From the moment a woman takes a pregnancy test to the first prenatal doctor’s appointment, there is always one person they immediately have on the other end of the phone, and that’s very likely their Mom! There are few bonds in life as great as the bond of mother and daughter. When a daughter becomes pregnant, most of the time, she is eager to share the ups and downs of her pregnancy and journey into motherhood with her own mom. In fact, according the a study, the mother daughter relationship has already started shaping how that daughter will be as a mother.
“One of the most important criteria in how a pregnancy will go (psychologically) is the woman's earlier relationship with her mother,” said Eva P. Lester, a psychologist with the Canadian Institute of Psychoanalysis in Montreal.
A lot of women will encounter some uncomfortable and awkward thoughts and questions once they find out they are pregnant, and in the weeks (and months) to come. Many things a doctor will be able fill her in on, and some things she can ask her friends, but there’s some questions that are best left for Mom. Because no matter how old one gets, it seems that sometimes a person just needs their mom! From what to do after the stick turns pink to questions about all the nitty gritty of growing a baby, keep reading for 20 questions a pregnant woman has that only her mom will be able to answer for her.
20 The Stick Turned Pink... Now What Do I Do?
Seriously, what do you do after you take the test and find out that yes, you are having a baby!? According to TheBump.com, you’ll want to try and calculate the due date. “For starters, you’ll likely be itching to know the baby’s due date... Conception typically happens between 11 and 21 days after the first day of your last period, but since it’s tricky to know when conception actually occurs, expect this to be a bit of a guess.” Of course you’ll want to be sure and call a doctor and setup an appointment as soon as they will see you. You’ll likely have your Mom on the phone anyway, so be sure and ask her advice on your next steps as a soon to be mama!
19 How Bad Does It Really Hurt?
Nobody actually wants to ask the doctor this question, and your friends will probably lie to you. How bad does childbirth actually hurt? A survey by Parents.com stated the following, “Over and over again, many of our respondents used similar images to describe labor pain: intense menstrual cramps combined with internal twisting.” And yet, this is definitely a question for your mom. Though it’s probably been awhile since she herself has been through it, you can expect an honest answer from her on this one. Plus, she can help guide you in decisions and options for your birth plan.
18 Do You Think I’ll Be A Good Mom?
This is a question that’s in the back of most newly pregnant women’s minds, and it’s a question that it’s hard to find someone you’re comfortable enough with to ask. Leave it up to your own mom to reassure you that you’ve got it in you to be a good Mama. Parenting.com states that one way to enjoy being a mom is by taking your own mom to the spa. Why not plan a little spa day and and treat you and your mother? While you’re there you can grill her with all of your pregnancy and motherhood questions.
17 Did Becoming A Mother Change You?
TheAtlantic.com reported the following, “Even before a woman gives birth, pregnancy tinkers with the very structure of her brain, several neurologists told me. After centuries of observing behavioral changes in new mothers, scientists are only recently beginning to definitively link the way a woman acts with what's happening in her prefrontal cortex, midbrain, parietal lobes, and elsewhere. Gray matter becomes more concentrated. Activity increases in regions that control empathy, anxiety, and social interaction. On the most basic level, these changes, prompted by a flood of hormones during pregnancy and in the postpartum period, help attract a new mother to her baby. In other words, those maternal feelings of overwhelming love, fierce protectiveness, and constant worry begin with reactions in the brain.” Pregnancy is weird, guys! It actually changes your brain. Set aside the scientific talk and leave this question up to your own mom.
16 Where Is The Baby On This Ultrasound Photo?
Rachel Green on Friends looking at her first ultrasound is all first time moms. If you haven’t seen the series, Rachel has a little trouble figuring out which blob on the ultrasound photo is actually the baby. And can we blame her? According to AdvancedWomensImaging.com.au, the purpose of the first trimester ultrasound is to; asses the size of your baby, asses the location of the pregnancy, assess the gestation sac, asses the number of babies, asses the baby’s heartbeat, and to assess the uterus and ovaries. It’s a lot of info to gather, right? Sometimes it’s nice to consider even bringing Mom along for the first ultrasound, as you’ll be taking in a lot of information!
15 What Pregnancy Symptoms Did You Experience?
Genetics are a wonderful thing aren’t they? I know I sure don’t like some of the wonderful things passed down by genetics, but some hereditary factors might come in handy when it comes to pregnancy. Asking your mother about her pregnancy symptoms might give you a little insight as to what you might be facing. According to WhatToExpect.com, morning sickness and overdue babies are both hereditary. Additionally, WhatToExpect.com writes that both premature labor and long, difficult labors are possibly hereditary so you might add that to your list of questions for mom as well. Then again, maybe you don’t want to know the answer to that one!
