Becoming a mother is one of the most wonderful things that can happen to a woman, but it can also be a scary, unnerving and overwhelming thing.
Even if you have a child or you feel prepared to be a mother, there may be some things you wished you’d known before that adorable, squirming bundle of joy is placed in your arms.
Here are a few of the things most moms wish they knew before getting pregnant, and if you are on your way to becoming a mother, you will want to know as well.
1. Your experience with pregnancy will be totally different from anyone else’s
Sure, there are many basic things that will be similar to all women throughout history who have been pregnant, but since you are a unique individual, your birth, child and child-rearing experience will be different.
Knowing your experience will be different is good to keep in mind when many people offer their unsolicited advice and will help you know that although it’s good to listen to advice, it’s OK to not apply everything they tell you to do.
Also, don’t be frightened when something in your pregnancy is different from your mother’s or your best friend’s, it just means that your pregnancy is its own thing and that’s perfectly alright.
2. No matter how good or bad of sleeper you were before pregnancy, you will be constantly tired
You will never be more tired than when you’re pregnant (with the exception of the sleep deprivation that also accompanies your newborn baby).
Get a new mattress, get a lot of fluffy pillows, sleep on a recliner – do everything you need to feel as well rested as possible (because it’s only going to get worse).
3. If you choose to breastfeed, it will most likely be really, really hard
This is something many new moms aren’t sufficiently warned about, but they should definitely understand more. Many moms assume that breastfeeding is natural and that their body and baby will automatically know how, but that isn’t always the case. It can be extremely hard, painful and a continual adjustment for your baby and you.
Even if it’s challenging, don’t be afraid to breastfeed. Use your resources such as asking a lactation specialist for help. (And if it feels like you would rather just formula feed, that is OK too.)
4. In the midst of being pregnant, don’t forget you are a person first and foremost
It is very easy to get caught up constantly thinking about your pregnancy and future baby – especially if you are a first-time mom – but it’s really important to take care of yourself and your needs. Doing this will only make you a better wife, mother, friend, employee, etc.
Like they tell you on airplanes, you have to put your oxygen mask on before you try to put it on someone else because a passed out person is useless to everyone. Likewise, you will most likely be a useless mommy if you don’t take care of your needs.
5. Babymoons should be a mandatory plan that will save you and your husband’s relationship
A babymoon can happen either before the baby comes or pretty soon after, but it should be a fixed plan for the sake of your marriage.
Babies change everything, including how you relate to your spouse, especially because your quality time alone together will go from all the time to pretty rare once the baby comes.
Take a trip to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico (so you don’t have to be stressed figuring out how to eat or rent snorkels in a foreign country), go to a cabin in the woods or visit a city you’ve never been to. Whatever it is, do it together and make sure it’s about relaxation and spending time with each other alone.
6. Trust yourself and your instincts
You will carry that baby for nine months, and that means there is a very special bond you and your child will or already have.
This means that many times you will know better than anyone else (with maybe the exception if your spouse) what you or the baby you’re carrying needs.
Listen to those instincts carefully and always follow them when it comes to your child.
7. Enjoy every second of your pregnancy because it will go by quicker than you think
The crazy thing about babies is that they grow, and they grow faster than you thought possible.
Take advantage of every stage of your pregnancy and document it well. Be that annoying person who posts her growing belly every week. There will be a time where you will never be pregnant again and you will miss feeling that little baby inside of you.
Trust me; you will want to have those memories forever.
Who knows if you can ever truly prepare for pregnancy and the strange and wonderful things that accompany it, but this will at least help you to know what you have to look forward to.