Growing a little one is a big job, and there are a lot of restrictions on what you can do while pregnant. With so many things on the “no no” list and so much to do to prepare for a baby, it can be easy to make some pretty big pregnancy mistakes.
And the crazy thing it, most of these innocent mistakes are simple, no brainer things we forget to do. Of course, you know not to take medication your doctor hasn’t approved. And of course you know not to do anything physical that could harm your growing baby bump.
These things are easy to remember, because it’s right there at the forefront of our minds. We’re actively aware of our bump, and are careful to protect it.
But some of the biggest mistakes pregnant women make are the ones that aren’t at the forefront of our minds. They are seemingly small things, that can actually have a big impact. These seemingly small mistakes can actually have huge consequences!
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Pregnancy Mistakes to Avoid
We all just want to be good moms, right? And that starts during pregnancy—because you’re a new mom as soon as you conceive your baby!
And as soon as you see that positive pregnancy test, I’m betting you started thinking of all the things you need to do to prepare for that little one. But as you prepare for your baby, it can be easy to make some pretty serious makes along the way.
What happens if you don’t avoid these pregnancy mistakes?
Girl, everyone makes mistakes. A lot of mistakes happen early because we simply don’t know what we don’t know.
Being a new mom is unfamiliar territory, and you’re bound to make a few mistakes along the way. Honestly, we’re all just trying to figure it out, too!
Obviously, you don’t want to try to make mistakes—you want to avoid them. But don’t beat yourself up if you realize you’ve been making some of these mistakes.
All you can do is the best you know to do, where you are and with what information you have. If you realize you’ve been making one of these pregnancy mistakes along the way, don’t beat yourself up about it.
Adjust so that you’re not making that mistake anymore, and move on. No one has time or energy for unnecessary mom guilt!
Now, if you’re looking for avoid as many missteps as possible, here are some common mistakes new moms tend to make.
Pregnancy Mistakes in the First Trimester
The first trimester is prime time for new mom mistakes. After all, you only just found out you’re expecting, and you’re just starting to learn the ropes of pregnancy. And if you’re like I was, you may be well into your first trimester before you even realize you’re expecting!
Only thinking about the nursery/baby registry
One of the first things we tend to think of as new moms is all the fun things we want to put on our baby registry. And of course, how we want to design our dream nursery!
Those things are absolutely necessary and a part of preparing for a baby. But it’s a mistake to only focus on those two things. And actually, they really don’t need your focus in the first trimester.
Don’t get me wrong—it’s absolutely okay to think about them and even work on them a bit. They just aren’t the most important thing at the moment. And really, you’ll probably feel more up to them later on in the second trimester.
Not eating healthy and well
To be fair, it’s not uncommon to have a hard time with eating in the first trimester. Morning sickness is a common symptom early in pregnancy, and can make it difficult to keep anything down.
But eating a healthy pregnancy diet can actually help to relieve some of your early symptoms. And of course, it’s essential in order for your baby to develop properly.
While there are a lot of common foods that are harmful during pregnancy, there’s also a lot that are very beneficial. One of the easiest ways to ensure you’re avoiding harmful food and getting all the nutrients you need is to get a pregnancy cookbook.
I personally love Mommy Labor Nurse’s Pregnancy Cookbook, with over 50 recipes in it. Use the code MOMCORNER to get 10% off the cookbook. Eating for Pregnancy is also a great pregnancy nutritional resource to have on hand!
Not looking up remedies for symptom relief
I really didn’t look up many remedies for my pregnancy symptoms when I had my son. Looking back, I’m really don’t know what I was thinking.
Most women experience at least a few pregnancy symptoms, some worse than others. But girl, you don’t have to suffer through everything!
Now, to be completely transparent, not every symptom is going to go away completely. And you may find yourself experiencing extreme versions of common symptoms.
But in most normal pregnancies, there are things you can do to reduce, and possibly even eliminate, many of your symptoms. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor, and research until you find a good solution!
