25 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Getting Pregnant, And It's Super Important
"The post-birth blood clots that feel like you are delivering more babies."
Recently, we wrote about women on Reddit who were sharing the things they wish they knew about being pregnant before they got pregnant.
1. "The cravings! I craved pickled cucumbers in garlic and sour cream while carrying my girl. I craved ripe tomatoes with my son. I ate a whole bushelful in one day and would have eaten more, but they were all gone."
3. "My second pregnancy messed with my vision. Caused such dry eyes that things were blurry. It started to clear up when I started nursing less. Started about halfway through the pregnancy and didn’t fully clear up until after baby’s first birthday."
4. "Around the seventh month, I developed 'pregnancy-induced asthma' and I was told it would disappear immediately after birth, but it stuck around for almost 10 years."
5. "Babies go for long periods of time without moving while in the womb. I have made so many trips to the emergency room, just to find out that my little darling had been sleeping for 12 hours."
6. "I have restless leg syndrome that got 100 times worse during pregnancy. I got maybe four to five hours of sleep a night in the third trimester."
7. "Pregnancy brain takes years to get over."
8. "Water breaking as the first sign of labor (like in EVERY movie) only happens like 10% of the time. My water didn't break until I was about 15 hours into my labor with my first. Then, with my second, it only broke when I was ready to push."
9. "When you go in for an emergency C-section, they tie your hands and feet to the operating table."
10. "After the C-section is complete, they administer Pitocin to start contractions to bring down the size of your uterus. And contractions, when you’ve just had major surgery on those muscles, are incredibly painful. No one, not even my OB-GYN who did the cesarean, told me ahead of time!"
11. "It took 43 hours after my water broke before labor started, and I had contractions for those whole 43 hours, too. The contractions were minor in intensity for most of that time, but still painful enough that I couldn't get to sleep at all for 43 hours straight. I fell asleep literally as soon as I had finished passing the placenta and they handed me my baby."
12. "I had a rare reaction to my epidural where my bladder just stopped functioning for a month. I had to spend a full month with a catheter, and my doctor and urologist had no idea if it would go back to normal. It did, but I’ve never had complete control of it since."
13. "I would sob every time I had to pee for two weeks after giving birth because it would make my tear sting so badly. And I used just about every remedy imaginable to mitigate the pain."
14. "I wish someone had warned me that I wouldn't be able to control my bladder after birth!!! I knew sneezing/laughing could be an issue, but for about four days after labor, I'd wake up in the morning and think, I have to pee! and I'd be walking to the bathroom and it would just run out."
15. "Postpartum hair loss 😭. I just had my first baby, and the hair loss is horrible! That, and I have horrible allergies now."
16. "The swelling in your legs after you give birth. Your legs get soooo big, you can barely move them at first, even after the epidural is out of your system."
17. "The post-birth blood clots that feel like you are delivering more babies. They literally PLOP, they are so big."
18. "Breastfeeding immediately postpartum and for a few days after will make your uterus cramp and cause pain that will be worse than the incision itself."
19. "How painful your nipples can be from breastfeeding. I had two C-sections and I took the recovery in stride, but holy shit. My nipples are what broke me. They were cracked, bruised, and bleeding."
20. "I wish someone told me it was possible my milk wouldn't come in. I'd pump and get half an ounce...all day. Thankfully, the lactation consultant set me up with formula until my milk came in, but it just never happened. I never went through any of the pre- or post-breastfeeding symptoms. At the time I was grateful and still am, but I also feel like I missed out on a motherhood experience."
21. "Everything they show about preeclampsia in TV shows and movies is wrong. It can take weeks to slowly develop (for me, I had symptoms as early as 4 months), and it takes weeks to recover. You will still have swelling, high blood pressure, etc., for weeks after giving birth and need to be monitored by your doctor until your body starts to normalize."
22. "Acid reflux does not go away after giving birth. Before I was pregnant, I never had acid reflux. My daughter is a year and a half, and I still have to take a few antacid tablets before bed."
23. "I can't eat spicy foods anymore after giving birth to my baby."
24. "I started experiencing chest tightness and had difficulty catching my breath after the smallest of activities. I thought I could put it off until my six-week checkup, but by week two of coming home from the hospital, I'd wake up feeling like I was drowning. Turns out I WAS DROWNING in my own amniotic fluid that my body continued to produce. But with there no longer being a fetus to surround, it started to surround my lungs, suffocating me from the inside."
25. "Everybody talks about postpartum depression, but I didn’t realize perinatal depression was just as common until I was in the thick of it. The hormones really messed with me, and that combined with the fact that I felt like garbage. Constantly nauseous, more tired than I have ever been, and I felt like my body wasn’t mine anymore. I’m fortunate that I was able to manage okay with therapy."
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.