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Eating can be an effort
Between 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
Youll 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 youre hearing may have more to do with the person whos saying it than with you — people like to relay their own experiences. Your healthcare providers 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
There are women for whom pregnancy is a source of beauty, charisma and energy. And then there are women who feel dumpy and miserable and cant 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 partners. One thing that can help: avoid the parade of perfect bumps in magazines; real pregnancy is not airbrushed!
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Dont worry about worrying
Just hearing how stress can negatively affect pregnancy can be stressful! Its appropriate to feel some level of stress and anxiety, and research is actually showing a moderate amount is good for the babys development. The kind of stress that can cause problems during pregnancy is large-scale stuff that doesnt 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
The question of how much weight youll gain and whether youll 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 dont panic
Science 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, youre only human, and you cant control the universe. Chances are very good that your baby will be just fine.
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Moodiness may be more than hormones
Pregnancy 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. Its 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
Birth 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 its too strict, it can lead to disappointment. A birth plan that doesnt work out to the letter can contribute to feelings of failure after childbirth, even if the birth goes okay otherwise.
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Dont 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 moms clutter is another moms necessity.
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Pregnancy is practice for parenthood
You learn how to deal with interrupted sleep and how to think about someone elses needs. Youll start to think about the kind of parent you want to be. Youll 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? Its actually a self-protective urge. You might want to listen to it.
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Read More Pregnancy Facts No One Tells You
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- 2. The six biggest pregnancy myths »
- 3. : The range of "normal" pregnancy sex »
- 4. The benefits of anxiety and stress during pregnancy »
- 5. Individual attention can help keep weight gain in check »
- 6. 5 ways to reduce your child’s cancer risk starting now »
- 7. What do you do if you just don’t like being pregnant? »
- 8. 5 things to know before writing a birth plan »
- 9. What do we really need for a new baby? »