10 things I wish I knew before becoming pregnant
Updated: Sep 15, 2021
Pregnancy is by far a wonderful experience for every woman who has had the opportunity to go through this journey.
However getting to experience the good, the raw, and sometimes the not no pleasant side of pregnancy is actually one of the biggest milestones that any woman can face in their lifetime.
Being pregnant can be compared to an adrenaline rush of emotions. Whether it‘s a time of fear coupled with excitement or a time of not knowing what to expect at each transition through the journey. Everyone however reacts to being pregnant differently.
When I got pregnant for the first time, I was super excited but also fearful. The questions I personally wrestled with were whether or not I would be a good mom, whether or not I would make it through the 9 months with a healthy baby, and what the birthing experience would be like for me.
I started out on a mission to explore and to know everything I could about being pregnant. I wanted everything to be perfect in my own world.
I also at the same time wanted to be the typical "superhero" mom and try the natural no hospital approach to being pregnant (that didn't go so well). Kudos to the natural birth mommas out there. I have absolutely no idea how you did it.
For the ones who are getting ready for this magical journey, here are 10 things I wished I knew before becoming pregnant.
Are you currently pregnant? What are your concerns? Let me know. Please feel free to share your own experiences or ask your questions or concerns in our FORUM section. I will be happy to help you!
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“Do not stress the small stuff and live each moment in the memory of being pregnant. It is breathtaking!"
LEARN TO RELAX
You confirmed your pregnancy with the doctor and the ball started rolling in your court. You are ready to plan your pregnancy to the "T". Every baby store is so attractive. The cute clothes, toys, and furniture are so adorable and you can‘t wait to get them all for your firstborn.
As much as this time is exciting, I urge you to not worry too much about the stuff but live and enjoy the memories of being pregnant and the changes that are occurring in your body. As moms, we get so busy trying to prepare ourselves for the arrival of our newborn that we can become super stressed out. Relax and try to enjoy this time. It goes by so fast.
Also do not fear not being ready. I did not think I was ready at all for my first child because of my hectic work schedule, however, I was still ready with just the basics for the birthing process and the newborn phase.
Whatever I really thought I needed, I got them after the baby arrived. That also saved me from having a ton of unnecessary baby stuff that may end up in storage.
If you need more information on how to reduce stress while being pregnant, visit my blog post on A mom in need of a timeout.
Put your health and well-being first and foremost. As a mom, make sure that your health is optimal during this time. Ensure that your eating properly by including a wide variety of healthy foods that can benefit your child's growth progress.
I confess, I have tried the gluten-free diet prior to being pregnant and thought that I could continue to do so after being pregnant. I failed miserably. I could not keep up with the demands my body needed at the time. I was a "starving" pregnant lady. The worst feeling ever.
You don't have to stress about every detail of what to eat. Just stick to having a variety of foods, especially whole fruits and vegetables, and less of the processed stuff. It's that simple. No need to worry about all the diet variations available, except in the case that it is required by your medical doctor or nutritionist for health-related issues.
If you do need additional help with what to eat when you're expecting in the 1st trimester, or 7 foods to avoid during pregnancy please visit my other blog post.
KNOW YOUR PARTNERS EXPECTATIONS
This is something that as women we don't really think about, but is very important especially when getting ready to co-parent. Even though you are the one who is pregnant, you have to be aware of your partner's role and expectations as well in the process.
You both want to definitely be on the same page when it comes to what is required during the pregnancy phase and beyond. Have the talk with your partner to understand their perceptions of your pregnancy and any underlining fears or concerns.
It is much better to know from the start, than to battle through any conflicts that may arise while being pregnant.
If you have any pre-determined ideas, be sure to talk them through with your partner and be ready to compromise when necessary.
KNOW YOUR BODY
I cannot stress the importance of knowing your body while being pregnant. The more that you are aware of your capabilities, the better it is to face any changes while being pregnant.
Pregnancy is one of the biggest changes to a female's body in general. A growing stomach, increase in breast size, stomach-related issues, bloating, etc.
The more aware and accepting you are of your body prior to becoming pregnant, the less startled that you may be after giving birth.
Embrace your body wholeheartedly and love every part of it. When the changes do occur, you are more accepting of the beauty of pregnancy and not the loss of your body.
BE ACCEPTING OF WHO YOU ARE
Becoming a mom is one of the greatest things that any woman can experience. On the other hand, there is so much fear behind it as well. The greatest fear I think that most women experience especially myself as a mom is whether or not we are going to be good mothers.
Whoever came up with the perfect mom syndrome never had children anyway!
