There are a lot of things that we learn about when it comes to pregnancy. Most schools in most countries provide sex education and we learn about 'the birds and the bees', but when it comes to the different trimesters of pregnancy and what to expect, we usually have to educate ourselves about it. However, there are also family members, friends and acquaintances that like to share their insight from experience or what they have learnt too.
We have heard about typical things on the subject of pregnancy such as the early symptoms and what to do and not to do, but you of course you learn about things through your own experience too. So here are some things that I learnt about that turned out to be slightly misleading after all.
"Your bump is so small, it should be bigger"
When you think of a pregnant woman, you instantly think about how big the bump should be. But it wasn't until the last part of the third semester that my bump doubled in size.
Each woman is different, and the bump can grow very quickly from the second trimester and it can be more obvious to others that the 'bun is in the oven'. When my family members saw my bump, they were worried about the size of my bump and the health of the baby. However, the baby was perfectly healthy and since all body frames are different, there was no problem with my bump at all.
"Sushi is bad to eat during pregnancy"
Even before I was pregnant I knew that sushi was forbidden to eat during pregnancy. This is because there is a risk of bacteria that can harm your baby, and typically you shouldn't eat raw fish or smoked fish, as well as cold deli meats.
But to my surprise, I saw two different doctors at the start of my first trimester and they both told me that sushi was okay to eat, as long as you ate it in moderation and the fish was locally sourced. Typically in Asian culture it is okay to eat sushi during pregnancy, but in Western culture they strictly advise not to eat it. Even though I was told that it was okay to eat, I still avoided it, as well as other foods that can potentially have harmful bacteria, such as raw beansprouts.
But, cooked fish sushi and vegetable sushi rolls are still eaten by many pregnant women, and is considered to be safe.
"You should be eating a lot more now"
When people think of pregnancy, they think that you should be eating for two people, or at least double the amount that you would typically eat. The truth is, even as my doctor advised, it's best to put on weight gradually, and to eat 200-300 calories more. People are surprised when I don't eat a whole feast on the table, and keep on encouraging me to eat more. But the truth is, there is that awful feeling of feeling bloated, and you can feel how much your body can take after eating one meal. It feels like a hard barrier inside your stomach that tells you when to stop, and makes you feel sick.
However, people worry about the baby not getting enough food, and still encourage you to overeat. The truth is, it's better to eat in smaller portions, and to have plentiful of snacks too. You have to eat everything in moderation, but to also avoid foods that have a higher chance of containing bacteria such as listeria, or not too much spicy food, because it can cause a really bad heartburn and problems for the baby.
"You must have weird cravings now that you're pregnant"
There are many videos and Tik Toks of pregnant women having strange combo cravings, but that doesn't mean that every pregnant woman has weird food cravings.
However, the foods that I typically loved before pregnancy doesn't appeal to me as much as it used to, and I have been craving more sweet foods rather than salty foods. I have tried classic combos such as dipping croissant into hot chocolate, but I haven't had the urge to bite into a dish sponge, which I have read about from other people's experiences.
"You must puking a lot now that you're pregnant"
The typical symptoms of pregnancy are sore breasts, random food cravings, fatigue and nausea, and of course, morning sickness. Yes, morning sickness does exist, but not every woman experiences puking everyday. I experienced severe nausea in the first four weeks of pregnancy, but I was lucky enough to avoid regular visits to the bathroom.
In fact, the feeling of nausea became very mild and stopped towards the second and third trimester of my pregnancy. Now, I am not saying that it's a myth that pregnant women puke a lot, but the point is that not every woman experiences it.
The feeling of sore breasts does happen in the first trimester, but that feeling also disappears in the second and third trimester. In fact, there are many other symptoms that are not typically known to women, but are very common in pregnancy, such as heart burn, cramps, back pain, extreme tiredness and forgetfulness.
"You can't have caffeine when you're pregnant"
While it's true to avoid caffeine during the first trimester, the second and third trimester is okay. However, there is a limit of how much caffeine you can have, and it's your choice if you want to still enjoy your cup of coffee in the mornings. You are only supposed to have 200mg of caffeine each day. Personally, I still like to drink tea and sometimes I will have a soda too. But for my bridal shower, I did enjoy the selection of coffee flavored cakes at a high tea, and my health and the baby's health was perfectly fine.
To sum it up, not all women experience the same symptoms during pregnancy, and each body frame is different, meaning that not all bump sizes will be the same too. Each journey is certainly unique for an expecting mother, and most certainly a memorable one.