As soon as you tell your family and loved ones that you’re pregnant, you will hear tons of stories, myths, and get advice from everyone around you. You might not believe in these, but when you keep constantly hearing it there is a chance you will begin to wonder if they are true. Here are a few of those myths you will hear but MUST know NOT to dwell upon.
Myth # 1. When you are pregnant, you will feel better than you have ever felt. In fact, you will glow!
Fact: While some women describe pregnancy as wonderfully full, a time when they felt more energetic than ever, when they felt the glow that others commented on daily, and a time when they felt happy and alive, this is not, actually the norm. Most women go through stages of incredible difficulty during their pregnancies. Many women feel uncharacteristically fatigued and irritable. Many women feel more exhausted than they imagined they would feel. Many women feel nauseous throughout the 9 + months when they share their bodies with their little ones. Many women never, actually, “glow” and instead feel deeply depleted. What you go through however does NOT affect the bond between your baby and you.
Myth # 2: Women’s bodies are made to birth babies. Women give birth all the time everywhere. Therefore, women should not have a need for any sort of pain support during childbirth such as an epidural.
Fact: Yes, women’s bodies are made to birth babies. Yes, women do this everywhere. However, this does NOT mean that a mom should be shamed for asking for an epidural or other system of pain relief during her childbirth. Each woman has an absolute right to ask for what she needs throughout this process.
Myth # 3: Women feel an unrelenting rush of euphoria after delivering their babies. Instantly ‘mommy-ness’ kicks in and the bond and attachment happens all at once.
Fact: No, not necessarily. Many women do get the wonderful opportunity to have this experience after delivery, but many women also feel what is described as a “delayed response” to being a mom. Some of the women who have this initial experience of uncertain emotion will go on to develop a postpartum mood or anxiety disorder, but some will not. For some women, this deep connection with their babies just takes time. It’s normal and the delay does NOT make you a bad mother.
Myth # 4: Breastfeeding comes naturally.
Fact: Perhaps this one is true for some women, but for some women this is not the case. In fact, breastfeeding is difficult at least in the beginning for most mothers. Be it nipple pain, difficulty in latching, over or under production of milk, or difficulty in settling into a “hold” that works. Many women go through significant challenges when beginning to breast feed. Working with a lactation consultant/ mid wife can be valuable for many of these women. And, still some will either decide or find that the challenge of breast feeding is just too difficult to see through. There is absolutely no shame in this, and all women should feel empowered to make a decision around breast feeding that works best for herself and her baby. Babies most certainly benefit from breast milk. But what they need even more than this is their mother.
Myth # 5: Moms who love their children also love the responsibilities of being a Mom.
Fact: NO. The amount of love that you have for your baby has nothing to do with the amount of love (or patience) that you have for dirty diapers at 4am, bouncing and rocking all hours of the day, breastfeeding with bleeding nipples, and trying hour after hour to soothe a baby who seems unable to be soothed. Love your baby moms. But please work hard to understand not to judge yourselves if you are having a difficult time transitioning into this new role. Simply said, it is hard being a mother.