So you’re expecting your first baby and want to do everything perfectly during your pregnancy. Of course you do! That’s only normal. We all want to ensure we take good care of our little bun in the oven. But what if you’re doing some things now that you may think are mistakes later? I started thinking about all the different things women do (and don’t do) during their first pregnancy and wondered if veteran moms had any advice for first-time pregnant mamas.
Top 10 Mistakes (Some) First-Time Pregnant Moms Make
I reached out to some experienced moms and asked them if they did things during their first pregnancy that they regretted. After hearing their responses, I knew I had to share.
1. “Only Thinking About the Nursery and Baby Registry.”
“Pretty much all I thought about during my first pregnancy was all the stuff I needed for my daughter and how I had to make her nursery perfect before she arrived. I never really put a lot of thought into how I should prepare for labor and delivery. And I didn’t think about postpartum recovery, breastfeeding, or getting my baby to sleep. That didn’t dawn on me until after she was born. I was fixated on getting this stroller, monitor, or mini chandelier in her room. Yes, that stuff is cute and fun, but it is silly in the grand scheme. I should have spent more time thinking about what was to come and have been more prepared for what to do when we brought her home.” – MH
2. “Not Having Any Formula Samples in the House.”
“For some reason, I thought breastfeeding would be easy. ‘It’s natural,’ I said. ‘Women have been doing it forever,’ I said. How hard could it be? Well apparently…Really. Freaking. Hard. At least it was for me. But I didn’t keep any formula samples I was given because I told myself I would not feed my baby formula. Well…when your milk takes five days to come in, your baby is screaming at you the whole night, your nipples are cracked, and you can’t go to the store until it opens the next day, you panic! Don’t throw away the samples even if you don’t plan on formula-feeding your baby. Keep them just in case of emergencies. Because when your baby is hungry, you have to feed your baby. And breastfeeding can be harder than you think!” – AF
3. “Getting EVERYTHING on the Baby Registry.”
You don’t need shoes for your newborn, 12 swaddled, three strollers, etc. You may think that you need #allthethings, and the store clerk helping you with your registry (of course) wants you to get the entire store, but you don’t need it all. Several products are unnecessary. You may still want them, and that’s okay. But if you are trying to save money or lessen the baby clutter, register for the basics/necessities. I promise that you and your baby will survive. – Nina
4. “Cutting Out Caffeine Cold Turkey.”
Whoever told you you could not have caffeine during pregnancy is wrong! (Unless your doctor talks to you about your specific health situation, in this case, listen to your doctor.) But if you are a healthy pregnant person, you can have caffeine. You should limit caffeine consumption, but you don’t have to give it up completely. That’s just nuts! Experts, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), recommend keeping your daily caffeine consumption under 200 milligrams to be safe.1 That’s about the amount of caffeine in one standard cup of coffee. So cheers, mama! You don’t have to say no to caffeine. 😉 – Nina
5. “Being Secretive About My Pregnancy to My Family.”
“I think a big thing I look back on and tell myself, ‘That was silly,’ is how I wasn’t telling people about my pregnancy. I was so secretive around my family before my first doctor’s appointment. I really shouldn’t have been so secretive. They are my family that I see all the time! There’s nothing wrong with them knowing. And if something does happen, you want to be able to lean on them during your time of need.” – KW
6. “Telling the World (Social Media) that I was Pregnant Too Soon.”
“I thought to myself, ‘Oh, I’m 12 weeks. I’m in the clear!’ But you haven’t received any test results from your doctor yet. If one of your test results comes back with devastating news, you must consider what you would tell the world (aka social media) if you have already announced your pregnancy to everyone. With my second pregnancy, I decided to wait until I received all the test results and everything was okay (or okay enough that I felt comfortable sharing the news with the world). Then I put it on social media.
I waited because I saw a friend tell her pregnancy news to the world, then her testing came back at 14 weeks, and her baby had Edwards syndrome and didn’t live past 20 weeks.2 It was such devastating news. She may have still announced it and not have changed a thing, but for me, I would not have wanted to explain to a million ‘acquaintances’ what happened. So I recommend waiting to announce. But do what you feel is best for you.” – KW
7. “Got WAY Too Many Newborn-Sized Diapers.”
“Why did I think I needed a whole box of newborn-sized diapers? No one told me that my baby might not fit into that size! And sure enough, my son was huge when he was born and skipped the newborn size into a size one diaper. I had all these newborn diapers opened and ready to go in his nursery that I couldn’t do anything with. Except make my friends diaper cakes. Stupid.” – GF
8. “Getting ALL the Baby Clothes.”
“When you find out you are having a baby girl, you want to get her ALL the clothes! They are just too cute to pass up. Then your parents buy her tons of clothes, your friends get her clothes, and your neighbor gives you baby clothes that her daughter has outgrown. All of a sudden, your baby has more clothes than you do. And she will probably not wear most of them or, if she does, you will put it on her just once so you can take a picture of her wearing it and send it to your family member and friend saying, ‘She loves it!’ All you need are some easy-to-put-on and take-off onesies for your baby.”
“So don’t register for clothes or buy clothes for your baby because you will get so many from the people you know. And your baby will hardly wear them all.” – SD
9. “Not Working Out.”
“When I was pregnant, I took it as an excuse to treat myself. I ate what I wanted and relaxed as much as I could. I was growing a baby, after all! I went to a few prenatal yoga classes, but not enough to help me. Boy, do I regret that decision. I gained 50 pounds when I was pregnant and am still not in my pre-pregnancy clothes. (My son just recently turned one.) I should have exercised more when I was pregnant. My friends who worked out during their pregnancies said that their labors were faster, their recovery time after baby was faster, and they were back in their pre-baby clothes faster. I now know better for my next pregnancy.” – DA
10. “Trying to Be Perfect.”
“When I was pregnant, I tried to do everything perfectly to be the perfect mother. I tried to read every pregnancy and birth book, research all things baby, work out, and not eat anything you would label ‘unhealthy,’ you name it. I started not enjoying the process because I was so busy trying to be perfect. Now that’s just silly! Being prepared and healthy is good, but you must also treat yourself, relax, and enjoy the pregnancy journey. As they say, there is no way to be a perfect mother but a million ways to be a good one.” – JG
Would you add anything you want to share with other mamas to this list?