If you’ve ever been pregnant, the likelihood is you’ll have heard someone say ‘it’s not an illness’. There’s this huge school of thought (and it does make a lot of logical sense!) that you shouldn’t really stop being you and stop doing all these things you used to do just because you’re up the duff. But on the other hand, you constantly get people telling you off for trying to do anything – pick up a shopping bag, reach somewhere high/low etc. People step in at the slightest hint you might need to move just a centimetre in case they need to assist.
It’s a tricky one because yes there are times when you might want some extra support or someone to lend you a hand to save you spending ten minutes doing a ten second job (especially during the third trimester) – and of course you don’t want to offend anyone who’s genuinely trying to help – but on the other hand some people totally overreact! Some guidance here: if I’m trying to lump round 20kg weights then yes please intervene and tell me to stop being silly, if I’m carrying a small bag with one or two light things in it it’s absolutely fine! I have actually on occasions had to remind people I’m not actually dying!
It’s such a weird concept because you get people like our grandparents’ generation telling us in ‘their day’ they just got on with it and were probably still down the mines or sweeping chimneys when they went into labour, then about five minutes after giving birth they jumped out of bed, cleaned the whole house and put the dinner on the table ready for their husband coming home. But there’s so much research now into pregnancy and so much more we know about the long-term effects what we do during those nine months can have on the baby. Taking regular breaks when we need them, not overexerting ourselves too much, not taking up exercise we weren’t doing before we got pregnant – we know that’s all positive!
Also I don’t know about anyone else, but I slightly feel if I want to ask Dylan to pick up something that’s dropped on the floor to save me having to contort myself around the huge bump to get all the way down there and back up again, I feel that’s kind of okay! I’m not being lazy/feigning an illness/pretending I’m desperately unwell, I’m just being heavily pregnant!
Pregnancy is not an illness, but it is nine months of carrying round a person inside you, letting them kick your insides constantly, having your centre of gravity change completely, getting swollen and sore in places you didn’t know could hurt and that’s not mentioning getting the thing out of you at the end!
Harriet and bump x