We learn a lot from the media. Some of that is a true reflection of reality, and a lot of it isn’t. Before several close friends got pregnant in the last couple of years, I (sadly) got the majority of my information about pregnancy from watching TV and movies. Here are the top 5 things I honestly thought were true about pregnancy at some point due to the media’s influence!
- You’re bumpin’ for 9 months (related: the only part of your body that will grow larger in 9 months is your belly. HAH!). For some reason women are already showing when they announce their pregnancies on TV and then have a massive bump within a couple episodes. I didn’t really start showing til nearly 20 weeks and even now at 26 weeks I can kind of hide the bump using strategic clothing choices. You actually spend a very small portion of your pregnancy looking the way that pregnant women look on TV and in advertisements (and it’s not even often you actually look like these thin women with their fake bumps!).
- Morning sickness is inevitable and all about barfing in the morning. I had morning sickness for 8 weeks or my pregnancy and I only threw up once. However, I felt like I had the hangover from hell for 8 weeks straight. I even woke up in the middle of the night nauseous. So no, it’s not just about barfing and it’s not just in the morning! Along with that, several women I know didn’t experience any morning sickness or if they did, it was minimal, yet every single pregnant woman on TV is hanging over the toilet at 7 a.m.
- Pregnant women have crazy cravings that send father’s to the store at 2 a.m. While I’m sure some women DO in fact crave fried pickles on top of ice cream with Tabasco sauce and chocolate chips, the majority of women I know who have been pregnant, including myself, don’t really have strong cravings for any foods and if they do crave something, it’s pretty normal. While we may certainly prefer/enjoy cold juicy fruit or ice cream more than we did before pregnancy, I have yet to have a craving so intense that I had to send Mike out at all, let alone in the middle of the night, to get it for me. Not to mention, I’m perfectly capable of driving myself to the store to get the food.
- Your water will probably break in public and make a massive splash. Too many times this has been the case. It is very rare for a woman’s water to break without warning (typically, contractions have already begun before the water breaks) and often the water comes out slowly rather than in a rush. While it definitely is possible for you to be in Target when a gush of water floods the aisle, it’s pretty uncommon (a BabyCenter poll estimates about 14% of women have experienced a pre-labor gush of water).
- Once you begin labor, you better get to the hospital IMMEDIATELY because that baby is coming now (related: you have a high chance of giving birth in an elevator or the side of the freeway)! Labor takes a long time and the pushing phase doesn’t even start until you’re 10 cm dilated, which can take hours and hours from the first contraction (or epic water breaking incident). Hospitals don’t really want you sitting around forever as you become dilated and therefore your doctor will give you a recommendation for when it’s a good time to start heading to the hospital. Most women spend several hours laboring at home before there is any need for a hospital gown (also related: I have a friend who gave birth on her living room floor because her contractions accelerated a bit faster than anticipated so it actually CAN happen).
On the list of fun real things about pregnancy that I learned on my own: you may leave your keys in your front door overnight and spend 15 minutes before work nearly in tears frantically looking for them, you may try to wash your face with toothpaste, and you may cry in the car driving home from work when a sappy country song comes on the radio. Enjoy!
What misconceptions about pregnancy and labor did you have prior to becoming pregnant yourself? If you’ve never been pregnant, what do you think is the scariest thing you’ve learned about pregnancy from the media?
Jen @ Pretty Little Grub
This is cute. I’m sure I still would believe alot of what I see on TV until the day comes that I experience it myself. My sister-in-law gave birth in her parents bathroom because the hospital sent her home to labor for a while. So yeah, it can happen quick. ha ha.
Wow yeah that is crazy! It seems to either take forever or go too fast !
tiff @ love, sweat, & beers
So true! I mean, I can’t exactly speak to the labor parts yet since E came by emergency c-section, but it all seems pretty spot-on to me. I describe my morning sickness as a never ending hangover as well. Yuck!
Oh yes, all of this is oh-so true! I was shockingly pregnant with twins so I had quite a few hard lessons to learn. I didn’t look nearly as adorable and my belly popped in about 6 weeks!! My water broke in my own kitchen but I don’t even think there was a drop on the floor.
And, don’t get me started on all the myths AFTER those babies were born. #1 twins have a built in playmate. Yeah right.
Kristen @ Glitter and Dust
Haha, this had me cracking up! The other night I watched the movie What To Expect When You’re Expecting and there were so many misconceptions and exaggerations about pregnancy. There were also some realistic moments too, which was nice to see. My big pet peeve about pregnancy on screen is that the women always have the perfect little bump and no weight gain.
The water breaking in public is something that makes me a little nervous. I may choose my “places” wisely around my due date. Haha. That’s good to know there will be warning signs beforehand.
One thing I am curious about it the actual labor. The media paints a picture that you will sweat out gallons of water (the women are ALWAYS covered in sweat) and scream loud enough that it echoes throughout the entire hospital. Whenever I see pictures of friends or women who have gone through labor, I never see a lot of sweat. This has got to be something that gets added on-screen, right?
Haha so true! I have no idea – I would assume you’d swear a ton if you have a natural birth but maybe not as much with epidural?! Not sure!
Abby @ Change of Pace
I didn’t sweat! But I embarrassingly admit I did scream once. Then the nurses told me not to waste my energy, so I tried to channel that into my pushes 🙂
Haha I love it!
Ashley @ Running Bun
Having an epidural does mean labor is pain free. I had many many hours of terrible contractions and vomiting (and sweating lol) before the anesthesiologist could make it into my room.
Yeah for sure! I think a lot of people probably think the epidural means no pain at all !
Yep- #2 and #5 for sure for me. I was just always ‘car sick’. Don’t think I threw up once. And even though I did follow my Doc’s instructions and waited until contractions were 5 minutes apart to head to the hospital, I got to walk the hallway OUTSIDE of admission in a gown for 2 HOURS until they let me get a bed. And that was when they called my doctor and he said ‘let her in!!’ Sheesh.
Abby @ Change of Pace
This is really funny, and SO true!
I think the worst misconception is the water breaking to let you know you’re going into labour! My water didn’t break until 20 minutes before I started to push! And I was in labour (and hard labour) for hours before that!
Leslie @ Triathlete Treats
This is hysterical!!!