Every one has pregnancy advice, even people who have never been pregnant. Sometimes the advice is completely unwarranted and stupid. Sometimes its really useful. I got a lot of really great advice when I first found out that I was pregnant. Unfortunately, I either brushed off a lot of it or simply did not comprehend it. Here are a few things any pregnant woman needs to know:
1. Unless you have super elastic skin, stretch marks are inevitable. You can slather on the coco butter until you feel like a ball of butter and then whine when they appear despite your efforts, but the truth is, stretch marks come with the territory. At first, I was applying coco butter to my belly three times a day. Now that I have a ton of stretch marks I use it once or twice a day. Honestly, I don’t mind them. My boyfriend still thinks I’m sexy and a healthy baby is worth a few scars.
2. Your doctor will warn you of new vaginal discharge. My doctor said something like “you should expect to see a thick discharge that looks yellow in your underwear. Don’t be alarmed, its totally normal.” What she should have told me is that at random times throughout the day it will feel like Vaseline is oozing from my vagina. TOTALLY NORMAL.
3. Start doing kegel exercises and squats now. Anyone who has been pregnant will tell you that doing kegels during pregnancy will make delivery much easier. Squats are also great for preparing your muscles for labor. Don’t brush off this advice, start now. If you’re like me and wait until you’re seven months in and fifty pounds heavier, your vagina and pelvic floor will feel like they just ran a marathon.
4. Old eating disorders can resurface during pregnancy. If you have ever struggled with an eating disorder and are newly pregnant, you should inform your doctor. They may want to refer you to a specialist and will probably ask you a lot of questions about your nutrition at every appointment. It may seem annoying, but having a concerned doctor is better than dealing with an eating disorder alone.
5. When asked, “How are you today?”, the only answer you will be able to come up with is “tired.” In your first trimester, no amount of sleep will revive you. Your body will be going through so many changes that it will be nearly impossible to feel rested. In the second trimester, the shackles of sleepiness fall off. Your appendages no longer feel covered in concrete. You may even find motivation to go for a walk or to start gardening. But then comes the third trimester. This is usually when the nesting and insomnia begin. It’s also when your baby is growing most rapidly and stealing your last shreds of energy. You will be SO TIRED.
6. Not everyone gets morning sickness. I never got it and I know a few people who didn’t either. Now, I don’t want to give you a false sense of hope. I hear morning sickness is a bitch. If you do get morning sickness, the good news is it doesn’t last for the whole pregnancy and it means your body is producing hormones properly.
7. The heartburn is intense. You may not get it for a while, but it will hit you like a ton of bricks. It will wake you up at night, interrupt you with bile in the middle of a conversation and attack you after every meal. Tums will become your best friend. If heartburn becomes a serious problem, ask your doctor about taking an acid reducer.
8. Find a doctor who you really love. Pregnancy can be stressful. You don’t want the added stress of seeing someone you don’t like on a monthly to weekly basis. If you aren’t comfortable with your doctor, find a new one. I have an amazing doctor. When I get scared and cry she sets down her clip board, takes a seat, and gives me her full attention. When I feel better, we talk about the amazing books we are reading.
9. Once you start to “show,” you will have to pee all the time. In your third trimester frequent urination becomes constant urination. Some advice: invest in panty liners. Accidents happen. Since I’m a water-guzzler (100 or more ounces a day) I am always one sneeze away from wetting myself. Hence my habbit of carrying extra undies with me when I know I will be out for the day.
Pregnancy is a beautifully weird, life-altering experience. You will get through the wild changes just fine if you can take good advice from the experienced and ignore bad advice. You may even enjoy being pregnant.
Do any of you mommas out there have additional advice? Share it in the comments below!