Not drinking enough water
This may sound counter productive when you already need to pee frequently. But you do not want to get dehydrated while you’re pregnant. And actually, drinking more water can help with that frequent urination, too.
When you’re expecting, you need to drink more water than usual. Not drinking sufficiently is a big mistake during pregnancy. Dehydration can lead to contractions and early labor, not to mention a lot of other problems that can occur.
Typically pregnant women need about ten eight ounce glasses of water per day to stay adequately hydrated. Of course, you may need more or less depending on your body and activity level. If you’re having a hard time drinking enough, try adding soups to your diet or drinking flavored water for variety.
Not advocating for themselves
This is a big mistake I see new moms making all the time. I can’t stress enough to importance of advocating for yourself. I’m not saying you shouldn’t trust your doctor. In fact, I absolutely think you should choose a doctor you trust.
But you also should be working with your medical team during your pregnancy. You know your body the best, and you know when something doesn’t feel right. Talk with your doctor, and do your own research as well. Learn to work together so that you can make informed decisions.
Ultimately, you have the right to decline any medication or procedure you don’t feel comfortable with. Most new moms just aren’t aware that they have this right. Be smart and involved in your health. Learn to make informed decisions, and advocate for yourself when something doesn’t feel right.
Pregnancy Mistakes in the Second Trimester
The first trimester isn’t the only time mistakes are made during pregnancy. There are still some pretty big mistakes that are often made in the second trimester.
Not taking the time to rest
By the second trimester, you’ll likely start to feel much better and have more energy. Your bump is starting to show, but hasn’t grown enough to wear you out yet. You’re probably feeling pretty good!
The second trimester is the best time for most moms to knock off the bulk of their baby preparation to do list. However, it can be easy to overdue it. Many new moms try to make the most of their energy, only to end up exerting too much.
While you may be feeling great, it’s important to take intentional time to rest. You’re still growing a baby inside yourself, and your body needs plenty of rest to do that. Taking regular breaks to rest will also help prevent any accidental injuries from overdoing it.
Not doing things for yourself
This may feel selfish, but I assure you it’s not. Don’t let your pregnancy pass by without making some focused time for yourself. Have a spa day, get a prenatal massage, do some (safe) activities you love. Whatever self care looks like for you, make time for it.
Look, becoming a mom completely changes your world—in the best way. Soon you’ll have a new baby to care for, and it will require most of your time and attention. You’ll likely need to make some sacrifices, and it can be draining at times.
Take this time before your baby arrives to do some things for yourself. Far too many moms suffer from burnout simply from not making time for things that breathe life into them.
Not exercising and strengthening the pelvic floor
I made this mistake when I was pregnant, I definitely regretted it when it was time to deliver my baby. Exercising and staying fit during your pregnancy will help your labor go much more smoothly. And strengthening your pelvic floor may help to prevent tearing!
Just be sure to choose a pregnancy safe form of exercise. You don’t want to injure yourself or your baby. To strengthen your pelvic floor, one of the best exercises to do is kegels.
Personally, I really enjoy Pilates, which is safe for pregnancy in most cases (some of the moves/positions may need to be modified). I get my workouts from Robin at The Balanced Life—I love her mantra “grace over guilt.”
Typical workouts average 15 minutes, and you get such good results! She also has a prenatal specific workout program you can get separately from the regular membership.
Not researching post-delivery decisions
Most new moms do a lot of research. Research about labor and delivery, research about the best baby products, research about their weird pregnancy symptoms. But often they forget about researching post-delivery decisions.
Too many moms think of delivery as the end goal. But really, delivering your baby is just the start of your motherhood journey. And that journey begins with a barrage of decisions that need to be made within the first few hours of birth.
Researching as many of these post delivery questions ahead of time will help ease the overwhelm you may otherwise feel. And it will help you to make more informed decisions for your baby.
