Sure, a woman can be uncomfortable and terrified while she awaits the arrival of her baby, but the time can also be magical and exciting. It's nine months filled with possibility and hope, along with the anxiety that can come with all the strange sensations and decisions.
Women have a lot to go through and prepare for in a short period of time, and sometimes they can find themselves doing things that they regret. They take things too far with their cravings or they spend too much on creating the perfect nursery. They don't do their research and end up feeling lost — or they put too much stake in the research and put too much pressure on themselves to be the perfect mom. They worry about bonding with baby but neglect their partner, or they complain too much and fail to see the blessing going on with their body.
There are plenty of worries that can go too far and too many thoughts that can overcrowd good judgment — and hormones can make everything extreme.We would hate for those crazy antics to put a wrench in your pregnancy and cause you to regret that time in your life, so we hope this list will help you figure out how to relax and let things happen in a way that is healthy for both you and baby.
Here are 15 things women regret about their pregnancies.
15 Not Listening To The Body
No one knows her body better than the woman living in it. When there is another human being taking up residence inside, though, it can be feel foreign and sometimes signals get crossed. With the hormone rush, things can get confusing, and a mom-to-be can second-guess her instincts. Unfortunately, it happens to a lot of pregnant women, and all too many list it as one of their top pregnancy regrets.
Yes, listening to a changing body can mean the possibility of asking the doctor an embarrassing question or ending up leaving the hospital because you mistake Braxton-Hicks contractions for the real thing. But a little embarrassment is better than the alternate. Not asking the question might mean a symptom gets missed. Not going to the hospital can mean an unexpected emergency — or worse. Very few women regret asking a question, but plenty regret not getting help when they needed it. Don't take that risk.
Cravings happen. They plague a mom-to-be from the time her nausea goes away until the day the baby is born, and they can be especially hard to deal with during the second trimester, when peanut butter and pickles sound like the perfect sandwich combination.
But as much as we would encourage a woman to refrain from weight worries while she is expecting, we know that one of the biggest pregnancy regrets that women encounter is that they overindulged. Pregnant women are supposed to increase their caloric intake, but some women take "eating for two" literally. The extra calories — and extra pounds — can be difficult to take off after the baby arrives.
Of course, the perfect formula for gaining weight during pregnancy depends on the woman and her circumstances, and it's not good to stress over every mouthful. But we also don't want you end up unhappy because you can't fit back into your pre-pregnancy jeans right away. Find the balance that is right for you to avoid overindulgence regret.
13 Not Taking Your Meds
We understand the pressure on a mom to drop all of her prescriptions during pregnancies. There are so many problems that can come from pills, and no mom wants to spend months worrying whether they are putting their baby at risk. But a mom-to-be has to take care of herself too, and we don't want you to regret staying off the meds during pregnancy.
There are lots of studies that can help you and your doctor decide on the best course of action to keep you mentally strong and your baby physically strong. It may mean switching to another med for few months or cutting down the dosage. But we want all moms to keep themselves in the equation during the drug debate. It's not worth the sacrifice, especially if you end up in a situation that can harm the mom and baby worse because of skipping needed prescriptions.
Some prescriptions are safe in pregnancy, and they help you to be a better mom by being happy and healthy yourself. So please talk to your doctor and don't make a decision you will regret.
12 Bonding Behavior
Some women forge a beautiful connection with their baby before they even feel the first kicks in their belly. You can see them rubbing their tummy and singing softly, and they glow just thinking about the precious little one that they already love. But that doesn't happen for every mom. Sometimes, it feels like there is an alien invading their body instead of a baby that they are supposed to cherish, and they can spend way too much worrying that they won't be able to bond.
But worrying about that can be a waste of time for many moms. Sometimes, that magical connection arrives before the baby does, and sometimes it happens the moment a mom's and her baby's eyes meet. For others, it may not happen for a few weeks or months. But rest assured, it will happen. Way to many women regret the time and energy they wasted worrying about bonding with their baby, and some say it is one of the major regrets of their pregnancy. Instead, concentrate on the legitimate feelings that you are encountering, and keep your eye on the prize. Eventually the bonding will come and we don't want the regret to come with it.
