnant, a woman should not take advantage of those she loves. There are some things husbands, friends and family can do to help make her pregnancy just a bit easier.

  • 1. Be extra supportive

  • Whether it is going out in the middle of the night for oranges or a comforting hug when she is crying for no reason, this is the time to become an expert supporter. Don't worry about the "why" behind these crazy behaviors, just smile and accept it. Sometimes there is really not a good reason why a woman gets a particular craving or emotion, it just happens and the best thing you can do is go along with it. Trust me; everyone will be much happier if you do.

  • 2. Know when to get out of her way

  • There will be times during a pregnancy when a woman gets a sudden burst of energy. She wants to clean the whole house, build a rocking chair, wash all the baby clothes and run a marathon. When those moments happen, it is best to just let them. While a pregnant woman should not overdo it, especially the closer she gets to her due date, it is natural to want to nest and prepare for the baby. This can come in the form of actually decorating a nursery or completing a whole to-do list in one day. Help her, reminder her to rest occasionally, and be willing to get sweaty doing some physical labor during those days.

  • 3. Don't go overboard on the advice

  • It seems when a woman is sporting a pregnancy bump, everyone feels the need to give their opinion and advice. How best to breastfeed, what foods she should eat, what foods she should not eat, how to prevent swollen ankles, natural versus a drug induced labor and the list goes on. While the advice is usually meant well, it can get overwhelming and, let's be honest, annoying, at times. She will ask her doctor about what is best for her and the baby's health, and she will read enough articles and books to fill her head with all kinds of different opinions so she does not need unsolicited advice from the people she looks to for comfort. If she asks, give away, but if not, it is best just to keep your remarks to yourself. With that said, if you do have legitimate concerns for her health or the health of the baby you should speak up, but if it is just to tell her she shouldn't eat the entire carton of ice cream, you should probably just grab a spoon and join her, instead.

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  • 4. Step in when needed

  • There may be a time when a pregnant woman is struggling. She may be overly tired, stressed, or just overwhelmed, in general. If you see this happening, take over. Finish the task she was in the middle of, tell her to sit down, rest and don't worry about the things she still has left to do. It can be hard for a woman to admit when she can't do something, and most likely she will not ask for help. But by being aware of her needs and what she is feeling, you can help her even when she doesn't think she needs it.

  • Pregnant women can be hard to understand sometimes, and no matter what you do, there will still be moments of misunderstandings and meltdowns. But by keeping these few pieces of advice in mind, the pregnancy experience can be better for everyone.

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Megan Shauri graduated with a bachelors in anthropology and a masters in psychology. She is a mother of twins.

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