Having a baby is a different experience for an introvert, compared to an extrovert. While the same things happen to the body, it can all be interpreted differently in the mind, and personality definitely plays a part in how a mom-to-be acts during the nine months of pregnancy and after the birth.
While extroverts love big crowds and social situations, they can drain the energy from an introvert. So that means that baby showers and announcements are entirely different for a woman based on her personality. Pregnant women get a lot attention from strangers, but that isn't so welcome when you are an introvert. And everything from how to research the baby registry to what to post on social media are different in the eyes of an introvert. She may be much more excited about nesting than spending time at the doctor's office — and she's definitely not comfortable with all those people rubbing on her baby bump.
As excited as we all are about bringing a baby into the world, it may be easier to understand the mom if you get her personality. Here are 15 ways pregnancy and birth are different for an introvert.
15 Awkward Announcements
Introverts usually try to keep their personal information to themselves. They don't like to talk a lot about themselves or anything that is a bit scary or unknown, and pregnancy definitely matches all of those criteria. An introvert isn't as likely to burst out with excitement and tell the entire world — that's something an extrovert might do. Instead, she's probably going to go for something small and impactful.
Close family members may get a big announcement, but it's more likely to be something carefully planned out that doesn't involve a lot of her having to talk about — maybe a video or a blog or something. Outside the close circle of family and friends, things are going to be awkward. Co-workers will wonder for months if they should ask if her bump is for a baby, and she is going to try to keep the news under wraps for a long time so she doesn't have to answer questions. Extroverts love to talk about their pregnancy with everybody, but introverts are going to keep people guessing.
14 The Rush To The Bathroom
One of the weirdest things about pregnancy is that it can make you rush to the bathroom quicker than anything else. Whether it is because of the sudden urge to urinate due to pregnancy hormones to the push on the bladder in later pregnancy to the morning sickness that can cause a woman to need a place to vomit in all of a sudden, pregnant women have to get to the bathroom quick. But introverts hate any time attention is drawn to themselves, and that can make pregnancy extra tough.
It usually isn't a matter of crossing the legs for a minute — the hormones mean a woman might have to race from her office to avoid staining her clothes. She might be able to grab her trash can for the morning sickness, but that doesn't work for the bladder issues. She would hate to bring attention with a wet mark, so she's going to have to do a funny half-run-walk while gritting all the way to the toilet. Trying to hide it makes it so much trickier, but that's what an introvert is going to do.
13 Handling The Belly Touches
Everyone loves to see a pregnant belly. They know that there is a little life inside, and some how half of the people end up not just looking at the baby bump but reaching out to touch it. That goes from family friends all the way to perfect strangers, and all that physical contact can really exhaust an introvert.
A mom-to-be will always remember the first time an acquaintance gave their belly a pat.
It's weird even for extroverts who love all the attention that their bump is getting them.
And honestly, it's better if it is someone who actually knows your name. But in the third trimester, elderly ladies at the grocery store or super-friendly people at the library will stretch right into your personal space. An extrovert is usually the one willing to give the touch, but for an introvert, it's practically painful. Unfortunately, some days it can feel like you have go through a gauntlet to avoid all those hands reaching for the baby bump.
12 Stranger Comments
It takes a special person to actually touch someone else, but there are even more total strangers who feel like they can strike up a conversation with a pregnant woman. And the things that they say could make anyone blush. People ask about the due date and if the mom has heartburn or hemorrhoids. They give opinions on baby names without being asked, and they can rant about breastfeeding and epidurals even if they have absolutely no reason to share.
Any woman who has ever been pregnant before seems to want to talk to someone who is going through it, even if their baby is in his 50s now. And if a woman is having twins, people will even ask about how the baby is conceived.
For someone who doesn't love to talk in the first place, it can be hard to imagine all the things that people will say to them when they are with child.
It's hard to handle when you are an introvert.
11 All the Baby Showers
Parties can be totally exhausting for introverts. The idea of being around people for so long takes a lot of energy. When you are pregnant, there are a lot of celebrations that people tend to have thrown, and they have even less energy to get through them.
As much as an introvert wants to celebrate her baby, going to her own baby shower can be super tough.
It's not about the actual shower. Usually someone else prepares the food and cleans up afterward. But the mom-to-be still has to sit there and have all the attention on her for a few hours. She's going to have to answer questions and discuss baby names and open presents with a smile on her face. Some women have to go through it every week or so for a while. It's an introvert's nightmare, but it's a pregnant woman's weekend plans.
10 Asking Embarrassing Questions
Moms-to-be can hear some pretty personal comments, but unfortunately, there are also times when they may have to be the ones saying things.
When they go to the doctor and talk to nurses, they may have to ask some pretty embarrassing questions — things an introvert would never imagine actually uttering in their lives.
Some very strange things happen to women's bodies when they are pregnant, and the anxiety of the entire situation can cause women to question whether or not those symptoms are signs that something could be wrong. It's enough to prompt them to actually articulate the weird, embarrassing issues to the doctor to make sure that what is going on is normal. Introverts don't want to share such personal things, but they don't have a choice when they are expecting a baby.
9 Noisy Situation
We've mentioned how much an introvert doesn't want to call attention to herself. She'd much rather someone else have the attention in any given situation, but during pregnancy, the body will betray her and give off some noises that are hard to miss. All eyes will turn to her, but it won't be for anything positive.
