I share a list of the not-so-obvious activities and foods to avoid when breastfeeding & pregnant that I am really excited to do lots of now that I’m free!
Motherhood is an amazing blessing, but it’s also a crazy sacrifice! Honestly, if I were to write a blog post about all of the little things we give up, or all of the ways our lives change as women when we get pregnant, give birth and then nourish our little ones, it would be a neverending post. If you head over to Dr. Google, there are apparently SO MANY every-day activities & foods to avoid when breastfeeding & pregnant. Even if some of them are BS (NOTE: MOST OF THEM ARE BS), I get that it’s hard not to feel a tinge of anxiety or guilt when you indulge.
So as I enter this very exciting (and potentially) short lived period of my life where I am no longer pregnant and no longer breastfeeding (AKA MY BODY IS SOMEWHAT MY OWN), I have a bucket list of things I CAN’T WAIT to do.
Activities & Foods to Avoid When Breastfeeding & Pregnant that I CAN’T WAIT to Do Lots of NOW that I’m FREE!
Let’s kick things off with a bang:
Get High (with Something Tasty, Obvs.)
OK so I haven’t even thought about weed brownies since high school, but now that Marijuana is legal here in Canada, there are so many cool edibles on the market. Like forget your grandma’s home-made brownie (if your grandma ate weed brownies, she sounds pretty bad ass), I actually want to try some kind of lollipop, chocolate bar or fruit-flavoured gummy. Like even just a teeny tiny ear of a gummy is more excitement than I’ve had in the past two years! Honestly, I’m boring AF, so I don’t expect I would ever enjoy this, and I have no interest in making marijuana part of my usual routine, but I would really just like to SEE what that feels like to get a little bit stoned as an adult.
Get a Spray Tan!
Back in the day when I was young, fit and childless, I was a regular spray-tan fanatic. It definitely makes me feel more confident to have a nice glow, and I am a total SPF 50 kinda girl over here. But the fumes from a spray tan are not the best for baby while baking in utero, and I wouldn’t dream of ruining a good spray with my pump flanges. HA, I can just imagine a massive ring around my nips and the milk turning a subtle orange hue – neither are good scenarios. But right in time for short-season, I’m ready to get my tan on STAT.
Go Rollerblading on the Boardwalk
Yes, you COULD do this while breastfeeding or while pregnant, but I do not know how to stop on rollerblades, so this would for sure be considered an extreme sport and therefore NOT advised during pregnancy. And while I was exclusively pumping, I would have to schlep my pump everywhere with me, basically preventing me from ever participating in any biking, rollerblading, or even long walks without my massive pump bag. GUYS, THE WORLD IS MY OYSTER! SO MANY POSSIBILITIES! I AM SO HAPPY TO BE FREEEEEEEEE.
Get a Solid 8 Hour Sleep
The hormones associated with breastfeeding and pregnancy have REALLY cramped my sleep style. As soon as I weaned, my sleep was more restful and I didn’t wake up before my alarm went off in discomfort from rock-hard breasts. I also no longer have to get up at 5 AM to pump every day so it will be nice to maybe get to “sleep in” until 6 on the weekends and stay up past 9. Pregnancy, on the other hand, was even worse! Waking up early to vom, tossing and turning all night in discomfort, and general insomnia (without any ability to take any meds). UGH I AM NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING THAT AGAIN. Mama’s going to enjoy her sleep before the fun starts all over again.
Get a Facial
There are a lot of questionable ingredients in beauty and spa products that may not be safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding. While I have been feeling pretty haggard since becoming a mom, my dermatologist suggested I wait until after pregnancy and breastfeeding to get a facial, likely because of the risk of retinol-based products. I can’t say I’m looking forward to the extractions which hurt like a MF, but I’m hopeful that it might help me not feel like I’ve aged 5 years in 12 months.
Drink Alcohol Without Guilt
Okay, so I’ve already written about and established that drinking in moderation while breastfeeding is A-OK and the whole pump and dump thing is a total myth. However, alcohol IS an issue in pregnancy, so it is recommended that mom significantly limit their intake (or abstain completely) during those 9 months. It also can have some small impacts on breastmilk supply, so while I was an oversupplier by the second half of my son’s first year, in the early days, I couldn’t spare a single drop! Any time I would have a drink, I would see a small decline in my output, which of course, made it hard to enjoy a good drink without guilt. So here’s to future patio day-drinking while grandma has Baby E – totally care-free.
Wear a Fitted Dress without Buttons
By the very last few months of my last pregnancy, I was ALL ABOUT rocking the bump in my tight fitted dresses, but the first half of pregnancy I just looked bloated. Not to mention, I also was kinda trying to hide the bump until I was ready to disclose, meaning I can look forward to baggier, more forgiving tops in the early days of round 2. Then of course, while I was exclusively pumping or breastfeeding, the girls ALWAYS had to be easily accessible, so my “mom uniform” included a pumping tank, a basic button up blouse, and lululemons (because, you know, comfort). I have been filling my online shopping cart for MONTHS now, dreaming of some sexy fitted dresses and tops to help me shake up my current look, and I’m definitely looking forward to FINALLY “checking out”.
Leave the House without a Million Snacks
When I was pregnant, I got into this grandma habit of collecting little candies anywhere I saw a candy dish so that I would have something to pop in my mouth when I got nauseous. Well, that same habit became VITAL while breastfeeding because I would be HANGRY AF no matter how much I ate. Honestly, I love to eat, but a girl also has to get shit done and the hunger that comes along with both pregnancy and breastfeeding can sometimes be a burden. And if I am calling the need to EAT even slightly annoying, it’s probably cumbersome AF.
Drink Any Tea Without Googling it’s Safety
I’ve written a pretty in depth list on the safety of foods and supplements during pregnancy, and there are a BUNCH of questionable herbs and teas that LEGIT made me crazy. Hibiscus is a no-no in pregnancy, while mint can reduce milk supply while nursing. And those are just two of my faves! Now that I’ve been both pregnant and breastfeeding, I can barely even remember which herb is safe when, so unless I want to constantly be checking lists, I’ll probably just avoid them all together. I’m going to use this sweet freedom to drink whatever the hell I want, whenever the hell I want, and not have a compulsion to post on my mommy groups to check if it’s kosher.
Let’s be real, the scary internet and mom blog world suggests there are so many activities & foods to avoid when breastfeeding & pregnant and while some of them are more grounded in truth than others, it still gives me a sense of guilt and anxiety that I am so happy I can be free of for at least a little while. I am definitely going to enjoy this little taste of freedom while I can.
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Now mamas, what simple activities or foods are you going to enjoy while you’re not breastfeeding or pregnant?
What did you take for granted before you had kids that you would CHERISH now that you’re not growing or nourishing a wee one?
Leave me a comment below with your thoughts!
Updated on August 7th, 2020
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian (RD), regulated by the Ontario College of Dietitians. She is a mom, YouTuber, Blogger, award winning cookbook author, media coach specializing in food and nutrition influencers, and a frequent contributor to national publications like Healthline and on national broadcast TV shows.