10 Commandments of Pregnancy

10 Commandments of Pregnancy


Portrait of beautiful pregnant black mother holding her pregnant belly at home. Close-up.

Regardless of religious views, we’ve all heard of the Ten Commandments. They pretty much cover the basics like “Don’t murder” and “Be humble.” But how about pregnancy? In such a challenging, life-changing (and life-forming) time in your life, we think pregnancy should get its own set of 10 commandments. That way, you know who is most important (spoiler: it’s you) and a few things you MUST do (like practice self-care with zero guilt). Here are 10 commandments of pregnancy to follow that might make these nine months as magical as they can be (puking aside, of course).

10 Commandments of Pregnancy

Here are 10 commandments of pregnancy to follow for a happier journey.

1. Thou Shalt Advocate for Yourself and Your Baby and Set Your Own Boundaries

This means telling anyone who touches your belly without permission to get their inappropriate, grimy hands away from you because you are not a house cat. And if something doesn’t feel right, speak up — unapologetically. Don’t like the way your OBGYN treats you? Switch doctors. Want an epidural even though your MIL says you shouldn’t get one? YOUR body, YOUR baby, YOUR rules.

2. Thou Shalt Be Kind to Yourself and Learn to Accept, Appreciate, and Love Your Growing Body

Wear comfy clothes that make you feel good, tell yourself you’re beautiful and strong every time you look in the mirror, and feel zero guilt at whatever number is on the scale at the doctor’s office. Yes, you might have stretch marks. Or skin blotches on your face and feet the size of cantaloupes. But remember — you’re growing a whole human, and your body is a temple. Practice self-love over self-criticism every chance you get.

3. Thou Shalt Take Care of Your Health and Nutrition as Well as Your Baby’s

It’s important that you take a daily quality prenatal vitamin and get lots of healthy fruits, veggies, protein, and water into your body. However, feel free also to put your feet up and inhale an entire bag of Doritos when you so please. (And if you fall asleep on the couch covered in crumbs, your partner should lovingly cover you with a blanket and leave you be.)

4. Thou Shalt Wear Whatever Thou Choose Because Your Comfort is of the Utmost Importance

Invest in practical maternity wear that fits — for work, home, going to Target, or going to dinner with your bestie. If your partner is spending money on golfing this Saturday, then Mama can buy a pricey maternity dress that makes her feel beautiful! Also, if lounging around in a sports bra when your mother-in-law comes over (why bother with a shirt when none of them cover your belly anyway?) makes you feel good and cools off your raging body temperature, thou shalt ignore her judgy side-eye and not hesitate to wear exactly that.

5. Thou Shalt Feel No Obligation to Respond With Manners When People Comment on How ‘Big’ You Are

This goes for other inappropriate comments like, “Are you sure there aren’t twins in there?” or “Whoa! Get out of the way! Here she comes!” as you walk down the hall. You do not have to smile in return or even acknowledge this obnoxiousness at all, really. Other than maybe providing a brief lecture on why it’s offensive to comment on a woman’s body, turning on your heels, and walking away.

6. Thou Shalt Practice Unapologetic, Consistent, and Meaningful Self-Care

If that includes a Netflix binge and your favorite takeout or a girls’ day out pedicure and a shopping spree at your local maternity store, so be it. Or maybe it’s a giant piece of your favorite stuffed crust pizza followed by a long, warm, candlelit bath with soothing music playing. Whatever helps you rest and relax, do it. Unapologetic. Consistent. Meaningful. Self-care.

7. Thou Shalt Get First Dibs on All Snacks, Pillows, Blankets, Thermostat Settings, Couch Cushions, and TV Show Choices

If you want to watch “Friends” re-runs for the 98th night in a row and get the long part of the couch, it’s yours. You’re literally carrying around an EXTRA PERSON. Anyone getting in your way may suffer the wrath of an exhausted pregnant woman, and thou shalt feel zero guilt about burning down the village Khaleesi-style if someone in your house eats your favorite pretzels.

8. Thou Shalt Pass Gas Without Hesitation or Embarrassment Whenever Thou Body Feels theUrge

If someone tries to tease you about it, ask them if they’ve grown a human.

9. Thou Shalt Not Feel Obligated to Apologize for Having to Bolt to the Bathroom to Puke If Crab Cakes are Served at a Dinner Party

Or if you leave the party altogether and go home to put on sweats, eat ice cream out of the carton, and binge-watch “Grey’s Anatomy.”

10. Thou Shalt Reveal Your Baby’s Name When You Choose

Unless you’re choosing a borderline abusive name like COVID-19 or X, you owe no one an explanation. Nor are you obligated to entertain what your husband’s second cousin Martha thinks you should name your child. You’re pushing that kid out, so you get to hold the pen when the birth certificate comes.

There you have it, mamas. The 10 commandments of pregnancy cover the essentials: bodily autonomy, self-care, and remembering who, exactly, is the boss here. And don’t forget to check back for the 10 commandments of postpartum recovery—including “Thou shalt not feel obligated to host houseguests” and “Thou shalt not feel the pressure to have a clean house . . . ever again.”

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