During pregnancy, women end up with problems with digestion. That means that they tend to fart at the most inopportune times. Some end up belching over and over again, whether they are in the privacy of their home or sitting in the middle of a big corporate meeting.
Sometimes the stomach noises are hard to ignore, but it's just another uncomfortable situation for a pregnant introvert.
8 Baby Registry Research
Figuring out what a baby needs and what a new mama wants is a big part of the preparations that go on during the nine months of pregnancy. It can be a serious situation for lots of women, but the difference between an introvert and an extrovert can be seen in how they do the research.
For an extrovert, it's all about talking to people. They will hit up every store and talk to the sales clerk, stopping every woman they see to ask her opinion. They will set up polls on social media and ask people for advice. But an introvert will handle things differently. She'll consult a baby book, look through magazines and scour baby websites. She may ask a few close friends, but most of her research will happen on her own.
An extrovert will crowdsource while an introvert will rely on other information.
7 Labor Progress Checks And Close Encounters
The thing about pregnancy is it will teach you quickly that you can't be shy. It's not much of an option when you spend so much time in the doctor's office over nine months — and during the delivery, it's impossible to keep everything on your own. Privacy definitely goes out the window when you are becoming a mom.
The worst part comes during the delivery, especially in a hospital. By the time the labor reaches a certain peak — during transition, for sure — moms can't worry so much about modesty. But there is a possibility that a couple or a couple dozen people will have seen and felt her private areas by that point.
All the dilation checks can be pretty uncomfortable for an introvert, even in the haze of labor and delivery.
And when there are doctors and interns and other medical professionals popping in and out, it can be exhausting for an introvert who just wants to be by herself as she works through the angst of labor.
6 Social Media Check Ins
Pregnancy these days has taken on a life of its own on social media. It's an amazing outlet for keeping family and friends aware of what is going on with mom and baby. But for introverts and extroverts, social media is a very different thing, and the posts will look quite different.
Extroverts will be all over the place, giving Twitter updates multiple times a day and posting baby bump pictures on Instagram just about every day, especially if they like their outfit.
People will definitely know every craving and aversion and more. But for introverts, the postings will be more rare.
Most of the time, she won't share the intimate details of the experience, but every once in a while an introvert will post a long, thoughtful, pensive post that will give everyone a glimpse of her heart and soul.
5 Emotional Meltdowns
Pregnancy hormones can make the entire situation even more fraught with anxiety and emotions than usual. Moms can feel fine one moment and angry the next before feeling overwhelmed and more. A sweet commercial can be enough to send them over the edge into tears.
If they are an extrovert, then a woman will let those emotions fly, but introverts have another idea.
Introverts feel just as much as anyone else, but they get introspective about it. Their emotions will send them home where the can think about everything and try to understand it. The problem is, during this time there is usually no understanding the emotional upheaval that a pregnant woman goes through. It's the hormones, which can't be understood. Pregnancy hormones are just beyond control.
4 Major Nesting
By the end of pregnancy, lots of pregnant women want to prepare their home for the baby. They spend hours scouring the floors and putting together the nursery. But the nesting of an extrovert has nothing on the nesting of an introvert. For them, the home is the place where they feel most secure, and it's where they retreat to during the pregnancy and will after the birth.
Introverts are really into the nursery, since they plan to spend hours there with the baby, spending time away from the world in their own sweet cocoon. It's an added benefit that they can retreat to their home more during the pregnancy too.
There's no place like home when you are a pregnant introvert.
3 Bonding With Baby
After the baby's birth, things will be different for an introvert as well. The extrovert will want to be surrounded by family and friends to celebrate the baby's arrival, but the introvert may be more interested in just spending the time with the newly expanded family. There are definitely benefits to wanting to be at home with a small crowd — it can allow for more time to bond with the baby.
Of course, all moms eventually find a way to bond with their little one, and each moment is perfect in its own time. But for an introvert, a bond requires more one-on-one time, and so that is how she will make it happen.
An introvert may want to stay home with the baby more, spending hours in the nursery getting to know each other.
2 Nursing In Private
These days the debate on whether breast is best has divided a lot of families. Introverts might feel strongly about it, but they aren't going to talk so much about it to strangers, and they usually end up taking their feeding strategy in private.
While some babies prefer to go to a quiet place to eat, their introvert moms are even more likely to want to do so.
Don't get us wrong, introvert moms aren't opposed to nursing in public, and they support women's right to do so. Many also feed their babies in the middle of a shopping mall when they have to. But a lot of times other people won't even notice. They tend to be more quiet about their choices, and if they tell people about them, it will be in a long, thoughtful, well-researched blog post. They tend to be more private about everything and that includes nursing.
1 Postpartum Survival
Pregnancy is a pretty harrowing experience, but the most vulnerable time for a woman may actually be the postpartum period. As anxious as she was when the baby was growing in her womb, she can feel even more scared and uncertain when she is trying her best to keep a newborn healthy and happy. And the pregnancy hormones are bad, but the postpartum hormones can be even worse.
Surviving through the postpartum period can be difficult for an extrovert, but she is more willing to talk about her problems and seek help. Introverts, though, may not let anyone know how they are handling things. It's just as important that they get the support of family and friends although they may not seek them out as much. No matter what your personality is, the postpartum period is tough, and we all need help to get through it.