The last two decades have brought on major changes in almost every aspect of life. For the millennial generation, growing up in the age of the Internet has provided a reality that is sometimes stranger than fiction. It's not surprising, then, that millennials experience all aspects of life in a completely modern way. Pregnancy, childbirth and parenting are no exception to the experiences that have modernized in the last 20 years.
If a modern woman has children, all it takes is a couple of conversations with the mother-in-law to know that things were done way differently back in the day. From car seat safety to the common cold, everything has modernized and made parents way more paranoid, and also way more extravagant. These days, pregnancy is filled with presents, vacations, apps and high fashion. Too much tracking, too much worrying and way too much Googling. These are all things that previous generations didn't have to deal with. Back then, things were simpler, and there were fewer things to worry about when a couple decided to start a family. Today's young families might think their parents' are the weird ones, but they definitely have some good reasons to raise eyebrows! Read on to discover 20 Things Millennials Do (That Would Never Be Allowed In The Past).
20 Go On Exotic Baby Moons
Honeymoons have been a part of post-marriage celebrations for decades. Only in recent years have young parents-to-be founded a brand new type of vacation: the babymoon! The babymoon is usually celebrated while the woman is pregnant, and often signifies the last vacation a couple will take alone...at least for a long time! These vacations are usually enjoyed beachside, although, babymoons can also be city escapes. Since mom and dad will be very busy when baby arrives, this trend definitely has major perks! Our parents' generation might not have splurged on pre-baby holidays, but a little time out before baby arrives won't do any harm!
19 Host Lavish Gender Reveal Parties
One of the first questions any pregnant lady gets is "are you having a boy or a girl?". Never before has society been so preoccupied with gender. Not too many decades ago, ultrasound machines didn't have the ability to confirm the baby's gender. And just a few decades before that, ultrasound machines didn't even exist. Our parents and grand-parents generally found out the baby's gender on the day of his or her birth! These days, entire parties are consecrated to the revelation of the baby's gender. Pink or blue balloons, cakes and candies are used to surprise the guests (and usually, the parents) with the news. Just another excuse for a party, or something fun that we can all get behind?
18 Host Name Reveal Parties
Finding a name for your new baby might be the most challenging task for new parents. With name trends changing from year to year, finalizing your choice can be daunting. So it's no wonder that some soon-to-be parents' call in the help of their family and friends. In name reveal parties, the name of the baby is chosen and revealed. In some cases, guests can place their votes from a list of choices, and the one with the most vote is used for the baby. For less adventurous parents, the name is chosen before the party, and simply made public during the gathering.
17 Track Everything On Apps
In the age of technology, our cellphones have become an extension of our bodies, and minds. There is literally an app for everything and anything, and pregnancy related apps are among the most popular. Tracking weight gain, exercise, sleep, diet and water intake help a mom-to-be keep an eye on her health while the baby is growing. Apps that countdown to the due date are the most common, as well as apps that tell mom how big her baby is each week. A certain level of awareness is great, but tracking too much can also lead to prenatal stress, which isn't great for mom or baby!
16 Set Unrealistic Parenting Goals
Our parents' generation didn't overly stress about parenting; at least not the way that millennials do! It seems that there is an expectation that mom and dad will be super parents. Always organized, always looking fresh and great, always able to workout and keep fit, never struggling. We put pressure on ourselves to sign our children up for extracurricular activities, to feed them organic everything, and to watch their screen time. We are unnecessarily hard on ourselves when it comes to reaching certain parenting goals. In the end, our kids are happy if we are, so less perfection and more relaxation are great goals!
15 Worry Too Much (Google Everything!)
A certain level of caution and worry is totally normal during pregnancy, but getting too stressed out can be detrimental to our health. Googling symptoms can lead us into a downward spiral of paranoia and fear, when generally, symptoms experienced during pregnancy are not a major cause for concern. It's definitely wise to contact your health practitioner or midwife if you have any symptoms that seem concerning, but watch yourself when it comes to Googling symptoms! I only speak from experience, during both of my pregnancies I Googled too often and convinced myself that I had serious problems, when in reality, I was fine.
14 Set Up Unnecessarily Extensive Birth Plans
Oh, the extensive birth plan. It's definitely good to mentally prepare for birth. I am a big advocate of this. Taking prep classes or reading a book or two can't do any harm! However, keep in mind that anything you "plan" might get tossed out the hospital window as soon as labour starts. When I was prepping for my first son to be born, my birth plan was ridiculously unrealistic. I had envisioned bringing crystals and scented candles to zen me out. I thought I would be able to order pizza. I wanted to play card games while waiting for baby. Only one of these things happened, and it was a very quick game of Uno!
13 Over-Do The Bump Photos
The only people that really care about your bump progression are you, your mother and maybe a handful of friends. To be honest, I love a bump update from time to time, but weekly updates are not necessary for social media. If you want to keep track, by all means, take the photos. You can even make a cute little collage in your baby's album of the different phases of growth. But for everyone else? Unless they specifically ask for a bump shot, there's no need to overdo it. A few throughout the pregnancy are great, but keep the weekly updates to a min!
12 Super Detailed Screenings And Ultrasounds
It's fun to see your little sweetpea on the inside. I have to admit, I always enjoyed ultrasounds, because they give you a little sneak peek into something that you couldn't otherwise see. Very detailed, 4D ultrasounds though? They are just a little too much information! Sure, it's nice to see what your baby is looking like, but don't we want any element of surprise on the big day? I had a 4D scan for my second (I didn't realize I was getting this until the photos were printed!) and it was cute, but also unnecessarily detailed. And nobody needs an advance on the "he-looks-like-me!" conversations you are likely to have with your partner.
