Pregnancy Expectations vs. Reality, 6 Myths

Social media (ahem, Instagram specifically) wants you to believe that pregnancy and the journey to motherhood is full of picture-perfect moments of bliss. The truth? You may not love it. It may be a one-and-done for you. You may feel like you’re aboard the hot mess express 24/7. And guess what? That’s ok. While every woman’s journey is different, we can all agree that they never look like the “perfect” and oh-so-glamorous pictures appearing regularly as you scroll. There are pregnancy expectations, and then there is reality. Here are 6 myths to debunk the pregnancy expectations vs. reality theory.

Myth #1: I cannot WAIT to sport cute and stylish maternity clothes!

Reality: Expecting moms may be tempted to splurge on a whole new maternity wardrobe, but here’s the truth: the clothes are expensive and you won’t wear them long. Moms who have been through the pregnancy journey say there are three things they asked: Is it roomy enough? Are they comfortable? Does this cover my ass? Plus, there are so many genius pregnancy clothing hacks you can do with your existing clothes that you may not even need to buy much during the 9-month journey.

Myth #2: My skin is more radiant than a thousand angels

Reality: Cold hard truth? The proper term is sweaty. Your skin is sweaty all the time. And although people may suspect that you’re carrying the miracle of life, it won’t be because of the pregnancy “glow” everyone talks about. They may instead remark on how tired you look, or how pregnancy is hard work (ya think?). You may also deal with weird pregnancy symptoms like melasma, breakouts or rashes on your skin.

Myth #3: I can eat whatever I want because weird pregnancy cravings are SO normal

Reality: While it may be tempting, here are two cold realities to consider: one, your body may have an aversion to certain foods now, and two, it’s even easier to gain excessive weight while pregnant. And even if part of you is thinking “this is the time of my life when I’m supposed to gain weight and enjoy it,” also be prepared for the raging hormones that accompany pregnancy. The ones that cause you to feel whale-like every time you glimpse your reflection in the mirror and break down when your maternity clothes don’t fit over your belly OR your butt. Everything in moderation, including the cravings.

Myth #4: Being pregnant means I’ll get all of this attention now!

Reality: You WILL get attention while you’re pregnant. But it may not be the kind you’re expecting. “You’re how far along?” or “Are you expecting twins?” Oddly enough, privacy, manners and common decency go out the window with strangers. You may get questions that are far too personal, or remarks you wouldn’t utter to your worst enemy. Or you’ll get everyone’s favorite: mom-shaming. The most common assumption is you’re about to deliver at any moment even when you’re barely into your second trimester. Gee, thanks.

Myth #5: I’m going to be the mom flat out rocking the bump

Reality: If you’re thinking a charming little waddle accompanies you in the third trimester, you’re slightly mistaken. Yes you will waddle when you attempt walking, but sadly, you won’t be doing a lot of walking. Or even standing for that matter. By 32 weeks, you’ll give anything for a motorized scooter or anything that gets you off your feet that have now swollen to the size of a billy club.

Myth #6: The first few days with my baby will be so blissful and I’ll be so in love

Reality: You do experience a love with your new baby that is unlike anything else you’ve ever experienced. But with a brand new life also comes feelings of anxiety, sleep deprivation and worrying about keeping the baby alive. You can be as prepared as possible, and still be completely clueless once the baby is here. And you’ll be tempted to never leave your house where you can make sure the baby is safe and contained.

One more myth to reveal: you DO fall madly in love with your baby, you’ll become a great mother and all of the craziness of pregnancy is completely worth it. Even if it’s not what you see on Pinterest or Instagram.