In your teenage years, your older siblings and cousins got pregnant and rejoiced at new life. You, on the other hand, observed in horror as their bellies grew. There was no way in HELL you were ready for a child! Now that you’re older and bit more experienced, it’s your closest friends that are becoming those baby makers. And sooner than you think, you’ll be, or be in love with, one of those waddling wonders.
Well, forget everything you’ve “heard” about pregnancy. As a 25-year-old pregnant woman, these are the most common misconceptions about pregnancy:
Eating For Two
First of all, pregnant women only need about 300 – 500 calories more per day–that’s one extra PB&J a day. We don’t enjoy gorging ourselves into oblivion. Here’s the truth about pregnancy eating: it’s not that great. You get really, really hungry, like, Olsen twins hungry. The problem is your growing uterus doesn’t just magically stick straight like your belly. It takes up a lot of space, cramming other organs around and making your actual stomach very small. Digestion is a bitch. Freebasing five slices of pizza in 20 minutes just leads to two hours of horrible indigestion and sadness. It’s just not worth it.
The moment my pregnancy was confirmed, my man started treating me like I’d broken a hip. “I’m FINE!” The truth is that women are encouraged to continue, or begin, doing light workouts throughout pregnancy to keep our muscles active and to prep our bodies for the marathon of delivery. Don’t believe me? Check out the hashtags #FitPregnancy or #YogaForTwo on Instagram and see how many fit and able mamas there are out there.
The Pregnancy Glow
Sure, some women look like pregnant angels for nine months, with gloriously long and thick hair, and flawless skin. They shine from the wonder of creating life! But really, the majority of pregnant women would fall under the “I’m No Angel” category during pregnancy. They get something called the “mask of pregnancy,” which is the appearance of dark brown splotches across your face. They constantly look tired because, dammit, we are exhausted! It’s all swollen ankles, a swollen face, and just generally swollen all around. Or if you’re lucky like me, you get a sexy case of chest acne to accompany your preggo boobs. Awesome.
We Want The Juice!
Now, I could jump on my soapbox and preach for hours about the medical and emotional side effects of pain relief drugs during labor. But, I won’t put on my crunchy mama hat. I will say, however, that it’s extremely annoying to tell people I plan to have a totally unmedicated childbirth and receive nothing but crazy, disapproving looks.
In reality, it really isn’t anyone’s business how I hope to bring my child into the world. As long as bae and my midwife support me, I don’t need your judgment. Every birth is different, and every woman needs to make the choice that is best for her and her baby.
We’re Lazy/ Boring
Imagine you haven’t slept a full night in seven months; you’re 40 pounds heavier than normal, continuously nauseous, and every seven minutes you’re internally accosted by a very rude squatter. You would probably be less inclined to go anywhere and do anything. Doesn’t mean we just want to lie around all day. Ok, we do, but we won’t! In fact, the sheer willpower it took for us to shower and get dressed deserves a round of applause.
Overall, the important thing to remember is that no two pregnancies are the same. While one woman may be the poster child for pregnancy symptoms, her best friend may have the smoothest pregnancy possible. Never assume anything. Don’t ask us how we’re feeling unless you want the truth about hemorrhoids and leaky nipples. Don’t give us unsolicited advice. Let us ask you. And most importantly, don’t comment on the size of the belly.
Here’s your tip: Instead of fearing us, tell us we look wonderful and remind us that despite this person who’s growing inside us, we’re still the same as ever. That’s all we want to hear.