Congratulations, you're pregnant!!! Now wait for it!
I know, you are excited and you want to tell everyone that you are pregnant, and so you should. Revel in one of life's greatest events. I do however want to give you a little cautious warning. Maybe you are not a first time mother reading this and think you know what I am going to warn the other pregnant ladies about and that it doesn't matter to you, you will get left alone to enjoy your pregnancy in peace. You are completely wrong, it just starts all over except now you have all your own memories to add to the pot.
First of all what you need to learn very quickly is what is factual pregnancy information and what is pregnancy opinions or old wives tales.
Old wives' pregnancy tales
Your pregnancy will be approximately anywhere between 37 weeks - 40 weeks long, if you are classed as going full term. The first thing that will stress pregnant ladies out is that they fixate and so does every one else on your ESTIMATED due date, which is based on your last menstrual period. That is a truly long time to be listening to the same constant drivel of what sex your baby is, and even longer and sadly not really funny to the mummy to be that people still insist on predicting even AFTER you tell them what sex the scan said your baby was. People really are that frustrating about other people's pregnancy.
Every single body motion you have will have a significance to the sex of your baby, all of them old myths that when stood against science, quite a few fall.Apparently
- Most common pregnancy advice is that if the baby's heart rate is above 140bpm then the baby is a girl, and obviously if it is slower then it is a boy.
- Even the shape of your pregnant stomach is enough for strangers to give you their pregnancy expertise and their predictive gift. Apparantley if you are having a boy, your stomach will be pointing forward and carrying low. If you are having a girl then your stomach will be high and round. Funnily enough I have carried 5 children and have just been a big mass of stomach no matter whether the baby was a boy or a girl, I have had 2 boys and 3 girls. The fact is that if you have stronger set of stomach muscles than another pregnant lady, your stomach will be a different shape.
Restrictive pregnancy advice that crosses boundaries
Probably the most frustrating part of being pregnant, well at least the advice part of pregnancy, is the advice that restricts your activity and isn't even medically needed.
- Don't carry anything to heavy or pick up small children. There is no basis as to why you can not do this, but you will be scolded every time you are seen lifting whilst pregnant. You will constantly be saying " I am pregnant, not ill!", no one will listen however.
- Don't stretch, even if what you are stretching for will save your life, don't stretch or the old wives brigade will scold you, and tell you that you will be making the umbilical cord wrap around the babies neck, because horrid fears like that are not already going around your head, so they thought you needed a bit more scaring!
- If you crave something you must eat it or it will do something to the baby,( really?).
People will be adamant that you need to breast feed, and others will say that you will find it easier to bottle feed. You will have people that want to you to be loud and proud and breast feed in public, whilst others will ask if you plan on being so brass or will you use the bathroom.
You will be asked if you are carrying on at work, and you guessed it, there is no correct answer to this either.
What pregnancy information you really need to listen to
Do not listen to out dated advice from parents, as things change so so quickly. My mother was going to make me go in a " salt bath" after having stitches with my oldest daughter, thank heavens I ignored her, because I later found out that what that does is dehydrate and tighten the stitches, and that needlessly causes you extra pain.
You need to read the pamphlets that your midwife will give to you as that will be the scientifically correct pregnancy information.
There are pregnancy sites such as Bounty and Cow and Gate forums, but again, read the advice of other mum's offer with a pinch of salt, mainly because you will not be able to verify it all, but there are also professional articles on those sites.
The main things that you need to find out about are, what you can eat, as some foods are higher in bacteria and are advised as dangerous for pregnant women. This is one of the thing that your midwife will make sure she discusses with you.
What sort of exercise you are allowed to do, as the hormone relaxin will make it so you can pull a muscle far eassier than before you were pregnant. This level of activity is depending on your exercise activity level pre pregnancy. No one can suddenly do a 10 mile jog if they were a couch potato pre pregnancy, but if you were very fit and active pre pregnancy, then aqua aerobics or ante natal aerobics classes, swimming or a good walk will do no harm, and the exercise can actually keep you fit for the labour and post pregnancy shape up.
You also need to know what will happen at different intervals in your pregnancy, such as blood tests, scans and ante natal appointments. This again can be provided by your midwife at any time during your pregnancy.
The only way you will really get through your pregnancy and the ever so "meant well" pregnancy advice, is to smile, listen and walk away whilst already mind dumping the information they have ever so kindly tried to share with you. Which, oops, forgot to mention, will also be every gory second of their awfully painful and tortured labors. So awful that they went on to have more. Not that labor is a walk in the park, or it would not be called labor, but every woman and every birth is so different, this will be something else you just have to grit your teeth and smile through, because scarily enough, that is you in the future, with your birth story to tell the world, it is a right of passage.
So again, congratulations.x