Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I Was Pregnant

Pregnant woman holding her bump

Are you pregnant? Congratulations!!!! Now comes all of the unsolicited and often unhelpful advice.

"Get your sleep before baby comes!"
"Don't put your arms over your head."
"You should stop working out, it'll harm the baby."
"Just remember not to spoil your baby too much."

These are some common ones most of you will hear at some point in your pregnancy. You will probably receive more advice and comments from strangers while pregnant than at any other time in your life, and most of their advice will not be helpful.

Where's the helpful unsolicited advice from strangers when they see pregnant women!?!?!

Here are five things I wish I knew when pregnant. I focused on the small pieces of advice that you may not hear from friends and family or think to google ahead of time. There are a lot of things you will learn as you go, these were some that I either learned the hard way, wish I knew going in, or was thankful I happened to accidentally discover!

Five Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Pregnant

  1. Your hospital bag should include a car seat friendly going home outfit. Pictures in knot gowns, dresses, and swaddles are absolutely adorable, but you should know that gowns, dresses, and swaddles don't work well with car seat buckles! Be sure to bring at least one outfit for going home that has legs in the outfit, that will make it SO much easier to take cute going home photos! You can still take photos with the adorable knot gowns, dresses, and swaddles in the hospital or once you get home.
  2. Babies aren't all "newborn" size when they come home! Though many wear newborn sizes for a while, some are born big enough to fit into 0-3 month clothes right away. Some babies will wear newborn size up through 3 months, others will only fit in newborn for a week, and still others start out in preemie clothes. I like to bring a going home outfit in both newborn and 0-3 months just in case.
  3. The nurses at the hospital can teach you how to take care of your baby, take advantage of their amazing knowledge*! Like many parents, I had no idea what I was doing when my daughter was born. The nurses at the hospital have seen not only a lot of babies, but also a lot of clueless first time parents. Ask them questions about everything from their diaper changing tips to sleep advice to how to swaddle a baby, if you ask them questions about what they're doing you can learn a LOT in just a few short hours. 
  4. You do not need to buy everything for your baby ahead of time! I'm a part of a few mom groups, and one of the biggest stressors I see is moms worried about not having everything purchased and ready-to-go for baby's first year before baby arrives. You need a place for baby to sleep, a way to feed them, diapers, wipes, and something for baby to wear. Most hospitals will give you any accessories absolutely needed for changing and feeding your baby for your hospital stay and will send you home with some extras, giving a loved one enough time to go buy more if needed. Almost everything else can be purchased after baby arrives, even if it isn't ideal. As a bonus, you will find out what your specific baby needs when they arrive, so you can avoid unnecessary purchases this way! You will also more than likely receive some gifts after baby arrives, so don't worry too much if you don't have a full year's worth of clothes and diapers and toys and accessories right away.
  5. Newborn pictures are often taken REALLY early. The last thing you're thinking about right before birth and in the first few weeks is newborn photography, however those first few weeks are often the sweet spot where photographers prefer to take newborn photos because baby will sleep through almost anything, including position changes! If you want professional photographs to welcome little one into the world, be sure you are aware of the timeline your chosen photographer would prefer.


*Please be respectful of your nurse's time when asking questions. Nurses may not be able to answer every question immediately or in as much detail as they would like because they often have multiple patients to take care of, time-sensitive tasks, and patients who need urgent medical attention. If you let them know you have questions or want to hear more from them, they often can check back in when they have more time to answer questions!