By Erin Ollila
So many thoughts will cross your mind when you’re pregnant. You might wonder, “Will I be a good mom? Is my diet healthy enough? Do I have everything I need to take care of the baby?”
It’s natural to worry a little bit—pregnancies can be unpredictable! However, there is no need to feel anxious about everything, which is easy to do. Here are four common concerns that cross mom’s minds that we hope you won’t worry about as you prepare to welcome a new baby into your lives.
How Good You and Your Partner Will be as Parents
If you’re having a baby for the first time, you might stress about what you’ll be like as a parent. The truth of the matter is simply that there is no way to tell what kind of parent you’ll be until you are one. On top of that, how you parent may transition as your baby grows into a toddler and then a child and then a teen and finally an adult. Parenting is complicated, and as much as we’d like to be the best versions of ourselves, sometimes we fall short. The most important part of being a good parent is being willing to try to do what’s best for your child every single day — whether they like it or not.
However, you can turn your worry into positive energy. While pregnant, take some time to sit down with your partner and talk about what type of parents you’d like to be. Talk about the things your parents did that you really loved, as well as the things you didn’t love so much. What about your childhood would you love for your children to experience? What parts of baby rearing are important to you, and what can you let slide a little? Take notes on your conversation. You can even turn it into a parenting manifesto that you hang on your wall as a reminder for what type of parent you do (and do not) want to be.
Just remember to give yourself grace after the birth. In some ways, you’ll be a better parent than you ever could have imagined. In other ways, you may let yourself down. Remind yourself that you’re the best parent for your baby, so long as you try to be every single day.
Whether or Not You’ll Lose the Pregnancy Weight
Our bodies are a temple. To be able to create life is a true miracle. But with that life also comes a major change in how we view ourselves and how others view us too. Of course, we would all like to believe that how we look on the outside doesn’t matter (which is the truth), but sometimes seeing the changes in the mirror can feel overwhelming.
It’s alright to wonder how you will look after your pregnancy is over, but whatever you do, don’t stress about it! There is nothing that will completely prevent you from losing weight when you are postpartum. A well-planned diet and time for regular exercise will help you shed unwanted pounds. Just have healthy expectations for how long the weight loss will take. Some women shed the pounds easily. Others hold on to the weight for much longer. These same women might experience weight loss differently for another pregnancy!
The safest way to control your worry about weight loss after pregnancy is by gaining the recommended amount of weight during your pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that individuals in with a “normal” BMI gain between 25 and 35 pounds during their pregnancy. However, the CDC found that only one-third of pregnant women were able to do that, with most (48%) gaining more than the recommended weight. Be easy on yourself. Take care of your body and fuel it with healthy foods. Cherish it—you just grew a human!
What to Name the Baby
If you’re still in the early stages of your pregnancy, you should both keep a running list of names you like, but don’t show them to each other yet. Try to cap it at 20 names for each sex, and temporarily stop discussing the topic together. Then, midway through the pregnancy, share your lists together. If you opt to find out the sex of your baby, you can completely scrap one of the lists. For the other, agree to give each other full veto power to all names that you really don’t like, and combine both of your lists. Then, hang them somewhere you both look regularly, and just let the names simmer a bit. When your third trimester begins, see if you can narrow the list down further. Remember, you don’t need the name before you meet the baby.
Even parents who agree on a baby name might worry about their choice during the pregnancy. Don’t! You can change your mind at any time until the birth certificate is finalized. Mom of two, Tracey Fiore, did just that.
In an interview for this article, Fiore said, “We named our second daughter Emma Aaron before—and actually after—she was born. Her little bassinet label in the hospital said ‘Emma’ until around 10 hours later when both my husband and I blurted out to each other simultaneously ‘I hate the name.’ This baby had a head full of dark hair and well, Emmas just don't look like that...in my mind, anyway. So we named her ‘Lilah’, meaning dark-haired beauty, instead.”