Not thinking of baby names
Okay, this may seem silly in the moment. But picking the right name for your baby can be hard! For many new moms, it takes a long time to figure out the right name. So start early!
Once your baby is born, you only have around three days to decide. Then, a decision will need to be made so that the birth certificate can be filled out and filed. Trying to scramble to come up with the right name at that point can be stressful.
Pregnancy Mistakes in the Third Trimester
By your third trimester, you probably have a pretty good handle on being pregnant. You’ve learned how to manage your pregnancy diet and some of the best ways to improve your prenatal health. But there’s still some mistakes to be avoided, even at this stage.
Not doing kick counts
Starting in the third trimester, you’ll need to do daily kick counts. Kick counts are pretty simple—all you need to do is count how many movements, or “kicks” you baby does in a certain time period. You should feel at least ten movements over the course of an hour.
Right after a meal is usually the best time to do this, as your baby may be more active after you eat. As your baby gets bigger, he will have less room to move around. The movements will likely change from distinct kicks to rolls and bumps.
If you are unable to count ten kicks in an hour, try eating or drinking something before trying again. If a day goes by and you are unable to count at least ten, be sure to contact your doctor! A lack of movement could indicate a serious problem.
Not learning about labor and delivery
While some research every single detail, other new moms make the mistake of not learning about labor and delivery. Learning what to expect from childbirth can help to eliminate any fear you may be feeling. Knowing what to expect can keep you calm throughout delivery.
You’ll also want to learn about pain management techniques. Even if you plan to get an epidural, it’s a good idea to look into other pain management as well. You never know if your epidural will fail for some reason, or if you’ll get to the hospital too late to have one.
For labor and delivery education, I highly recommend take Mommy Labor Nurse’s birth course, Birth It Up. Liesel is a labor and delivery nurse, and does an excellent job of educating new moms about delivery. Use the code MOMCORNER to get 10% off!
Not preparing for postpartum
Not preparing for postpartum was another mistake I made as a new mom. It was just one of those things I didn’t know to think about!
The postpartum period can be super rough. Your body is healing from delivery and adjusting to a new baby. If you’re breastfeeding, that’s a whole new learning experience as well. And we won’t even talk about the crazy hormones!
Take time during your pregnancy to prepare for this after-birth period. Put together a postpartum kit with plenty of supplies to help you through the healing process. Line up people to help you out with whatever you may need—grocery pickups, meals, cleaning, holding the baby to give you a break.
Not preparing for newborn sleep
Newborn sleep is one hurdle nearly every new mom struggles with. Newborns typically need to eat every two to three hours, and including the night hours. But even when you are given the go ahead to let your baby sleep during the night, your baby may still wake anyway.
Far too many moms are caught off guard by the lack of sleep. Exhaustion can be a big contributor to negative feelings and experiences, and even contribute to postpartum depression. Before your baby is born, take a newborn sleep course to educate yourself on what to expect, and how to handle getting your baby to sleep. You can use the code MOMCORNER to get 10% off Mommy Labor Nurse’s newborn sleep course.
At the very least, make a plan with your spouse on how to handle your baby’s sleep. Perhaps your spouse can feed your baby a bottle during certain hours, allowing you to get some sleep.
Not preparing for breastfeeding
If you plan to breastfeed, definitely take the time to education yourself before you have your baby. Not educating yourself about it during your pregnancy is one of the common mistakes that can be easily avoided.
Taking a breastfeeding course can greatly increase your chances of successfully breastfeeding your baby. Trying to “wing it” can be overwhelming at best.
Instead of trying to fly by the seat of your pants, take the time to educate yourself ahead of time. It truly can make all the difference!
Are you making any of these pregnancy mistakes?
Have you found yourself making any of these pregnancy mistakes? Remember, even if you have made these mistakes, it’s never too late to correct yourself. You can’t change the past, but you can adjust and do better going forward. Don’t let mom guilt stop you from doing what’s best for your baby now!