We asked, you answered: Moms and dads who have been there, done that offer up 10 pregnancy surprises. These are the things they wish they knew before, during and after their pregnancy. Check out these real examples of insights that would have proved helpful and enlightening to these parents and parents-to-be.
When you’re pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, it seems the unsolicited advice runs rampant.
You’ll hear people tell you what kind of Boppy Pillow to buy. You’ll have people tell you that you should “definitely” have a natural birth or a pool birth or a doula or a therapy dog present. And you’ll definitely hear about what kinds of foods to induce labor, what kind of tea to drink to reduce nausea during your pregnancy and what kind of underwear for less “chafing.”
But something you might not hear as often: Some of the symptoms and side effects, both before and after giving birth, that were totally unexpected. These are the ultimate pregnancy surprises.
So we asked the question of moms and dads who have been there, done that: What do you wish you had known would happen during your pregnancy — you know, during the time you were supposed to be all sweet and beautiful and glowing?
Here is Part 1, featuring 10 real-life, crowdsourced pregnancy surprises from parents. And yes, there are multiple parts to this post, because people are passionate about sharing their wisdom! We’ll publish the second part later this month.
Pregnancy surprises: What do you wish you had known about pregnancy?
- “The only symptom I never heard anyone talk about is extra blood flow making me feel all sorts of weird feelings in my head. I feel like I’m in a dream half the time. I looked it up online when it started happening, and tons of women have the same symptom.” — Anna K.
- “For me it was an after-birth surprise. I had no clue your tummy doesn’t just spring back to where it was pre-pregnancy. It was a rude awakening in the hospital when I had to have my husband go home and get a pair of maternity sweatpants to get dressed to go home in. I’d hoped to dress in my old cute jeans…. nope!” — Suzanne M.
- “I didn’t know that while you’re pregnant, friends and strangers would tell you their nightmare delivery stories. Oh — and that complete strangers will, uninvited, touch your baby bump. I didn’t know that you’re in the safety zone while pregnant and that men and women openly adore you. I didn’t know that besides the mother, the nurses do most of the work. I didn’t know that even though they’ve obviously seen hundreds of deliveries, nurses and doctors cry too once your baby is out. I didn’t know even though I thought they must be crazy to send a tiny human home with me, that you instinctively know how to parent. I didn’t know what it meant to love something more than myself and how that changes everything.” — Cathy B.
- “I had no idea the weird things that it does to hair. My bangs stuck straight out for months, and I just had to go with it. There wasn’t enough product that would make them lie down.” — Heidi P.
- “That you may not go home with your child if there are any complications. That was a sad day. But 22 years later, we are blessed, because everything turned out fine.” — Kristine F.
- “I didn’t know people would opine out loud to you, that you must not have purposely gotten pregnant with Baby #2 or 3, etc., implying you failed basic high school biology and that you should have known better than to have more than one kid.” — Jessica L.
- “I didn’t know that near the pregnancy’s end, as the hips widen, that those bones could begin to separate. I was sore and achy. And I wish I’d slowed down and rested more in the last few weeks.” — April C.
- “I had heard about food cravings, but no one told me food aversions were also a thing. I bought a whole load of groceries for the week, and by the time I got home, I suddenly couldn’t even look at the ground turkey (that’s not an exaggeration), let alone cook it and eat it. I didn’t throw up necessarily, but my body told me to avoid most meats and vegetables. I pretty much lived on plain bagels and cereal for half my pregnancy.” — Danielle S.
- “Morning sickness is SO not just in the morning! All-the-time sickness is what I experienced. And why didn’t anyone warn me about butthole pain during and after birth?” — Stephanie C.
- “The juiciness. Every possible secretion was in hyper drive.” — Jane F.