Pregnant women could very well be tired of hearing that every pregnancy is unique and different. It’s little wonder, then, that we don’t pay much attention to this fact. When I first discovered that I was pregnant, I braced myself for all those things that have become synonymous with pregnancy—morning sickness (which can strike even in the middle of the night, by the way), odd food cravings, and insurmountable fatigue. I also signed up for a flurry of joyful emotions and nine months of uninterrupted bliss.
But when none of that came along in the way that I had expected it to, I understood what they really mean when they say that every pregnancy is ‘different’. There’s truly very little that can be said about what to expect when you’re expecting, but I wish I had been told that there are certain things that are really normal.
Without much ado, here are some things that I had wish I had known while I was still pregnant.
Brace yourself for a host of bodily changes (apart from weight gain) – The media is notorious for glorifying pregnancy as a beautiful baby bump, but the truth is rarely as pretty as that. In addition to the bump and the oodles of weight gain, you’ll have to brace yourself for all kinds of unpleasant bodily excretions (frequent urination, vomiting, flatulence), thick and luscious hair growth-all over your body, and yet more.
You probably won’t gain much weight in the first trimester – When I first found out that I was pregnant, I expected to start gaining weight soon. But I soon found that I did not put on much weight at all in the first trimester, and my morning sickness could take much of the blame for that. This is normal, so don’t stress out if you’re not gaining weigh yet.
You shouldn’t put off buying maternity wear – Friends and family might encourage you to continue wearing your regular, slightly oversized clothes for a long time, because encouraging someone to buy maternity wear could indirectly trigger a host of body image issues in women. So, do yourself the favour and invest in some comfortable (and good-looking) maternity wear.
Eating for two may not be the best thing to do – For time immemorial, pregnant women have been encouraged to ‘eat for two’. My older family members encouraged me to do this too. Not only is this a senseless practice that gives you reason indulge your food cravings, but it isn’t actually helping you nutritionally. The key is to assess your nutritional needs and plan a balanced diet accordingly.
There’s lots that’ll keep you awake at night – From cramps across your body to an exceptionally enhanced sexual drive (contrary to popular belief), you’ll have many a sleepless nights.
Getting your pre-pregnancy body back is not easy – No one really tells you that your belly isn’t automatically going to ‘deflate’ back to normal right after the delivery. In fact, it takes a lot of time and consistent effort for you to get your pre-pregnancy body back. Don’t let this demoralize you, because it always helps to be prepared.
Pregnancy is not as beautiful as it is made out to be, and that’s fine – Pregnancy is a pretty tough experience-emotionally and physically, and very little of it is actually blissful and enjoyable. So, if you find yourself hating it every now and then, it’s totally okay. Cut yourself some slack, because the best part (i.e. motherhood) is yet to begin.
Every woman’s experience of pregnancy is unique, so allow yourself to experience your own set of ups and downs, and stay informed to stay prepared—mentally, emotionally and physically.
Blogger, Neha Bhasin, 30, New Delhi