11 Neglecting Loved Ones
Before it's all about the baby, it's all about the mom-to-be. And we are grateful that friends and family are kind enough to shower the mom-to-be with gifts and attention. But at times, some moms take a bit too much advantage of that time in their lives, as well as their long to-do list. It can mean that mom's aches and pains take precedent over everything else, and dad or other family members can feel left out.
An excited and anxious mom-to-be can let the pregnancy take over her life and her every thought, and sometimes date night suffers. Even though dad is excited too, he might have stress going on at work or just want to unwind and concentrate on each other instead of constantly talking about the baby. It'll be a struggle after the baby is born too, but before hand, a mom should be careful to include her partner, pay attention to her friends and be sure that no one feels neglected. Too many friendships and relationships have been lost due to an over-eager mom-to-be, and that can lead to a regret that can last a lifetime.
We know that morning sickness is terrible, that sometimes you can't get yourself out of bed. We understand how tough it can be to even walk during the third trimester, and how much your back aches and your feet have swelled. But complaining about it all the time can be one of the worst pregnancy regrets that women confess after the fact.
There are plenty of sacrifices that a pregnant woman has to make, and it can be one of the most irritating and painful times in her life. But there is usually someone out there who has things worse — maybe she would give anything to get pregnant or she spent the entire time in the hospital, either way, your complaints leave a lot to be desired.
We aren't saying that you should keep your emotions bottled up, but after the baby is born, we don't want you to regret the amount of energy you spent on complaining. It can feel like the nausea will last forever, but it will pass. The backache may be unceasing, but it too shall pass. Try to stay positive, so you can end your pregnancy with no regrets.
9 Gender Disappointment
Speaking of complaining, one of the latest pregnancy regrets is wasting time on gender disappointment. The phenomenon, where a mom or dad gets so excited about wanting a particular sex for the baby that they are saddened when the ultrasound reveals something different, is a real thing that has been documented in research. And we certainly understand how it can get under a mom's skin if she grew up with sisters but now has to learn how to take care of a boy.
It's a good idea to let the emotions out because bottling them up doesn't do any good. But at the same time, little can come of fretting about the sex of the child that is about to become a part of the family. In fact, if you complain enough, your kid could end up learning about it in a few years and it could break his or her heart.
Many parents worry that they won't be able to bond with the baby if it isn't the sex that they preferred, but that is a concern that isn't worth your time. In the end, you will love your baby, no matter what, so don't let gender disappointment become a regret.
8 Bump Photos
There seem to be two kids of moms-to-be: one that will post a baby bump photo every day to social media and one that will never do it. As beautiful as a pregnant body is, some women don't feel so pretty. They worry about their shape or their flaws (chloasma, a condition that turns the skin on the cheeks a blotchy brown, is no joke).
Some women stay behind the camera whether they are pregnant or not, no matter how much their long-distance friends beg to see a snapshot of their baby bump. But way too many of them later regret failing to document how they look at this precious stage in life.
The bad news is that many women become the camerawomen in their families when their little ones are born, so a photo of mother and child can become a rarity. For too many it starts when the baby is still in the womb. At one point, your child is going to ask to see a picture of when he is in mommy's tummy, and you don't want to regret hiding behind the camera. You don't have to go overboard, but you won't regret taking a few photos for posterity's sake.
Babies are expensive. Between the health care costs and the diapers and clothes, a family's bank account can be drained quickly, and that doesn't include all of the other gadgets and gear that can come with parenthood. But plenty of parents go too far and rack up bills that they really don't need, and that can lead to regret.
You may need bottles, whether you are breastfeeding or formula-feeding, but you don't need that many if you stay on top of the dish-washing. You may need a crib, but you don't need an expensive decorated nursery, especially if cash is tight. And the clothes may be cute, but you should be realistic about how much you spend when the baby will outgrow an outfit within a few months.
While it can be hard to stick to the budget when you want to spoil your little one, it may be wiser to save than to spend. After all, no one regrets starting a college fund.
6 Not Doing The Research
There is a reason that pregnancy is nine months — besides the time it takes for a baby to grow and develop enough to survive outside the womb, of course. The time is also needed to get used to the idea of becoming a parent and researching all of the problems that will soon come up. Many parents-to-be have never changed a diaper or warmed up a bottle. Most don't know infant CPR or how to swaddle. And the vaccination debate seemed like someone else's problem before that little line turned pink.
