One of the most intimate things two people can do together is have a baby. It ties two people together for the rest of their lives more than any contract, promise, or ring ever could. The pregnancy should be a time for the parents to come together as a unit to prepare for their child’s arrival and make sure that they’re ready to face this adventure together. Unfortunately, not everyone realizes how big a role honesty has to play.
Little white lies happen every day but during pregnancy it is important for a woman to be honest. With her partner, with her doctor, and with herself. Lies told while pregnant don’t go away once the baby is born and most of the lies on this list will come back to bite the new mother in the future. Whether the lie is about food or money, her own body image or the way she feels about her husband’s involvement in the pregnancy, lies told during pregnancy only serve to put a divide between the expectant mother and her partner at a time when they need to come together more than ever.
There are plenty of lies that pregnant women might tell, but these are the top fifteen that need to stop.
15 "I Don't Care If It's A Boy Or Girl"
Let’s be honest: everyone has their preference. It might be as simple as loving the name “Mason” or really wanting to see a younger version of yourself walking down the aisle one day but it is a preference. This might seem like a little white lie, but it can lead to some very awkward conversations later on. Let’s say the plan is to have one kid and it turns out to be a boy and you wanted a girl. Eventually, you might want to try for a girl and then you have to come clean that you had a preference all along.
Everyone seems to think that admitting to a preference means that you aren’t going to love the baby if it turns out to be a girl and you wanted a boy or the other way around. But we all know, deep down, that’s not going to happen. The baby will be loved either way and dropping this lie means that mom and dad were honest with each other from the start.
14 "Blame It On My Hormones"
Hormones do run wild during the first and third trimesters, and it can take some time after the baby is born for things to get back to normal levels. But hormones are definitely NOT the only reason a pregnant woman’s emotions fluctuate.
Most people have heard of the Baby Blues, or PPD, depression that follows the birth of a child. What most people don’t know is that symptoms can start well before the baby is born. The crying jags, awful self-doubt, flares of anger, and wild highs might not be hormones all by themselves and pretending like they are can lead to serious complications for the whole family. When you combine that with lack of sleep, social pressure, and all the work that has to be done to get ready for the baby, it’s no wonder women get emotional when they’re pregnant.
So stop saying it’s just the hormones. Be honest about what is putting pressure on you or bothering you because it is the only way things will get better. And as hard as it can be to not give in to the desire to throw a screaming fit or blaming your partner for something you know you shouldn’t, this is no time to lose your sense of self-control. Expecting mothers are about to need a lot of it and it’s good to get the practice in now.
13 "I Don't Mind If You Drink"
Before getting pregnant, here’s how a night out with friends or a night on the town would go: both would get ready and go out, eating and drinking whatever they wanted before heading home. They might take turns being the designated driver and maybe one would stay sober more often than the other, but at least they both got a chance to cut loose.
Once a woman gets pregnant, she becomes the default designated driver. Depending on what country you live in, she might be able to indulge in a small glass of wine spread out over the whole night. But in America, at least, even looking at the wine bottle will get her dirty looks for weeks to come. A woman will tell her partner that she’s fine with him drinking while she enjoys a lemonade, and at first she might be. But by the second trimester, she’s bound to be sick and tired of being the sober one at a party or the only one not able to indulge in a cocktail after dinner (or sushi, or deli meat, or hot dogs, or....)
This lie is mostly mean to try and make things easier for both partners, a little white lie that she hopes will convince them both. But it will only lead to resentment.
12 "I Didn't Spend THAT Much On Maternity Clothes"
Most people will never set foot in a maternity store before they are shopping for the own maternity wardrobe, so it is forgivable that most people don’t realize how expensive maternity clothes are. Thrift stores are always an option but it’s rare for any one thrift store to have a large maternity selection and most of what they’re selling either won’t fit, won’t look good, isn’t appropriate for work, or is just plain ugly. Good maternity clothes, clothes that will stretch and last a few months and that be worn at home, work, and out with friends are hard to come by if the woman isn’t willing to pay full price. A full price which can be double the cost of an identical garment for non-pregnant women.
It’s a tough situation to be in. But lying to the father about how much money is going out to keep the expecting mama in decent maternity clothes is not the answer. This, of course, does not apply to women who shop solely from their own money. But if it’s shared money, then he definitely needs to be clued in on how much is going out to make sure his partner looks and feels at least somewhat cute while pregnant.