14 Did You Have Any Pregnancy Complications?
In addition to pregnancy symptoms, some pregnancy complications can be hereditary, so you will want to be sure and ask your mom about any complications she faced during any of her pregnancies. Mom365.com states that preeclampsia is hereditary. Additionally, WhatToExpect.com shares that gestational diabetes is hereditary. Your doctor will likely have a list of similar questions for you, so it’s good to plan to have the conversation with your mom and be prepared when the time comes! When it comes to any type of possible complication, being ahead of the curve is sure to help you out in the long run.
13 Are There Any Genetic Health Conditions In The Family?
Pregnancy complications aside, your doctor is going to have a ton of questions about general family medical history. So while you have your mom on the health topic, be sure and ask about any genetic health conditions on both sides of your family. Additionally, you can choose to have genetic testing done during your first trimester to test for certain genetic disorders you might not even know you or your partner are a carrier of. According to WebMD.com, “Some tests can check babies for medical conditions while they are in the womb. Others check their DNA for some genetic diseases. Even before pregnancy, genetic carrier screenings can look at the mother’s and father’s genes to show the chances that their child would have a genetic disorder.”
12 Am I Going To Get Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks...one of the most dreaded parts of pregnancy. According to WebMD.com, about 90% of women will get them during pregnancy so odds are against you miraculously avoiding them. And like many other things about pregnancy, they might even be hereditary so here is yet another question to jot down for your mom. WebMD.com writes, “About 90% of women will get them sometime after their sixth or seventh month of pregnancy, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. If your mother had stretch marks, then you're more likely to have them too, since genetics plays a role.”
11 What Is Gestational Diabetes And Do I Have To Drink That Stuff To Test For It?
I had heard my friends complain about the dreaded gestational diabetes test and the gross sugary drink that came along with it, but I never really understood what it was testing for until I had to do it myself. The test is called a glucose test, and they basically give you a super sugary drink and test your blood sugar levels to see how your body is processing the sugar. MayoClinic.org states, “Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy (gestation). Like other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes affects how your cells use sugar (glucose). Gestational diabetes causes high blood sugar that can affect your pregnancy and your baby's health.”
10 Do Mommy Instincts Actually Kick In?
No matter how many newborn babies you visit at the hospital, or how many of your niece or nephews diapers you change, it’s always intimidating to think about caring for a newborn baby on your own. I know my mind was filled with questions of, “Will I really know what to do?” and “What If I’m not any good at this?” In an article in TheAtlantic.com, which we referenced earlier the following is stated on changes to the mother’s brain after she gives birth, “"In new moms, there are changes in many of the brain areas," Kim continued. "Growth in brain regions involved in emotion regulation, empathy-related regions, but also what we call maternal motivation—and I think this region could be largely related to obsessive-compulsive behaviors. In animals and humans during the postpartum period, there's an enormous desire to take care of their own child." So there you have it, proven by science, but again, it’s good to let mom reassure you on this one!
9 Will I Ever Look The Same?
Pregnancy changes every part of a mother, physically and emotionally. Learning how to love your new mom body, during and after pregnancy, can be a very challenging thing to overcome.
TheBump.com writes on the topic in the same way your mom might talk to you, “Don’t let your body hang-ups prevent you from feeling good about yourself at the end of the day. Take it from Bumpie mandarod, who says then when she had her daughter, everything finally clicked: “I don’t have the time or the energy to worry about the imperfections that I (and probably only I) will see. I earned those stretch marks and extra jiggles! I am a beautiful woman and a beautiful mother.” Enough said.”
8 What Was Your Birth Experience Like?
From start to finish, you will never be more interested in the story of your own birth than after you’ve delivered a baby on your own. If you’re ahead of the curve on this and get the story of your own birth ahead of time, you will be thankful you did. Not only will you be able to give nod to your mom about how hardcore and awesome she is, but you will also have the perfect opportunity to ask your mom some of the hereditary questions you need to know for your sake and your doctors. As discussed above, you’ll want to ask about any pregnancy and delivery complications your mother faced during any of her pregnancies.
7 Did You Have PPD?
The fear of postpartum depression and/or anxiety can loom over any pregnant mothers mind. According to RecoveryRanch.com, “The symptoms of postpartum depression become apparent shortly after giving birth. Knowing the answer to the question “Is depression hereditary” can actually help women prepare for postpartum depression. If your mother reports having postpartum depression, as well as your sister, your aunt, your grandmother, your cousin, etc., and if they share similar stories, chances are you will also be affected by postpartum depression. But if no woman in your family reports postpartum depression, that doesn’t mean you aren’t totally in the clear. Depression is not controlled purely by genetics; environmental factors play a role as well. For example, a traumatic birth experience can potentially lead to postpartum depression.” It’s not a fun topic by any means, but it’s one that you’ll want to approach with your mom.