But luckily, there is time to get some answers on these questions. Between baby books and the Internet, parents-to-be have lots of places to begin their research, and doctors and hospitals offer classes on the subject. Much of parenthood will be learned on the job, but a mom and dad can take the time to get started early, and that can help them feel more confident.
5 Being Too Judgmental
While research is important, it's just as important for parents to come into their jobs with open minds and flexibility. We know that the baby books will tell them that breastfeeding provides their baby with the best nutrition possible, but if a woman makes a hard line decision to only breastfeed her baby and something goes wrong, it could lead to disappointment and a feeling of failure, and no mom should put that kind of pressure on herself.
Some women swear off pacifiers because there is a possibility that it could hurt the baby's teeth in three years, but soothers can make the difference in getting an hour's peace and there is nothing wrong with trying it out, if you allow yourself to look past the "perfect." And plenty of moms have regretted looking down on a co-sleeping mom only to find out that it is the better solution for their family.
Judgment is never good, and it is especially bad when you haven't truly faced the situation yourself yet. Don't waste your pregnancy on it.
4 Not Speaking Up To The Doctor
Pregnancy and childbirth can be one of the most empowering experiences in a woman's life — or, on the flip side, they can leave her feeling more powerless than she ever has before. Usually that feeling comes when a mom-to-be feels like she doesn't have any choices and she is forced to follow along in someone else's plan.
There are many very valid reasons that a woman may not have the pregnancy and birth experience she wants. Things can go wrong — and sometimes doctors have to force quick decisions in order to save the life of the mother or the baby. But sometimes there are occasions when a woman feels pushed to make a decision that she disagrees with or she feels bullied into. If the life of the baby or the mother aren't in danger, then that should never happen. Some women regret not speaking up when they probably should have. We hope that doesn't happen to you.
3 Birth Regret
These days, women feel a lot of pressure to get the birth experience they envision. As an organic, all-natural lifestyle becomes more and more popular, more and more women want to have an all-natural birth, sometimes at home, with no meds. But that isn't always in the cards.
Many times a hospital birth is a safer option, and sometimes it is too dangerous to wait until labor kicks in on its own. Some women can't handle the pain as much as they thought they would, but they become upset at the thought of an epidural. And many times the circumstances make a Cesarean necessary for the health of the baby and the mother. None of these options are inherently wrong, but some women have built up an expectation and they are devastated when their experience doesn't work out like they wanted.
Birth regret can contribute to postpartum depression, but it doesn't have to. As long as the mom and baby are healthy, we hope that you can get over any birth regret and that the positive moments can overshadow the bad ones.
2 Baby Name Regret
Let's face it; pregnancy is an emotional time, and all the hormones that surge through a new mom last for a few months. Yet, during this period, she has to decide on a name that another person will have to bear for the rest of his or her life. It's a huge responsibility, and sometimes there are lots of pressure coming from all around that can cause concern. For some, that ends in making a decision you didn't want to make, and that can end badly.
Baby name regret is real, and it isn't all that uncommon. According to a Mumsnet poll, 18 percent of the 1,300 parents polled had regretted the names they had given their children. About 32 percent of those felt it within the first six weeks. About 17 percent said they would make different choices if they went back in time, but only 2 percent said they have actually gone through the paperwork to make the change.
But the good news is that it can be done. If parents have too much baby name regret, there is a solution, although there is some red tape to get through.
1 Not Counting Your Blessings
Yes, your back aches and your legs are as swollen as tree trunks. Yes, the nausea can be overwhelming, and the fears can be exhausting. We know you can't sleep lying down because of the heartburn, and even a walk to the parking lot leaves you out of breath.
But a mom-to-be is blessed beyond words to be carrying a baby. That little life should be treasured, no matter how much a mom has to go through to bring him into the world. Women who go through secondary infertility learn all too well how much they should have counted their blessings throughout their pregnancy, because it doesn't happen for every woman, and it can be even worse for others.
While a mom may regret buying too many newborn size clothes (the baby only wears those for a week or two, unless she is premature), but she will never regret the moments where she feels her baby move. She may regret worrying about bonding with her little one, but she won't regret going through tests and prods and pokes and procedures to bring that little one into the world. There may be sacrifices, but there is one big blessing that outweighs all of it. And that is nothing to regret.