{Pregnancy Week} 3 Pregnancy “Don’ts” that I Do Anyway


It’s Pregnancy Week here on Scottsdale Moms Blog! If you are just tuning in, be sure to read the rest of the week’s posts here.

I’m 19.5 weeks pregnant today. The halfway mark is what I’ve been setting my sights on throughout my ENTIRE first trimester. This is my third pregnancy and I’m LOVING my second trimester energy, appetite and overall motivation.

For twelve VERY long weeks (6-18 weeks) I did not feel 100%. I was nauseous, tired, unmotivated, grumpy, achy and a bit depressed. I fought all these symptoms with exercise (three times per week), a visit from my mom, two days at a spa, prepared food from Safeway and lots and lots of TV for my kiddos.

But, I’m happy to report that immediately when the 18 week mark arrived so did my energy, motivation and appetite!! (Insert applause here.) I feel great and I love having a little belly bump to prove all the work I’ve been doing the past few months!

Since this is my third pregnancy, I’ve been a little bit more relaxed with myself on the typical “pregnancy rules”. You may think that I’m irresponsible, a terrible mother or just ignorant, but I’ve just been trying to make it through the day. Survival. Mode.

When I was pregnant with #1, I looked for all of the “Pregnancy Don’ts” lists that the internet had to offer. With #3, I just did a little bit of research to check my facts for this here post. 😉 So, without further ado, here are the Pregnancy “don’ts” that I do anyway:

1. Riding Horses

As a former Equestrian (I rode in my youth and competitively in college), I love horses. I miss them and in this season of life I rarely have the time let alone the opportunity to sit in a saddle. So, when the opportunity came for me to go on a quiet trail ride through the desert, I took it. It was fabulous. I’d do it again.

Now, most people say to avoid horseback riding during pregnancy (which is the conservative approach), while horse people say to stop riding around 12 weeks and even others say to stay on horses you trust and know and listen to your body. My thing is that I always want to know “WHY” a rule is what it is. I don’t take it for face value.

So, here’s WHY you shouldn’t ride while pregnant. 1. The risk of falling or getting kicked 2. The bouncing movement can cause the placenta to come detached and then you have real problems that could have been prevented. 3. Your equilibrium changes in pregnancy and that’s a big deal when riding a horse (see #1)

For me, I knew that the horse that I would ride would be very safe since it is a trail horse (i.e. it has to be slow and dependable). I also decided that I would just walk since I wouldn’t know the gate (bouncyness) of horse. Lastly, I really wanted to and figured that it was just as dangerous to drive in my car as it was to ride that horse (my own probability equation). So, there you have it. (For more information, here’s an article that does a good job explaining this pregnancy don’t.)

2. Eating Tuna Fish

Ok, this one is in the “eat in moderation” list and not always on the “don’ts”, but with my first pregnancy, I avoided tuna like the plague. For this pregnancy, during my I-don’t-want-to-cook-or-eat-anything phase I could handle throwing together some tuna fish for everyone and eating a sandwich. (Here’s a good article about it if you want the details.)

3. Lifting weights

Now, my husband and I own Cactus CrossFit, which is a CrossFit gym that uses constantly varied, functional movement at high intensity in a small group setting. I’ve been religious about getting in three times per week since January and it’s made a huge difference in my attitude, energy and emotional health. I make it a priority to get in and it has made all the difference in the world for making it through pregnancy #3!

The general pregnancy “don’t” that I often see is “don’t lift more than 25 pounds“. Well, this blanket statement doesn’t take into consideration HOW you are lifting something and doesn’t know that I’m used to lifting three times that weight over my head, and that’s “going light”.

I don’t strain myself and I have had years of weightlifting under my belt and lots and lots of time to know what my body can and should do. I love the part of pregnancy where I can listen to my body. For instance, I stopped doing heavy back squats the other day when I felt a twinge in my hip. I modified my exercise and was able to continue without pain.

I LOVE working out during pregnancy because I can REALLY tell how much my body is changing just through using it. I can feel my hips and joints getting looser as the elastin starts to work. I can feel my balance and strength change as my tummy grows and my blood increases. One week I can do a movement without losing my breath and the next week I’ll need more of a break because I get winded. It’s so much fun to really see the difference in my body from week to week!

In this picture I’m lifting 53 pounds. This is a pretty light weight for what I’m doing and since I’m using my legs to get the weight over head and not my back or my belly. It’s not for everyone, but it’s certainly not something I’m willing to give up for this pregnancy. I know it will help me with labor and delivery and especially my recovery.

Now, what about you? What pregnancy don’ts do you do? Do you have a glass of wine? Drink coffee? Play with matches? Do tell!


  1. So funny, I break many rules, but haven’t ever done the three you mention (don’t lift weights, can’t stand tuna fish, and haven’t had the opportunity to ride while pregnant)! It’s all the “probably shouldn’t” and “best to avoid” rules that get me – I do them, but not without guilt! Like: soft cheeses, deli meat, runny eggs, 2 cups coffee/day, and probably some that I’m forgetting. 🙂

  2. I love the playing with matches statement! I avoided horses on our annual trip this summer (sadly) but I’m with Sarah on the soft cheeses, deli meats and coffee…and maybe a bite of sashimi or two….oh and the meds. I’ve got ANOTHER cold (damn preschool) this week and I’ve researched and researched and researched and decided that two doses of Mucinex is not going to do significant damage but it will allow me to feel like a human enough to raise the kiddo that is not in my belly! And I love the whole “don’t lift over 25 pounds”. If only my 35 pound preschooler got that memo.

    • Haha! Beth, isn’t that the truth! Both my kids are now over 25 pounds… I think it’s certainly something for “high risk” pregnancies, but man there are a lot of things that I just gotta keep on doing regardless of my “condition”! I’m so sorry you have ANOTHER cold!!! Man, sometimes it’s just survival people!

  3. Awesome job keeping up the workouts and also still doing things you love Joy (like horse back riding)! You look awesome my friend so it’s paying off!! I got lots of funny looks (and comments) hiking Camelback when I was prego with Shay…but like you said, if your body is used to it, it’s not a big deal. Had to slow down a bit more with the twins…but did photo sessions up until a week or two before they were born. Made my clients a bit nervous hehe. Oh yes, and I’m with the other mommas…cup of coffee everyday.

  4. When I was pregnant, I will admit I probably broke a few too many “rules”, but my baby girl is happy and healthy! I had a diet coke every morning during the first trimester (it was the only thing that helped with morning sickness!), and during my 3rd trimester I ate Subway EVERY day…so much so that I was named “Customer of the Month” and got to eat there for free for an entire month!! I also will admit I had a few sips of wine here and there (Valentine’s Day and on a vacation). It was nothing more than 2 sips each time, but I did still feel guilty about that one.

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