Setting limits and communicating our needs to others isn’t always easy. Throw in pregnancy in the mix, and setting boundaries while pregnant becomes a whole new ball game.

There’s a lot I’ve learned in twenty weeks when it comes to setting boundaries with a baby on the way…

Learning to set boundaries has been (and will continue to be) a lifelong process for me. It’s something I’ve slowly grown more comfortable with, and I’ve learned that the more boundaries I set around my energy and time, the more calm and joyful I feel.

When I learned I was pregnant; I expected there to be new challenges and a lot of new things to learn. What I didn’t account for was how important setting boundaries would become – and also how challenging.

pregnant belly

WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT SETTING BOUNDARIES WHILE PREGNANT

Quite quickly, I learned that everyone will have an opinion about your pregnancy. Here’s a small sampling of you can expect to hear unsolicited advice on (based on my experiences):

  • The possible gender of your baby
  • How your labor and delivery will go
  • What you should name him/her
  • How you should (and shouldn’t) give birth
  • When and what you should tell others
  • How their pregnancy and birth went (so naturally yours will follow suit)

While most people are very well-intentioned, it can still irk you to the core if you’re not looking for opinions and if what they have to say causes more harm than good.

I believe it’s important to learn to set boundaries, communicate what opinions you’re open to, and back up your boundaries with tough-love as needed. Learning to set healthy boundaries and getting comfortable with using your No (which can be difficult) is essential for a more joy-filled pregnancy journey.

woman having a water birth

HOW TO START SETTING BOUNDARIES WHILE PREGNANT

I’ll be the first to admit it: I have little to zero clues about what I’m doing when it comes to raising a child.

On the flip side, I am very in touch with how my body reacts when someone is violating my boundaries. I know what it feels like to be grounded in my beliefs and truth – and chances are I’m not wavering from that spot.

Pregnancy presents many new physical and emotional challenges, many of which you’ve never encountered before. To effectively set limits with yourself and others during this particular time, there are a few very essential pieces of information to keep in mind.

To begin setting healthy boundaries during your pregnancy, I encourage you to take the following steps:

  • Get in touch with your core desired feelings while pregnant
  • Begin to trust your intuition and hone your instincts
  • Pick one or two trusted friends to confide in and ask for advice
  • Contruct a few one-liners to fall back on when your boundaries are challenged


THREE TIMES IT’S IMPORTANT TO SET BOUNDARIES DURING PREGNANCY

1. WHEN SOMEONE OFFERS UNSOLICITED ADVICE

…especially if it causes you fear or panic

When I confided my birth “plan” (in quotes because I use this term loosely) to a small group of friends, I was immediately met with pushback and fear-mongering stories of their birth.

A part of me began to second-guess my decisions, but a bigger part of me politely explained that I would move forward with the best choice for me — end of discussion.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, don’t be afraid to tap into and stand in your own voice. You do not have to have the same pregnancy or birth as those around you, nor do you need to grin and bear their unsolicited opinions.

woman sleeping in bed with a face mask on

2. WHEN YOU’RE POOPED (OR JUST DON’T WANT TO)

Learning to say No has been an essential part of maintaining my sanity throughout my pregnancy journey.

This act will require you to say No to your husband/partner, your boss, your co-workers, your kids, your neighbors, your family, and others. By doing so, you are ensuring that you are saying yes to yourself.

Whether you’re exhausted, nauseous, or just had enough of acting like a human, saying No to requests is a healthy boundary to set while growing a little one. This act can help protect your precious energy and maintain your mental wellbeing.

3. WHEN SOMEONE ASKS YOU SOMETHING YOU DON’T WANT TO SHARE

Have you thought of names?

Do you plan on going back to work?

What’s your birth plan?

What’s the gender?

Do you plan on breastfeeding?

Are you going to use drugs during delivery?

These are a small sampling of the questions that might come your way once pregnant. I found that sometimes, I do want to share my answers – and sometimes, I don’t.

Try not to feel guilty if you don’t give everyone the same amount of access into your pregnancy. It’s perfectly okay to set boundaries on the amount of information you share, and with whom. Over time, you’ll get a clearer picture of what knowledge you are comfortable with openly sharing, and what you want to guard a little closer.

woman breastfeeding

FINAL THOUGHTS ON BOUNDARIES WHILE PREGNANT

Over the course of your pregnancy, the needs and requirements of your boundaries will change, shift, and grow.

Learn to be okay with this, and find comfort in tuning back into your core desired feelings to keep you grounded throughout the nine months.

Above all, remember that you’ve got this, mama.