The internet is full of gems that may, or may not, be true. It's always a good idea to take everything you read on this thing with a grain of salt because, in my experience, there's a lot of crap to sort through. When I was pregnant, I sought out every piece of advice I could find. I'd never grown a human in my body before, so I was in desperate need of a clear picture I could dream up to get me through the tough days. I didn't know about the lies the internet told me about pregnancy at the time, because way back then, I thought the internet knew it all. Yeah, I was wrong.
During my first pregnancy, I thought I had to stop what I was doing (like all exercise), eat more than usual, and do all the typical new mom stuff, because if I didn't I was considered abnormal. The internet has come a long way over the years, but doing a search for answers to questions like, "Can I have sex while nine months pregnant?" kind of messed with me. Who's the internet to tell me what's good for me and my baby? Aside from memes and cat videos, I've learned not to put all my pregnancy stock in the world wide web and, instead, consult my doctors and/or pregnant women who have lived and learned (and even then, since every woman and every pregnancy is different, my doctor was always my best choice).
Seriously, there's tons of information about pregnancy out there that's not completely correct. Or, if it is, it doesn't apply to all expecting moms, especially not me. I was looking for someone who could tell me about my symptoms, my baby, my experiences, so maybe I'd not feel so alone through it all. Turns out, most of what I found just didn't ring true for me. Here's some of those vicious pregnancy lies you don't have to believe to make it through.
You Can't Exercise
When I as pregnant, I thought I had to halt any activity altogether. I assumed (by assumed, I mean the internet said so), in being active, I might cause harm to my unborn baby.
Looking back, I think I just wanted an excuse to toss the dumbbells. While some strenuous exercise should be done with caution, or after first talking to your doctor, you need exercise — yoga, walking, even running — to stay healthy. Exercising while pregnant has way more benefits than tossing the idea altogether (if your pregnancy isn't high-risk and your doctor has approved). Saying this now feels like a "duh" moment, but way back then I trusted the internet to tell me these things.
You Have To Eat For Two
I didn't know then that my pregnant body only required slightly more calories (400-800 per day) than my normal weight body. I thought being pregnant was my time to eat whatever I wanted. The internet told me to enjoy every last craving, so I did. What it didn't warn me about was the complications I'd have because of it (hypertension from the added weight and a hard time losing if post-pregnancy).
You Have To Re-Home Your Pets
If you've ever read an article that tells you to find new homes for your beloved pets, just because you're having a baby, don't. If there's underlying issues, like an aggressive breed or a mean cat that might sneak into baby's crib at night, there's ways around those potential problems.
I'm glad I didn't give up my cats. After all, they were my first babies. If I'd listened to that stale advice, I'd seriously regret it now.
You Should Get As Much Sleep As You Can Now
Sure, this sounds like a good tip. Until you're so uncomfortable with growing pains, a kicking baby, and a bladder that won't stop sending you to the bathroom every 20 minutes. I spent the majority of my pregnancy exhausted, but never did catch up the sleep the internet said I needed. In fact, I took up gentle yoga and at one point, I didn't feel as tired anymore.
You Need To Cut Out Caffeine
I gave up all my coffee when I discovered my pregnancy and I still cringe thinking of those days. I did it because I'd read things online that said that's what was best for the baby. Now, of course, the internet is full of inconclusive articles that say it's fine as long as it's under 200 mg/day. Give me those pieces of my life back (with coffee, please).
Your Morning Sickness Subsides After The First Trimester
There's no such thing as morning sickness, internet. I had morning, midmorning, noon, afternoon, evening, and night sickness. It was never-ending and didn't stop after the first trimester. But thanks for giving me something to believe in, however untrue.
Your Motherly Instincts Will Kick In Naturally
Will they? While I suppose some of me has adapted to being the one responsible for these small lives, for the most part I'm still waiting to feel like I'm a mom. At times, I still feel like I want my own mom.
Let me be clear: I had no glow. Stop talking about the glow. The glow didn't exist for me. The glow is a myth; a damn lie; a complete fallacy. What people mean when they say "you're glowing" is "you're sweaty."
If you've been lucky enough to glow (not sweat), I'm happy for you, truly. Still, I stand by the belief that the glow doesn't exist and you just carry your sweat better than the rest of us. So the next time you read something on the internet about the pregnancy glow, do yourself a favor and shut it down. If I had, maybe I wouldn't have felt so insecure about sweating so much.