6 Do I Really Need To Take Any Classes?
Breathing classes, parenting classes, and first-aid classes oh my! It’s very likely your hospital will have a ton of birthing and parenting classes available for you to take, and some may even be mandatory. However, you’ve got to cut yourself some slack and decide to draw the line somewhere. Save yourself some time and energy and ask your mom her opinion on what might be the most worthwhile. She’s been through it before and will likely be able to tell you the best way to use your time. BabyCenter.com suggests looking for one class that covers the following topics; the signs of labor, the normal progress of labor and birth, techniques for coping with pain, how your partner can help you during labor, and when to call your doctor or midwife.
5 After Delivery, Will I Really Go In My Pants Sometimes?
Politely referred to as incontinence, yes, it is most definitely a real thing. My husband is a funny guy, and I sure love that about him, but one year postpartum, sometimes the way he he makes me laugh has me sprinting for the bathroom and inevitably not making it in time. On the topic, FitPregnancy.com states, “Most cases resolve in the first year after birth. However, five years after delivery, one-third to one-half of women report some degree of spritzing; 10 percent to 20 percent of women report having leakage that they consider "socially bothersome." Fortunately, a variety of methods, ranging from do-it-yourself pelvic-floor exercises (Kegels) to a simple surgical procedure, can help you stay dry.” No matter how you look at it, it’s embarrassing, and definitely something to save for a conversation with your mom.
4 Do The Breathing Exercises Actually Help?
AmericanPregnancy.com states, “The more you learn about labor and birth, the more you will see how different patterns of breathing are used at different stages. You will learn about using breathing to focus on making each contraction a productive part of the birthing process. Whether pregnant or not, patterned breathing is helpful in coping with various types of pain, discomfort, anxiety and fear.” The old breathing tricks have been around a long time, so ask your mom to fill you in on her thoughts about whether or not they were helpful. I’ve heard mixed reviews on this, and many people have had different experiences, so the best place for you to start is probably with mom! They honestly do seem to know best.
3 How Will I Know When Contractions Are The Real Deal?
We can Google this question all we want but you never really know until you really know! When it comes down to it and you’re not sure if you’re experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions or the real deal, a phone call in to mom will help you sort it out. If she’s close by you might even have her drop in and help you time contractions. You can even use an online contraction timer to help you keep track of this. A contraction timer is available on MomJunction.com, and the website states, “If you think that you are going into labor, then your contraction count can help the doctor in determining whether or not you should go to the hospital for delivery. A clock or stopwatch can keep track of the contractions frequency and duration, but it may not be precise. Therefore, a reliable tool is designed to assist moms-to-be to calculate their contractions. MomJunction provides the contraction timer, a tool that automatically records contractions for you. You can even download and print your count and share it with your doctor, friends, or family.”
2 Did You Have Any Complications During Delivery?
Sometimes complications can arise during the delivery of your baby that nobody, not even genetics, can predict. However hearing if your mom experienced any delivery complications might help prepare you for what to expect, whether that is best or worst case scenario. According to CDC.gov, 31.9% of babies born in the United States in 2016 were born via cesarean section. Knowing and understanding the potential complications that could arise during delivery will help you feel more prepared should anything happen. It’s a good idea to have a birth plan that addresses some of those worst-case scenario topics. It’s no fun to think about, so having your mom help out will make it a little more bearable!
1 Will I Ever Sleep Again?
“Newborns tend to sleep in fits and starts for 16 to 20 hours over a 24-hour period, so it's virtually impossible for a parent to get more than a couple hours of rest at a time. According to Dr. William C. Dement, a physician and sleep specialist, parents of newborns often lose about two hours of sleep per night until the baby is 5 months old. From then until their child hits 2 years old, parents usually lose an hour of sleep each night,” writes Consumer.HealthDay.com. Nothing will prepare you for the loss of sleep you will experience as a new parent, but some advice from good old Mom might help you through it! You might even be able to talk her into hanging out with the baby for a few hours while you catch some rest!
References: www.chicagotribune.com, www.thebump.com, www.parents.com, www.parenting.com, www.theatlantic.com, www.advancedwomensimaging.com.au, www.whattoexpect.com, www.mom365.com, www.webmd.com, www.consumer.healthday.com, www.cdc.gov, www.momjunction.com, www.mayoclinic.org, www.babycenter.com