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All my pregnancy advice in one thread

Dear friends, I wrote this a year ago. A YEAR. I just wasn't sure when to post it, kept adding stuff along the way, sorting it out, wondering if anyone cared... well, I figure I might as well get it out here before my ipad dies and eats it or something: All my pregnancy advice in one huge crazy post.

I am so nice to pregnancy communities, constantly spouting the same opinions over and over and over again to people, because you know my views are awesome and probably almost always right, correct? Well it occurred to me that unless you're in my community, you're missing out on all my awesome advice. So here it is. All my opinionated tips, stances on controversial issues, and general trolling, all rolled up into one gigantic thread.

Updated quick tip: If you're the kind of practical weirdo who finds these helpful, be sure to join the freshly launched spacefem.com pregnancy forum - we are definitely not your run of the mill group of ladies!


    First Trimester


  1. Wait until you're 3-4 months along to tell people you're pregnant. Not just because of the loss risks, but because people get really annoying when they know you're pregnant.
  2. Except, tell your mom. Or some woman who's had a baby, so you're not totally going through it alone. Husbands do not count.
  3. Early pregnancy freakouts are more common than you think. A lot of people, even people who planned for years to have a baby, wonder if they're really ready when they see that solid line on a test. It's okay.
  4. If you eat plenty of fruits and veggies and exercise, you are healthy. Don't look at your weight.
  5. WebMD will tell you that you and your baby are going to die, no matter what symptom you look up on it.
  6. Pick one good source (mine was Mayo Clinic) for your what to give up list. Otherwise you'll go crazy reading every magazine that tells you that last week's recommendation was ALL WRONG.
  7. You might not have any pregnancy symptoms in the beginning. I didn't. That's okay. Yes you are really pregnant.
  8. Schedule your 8-week prenatal appointment, but expect nothing to happen. Seriously, nothing. You'll take your vitamin samples and leave.
  9. Maternity clothes are worth it.
  10. Maternity pants are different and special, you cannot just sew a b-band onto your jeans and think they'll expand in the right places. Trust me, they will not expand in enough places.
  11. Just accept that anything happening to your boobs right now is within the spectrum of normal. Anything.
  12. Take extra good care of your teeth.
  13. Prenatal massages are so worth it.
  14. Extra boutique ultrasounds where they guess wrong on the baby's sex are not worth it (not to mention, only questionably safe)
  15. Heart rate reflects nothing about the sex of your baby.
  16. Any predictor of your baby's sex has a 50% chance of being right.
  17. That other pregnant woman you know who can't stop throwing up? Do not ask her if she's tried crackers.
  18. No one thinks you're a bad mom for not feeling "bonded" to a 9 week fetus. Heck I wasn't sure about this whole motherhood thing until my baby was like four months old.
  19. Genetic testing? So not worth it, unless you have a very special reason. There's a 1 in 10 chance that a test will give you bad news but only a 1 in 1000 chance that there actually IS bad news... they're an express train to unnecessary freak-out land. The tests suck, that's what you need to know!
  20. Pregnancy brain is a myth. You're distracted, sure, but hormones are not rendering your mind incapable of normal operation.
  21. Your brain is going through a lot though - and that means weird dreams. It's just trying to wrap itself around everything that's going on, don't take them too seriously. They will be weird. Like, I won't even say.

    Second Trimester


  22. (Week you're at) / 4.348 = (Months you're at)
  23. In your "fourth month of pregnancy" you are three months pregnant. Kinda like how in your first year of life, you're not one year old yet. Working on it.
  24. Diaper wipe warmers are a waste of money.
  25. A glass of wine is okay.
  26. Sushi might even be okay.
  27. Babies need very little clothing.
  28. Do not register for clothes, toys, lotion or bath stuff... people buy them anyway.
  29. Twilight turtle = worth it
  30. Diaper genie = not worth it
  31. Do not stock up on any one kind of bottle. You never know what will really work best for you.
  32. Used breastpumps are okay. I know it sounds weird, but when you go to a restaurant all they do is wash off the fork someone else used and then you eat off it, right? It's a food prep tool like anything else.
  33. Remember that non-pregnant people have problems too. Do not make every conversation about your pregnancy.
  34. Prenatal yoga = so worth it. Makes you feel like your totally different body is still yours!
  35. Breastfeeding class = worth it
  36. "Nesting" is the weird craziness that kicks in right before labor when you must clean, like, the underside of the toaster. It's not nursery shopping. That's just you loving to shop.
  37. Bedding set = not worth it. Purely decorative and so very expensive.
  38. Multi-packs of baby socks where every pair is different: bad idea. You will lose one of each.
  39. Baby monitors are a waste of money, unless your house is so huge and soundproofed you really can't hear that kid scream. But my baby had some powerful lungs that we did not need to amplify.
  40. Kegal exercises are great, but late in pregnancy those muscles have a lot going on no matter how much you've trained. It will come to the point where if you have to sneeze, all you can do is cross your legs and hope for the best.
  41. Gender is something a person chooses and expresses. Sex is what bits you're born with.
  42. Maybe consider not posting your fetus' crotch on facebook
  43. Do not buy all pink for your baby girl, or all blue for your baby boy. Kids learn very early what roles we "expect" of them, and will never venture outside the little boxes we put them in if we're determined to limit their minds that way.
  44. Nobody thinks you need a baby shower for your second kid.
  45. Crib bumpers are not that hard to figure out. A newborn doesn't move much, but needs airflow to reduce SIDS risk, take the bumpers out. A five month old isn't really at risk for SIDS, but is rolling around everywhere getting his tiny arms stuck in the crib slats, so put the bumpers in.
  46. All stretch mark creams are a scam. My marks faded away on their own like a lot of women's do. If yours don't, wear them with pride. The creams won't do anything but waste your money.

