We all have that “I wish I knew this earlier” moments in life. When that happens to me, I don’t get sad. Instead of mulling over how things might have been better for me had I known something earlier, I start thinking of how my realizations could probably help others who may be travelling or may travel the same path.
Below are the things pregnancy taught me which I wish I knew and I wish to share to pregnant moms, and to those planning to conceive. If someone somewhere finds at least an item that could help them, that means my purpose won’t be for naught. That would make me thrilled. So please, read on and share away!
1. Your wardrobe will change.If you decide to buy, invest on breastfeeding-friendly maternity clothes so you can use those even after postpartum. Three things that dominated my whole maternity closet were: tube tops and dresses, garterized skirts and leggings, and long blouses or loose shirts (Tips: Raid the husband’s closet! Also, if you want cheap but good quality breastfeeding friendly dresses and tops, try Tiny Tots. Find more breastfeeding related tips on this post.)
2. Your body will change – A lot. Learn to accept that fact now. Changes will happen from top to toe. And it’s not all pretty I tell you. I had acne in my first trimester. My OB GYN told me that the increase of hormones may lead to these changes. They’re also the reason for your morning/afternoon/evening sickness.
Because you will have to support the development of a new life inside you, gaining weight is inevitable. But there is an advisable weight gain depending on your pre-pregnancy weight. Be sure to consult your OB. The rest of your body will grow too. Your breast will prepare to produce milk, your hips will expand (I’m thankful for this one! haha!) and you’re legs and feet may appear bloated. Most, if not all of these changes happen to help your baby develop. So hang in there 🙂 I found this infographic helpful.
3. Your mood will change – A lot too. It helps to have an understanding husband who’s willing to be shouted at, cried on, etc. at wee hours of the night. I mostly did the crying (like all the time, and for no valid reason at all! >_<) And yes, your hormones are the culprit. Try not to be too sad all the time because it may affect your baby. Shake the mood swing off by indulging on activities that make you feel happy or relaxed. I love listening to the noise maid by rain (white noise) so the app rainy mood helped me at work many times. Having a conversation with my husband also helped heaps. And of course, try the all time favorite mood lifter – food!
4. And speaking of food, your diet will change. You have to take a lot of folic acid in the first trimester and to eat really healthy food all throughout. If you’re a sweet tooth like me, you have to come to terms with saying goodbye to too much sweets for a period of time unless you want to have gestational diabetes or you want your unborn child to be really heavy, in which case your delivery would be more difficult. When I was pregnant, I tried these green smoothie recipes and adjusted according to what’s available in the market and in our fridge.
5. Your self-esteem may change. But that depends on how at peace you are with your bulging belly and how often your husband tells you you’re beautiful. 🙂
6. Your sleeping pattern and sleeping quality will change. Stack up on pillows. If you have 5 on the bed, leave 1 for the husband and take all the 4 for yourself. A good sleep will be rare in your last trimester. Treasure sleep. The husband got me a nice pillow from this store as a birthday gift. It was such a relief and it’s still useful in breastfeeding doing the side lying position. 🙂 For tips on sleeping position too help you sleep well when you’re pregnant, try watching this video.
7. Your mobility and flexibility will change a lot. When I was nearing the end of my second trimester, I noticed I’m always out of breath when I reach my work station. I then realized I was walking really fast all the time after I get off the taxi, as if I’m not pregnant. When you’re pregnant, you can do less but you get tired more. Listen to your body. When you’re having a hard time doing something, say, strapping your sandals or picking something up, call for help.
Also, you may need your husband’s help to take a decent shower. You won’t be able to reach, much less clean most parts of your body. You may need a stool in the shower to make things easier.
8. Speaking of sandals, your shoe size may change. From a 5, mine went a size up. I thought my feet was going to be size 5 forever, so generally this was a good change for me. Haha! But the downside is, I won’t be able to wear my wedding shoes ever again.
9. The way society treats you will change. You will be a priority in almost everything – taxi lines, cr lines, elevator, grocery lines, and many more. It’s one of the perks of being pregnant, and I’ll bet you’ll miss it. I do. 🙂
10. You need to go the extra mile to be better prepared for all the changes. For me, it’s making better preparations for a successful breastfeeding that I failed to make. But since I am still breastfeeding my 1 year old son, I can say I also learned, albeit the hard way. If you want to know my breastfeeding story and what helped me succeed, feel free to read my next post. 🙂
Motherhood is divine and pregnancy is a miracle. If you view it that way, all the struggles will be easier to bear. On the most difficult days, pray and then imagine finally holding that precious baby in your arms. I promise it will all be worth it.