THINGS I WISH MORE PEOPLE TOLD PREGNANT WOMEN
Speaking as a former pregnant person and current children's doctor - we really need to start giving pregnant women a break.
- •Pregnancy can be hard. You're not a failure if you don't enjoy every minute.Exhaustion, heartburn, nausea, breathlessness, stretch marks, acne, and oh yes, the overwhelming anxiety. Yes, Instagram is full of pictures of adorable pregnant women having photo shoots with their visibly adoring partners in fields...but you don't have to do that. Sitting on a yoga ball, eating ice cream and watching Netflix can be an equally good way to spend your time.
- •Labour can be hard. You're not a failure if it doesn't go exactly to plan.Everybody will encourage you to make an incredibly intricate birth plan. I can't tell you how many of these I've read in theatre while the mother in question is prepared for her emergency c-section.
- •Breastfeeding can be hard. You're not a failure if your baby bottle-feedsI can't tell you how many mothers I've seen break down in tears when their babies are readmitted to hospital with weight loss on day 3. They've been made to believe throughout pregnancy that breastfeeding is the best thing for their baby and now they've spent the last three days feeling like an utter failure because it's just not happening. Yes, breastfeeding has benefits, but your baby will not come to any harm if you decide it's not for you. And it's definitely not worth detached nipples.
- •Motherhood can be hard. You're not a failure if you don't enjoy every minute.Yes, you've seen those same Instagram ladies, now with their perfect little cuddly babies in adorably imperfect handmade clothes. Possibly accompanied by photos of themselves back in skinny jeans and lots of comments on how amazing they look. Don't feel bad if this isn't what it's like for you. Sometimes just getting dressed by noon is a success in itself. And that's okay.