What moms-to-be and more really need to know about pregnancy

When you find out you are pregnant, or even when you start talking about getting pregnant, your “expert” friends, unsolicited, will probably start to lend you books or give you tips that don't apply to you, or pass on clothes that will never fit. Some may even want to advise you on baby names! Or they will smother you with their own newborn pictures, forgetting that what applied to them won't necessarily apply to you as well... Despite all this, there were some things I did not know and will save me for my second pregnancy.

1. It'll take a while before fitting into maternity clothes. When you first look at your due date calculator, you still have plenty of time before you need to buy anything much bigger than usual. At one month pregnant, I purchased a maternity bathing suit for my trip to Mexico. I did not look any different from any spring break college girl with a bit of a beer belly. The bathing suit created a huge air pocket only to be filled during month 8. One lady gave me her entire pregnant wardrobe which never quite fit me until the last month. I ended up wearing one comfy little black dress I had bought for myself and lived in my lulu lemon pants and long tanks the rest of the time. Stick to a basic pair of maternity jeans, a few t-s and a nice dress.

2. If you are lucky enough to not have nausea, you will only feel pregnant for about 2 months. Hurray for marathon training, hot yoga, gardening (with gloves), and sleeping on your back and right side! The only wise advice is to listen to your body. Unless you are bleeding, otherwise uncomfortable or about to faint, then you are just fine. I read that moms to be and more should only sleep on their left side, to relieve pressure on the big vein that's in the back of the uterus. My midwife assured me that most people's veins are strong enough to help proper circulation, and that unless you feel light-headed, any sleeping position is fine. Though you may feel sleepy during your first couple of months, and waddle around at a slower pace towards the very end, no need to be on standby for the whole 9 months.

3. You can eat, drink and not be married (yet)! Yes I had champagne and sushi for my shotgun wedding. I've discovered, through travel, that our North American beliefs mostly circulate in North America. In Europe, they will serve you hard liquor to congratulate you on your pregnant bump. When asked, my Japanese friends laughed and said: of course my mother ate sushi while pregnant, we own a sushi restaurant! Though it is never advisable to make yourself sick during pregnancy, it's mostly for mommy, not for baby-related reasons. Sometimes, when not fresh or consumed in proper quantities, raw food or alcohol can make anyone sick. I believe a mother has the responsibility to be healthy, active and to know where her food is coming from. Eat certified organic foods, and choose fresh ingredients as a way of life. And when in doubt, just take a look around the world and look at what other people have been eating for centuries.

Basically, just use some common sense when getting pregnant, and soon after checking the birth date on your due date calculator, you'll be looking at baby names and not much later you'll be sending around newborn pictures!

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