    Third Trimester


  47. No, your breech twin VBAC at 42 weeks is not a safe homebirth. Birth is not always safe, just because for thousands of years 90% of newborns made it. Medical technology got us to better than 90%.
  48. The average pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. This means half are less, half are more. And most babies are right around there, like within 4-5 days of it.
  49. Your due date is like the top of a hill, not the edge of a cliff.
  50. Do not look to change your due date by a day or two based on one ultrasound or other factor you find. That's like calling your friend to say "Oh I'm sorry, I said it'd take 25 minutes to get to the store but really it's 23 minutes, I was totally wrong!"
  51. I had a natural birth at a hospital and all the nurses were really helpful and cool, despite the scary "hospitals just want to cut you open!" rantings on "Business of being born" and other documentaries. You might want to read SkepticalOB.com for the other viewpoint. Update: and here's more of this debate, and my background
  52. I also had an epidural birth at a hospital and came to the dramatic conclusion that I have no idea whether or not you should get an epidural. That's my stance. The non-stance.
  53. Hospital food sucks. If you just had a baby, you deserve to have your family bring you whatever awesomeness you want.
  54. If you feel like reading, read baby and parenting books, because pregnancy books get really boring. Dr. Sears, Harvey Karp, and Elizabeth Pantley were my favorite authors.
  55. Private cord blood banking is a scam.
  56. Placenta encapsulation was literally invented by hippies in California, as was lotus birth, and whatever weirder stuff they've thought up that I haven't heard of yet. Anyway, none of that helps us get back to our roots. No primates eat their placentas. Tell the dirty hippies to go take showers.
  57. Dilation and effacement are checked so you have a reference point when you go into labor. They do not tell you anything about whether your labor is starting soon. Seriously, you can be dilated to 1 and have a baby tomorrow, or dilated to 3 and walk around pregnant for weeks.
  58. Let your family know in advance if you'd like to be the one to post up the first baby pic on facebook
  59. When you outgrow your bra, switch to nursing bras. They're stretchy and comfy, and you'll need them for practical reasons soon enough anyway.
  60. I've heard that designer hospital gowns are a thing now, or special labor outfits? Horrible idea ladies, you have no idea how much grossness is involved with this process. You will want to burn everything you wore. Or at least have hospital staff take it away. Far, far away.
  61. Shoutout to my June babies: If your baby is born on 6/6 for heavens sake don't name him Damien, haven't you seen The Omen?

    Fourth Trimester


  62. Take care of yourself post-partum. Have your tucks pads, colace, dermoplast, and witch hazel ready at home. Don't stage everything perfectly for baby and neglect researching your own needs.
  63. It's really pointless to diet like crazy right after your baby's born to lose weight. Your bones need 9-12 months (or maybe forever) to spring back and no diet will change that. Your clothes will not fit. Just relax and see what happens for at least six months.
  64. I got more sleep as a new mom than I did as a pregnant woman, even with the angriest newborn on the block. If anyone tells you that pregnancy insomnia is to "get you ready for baby!" just slap them.
  65. Wearing the Always menstrual pads for ten days straight post-partum gave me the worst rash I've ever had to deal with, in an area you do not want to hear about me having to deal with a rash. Cloth pads are nice. Or maybe just switch brands every few days.
  66. You might cry for two weeks. Or it might be worse than that. If it's a lot worse, take it seriously.
  67. Talk to people about what's good on TV. I don't watch TV much - better to read, or go outside, but I did during maternity leave. There aren't many things you can do while nursing a newborn, and they need you to sit and hold them all the time, so you will get to the end of Netflix, oh yes.
  68. If size 1 diapers are for 8-14 pounds, and size 2 diapers are for 12-18 pounds, be ready to use size 2 diapers as soon as your baby hits 12 pounds. Do not keep them in size 1s for the "overlap", a 14-pound bottom in a size 1 is practically asking for a diaper blowout.
  69. Breastfeeding is pretty awesome, especially if you're lazy like me and don't like to wash bottles.
  70. But if you can't breastfeed, that's okay too, plenty of brilliant humans were fed cow milk and corn syrup as babies. Formula is a step up.
  71. You might not ever need baby food, my baby pretty much went straight to the real stuff.
  72. Please vaccinate your child.
  73. Babies love to be outside.
  74. Cheap baby carriers are not worth it. If you want to wear your baby, splurge on the good stuff.
  75. When the baby's two weeks old, consider some bedtime strategies. Before that just let the crazy rule your life. And no matter what you do, that kid might not sleep for YEARS. It's okay. Love the bomb.
  76. You don't need a DVD or program for baby sign language. There's like four things they need to say, and you can google that for free. Any more communication you teach them just leads to them asking for more stuff, and trust me you do not want to start that.
  77. Take your baby to the dentist around their first birthday, even if your old-school family dentist says there's nothing to see until they're 3-4. Advice differs on this so be conservative, I wish I had.
  78. In the end though after all my advice, my last tip though is to take no advice. Or at least don't take any of it too seriously. Kids will be okay if you just love them. If you've got that, the rest of everything doesn't matter so much, in the grand scheme of a life.

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Comments

spacefem
Feb. 2nd, 2014 12:07 am (UTC)
link away :) although clearly it's not indisputable, as everyone is lining up to debate me on 2/3 of the points, lol!

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