The Worst Pieces of Pregnancy Advice I've Gotten So Far

Photo by  Adrian Williams  on  Unsplash

I don't know what it is about sporting a baby bump or announcing you're pregnant, but everyone starts to have all of the advice for you. Pineapple juice? Definite no-no. Telling anyone you're pregnant before the 12-week mark? Forget about it. 

We get it, you're concerned about us. The problem? We're pregnant, not sick. And quite frankly, we were somehow getting by in life without your advice before we got pregnant, I think we'll be okay now. 

Now don't get me wrong, we love that people care about us. But people thinking we're incapable of googling something if we have a concern is seriously disheartening. As I write this, I'm 20 weeks pregnant and it's my second pregnancy. The fact that the first pregnancy ended up in a miscarriage didn't help my case at all, it was like people thought I needed more advice the second time around because I had failed the first pregnancy. 

What kind of advice have I gotten so far?

1) Don't have sex until you're in your second trimester. The problem? I like having sex with my fiance. That's how we got ourselves into this mess in the first damn place, people. Advice from an actual MD at an actual walk-in clinic when we did a pregnancy test.

Just to clarify, I don't suggest you ignore your doctor's advice as they obviously know you better than I know you. What I am suggesting, however, is that sometimes they get things wrong and avoiding sex in the first trimester because it might cause miscarriage in a normal uncomplicated pregnancy, is wrong. 

Sex during pregnancy is extremely safe for most women with uncomplicated, low-risk pregnancies. Some people feel like they enjoy sex during pregnancy more and others enjoy it less
— Dayna Salasche, MD, associate professor of obstetrics/gynecology at Northwestern Specialists for Women in Chicago

There are a few instances when women should avoid sex in the first trimester:

  • history of repeated miscarriages 
  • risk of preterm labor 
  • unexplained bleeding
  • incompetent cervix 
  • you just don't want to

I was given this advice because I had a miscarriage 2 months before getting pregnant again. 1 miscarriage that was caused by no fault of my own, or my partner's, or something I ate. It was just a bad egg. To infer that I should avoid sex because I had a very common thing happen to me was super insulting. So to clarify, there is no actual research that says sex causes miscarriage in healthy pregnancies. 

2) Don't buy anything for the baby until you've passed the 12-week mark or else you'll have a miscarriage. Advice from my mother and most other older Filipino family members.

I'm all for some old wives tales. Chinese calendar gender predictor, all for it. You telling me I will have a miscarriage if I buy a cute pair of socks for my babe, not here for it. 

I listened to this advice during my first pregnancy and I wish I hadn't. I had nothing to remind me of my first pregnancy and it killed me. Don't blame me or my actions for me losing my baby, I already blame myself enough thank you very much. 

3) Don't tell anyone you're pregnant until you're 12 weeks and 1 day pregnant. More advice from my mother.

When she found out I told my dad I was pregnant the day I found out, she was surprised I didn't stick to her rule. The general thought here is you don't want to jinx you being pregnant because it will cause miscarriage (are you sensing a theme here?)

Now, this is one area that I'm particularly sensitive about. 

When I went public with the news of my miscarriage (3 days after I announced the pregnancy), there was an outpouring of "me too" messages from both mothers and fathers that had lost their babies but never told anyone. They were alone, unsupported and living with shame thinking it was their fault. 

Do I think you should go out and tell everyone in the world that you're pregnant? Only if you want to. Do I think you should tell everyone you think might be supportive if your pregnancy does end in a loss? Yes, absolutely, in fact, I order you to do that. 

Remember, you can't be supported if people don't know you're suffering and more people are suffering than you even know. Knowing someone you follow also suffered from pregnancy loss isn't going to take the pain from yours away, but talking about that loss will ensure that baby lives on forever.