11 "...Or On The Nursery"
I think we can all agree that Pinterest is to blame for this one. Images of magazine-perfect nurseries are everywhere online. The crib sheets are coordinated with the curtains and both are complementary colors to the finish on the matching crib, changing table, rocking chair, and dresser. There’s throw rugs, organized shelves of toys, tiny clothes hung on miniature hangars in the closet, and a framed inspirational print on at least one wall. The images are alluring, they’re supposed to be. They’re meant to inspire women to buy those products (or ones like it), spending a fortune on furniture and decor that the baby will outgrow in less time than it takes most women to go up or down a dress size.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting the picture-perfect nursery. But there is something very wrong with spending a small (or not so small) fortune on setting up the nursery and then telling the father that it cost a fraction of what it did. He’s bound to find out at some point and if he finds out he was lied to on top of finding out the huge sum, it’s only going to turn into an argument that neither new parent needs.
10 "I Can't Eat Anything Else But This"
Let’s go back to food for a moment. Some women find out they’re pregnant and immediately start in with the cravings. They don’t even have to be weird cravings, they’re just so strong that she ‘can’t eat anything else’. That lie needs to stop. Nausea can be triggered by very strange things when a woman is pregnant and sometimes her cravings are incredibly intense. Sometimes the cravings are even valid, based on things she’s missing in her diet. But unless there is nothing in the house and she can’t make it out for groceries in the morning, there is no reason to ask her husband to run out at two AM and get whatever it is she thinks she needs to have.
It’s easy to blame the baby for the sudden desire for cheese puffs at three AM, but that craving doesn’t have to be satisfied right away. With motherhood right around the corner, a little patience is an important lesson to learn!
9 "You Can Go Out With The Guys"
Pregnant women are not unreasonable people. They understand that their partner needs to blow of steam and that the impending reality of fatherhood might make him a little desperate to get a few last hurrahs in with the guys before a couple of hours out could mean weeks of planning and hiring a babysitter.
But pregnant women don’t really get that option. As soon as they start to show, everyone knows they’re expecting a baby. Friends and strangers start to treat them differently and that can leave them feeling isolated and alone. And the one person that they think might understand is their partner. The less they are able to hang out with their own friends, the more they want to spend time with their partner. This is especially true towards the end of the last trimester when they may go into labor. Being home alone at that moment is a scary thought!
So the lie needs to stop. Pregnant women should feel comfortable admitting that they feel lonely and want their partner to stay home with them. He might not always be willing to and she won’t always get her way, but at least she was honest about the situation.
8 "You're Definitely The Father"
This clearly does not apply to everyone. It probably doesn’t even apply to most people. But the people who need to hear this know who they are. If there’s doubt about who the father of a baby is, people need to come clean. Lying now is only going to make it a thousand times worse for everyone when the truth comes out, including the baby, Telling that truth might be hard, especially if the baby might be the product of an affair. But having the truth come out when the child is old enough to watch their world fall apart is going to be even harder.
Doing the right thing now saves everyone a whole lot of heartache. Besides, dishonesty started the whole mess in the first place and more dishonesty is clearly not going to make everything better. At this point it’s the least she could do if she’s been cheating.
7 "Have To Eat For Two"
This is probably the most common lie out there and most pregnant women who say it don’t even know that they’re lying! It’s just common wisdom that, when pregnant, a woman is eating for two: herself and the baby. Unfortunately, folks, that is simply not true! Some pregnant women need a couple hundred more calories a day as the baby grows or they’re preparing to breastfeed, but no pregnant woman needs to be eating two whole meals every time she sits down to eat.
Only a doctor can tell the expecting mother for sure, but the lie that she’s eating for two is only going to end up hurting in the long run. Eating too much during pregnancy can lead to babies that are too large, pregnancy-related health problems for the mother, and post-baby weight that is impossible to shake off. So it’s time to ditch the lie that pregnancy means double helpings and use common sense. This is the most important time to eat right and stay healthy, for mother and baby.
6 "You Can't Be In The Delivery Room"
It was not all that long ago that fathers were barred from being in the delivery room. Sitcoms as recent as Friends show fathers waiting nervously in the lounge while their wife hollers down the hall. Most women are glad that those days are behind them and that they can have their partner there with them as their child is coming into the world. But some women are worried about their partners seeing them “like that” and tell the father that he can’t be in the delivery room on the doctor’s orders.