11 Expect Expensive Push Presents
Presents are fun any time of year! Birthdays, Christmas, just because. But our generation clearly found that wasn't enough. We wanted more. We wanted gifts for pushing out our babies (isn't the baby the gift?). Thanks to celebrities like Beyonce getting million-dollar gifts for becoming moms, we have started to expect that we will be rewarded for our hard work. I'm not inherently against a little push present (I got perfume!), but it's a bit excessive to expect lavish jewelry and other expensive treats. A little gift is nice, and the big gift is your baby. Is that not enough? Our parents' definitely didn't have these expectations when we were born!
10 Live Stream Their Labours
Now this is something that our parents' definitely didn't do! Live streaming births are becoming more and more common in our generation. While most would find this a major overshare, some women appreciate the ability to see what exactly goes on in the delivery room. The main problem with this? Not all births are the same. In fact, they are all vastly different, and your experience cannot be preplanned! Watching someone else give birth might make you feel more prepared, but it might well do the opposite and create more nerves around the big day. A bit too much information!
9 Obsess Over What They're Eating (Or Not Eating)
Never before has a generation been more obsessed with food and nutrition. Food is no longer just a source of energy. Pregnant women have even more to worry about in this department. Everywhere you look, there are new suggestions, recommendations and lists of foods to avoid. Beyond the basics of not drinking, eating raw seafood or unpasteurized cheeses, women now have to worry about contaminants in a variety of other foods. Environmental exposure to pesticides, toxic substances and chemicals add to the stress. Our parents were lucky, they essentially just avoided cats and were good to go. Use your logic and doctors advice, but don't overstress this either!
8 Get Over-Educated (No One Needs To Read That Many Books To Prep For Labour!)
The truth is, no matter how prepared you are, you'll never be entirely prepared for labour. I don't mean that you can't handle it, I just mean that it's futile to prepare for an experience that you can't predict! There are a number of outcomes and scenarios that could transpire, and it would be exhausting to prepare for all of the possibilities. The best bet is to have a rough outline of what you would like in terms of medical intervention, medication, support etc; Keep an open mind and allow yourself the option to change plans whenever you want to! There is no right or wrong way to bring your baby into the world, and there should be no shame around anyone's methods!
7 Complain...A Lot
Perhaps we are a privileged generation who expect to be pampered and treated like royalty. Whatever the reasons, we tend to complain...a lot. Pregnancy gives us an even bigger reason to whine! Even if many of our complaints are valid, it seems that our culture accepts and encourages a whiny mentality. Moaning about exhaustion, morning sickness, gaining weight and giving up booze have become all too normal. Certainly, some bits of pregnancy are less pleasant than others, but we might be going a bit heavy in the complaints department these days! I can't picture my mom being half as whiny as I was, that's for sure!
6 Rely On At-Home Fetal Heart Monitors
Playing doctor is definitely something that our generation is guilty of. The Internet has given us access to a plethora of information that we otherwise would not have quick access to. Using fetal monitors at home is a modern practice that is not recommended by medical staff. Unless you are a trained nurse or doctor, you probably shouldn't be using medical tools! For some women, hearing the baby's heartbeat gives peace of mind, but at-home monitors aren't always reliable, and too much checking could become a bit of a compulsion. To be on the safe side, leave this up to your doctor!
5 Spend Too Much On Baby Supplies
It's normal to want to spoil your baby, especially if it's the first born! Despite this, we have to be a bit realistic when we think of the longevity of baby clothing and products. The window of use is small. Very small. Babies outgrow clothing size roughly every 2-4 weeks, so if you're lucky, a favorite shirt might be worn for a month or so. It's not necessary, then, to splurge on things that have an expiration date! If you really want to go big, invest in something that will be with your baby for a long time. A good stroller or crib are good options!
4 Chomp Down On Their own stuff after
Ingesting the placenta after birth (usually in dried capsule format) is said to have some incredible health benefits for the mother. Some swear that is it the antidote to postpartum depression and mood disorders, and that it replenishes iron, vitamins and minerals lost during pregnancy and labour. This alternative practice is gaining notoriety in the western world, but it's definitely something that's only been popular in the past couple of decades. There might have been some hippie moms in the 70's and 80's that tried this, but overall, it's a millennial thing! Eat at your own risk: this practice is generally not recommended by doctors.
3 Share Their Labour Stories With Pregnant Women (Just Don't!)
Our generation has a very horrific vision of labour, which is not aided by popular television shows and movies. Women in labour are often depicted as being in excruciating pain, screaming, swearing and distressed. Although labour is rarely a walk in the park, this dialogue only breeds fear for expectant mothers. It's time we switch the script! Even if you had an unpleasant and traumatic delivery, there are ways to express that without passing on your fear and distress. Consider your audience before spilling the horrific details. Pregnant women do not need to hear your war stories shortly before they give birth!
2 Buy Designer Duds For Their Babies
It's not a crime to love fashion, but keep in mind that babies don't have the same passions as mom or dad. They don't know the difference between Target or Gucci, so why bother buying them designer duds at all? Let's face it, baby clothes gets dirty. And stained. And damaged. It's rare that a piece of anything my boys wear will stay intact and unharmed after a few wears. Yes, your kids Burberry dress is adorable, but does she really need five of them? Keep the designer stuff to a min and put that extra money in their savings account for the future!
1 Take A Million Baby Prep Classes
There's nothing wrong with catering your life to adjust to pregnancy. Taking a prenatal yoga class, or birth preparation class, can really help you embrace your pregnancy. But, there is no need to sign up for every single mommy-to-be venture. Our moms used to do breathing preparation for labour, and that was basically it. No mom yoga. No mom meditation. No mom Pilates. No mom group. By all means, don't stop the activities you love, but don't feel like you need to take on every single course or class designed for expectant mothers. Sometimes, less is more with these kinds of things!