The non-manual for (future) mums


Whether you’re going to be a mum or if you’ve already been one, I’m sure you’ve been bombarded with all sorts of information. From advice from other mums who’ve been through the moment, you find yourself in, to sayings that have been consecrated over the generations that apparently must fit all mothers in the world.

But, is all of this really true? Maternity, before and after the birth of a child, is a singular journey and not everything that is said is bound to work for you.

So, in this article we’ll go over some phrases you’ll most probably hear and that must not be taken as scientific statements that will evidently be your case.


You have to feed for two
If you were to deliver a person the same size as you, it could well be so. However, that’s something that hasn’t happened yet. So being pregnant doesn’t give you carte blanche to eat for two.

It is logical that you’ll increase your calorie intake during pregnancy, but this should be balanced and must not include empty calories from so-called junk food.

It would be advisable to see a nutritionist to know exactly what would be most beneficial for you.

A girl or boy from the shape of your bump
Yet another popular myth. For the time being, there is no scientific evidence to demonstrate that the shape of the belly will determine the baby’s sex.

So before you start buying clothes for a baby boy or girl, you must wait for a sonogram to confirm matters.

You shouldn’t be playing any sport
Unless your doctor tells you the contrary, a sport in moderation has several advantages for a healthy pregnancy.

A sport that’s adapted to each stage of gestation, depending on how active one was before,  strengthens the heart, the muscles and reduces the general discomforts of pregnancy.

Bathing is forbidden
In the olden days, it was thought that bathing while pregnant was harmful to the fetus since water could enter the uterus.

Thank heavens we’ve advanced with respect to information… can you imagine being pregnant and without a dip throughout the summer?

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All is bliss
You will be happy, without a shadow of a doubt, but you will also have to handle an onslaught of hormones,  frustration, and lack of sleep during the early months, so it’s perfectly normal not to feel like you’re bursting with happiness at times.

Don’t let comments regarding this plethora that you should be feeling at this stage get you down when you don’t feel that way all the time.  It’s normal and it happens to many mothers during this period of adaptation to a new adventure.

Babies eat every three hours
No two babies are alike nor do they have the same needs. The only thing they all have in common is that their sleep cycles depend on their feeds and that they triple their weight in the first year.

Having said that, the baby’s feeds should be on demand, and they don’t always feed only when hungry. They may sometimes do so for consolation or to relieve discomfort. 

You mustn’t pick them up every time they cry
That’s a comment we’ve heard repeatedly over generations, but if we stop to think about it… doesn’t it seem very cruel? We often hear that if babies get used to being picked up they start blackmailing you, but I have my doubts about a baby’s ability to think that way.

On the other hand,  how many teenagers do you know who are continually looking for hugs from their  parents? Take advantage of this stage and give them all the love they need.

As you can see, not everything you’ve heard can be proven to be true, but like we were saying at the beginning, maternity is unique journey for each mother. Trust in yourself and remember that there is no single correct path, that what makes a good mother is finding your way by trial and error, and there’s no definitive guide for that.


Discovery magazine

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