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7 Things No One Told You to Expect When Expecting

by Mehak Garg

While movies and TV might have trained everyone to believe that projectile-vomiting-in-the-middle-of-a-day is a universal first sign of pregnancy, pregnancy in real life is not always what you'd think it's like. And while most of us go for the most-trusted Google-baba in almost everything in life, pregnancy is an overwhelming experience to navigate. Especially, when you're pregnant and everyone from your mother-in-law to strangers on the bus seem super-eager to share totally unasked for advice, opinions, and labor horror stories with you.

But there are actually are a few things that pregnant women really do need to hear—and chances are even these advice-giving relatives may not mention them to you.

Here is all that was left out in the 'becoming a mumma' manual:

1. Every woman is different

Women usually assume that their own pregnancy journey would mirror their friends’. Something about hearing their friends’ “This is what it was like for me” stories leaves them assuming their body would work just like their friends’ had.

“Oh my best friend's cousin, could avoid morning sickness through this completely unrelated and unusual method? So, it will work for me too!” Lo and behold, this did not happen because — duh — everyone is different.

2. Morning Sickness is not just in the “morning”

During the first trimester, you may experience morning sickness, nausea caused by hormones that can kick in as early as two weeks after conception. And despite the name, morning sickness isn't just limited to the morning. It can hit some women at night or throughout the day, too. While morning sickness usually dissipates by the 12th week of your pregnancy, for some women it lasts longer. Some women may see the symptoms return towards the end of pregnancy as well.

3. It’s not what the books say

Many women have read the American book “What to expect when you’re expecting” however it is not very tailored to Indian women and Indian scenario. There isn’t really a book that explains everything realistically. Many of you will read the books or get on Google but you will only read what you want to see and it can be information overload!

4. It isn’t about eating “for two”

Usually, all pregnant women hear is that they are “eating for two” and as such can eat as much as they want to.

Except...sorry, but you really should not do this. The truth is, keeping pregnancy weight gain limited is a challenge for most pregnant women—and being told you can indulge is exactly what makes it harder to resist. But if you eat for two—forgetting, momentarily, that one of you is the size of a small eggplant and definitely does not need a second slice of that pizza—you'll gain too much weight, which could cause complications for you and your baby, both now and in the future.

5. Exercise won’t hurt

Staying active is important for your general health and can help you reduce stress, control your weight, improve circulation, boost your mood, and sleep better. Take a pregnancy exercise class (like the ones provided by the purple nest) or walk at least 15-20 minutes every day at a moderate pace, in cool, shaded areas or indoors in order to prevent overheating.

6. Staying Healthy is a must

If you're pregnant, you probably know some of the basic pregnancy advice about taking care of yourself and the baby: don't smoke or be around second-hand smoke, don't drink, and get your rest and take your prenatal vitamins.

7. You know your body better than anyone else

Listen to your doctor (duh). But listen to yourself too. Only you know the patterns of your body and life. Being pregnant can be a beautiful and frustrating process, and everyone has an opinion, advice, or a sure thing. Friends, doctors, parents, co-workers and spouses may have a lot to say about you, your body, and your pregnancy, but trust your own gut too. And your uterus.

Pregnancy is a beautiful journey which becomes easier to walk through when you have educated yourself. Even if this isn't your first baby, attending a childbirth class will help you feel more prepared for delivery. Not only will you have the chance to learn more about childbirth and infant care, but you can ask specific questions and voice any concerns.

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