5 Lies We Tell Ourselves About the End of Pregnancy

Late Pregnancy Woman Holding back
Photo © Ruslan Dashinsky/Getty Images

The end of pregnancy is a weird space to be in. On one hand, you’re tired of being pregnant. Your body hurts, the hips, the back, the sweating – you’re over it. One the other hand, you can’t wait to meet your baby – the sweet smell, the soft skin, the first look into their eyes, it all sounds so much better than pregnancy.

So we wind up tell ourselves some really crazy lies to make it seem like having a baby and being postpartum will be a lot better than being pregnant.

This includes:

  1. I’ll get more sleep once the baby gets here.

    At the end of pregnancy, sleeping is weird. You are so tired, but the minute you lay down, your brain starts going into overdrive. You think about things you have to do, you worry about something, you count sheep, nothing seems to help. You finally drift off, only to get up thirty minutes later to go to the bathroom. Sometimes you can get back to sleep, sometimes you can’t. The rinse, lather, and repeat – all night long. Once you have the baby, you won’t sleep for reasons like a baby needs your attention, or you have to go to the bathroom to change your pad, or you’re worrying.

  2. I won’t have to deal with Braxton Hicks Contractions!

    While technically this one is true, you will not have Braxton Hicks Contractions, you wills till have contractions. The uterus needs to heal and to revert back to its original size. To do this, the body uses a process called involution. Involution takes about six weeks, and through a series of contractions, your uterus shrinks. These contractions can be quite painful in the first days after birth, usually more so if you’ve had another baby.

  1. I’ll sleep on my stomach.

    Certainly sleeping on your stomach at the end of pregnancy is nearly impossible. If you are a stomach sleeper, you may have had months of poor sleep because of the lack of this ability. So you think that as soon as the baby is out, you’ll be able to flip right over and sleep on your belly. For some moms this happens, but most moms still look about six months pregnant for a few weeks. Sometimes your breasts are sore, making sleeping on your stomach painful. Chances are, you won’t be sleeping a lot of the time on your stomach for a bit.

  1. I won’t have to go to the bathroom every minute.

    The first few weeks after you have a baby you might still go to the bathroom a lot, maybe even as much as you did while pregnant. Your body is getting rid of all the fluids accumulated, particularly if you had an IV in labor. Sometimes you’ll need to change your pad multiple times in the middle of the night, particularly the first week. This will slow, but it is still a thing.

  2. This baby will sleep better than *insert name of older sibling or friend’s baby*.

    Whether you are an experienced parent, you have a close friend with a baby, or you’ve just read a lot about babies, you’ve heard the horror stories of babies who seemed to never sleep. You are determined that that will not be you. The truth is, you never know. No matter what books you’ve read, gadgets you’ve purchased, or sleeping arrangements made – you do not know how this baby will sleep.

The truth is that the end of pregnancy is hard. We have to tell ourselves things to help us cope with the difficulty of dealing with the aches and pains.

Once the baby is there some of this stuff is better, some isn’t, but you’ve got the baby. You will be amazed at how you can fall in love so quickly and realize that all of the aches and pains of pregnancy were worth it as you nuzzle the soft fuzz on the top of your baby’s head, breathing in that sweet baby smell. You’ll feel your heart melt as you watch your milk drunk baby smile and fall asleep, even if it’s only for an hour.

Sources:

Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. Gabbe, S, Niebyl, J, Simpson, JL. Sixth Edition.

Pregnancy, Childbirth & The Newborn by Simkin, Whalley, Keppler, Durham & Bolding.

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