I recently wrote about all the weird side effects that I experienced during my pregnancy, some were side effects were good and some bad. I know that many of you are having or had hard times throughout the 9-month journey, so below are some of my tips to help you cope. My previous post: My Weird Pregnancy Side Effects.
1) Fact: every pregnant woman has some sort of side effect. No pregnancy is perfect, so don't worry if yours is not. Pregnancy changes your body composition, and these changes are unavoidable so there will always be some side-effects, whether it be painful swollen breasts or vomiting. I haven't met anyone who has gone through a pregnancy unscathed. If you are having a difficult pregnancy and meet that person who denies they had any side-effects, just don't be friends with them anymore. It's that easy. Too harsh? Ok, then just avoid them until the Pregnancy Amnesia kicks in.
2) Talk to other moms and pregnant women, especially those who are experiencing it now, like right now. Do not be afraid to reach out to people who can relate to your feelings and are supportive. As much as you may love your Mom/Aunt/Grandma and their stories of pregnancy 20-50 years ago, a lot has changed, so take their advice with a grain of salt and try to find some friends who are recent moms. The more people, the more perspectives, the more support. Living in another city without family, I felt utterly alone when I got pregnant. I sought out some fantastic mom friends in my condo building, and now I have a mom tribe. We have started a podcast together called The Mom Sync to help others feel less isolated and share stories. We want to be there for other moms and moms-to-be. Please check out our episodes linked here. Ultimately, don't be afraid to talk to the pregnant woman you see every day at your fave coffee shop or yoga class.
3) Remember this phrase, "it's normal." I worried so much about any issue that came up. I had a few tiny bumps on my arm and thought it was a life-threatening rash. In the end, pregnancy is crazy, and in pregnancy, crazy is normal. Most of the side effects are par for the course and as crappy as they can be, it's normal.
4) Don't be afraid to ask your OB/GYN. If you are truly worried, ask the experts it's what they are there for (you are paying for their service, so get your money's worth). I would go to my OB/GYN appointments with a list of things to ask. If you are too timid to ask questions, it is better to push that fear aside most of the time your OB/Gyn will tell you its 100%normal, whatever the issue.
5) Google is not your friend, but forums are! Find a forum or community group with other pregnant moms-to-be. Google can be torture; it can send you into a spiral of anxiety because there is just too much information, and it may not be the most reassuring. As an alternative, I love community forums. My favourite is the What to Expect When You Are Expecting. I am a huge fan of their book, the app, their youtube videos, and their forums (and no, this is not a paid endorsement). You can join a discussion with other women at the same stage in their pregnancy. I found so many people experiencing the same problems as me (plus some that were way worse that made me better appreciate my situation). So many people on it were so open and honest, and it also provided a great space for me to encourage other people. I still use it now to stay up to date with mommy-baby stuff.
Share your stories about your pregnancy journey and check out my post describing my horrible pregnancy side-effects.