Not only does this lie rob the father of his chance to welcome his child into the world, but it could be a signal of a much bigger problem. If the mother is worried about her husband being repulsed by her after watching her give birth, there are some conversations that really need to be had and having them with a newborn in the house (while seriously short on sleep) is a terrible idea. So be honest and admit why you really don’t want him in the delivery room before it becomes a bigger problem than it needs to be.
5 "I Take My Prenatals Everyday"
A super fun fact that nobody ever admits is that prenatal vitamins can make women nauseous. This can happen for a number of reasons but the end result is always the same: the woman stops taking the vitamin. Some women then try to hide that fact and tell their doctor and husband that they’re still taking the pills instead of being honest about how the vitamins make them feel. It’s a lie that helps absolutely nobody. The baby could suffer serious complications from nutrient deficiencies, which could have been avoided if the mother had been honest, at least with her doctor. If prenatal vitamins are making a woman sick, the doctor may be able to find one better suited to her that will continue to support the baby’s health without impacting her well being. There’s no way to find out unless she’s honest.
4 "I'm Not Drinking Coffee"
The second a woman announces she is pregnant, everything she eats and drinks comes under scrutiny and this includes her caffeine consumption. Some caffeine is okay, roughly the amount found in 20 ounces of black coffee a day. If a woman consumes more than that, she runs the risk of doing damage to her baby. Unfortunately, some women don’t understand the risk and just want their partners to stop grilling them on their caffeine intake. So they lie and say that they asked the doctor, who said that they’re five venti lattes every day was an acceptable amount of caffeine.
Lying about this puts the baby at risk, which is absolutely not okay. Yes, it is annoying to to be under such tight scrutiny and cutting back on caffeine can be unpleasant. But the alternative is worse.
3 "Have To Put On Those Pounds"
And we’re still rolling with the lies that only hurt mom and baby in the end! Pregnant women really need to stop lying about much weight they’ve put on, especially to their doctors and husbands. If the woman is lying because her partner is shaming her for the weight, that’s a huge red flag that needs to be addressed, not buried under lies. And if she’s lying because she’s embarrassed, she needs to get over it.
Most women spend their lives trying to maintain a healthy weight with varying degrees of success. Pregnancy is no different, with the small exception that the acceptable weight is higher. There is such thing as putting on too much weight while pregnant but that is something between a woman and her doctor. Nobody, including the woman herself, should be shaming pregnant women for putting on weight. Putting on too little weight is bad for the baby and that concern should be more important than whether or not her cheeks are a little rounder than they were before she got pregnant. The weight can always be lost after the baby is born. As long as everyone’s healthy, there is no shame in the number on the scale.
2 "I Can Do Anything Pregnant"
This is another area where a doctor is the best person to consult, but nine times out of ten this is what they’re going to say: moderate exercise, be aware of when you feel strain, and don’t become a bump on a log. Some pregnancies are high risk and require bed rest and for those women, they really can’t do anything. But for most pregnancies, it is a big fat lie.
Studies from around the world have shown that moderate exercise during pregnancy is actually beneficial for mother and baby. Some gyms offer pregnancy-specific workout classes while others have trainers that can put together routines for expecting mamas. If the gym isn’t an option, going for walks and keeping up on housework are also well within the range of what a pregnant woman can do clear up to the moment she goes into labor.
1 "It's Too Dangerous To Quit Smoking"
I don’t want to believe that there are people out there who really try to pass this lie off as fact, but I know there are. The lie goes a little something like this: A woman finds out she’s pregnant and doesn’t want to give up smoking. When her partner pushes her to give up the habit at least while pregnant, she tells him that it would put too much stress on her and, therefore, on the baby. Then she continues to smoke.
This lie is absolutely awful. Smoking has been shown time and again to endanger not only the mother but the child too. Smoking is so bad that experts who normally recommend sharing a room with your baby until they’re two will tell smoking parents that the baby should be in another room from their first night home from the hospital.
There are plenty of things that put stress on expectant mothers that they do anyway. Namely, growing a baby. The stress of giving up smoking is nothing compared to the damage that continuing to smoke will do to mother and baby, both before and after the little one is born.