Having a baby is no easy feat. There are often huge changes to the body, negative impacts on mental health, and major shifts in lifestyle, not to mention having to care for a whole new human being.
1. "In movies, they always show mothers with a huge grin on their face when they first see their baby. In real life, new mothers aren't always head over heels to meet their baby. Not everyone feels like it's the happiest they've ever been in their life."
2. "They never show how much pregnancy messes with your body. You can lose your hair and get gestational diabetes."
3. "They never show how you can get depression and anxiety before the baby is even born."
4. "They never discuss how you can develop food intolerances. After my second pregnancy, I became lactose intolerant. After my third, I became wheat intolerant."
5. "They never show how hard breastfeeding can be for some women. It’s not always as easy as sticking the baby on the boob after delivery. It is a real skill and can be hard to learn and doesn’t always work for everyone, despite best intentions."
6. "They never show how dismissive doctors can impact you. A few weeks after my first birth, I started hemorrhaging. The doctor told me that I must’ve forgotten what a period was. After doing an actual examination, he said, 'Oh, I guess you weren’t lying,' and I ended up needing emergency surgery."
7. "In movies, they always show that the bump goes away right after birth. It doesn't. It can take days, weeks, or even months for the bump to disappear, and the majority of women have loose skin and stretch marks after."
8. "In movies, they show morning sickness, cravings, back pain, and waddling. They never show the pregnant character with the worst acne of her life or the one who can barely walk because her pelvis is literally splitting into thirds."
9. "They never show how you can experience receding gums and rotting teeth from pregnancy."
10. "They never talk about the permanent changes we experience. When I was pregnant, I had to go up a shoe size and start wearing glasses."
11. "They never show how clinical giving birth is. My first birth was in a hospital where they treated me like I was a horribly sick person. I was not allowed out of my bed, I wasn't allowed food or drink, and I wasn't allowed any birthing tools, like a bouncing ball."
12. "They never really depict the horrible back pain. My sister had one hip stuck about 3 inches higher than the other and a herniated disk during pregnancy."
13. "They never show the fatigue you get. Pregnant women in movies have nonpregnant levels of energy. It's pretty common to be completely exhausted all nine months. Growing a human is tiring."
14. "They never show what it's like dealing with something as simple as a common cold. I got a cold when I was about eight months along, and my cough caused me to crack two ribs. Nothing like having your baby kicking your cracked ribs while you're violently coughing."
15. "They always show pregnant women gaining weight in their perfectly round bellies. In real life, you gain weight in most other places, too."
16. "They never show how physically painful early-term miscarriages are. They only show the emotional pain. When it happened to me, it felt like I was having the worst cramps of my life for a month straight."
17. "They never show the unglamorous things we experience after birth. I had to wear adult diapers for several weeks. Even now, if I sneeze hard or laugh too much, I might pee my pants."
18. "They never show what it's like to go to the bathroom after giving birth. Pooping for the first time after having the baby was probably the most painful thing I've experienced."
19. "They rarely show postpartum depression. Movies will document everything, but they'll skip over that part for a happy ending. It gives this false sense of reality that motherhood can only take a toll on your body and not on your mind."
20. "In movies, pregnant people only need one contraction to know they're going into labor. That's not how it always works. My water broke with my second child, and it still took me like two hours to be convinced that it was actually my water."
21. "They never show how different every pregnancy is. Just how not all women are the same, and not all pregnancies are the same."
22. "They never talk about the gas we get. Frequent farting is not included in most media depictions of the beautiful miracle of pregnancy."
23. "They never accurately depict what newborns look like. No baby comes out looking perfectly clean, plump, and smiley. They come out kind of gremlinlike with extra gunk on them."
24. "They never talk about the swelling. You don't see women wearing sensible shoes to accommodate the swelling. Instead, they're running around in heels to dinners, work, and parties."
25. "They never show how isolating pregnancy can be. Suddenly, you can’t do regular things with your friends, like drinks after work or even going out to eat, because you feel nauseated or too tired."
Which aspects of pregnancy do you wish were better portrayed in movies and TV shows? Let us know in the comments below!
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.