We have seen advertisements and posters of happy babies with their moms in media and hospitals. Every mother knows pregnancy and motherhood is not easy as the pictures and posters portray. Nevertheless, it is still a truly rewarding experience.
This post is meant to bust some myths and to make moms understand the reality and facts around motherhood and pregnancy.
I need to have a baby before I turn 30.
Reality – Don’t have a deadline. Stress will reduce fertility levels and mess up with hormones.
Things may not always go as per your plan while having a baby. The more you focus/stress on this deadline, higher the chance of not achieving it.
Remember, the baby will form when the nature knows you are happy, healthy and ready to receive and nourish a life.
Your tummy is too high/low/small/big.
Reality – These comments will be heard by most moms. Each one’s body and each baby is different.
Someone’s tummy might be high, some low, some moms have smaller bumps and some have it big. The shape of the tummy and how it looks cannot be decided or controlled by the mom or anyone around. It is what it is.
People comment about tummy size and body shapes because they don’t realise how foolish it is to comment on a pregnant woman/new mom.
Do not feel bad when people comment on tummy size and body shape. Just smile at their stupidity and move on. What matters for the child inside is to have a happy, healthy and confident mom. The shape of the tummy doesn’t matter.
I am anyway going to gain a lot of weight, so I can indulge in whatever I want now.
Reality – You are going to gain a lot of fat – and it is for a reason, But do it the right way.
The body will store fat in the breasts and hips for a reason – To protect and nourish the baby while it is inside and once it is born.
Eating junk /processed /packaged food during pregnancy will not only make it harder to lose weight later, but also not provide nourishment to the baby and your body. It will also put you at a higher risk for gestational diabetes and thyroid disorders during or post pregnancy. Moreover, your food habits during pregnancy will decide the baby’s eating habits too.
If you are craving for processed/packaged food it is a sign that you are deficient in micronutrients and not getting enough nourishment.
Pregnancy and postpartum are the time one should focus more on eating fresh nourishing, nutritious and balanced food. You need to have enough nutrients to nourish the baby for ten months, feed them for a year after that and then take care of them for several years.
Eating fresh and nourishing food during pregnancy will make it easy for you to burn all the fat that you will gained. The nourishing nutritious pregnancy foods will also help you produce more breast milk.
I haven’t lost the pregnancy weight yet.
Reality- You won’t go back to your pre pregnancy shape immediately after the baby is born.
Don’t try and squeeze yourself into your old/pre pregnancy dresses soon after delivery. It took ten months for a baby to grow inside you. Your body and internal organs have gone through a lot of changes to adapt to that situation. It cannot be reversed within a few days post-delivery.
Be patient and also be careful and mindful about what you eat. More importantly, don’t let the thoughts of weight loss eat you.
I need to lose weight by my baby’s first birthday.
Reality – No one is going to make you stand on a weighing scale on your baby’s birthday party and reward you accordingly.
Do not look for a diet plan that can shrink you to fit into your old clothes. Just like life post baby is not the same as pre baby, your body is not the same as what it was in pre pregnancy. Accept and embrace the changes you go through.
Focus on eating balanced food, start working out three months post-delivery.
Exercise will soon become your best friend when you realise you can focus on just yourself for 45 minutes a day. It will ensure you will regain your core strength and muscle mass that is lost with a baby birth. Workout will also make you strong mentally and physically so that you can deal with the chores without complaining about back pain and tiredness. It will also help you be a happy and healthy mom.
So either people will be in awe that you look young and amazing on your baby’s first birthday or you will have the confidence to reply to them if they happen to make any hurtful comments.
I want to be a Supermom
Reality – There is no supermom in this world !!!
Motherhood makes us mentally and physically strong. However, it also burdens us with all unrealistic societal expectations that most moms feel they are obliged to fulfil.
Balancing career, family, and finances, volunteering for the child’s school projects, keeping up with everyone in family and social media, traveling, household chores and the list of things that are expected from mothers now are endless. While fulfilling all or most of these, what most moms forget is to take care of themselves. The result of that is fatigue, exhaustion , hypothyroidism and health issues closer to menopause.
Remember this – moms can do anything, but not everything.
Prioritize what’s important and essential. Focus on those and learn to delegate or outsource things that doesn’t need your absolute attention.
Pregnancy and motherhood is rewarding and equally taxing. We can make it a pleasurable experience only if we accept the changes in our body and life as it is without the unwanted and unrealistic expectations.