It is a journey that does not require perfection. It just requires simply that you take each step, each milestone, and each day at a time. Let me quench this anxiety for you.
There is absolutely no perfect mom. We are all on a journey of trial and error.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Expect the unexpected, from the beginning all the way to the end. Have an open mind when it comes to being pregnant. Not everything will go according to your plans.
This is not to bring you fear. It is just a way of saying relax and take each day as you go. Anything can happen throughout your pregnancy.
I had a planned hospital birthing experience that I envisioned going exactly how I wanted it to. Absolutely nothing went according to my pre-determined plans.
Do know that whatever the experience is for you, you are more than ready for it with the help of your doctors, hospital staff, midwives, or doulas. And most importantly your partner, family members, or friends.
KNOW YOUR BOUNDARIES
I definitely recommend that you know your boundaries when it comes to being pregnant. What are the risks to every decision that you make and how will it affect the outcome of your pregnancy.
For example, in a work environment, know your limits of what you can and cannot do while you're pregnant. Depending on the work requirements, there may be times when you have to say no to something that makes you feel uncomfortable or puts your safety or your child's safety at risk.
It does not only involve a work situation, it can vary as you progress throughout your pregnancy. It could be travel restrictions, theme park restrictions, etc.
Just be aware of your boundaries when you are pregnant and learn to say no.
KNOWING YOUR RIGHTS AT WORK
Knowing your rights especially at work is key. The first thing to do is to contact your human resources and get information on what is expected of you while being pregnant and what arrangements, recommendations, or policies are in place for you while at work.
Sometimes as you progress during your pregnancy you may need workplace accommodations, for example moving to a sitting position from a standing position, or getting time off to attend doctor's appointments, etc.
Most companies may cover this under short-term disability depending on the scenario. Research everything thoroughly from the moment that you find out that you are pregnant, to ensure that you are aware of your companies policies and procedures for pregnancy.
Get the information from the start so that it enables a smoother transition while at work.
LIMIT THE OPINIONS YOU RECEIVE
As soon as you announce your pregnancy, be aware that everybody will have an opinion. I call this time the "battle of opinions". Your mom, mother-in-law, siblings, cousins, grandparents, cousins, you get the picture.
Everyone has an opinion or advice on what to do. It can get overwhelming depending on your comfortability with each person and their advice.
Choose the persons that you are more comfortable sharing information about your pregnancy. For me, it was my mother and my mother-in-law. They were the two that I choose to help me throughout that time.
I do recommend, however, always trusting your doctor first and foremost with the majority of the information that you will need during your pregnancy.
I also recommend getting one or two (not too many) knowledgeable and reputable pregnancy resources such as books or even local community groups that can provide you with trustworthy information.
KNOW THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO YOU
There are so many pregnancy resources available to you that can help you along, during pregnancy, and beyond.
Health Care Professionals
These are the first to contact throughout your pregnancy for your general well-being and any related pregnancy concerns. They are the experts.
Primary Physician Other specialties
OBGYN (Obstetrics and Gynecology)
Specialty Physicians e.g. endocrinologist
The hospital actually has so many resources available for women.
During my pregnancy, I was able to sign up for free birthing, breastfeeding, pregnancy-related and newborn classes that really helped. Do research this area to see what is available through your local hospital.
Check with your local government resources on what's available for you.
There are centers that hold classes for e.g. car seat safety or new parent classes.
Children's Board is a local government organization that hosts so many different free and available programs for pregnant moms.
Do a search in your specific areas as well to see what resources are available to you.
Community resources are also available to help you with preparation during pregnancy. There are actually support groups for pregnant women and moms. They usually have free events or product giveaways for moms. The best way to find them is to do a local search.
Pregnancy shows or conventions that showcased a wide variety of products on the market are also helpful resources. They provided you with more product information and services that you could use throughout your pregnancy period.
What I like most about these shows or conferences was that you could try the sample products before actually spending the money to purchase them.
It helped you to really see what was the best match for you. Also, another favorite of mine was the huge discounts that some companies offered that could save you a lot of money off the actual purchase of the products.
Search engines e.g. google
There are great resources and information available in any of these formats. I highly recommend however to always consult with your OBGYN or Primary care Physician whenever you decide to make any changes to your body, lifestyle, or diet.
Overall I do hope that this blog post was helpful for you. I really want you to be aware of everything that I can help you with based on my own experiences to ensure a smoother transition during your pregnancy.
Did you find the strategies listed in this article helpful? What were some of your favorite tips? How have they worked for you? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know what you think.
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