Danelle “Barbi” Ice is a problogger and the founder/editor of HomemakerBarbi.com, an online Home & How-To magazine with free resources specializing in homemaking, parenting, frugal living, and family life. If you liked this article, visit Homemaker Barbi!
New moms wonder about a lot of things as they experience pregnancy, from losing baby weight to pregnant body image. What you’re most curious about – the weird, funny questions and deep, dark feelings – are what we’re not afraid to talk about. If you missed yesterday’s 6 truths about pregnancy and motherhood, go read it first.
Below, we’re giving you 6 more truths you don’t have to wonder about anymore!
1. It’s okay to wear your maternity clothes before you need them just so people will know you’re pregnant. It’s completely normal to wish you were showing the day you find out the news! Before you start to show, you walk around feeling different and pregnant, but to the rest of the world you look exactly the same. If you’re excited for your new maternity clothes and really want people to know your news, by all means – pack away your pre-pregnancy clothes and go maternity now.
2. Pregnancy tees with funny sayings are A-OK! Celebrities are wearing them these days, even dads are wearing them. Shirts that have funny pictures and sayings about pregnancy are all the rage. 2chix.com has “Bun in the oven”, “What’s kickin?”, “It’s a girl”, “Pregzilla”, “You had me at epidural”, and the list goes on and on. More and more moms want to show off their pregnancies with baby bump t-shirts that advertise the joyous news. Will you get weird looks and comments from some childless people? Yes, but who cares! Enjoy your pregnancy any way you want to – these shirts are a definite “Do”!
3. Be balanced about baby talk or risk burning out others. While some husbands and relatives will be just as consumed with thinking about and talking about the baby as you are, keep a balance. The baby is in you, growing, moving, changing your habits, and with you everywhere you go, every minute. It’s natural that your thinking will be focused on baby-related talk much of the time.
Please keep this in mind: your husband, friends, and family members are excited about the baby too, but they still love the pre-pregnancy you as well. It doesn’t have to be baby talk 24/7! Every once in a while, it’s okay to call up girlfriends and chat about this week’s episode of Lost. Have a romantic dinner date with your hubby in which you talk about dreams, stories, and interests not centered on the baby. You can still be the woman he fell in love with, dreams about, and lusts after too – not shifted into the role of mommy and baby-maker 100% of the time!
4. Breastfeeding is not for every mom. If you can’t breastfeed, don’t feel guilty. If you don’t want to, don’t feel bad. Own your decision and do not listen to unsolicited recommendations from your friends or family. The decision to breastfeed or not is yours alone; it’s your body and only you have to feel comfortable with what you do.
5. Not every woman adjusts to motherhood quickly after her first baby is born. Some women shift into “mommy mode” during pregnancy. However, others may still not be used to their new role for several months after giving birth. Give it time and don’t feel bad if it doesn’t come to you naturally right away. Your new role is a major life change, and it will grow on you with time and experience, so don’t worry!
6. It is natural to be proud of your pregnant body one minute, and self-conscious the next. If you’re 7 months pregnant, feel as big as a house (I did), and uncomfortable, it’s hard to feel beautiful and attractive 100% of the time. Your thoughts may vary wildly, from proud and wanting to show off that baby bump to wishing for your skinny pre-pregnancy body back.
When I was pregnant, I could walk through a store feeling big and proud, until I saw a beautiful (non-pregnant) woman walk by, wearing a stylish (non-maternity) outfit. Instantly, I’d have a desperate longing for my regular body back, I’d feel large and un-pretty, and feel a little out of place.
While not enjoyable, this body image flip-flop is completely normal! Your body image in your mind is the picture of how you envision yourself. For most of us, that picture is how we’ve looked for most of our lives, not the way we look now that we’re pregnant. It can be hard for the brain to reconcile the discrepancy between those two images during pregnancy. Focus on the end result: a beautiful baby, an addition to your family, and your non-pregnant body back when it’s all said and done!
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Photo courtesy of stock.exchange.