In this article, we shared a mother’s experience and advice for pregnant women. Read the article to learn more and have a pleasant pregnancy.
Clichés abound about what it’s like to be pregnant these days: Strangers lay hands on your belly without thinking twice, commuters ignore your bulging stomach and swollen ankles in favor of keeping their coveted seats, and everyone you encounter from the post office to the dinner party has a piece of golden advice for you.
You should see our other articles and categories to learn the things you wonder.
I have been thrilled to see these myths and others debunked in my first six months as a pregnant woman. The few people who have placed their hands on my bump in hopes of feeling a kick actually asked my permission first. A young man on a subway in New York City of all places offered to give me his seat, before I had even thought to send him the evil eye.
And people don’t really give advice any more, in this era when we are encouraged to allow others room for choice and difference. Every parent I talk to is certainly eager to share information and stories, but it’s not OK to come right out and tell people what to do in the mode of traditional advice. In this time of political correctness there is a new indirect flavor to what parents share and how they share it.
I suspect things were different in our own parents’ early parenting years. There was only one parenting book on the market, so if you had already read it, it was almost your duty to share the knowledge with the up-and-comers. The rest of parenting lore was handed down in oral tradition, with grandmothers standing watch over the crib to make sure that the baby was swaddled “the right way.”
What about your ideas? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section.
No “Right” Way
These days, with a booming baby book market and an Internet loaded with countless bulletin boards and articles, the only thing we know for sure is that there is no “right way” to do anything when it comes to children. Breastfeed for six months, for three years, not at all. Family bed, bassinet in the master bedroom, crib in the nursery. Parents have come to recognize that what worked for them is not necessarily right, but merely one option and a very personal decision.
If you want to learn about breastfeeding during pregnancy : Breastfeeding During Pregnancy
There also has been much research in child development to support the idea that each baby, no matter how young, is going to present its own issues and challenges. We can no more make generalizations about what infants need than we can about what pregnant women crave.
So we’ve stopped giving distinct advice, but what has taken its place? In my experience, what I get is a strange combination of sharing anecdotes and telling me how I’ll feel. I call it the “Just You Wait Speech.” It usually sounds like one of the following:
- “I’ve been so exhausted because the baby is up all night crying. Just you wait, you’ll be amazed by how much noise such a little person can make.”
- “I can’t believe how different things are. You spend all day talking baby talk, and you don’t have the time to yourself to get anything done. It’s crazy, just you wait.”
- “It’s more wonderful than I ever imagined. You can’t anticipate how much you will love this child, how much your world changes, how much fun it can be. It will be a million times more intense than you expect, just you wait.”
You may have already noticed a few of the characteristics of the “Just You Wait” declaration. It usually starts out in the first person, with the parent describing an experience or feeling they have had. Oftentimes, sadly, the tone is negative in nature. At some point in the story, the parent switches into the second person, ultimately explaining to the expectant parent what they will feel or experience with their own child. What started as a useful “Let me tell you how it was for me” turns into an almost doomsday voice hiding a horrific cackle: “JUST YOU WAIT, bwah-hah-hahhhhhhhhh.”
The first thing that pops into my mind as I am listening to one of these diatribes is that I can wait and wait and wait, but I may never encounter what the parent is depicting. If I am blessed with a quiet baby (as my mother was, so cross your fingers for me) then I will probably never marvel at 2 a.m. at how loud my crying baby is. I may have a great sleeper on my hands, who allows me a string of uninterrupted hours each day when I can get things done or to have an adult discussion.
To learn about hot to sooth a crying baby : The Crying Game – Soothing Your Newborn
Let it be said right now that I will never spend a full day talking only baby talk – I am a firm believer in holding some regular conversations with babies in the language I am trying to teach them. Perhaps I cannot fully imagine the intensity of parenthood, since I am only 6 months pregnant and still get nine continuous hours of sleep a night. But no one can fully imagine everything that will go through my mind and heart after my baby enters and alters my life forever. Time will certainly tell what specific aspects of having a baby will amaze me.
I am not offended when people try to tell me what I will undergo after the baby arrives. I recognize that they are simply trying to share their own story and describe how it was for them so I might learn what to expect. The funny thing is, people never seem to do just that – they don’t simply share their own story. They try to avoid giving direct how-to advice, but they wind up with an odd prediction of what it will be like for me.
Sometimes I think this happens, because new parents crave a sense of community. They want to believe that they are not alone in having certain reactions or encountering tougher moments. Other times it seems that the parents perceive they are dwelling too much on themselves and try to shift the focus slightly by saying “you’ll see.” I may not know the reason why parents use this phrase until I am a new parent myself, sharing my stories with the next crop of expectant parents. I’ll just wait and see.
Our articles are prepared to give advice. Always consult your doctor first for any problems and exact information.