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10 Pregnancy Facts No One Tells You

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    Eating can be an effort

    Eating can be an effortBetween so-called "morning sickness," all those no-nos and trying to eat a diet rich in healthy foods that help your baby grow, deciding what to eat can be a complicated prospect. Now that a menu has become a minefield, you will have a new appreciation for the days when ordering lunch was not a feat of major mental gymnastics.

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    Everybody's got an opinion

    Everybody's got an opinionYou’ll be getting pregnancy advice from a wide range of sources: your doctor or midwife, your pregnancy guides, your family and friends and your neighbor three doors down. Keep in mind that what you’re hearing may have more to do with the person who’s saying it than with you — people like to relay their own experiences. Your healthcare provider’s advice is most important, but ultimately each woman needs to filter everything she hears and make her own choices.

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    You may be a glowing goddess…or not

    You may be a glowing goddess…or notThere are women for whom pregnancy is a source of beauty, charisma and energy. And then there are women who feel dumpy and miserable and can’t wait to get their bodies back to some semblance of “normal.” Most women probably fall somewhere in the middle. Your body image and sexuality will most likely run the gamut over the 40 weeks. Pregnancy can be a boon or a bane for the sex life, depending on how pregnancy affects your libido — and your partner’s. One thing that can help: avoid the parade of perfect bumps in magazines; real pregnancy is not airbrushed!

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    Don’t worry about worrying

    Don’t worry about worryingJust hearing how stress can negatively affect pregnancy can be stressful! It’s appropriate to feel some level of stress and anxiety, and research is actually showing a moderate amount is good for the baby’s development. The kind of stress that can cause problems during pregnancy is large-scale stuff that doesn’t happen very often, like wars and deaths in the family. Run-of-the-mill worrying is not dangerous!

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    Pregnancy weight depends on the individual

    Pregnancy weight depends on the individualThe question of how much weight you’ll gain and whether you’ll be able to lose it depends on a huge range of factors. This is why the blanket weight gain recommendations can be confusing. The best way to approach the issue of pregnancy weight gain is to aim for a healthy diet and stay active. An open dialogue with your care provider about exercise and weight gain is an important part of the process.

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    Try to avoid risks, but don’t panic

    Try to avoid risks, but don’t panicScience has been turning up lots of scary studies in recent years, and all this info can put lots of pressure on a pregnant mom to try to dodge every toxin on the block.Trying to protect your baby is a good impulse, but you can drive yourself nuts trying, and inevitably failing, to avoid every single infinitesimal risk. As much as you want to do a perfect job of protecting your baby, you’re only human, and you can’t control the universe. Chances are very good that your baby will be just fine.

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    Moodiness may be more than hormones

    Moodiness may be more than hormonesPregnancy is a time of joy, but it can also be a time of complicated emotions. Ambivalence is normal. Persistent negative thoughts, however, are a sign of clinical depression or anxiety, which is as common during pregnancy as it is after birth. It’s important to discuss these conditions with your healthcare provider or a mental health professional to avoid risks to mother and baby. There are a number of effective treatment options.

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    Keep an open birth plan

    Keep an open birth planBirth is an inherently unpredictable event, so trying to plan it out is not likely to change the outcome. Though a birth plan is a great way to communicate your desires, if it’s too strict, it can lead to disappointment. A birth plan that doesn’t work out to the letter can contribute to feelings of failure after childbirth, even if the birth goes okay otherwise.

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    Don’t sweat the arrival

    Don’t sweat the arrival A new baby actually requires very little in the way of gear. You, on the other hand, might find your blood pressure calms with every dedicated baby gadget you add to your registry. Ask around to see what people found most useful…and most useless. But remember that this stuff is subjective; one mom’s clutter is another mom’s necessity.

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    Pregnancy is practice for parenthood

    Pregnancy is practice for parenthoodYou learn how to deal with interrupted sleep and how to think about someone else’s needs. You’ll start to think about the kind of parent you want to be. You’ll face some tough decisions that could require partner negotiations. You may even begin to feel the beginnings of maternal instinct. The repulsion you feel at the sight of that tuna roll? It’s actually a self-protective urge. You might want to listen to it.

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