10 Essential Things to Know about Pregnancy

Let's be real–the Internet is a chock-full of advice about pregnancy. It can be overwhelming to even think about wading through all the advice, updates, news, and warnings about pregnancy. 

Heck, every other day a new and conflicting study comes out. Caffeine kills! Caffeine is fine! Don't drink it! It's probably OK to drink it! Don't breathe air! Don't stress! 

It's impossible to know who to trust, which is why we're compiling this handy guide with a few basic pregnancy facts you need to know that will help you relax and not scare the crap out of you. Because that's important. 

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Image via Flickr/ Sara Neff

1.Bleeding can be normal

If you are experiencing any bleeding early on in your pregnancy, it's important to realize that not every sign of bleeding means that you have to worry. Some light spotting or bleeding can be totally normal, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy. Of course, you should always check with your doctor if you are concerned at all, but it might ease your mind just a little to know that not all bleeding is worrisome. 

2. It's OK to change your mind

You may think that you are absolutely firm on a lot of the “big” parenting decisions, like how you will give birth or if you'll use pain medication, but if you end up changing your mind, it really is fine. I promise there are no pregnancy police that will fine you for your own persona decisions. 

{ MORE: I Finally Took a Babymoon and Now I Don't Know Why I Waited So Long }

3. Don't panic if you can't stomach your prenatal vitamin

It's the first thing you hear as a pregnant woman, right? “Take your vitamins!” But what happens if you puke it up constantly? It happens. You should know that, by far, the best thing for your baby is a healthy diet, so even if you can't stomach your vitamin, eating a good variety of foods will help. Folic acid is the #1 thing your baby needs for healthy development, so if you absolutely can't swallow the big pills, talk to your doctor about other options. I ended up with gummy vitamins and it helped a lot!

4. Pregnancy is not always magical

We can be amazed by it and we can give pregnancy the respect it deserves, but that doesn't mean it's always an easy and magical experience. Maybe you're pregnant after a loss or maybe you're having a hard time in your life right now, but whatever your circumstance, it's OK to be in a place where pregnancy doesn't exactly feel like all of those breezy, beautiful Instagram pictures. 

5. Insurance is available

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If you're avoiding going to the doctor's because you don't have insurance, please, please check out your options at HealthCare.gov. In most cases, there is always some kind of healthcare insurance available for pregnant women. The best way to have a healthy baby is to have regular prenatal care, so get enrolled today with some kind of coverage. 

6. It stinks, but no medication is guaranteed completely “safe”

Wondering what you should take for a simple headache? It's totally awful, but unfortunately, no study has confirmed that every medication during pregnancy is 100% safe. It just isn't possible unless we directly give medication to pregnant women on purpose just to study it, which obviously, we can't do. Taking medication during pregnancy is about educating yourself and knowing the risks vs. benefits. So that being said…

7. But sometimes, medication is necessary

Especially in the case of mothers who have depression. It's best to talk with a doctor about coming up with a customized treatment plan for your depression rather than stopping medication cold-turkey because you are pregnant. In some cases, letting your depression go untreated can be more risky to your baby than taking the medication. A healthy baby starts with a healthy mom. 

8. Every woman carries differently

Bottom line, don't compare bellies, OK? Just don't do it. 

9. It's really OK to exercise

Honestly, this myth died a long time ago. Whether you were running miles or lifting weights like an Olympic bodybuilder, with your doctor's approval you can still continue to do it while you are pregnant. 

10. It's also OK to nap

That being said, pregnancy is hard work. And if you're the kind of mom who just needs to crawl to the finish line of holding her baby, we get it. You do what you gotta do and in the end, all moms are superheroes in our eyes anyways.

{ MORE: How Do You Tell Your Partner He/She is the Infertile One? }

What do you wish you would have known about pregnancy?

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10 Essential Things to Know about Pregnancy

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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