Let's face it, many of us focus on how "not to get pregnant" and when you are actually, "trying" to get pregnant, you think it will come easily and the process will be seamless. No matter what anyone tells you, when you are pregnant for the first time, it's like nothing else you have experienced.
Here are a 10 tips I wish I heard before I actually became pregnant:
1. May Not Happen Right Away: When you are ready to start trying for a baby, if you had been on some sort of birth control, you think the solution is just throwing it away and next month you will be pregnant. The truth is, this is what happened to several of my friends. For me, it took a trip to an infertility doctor. If you are trying for awhile and feel there may be an issue, don't be shy about calling your doctor to see if you need another plan of action. There are so many great resources out there these days. Just know that what you thought would be your pregnancy plan, may be different in the end.
2. "Other People's" Horror Stories: For some odd reason, people feel the need to give you stories of their own pregnancies. But instead of the great things they learned or how the enjoyed it, they tell you negative details. Be prepared to "tune-out" these stories and just listen to the positive advice you can gain from friends, family and other resources.
3. Strangers Say and Do the Strangest Things: When you are pregnant, you will have people come up and touch your stomach without asking, comment about the size of your bump, predict your baby's gender and more. I have had all of these happen to me plus I was shopping for maternity clothes in one store that sold both maternity and regular women's clothing. The salesperson asked me if I was shopping for maternity clothes and I said yes. Then she replied, "Phew, because I made that mistake three times already today." (Pointing non-pregnant women to the maternity clothing section.) Try to prepare yourself for people to notice not just you now, but your baby bump.
4. Bring A Friend To Register: Baby items can be overwhelming and even reading up on different brands, may not be enough when you are faced with a store of everything "baby." Either go to one of your friend's houses and have he or she show you what is important to register for or take your friend with you when you shop. It will cut down on the time, frustration and the figuring out of what to add to your list.
5. Morning Sickness: Not everyone has morning sickness, but if you are one of them, I suggest bland foods, water and ginger. Talk to your doctor first to make sure it is not an extreme case, but if not, I found crackers and water worked well enough to get over the initial stage. And, it does go away! At the time, I thought there would be no end in sight, but it usually doesn't last too long.
6. Change Exercise Routine, Even Walking: I had talked to my doctor about what was appropriate and what was not in terms of exercising, but I thought walking would be okay. I ended up pulling my round ligament while walking for exercise. The round ligament starts in the groin and runs up each side of the uterus to support it during pregnancy. It is fairly common my doctor explained to pull or stretch it, but it was a shock to me when it happened.
7. Pregnancy Clothes Needs: As soon as your pregnant, you want to run out and buy something maternity just to remind yourself and everyone else you are pregnant. With your first pregnancy, it takes awhile to show so you may not need maternity clothes for awhile. Plus everyone carries babies differently so some people may need maternity pants first while others may need shirts.
8. Everything Sleep: Sleep during pregnancy changes throughout. In the beginning and towards the end, your body is in overdrive and you are tired. Try and take naps when you can even if it's just a short one on the weekends. Also, it's recommended that you sleep on your side and preferably the left side to increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach your baby. If I had heard this before I had gotten pregnant, I would have started to try and sleep in this position. If you are used to being a back or stomach sleeper, it's hard to break that habit.
9. Prenatal Vitamins: Your doctor will recommend taking prenatal vitamins once you are pregnant, but if you are currently trying, you can start taking them now. Folic Acid and Iron are important for healthy pregnancies so starting early, will prepare you. Also, once you are pregnant and if you are experiencing morning sickness, one brand of prenatal vitamins may be easier for you to stomach than another. Talk to your doctor if you are having issues and switch.
10. Goes Faster Than You Think: Try and enjoy as much of your pregnancy as you can. It's hard at times with morning sickness, being tired and having to go to the bathroom a lot, but if you think about it, less than a year to make a human being is pretty amazing. And, you won't have this first pregnancy moment to redo.
Have you gone through a pregnancy already and have some advice to share? Maybe there was something you wished you knew before you started the process?