8 Best (and worst) Pieces of Pregnancy Advice
8 Best (and worst) Pieces of Pregnancy Advice
There’s something about being pregnant that makes people, whether they are friends or strangers, give you tidbits of totally unsolicited pieces of pregnancy, postpartum, and parenting advice. Often bordering on the brink of totally and completely inappropriate, this wisdom ranges from topics of first trimester morning sickness to bodily fluids, to labor and delivery horror stories. I like to think that most people mean well (maybe), but more often than not, when I was pregnant, I felt like people sharing their less-than-ideal circumstances were just them looking for validation on their own personal experiences.
That being said, I did receive some amazing tidbits of advice that I hope other expecting moms will find so helpful! Especially near the end of my pregnancy, I clung to these little gems, and they were incredibly helpful for my mindset, especially as things got really tough in those final weeks.
1. “…what if your body gets better after baby?"
My sweet husband said this to me after I was lamenting about how many people told me that bouncing back post-baby was next to impossible. After he told me this, I had a complete shift of mindset, and actually realized and observed that it’s the norm for people to bounce back after having a baby. (Assuming that you are eating well- this is key!) Its actually more uncommon for people to not bounce back post-baby, although of course some people take longer than others. Furthermore, there is a widespread holistic belief across numerous cultures that the postpartum period for women is one that allows health and wellness to actually improve or pre-pregnancy health problems to decrease or totally disappear because your body is so malleable and “open” after such a big physical change. Why isn’t this thought propagated more in our society? I really wish it was.
2. “A woman’s body is meant to do this.”
Its so true, and hearing this multiple times made me trust the process. Have you seen how organs move around, bones expand, and ligaments stretch in a pregnant woman’s body? Its nothing short of amazing, and nature knows much more about how to get through a pregnancy than trying to rationalize every little thing ever will.
3. “Pregnancy is just a season."
In the moment, pregnancy feels like forever. Especially during those bouts of insomnia, nausea, clothes not fitting, etc., it feels like it will last forever. As terrible as it can be, 9 months really just is a blip over the course of a lifespan, and getting through it is the only way out during those final, bitter weeks.
4. “Rest in knowing that you are doing the best you can with what you have.”
There’s an infinite amount of information related to pregnancy, babies, labor, and parenting. Huge masses of information are entirely overwhelming, so I found great comfort in committing to doing the best that I could and then finding solace in that.
5. “Go into labor with an open mind.”
Everyone is different. I will say this again for dramatic effect…. everyone is different.
Not one person, pregnancy, or baby is the same, so thinking that your labor is going to be “textbook”, similar to your mother’s, sister’s, cousin’s, friend’s labor is foolish and honestly an unrealistic expectation. Anything can happen, its hard to predict, and things can change so quickly that being flexible and open to any kind of process will help you even more than preparing the ideal experience that you have your heart or mind set on.
6. “Labor is not the worst pain you will ever have.”
Is labor painful? In my experience? Absolutely, yes. However, there are some people who have pain-free labors, and some that have minimal pain. Pain is also highly subjective, so someone sharing excruciating stories doesn’t really serve anyone, and it certainly isn't the right thing to hear when prepping for the labor and delivery experience.
7. “6-weeks postpartum is just starting point.”
Its a very common belief that 6-weeks postpartum is when things are “normal” again. This is just not true, and using that 6-week marker at a launch point instead of an end goal is one of the best, most realistic pieces of advice I ever received.
8. "Accept the help.”
Pregnancy is hard. Labor and delivery is hard. Taking care of an infant is hard. Postpartum is hard. Anyway you look at it, having a child is difficult. (Not to say it isn’t wonderful and joyful and enlightening too! These things are not mutually exclusive!) When you have a baby, people want to help, and you should let them; there’s no trophy for doing it all yourself. Personally, we had an army of people (family, friends, and hired) and it was one of the best decisions we ever made while recovering and transitioning into our new life and roles.
…and because I know everyone also wants the worst pieces of pregnancy advice, here they are too!
1. “Your body will never be the same.”
So first…see above for my real thoughts on this. Second, can we not?
2. “Its worth it in the end. “
This statement is SO true. However, saying this to anyone who is suffering through a miserable pregnancy, especially a first time mom, where the idea of having a child is still an abstract concept, totally minimizes and dismisses the emotions that this person is going through in the moment. A better thing to say? “I empathize with you, and I am really sorry. This sh*t is hard, I'm proud of you, and I believe in you.”
3. “My labor was 60+ hours, I tore everywhere, needed forceps, and it ended in a C-section."
Again, see above. Also, sharing your horror story does not prepare someone for their own labor. It just doesn’t.
4. “Say goodbye to life as you know it! You will never have time, energy, money, etc. for anything ever again!”
Parenting is hard and it changes your life. Yes, things won’t be the same, but this highly negative statement is more of a reflection on that person’s life, and not necessarily how yours will play out. Having things like time, energy, money, etc. is a direct reflection on the choices you make, where you put your priorities, and honestly a little bit of luck and/or misfortune. Furthermore, I can provide 100 anecdotes for each one of these that refutes the above statement. Maybe this outcome is true for some people, but not for everyone!
So was this helpful? If it was, please let me know but also share! I will share more things pregnancy, kids, and motherhood related if there’s interest. :)