Piles, morning sickness, leg cramps... despite the awesome outcome, pregnancy can sometimes get a bad rap. But for just one rose-tinted minute, let’s reminisce about the best parts of baby bumps.
While my first pregnancy was a lot of sunshine, rainbows and glowing skin, I had a rough ride the second time around. From the moment I conceived my son to the day he was born, it felt like I was constantly ill: nausea, chest infections, tonsillitis, three rounds of gastro… the list goes on. Nine months felt like an eternity, and two kids under two was a rude awakening at the end of it. But now he’s almost 18 months old – a proper little knee-high hooligan. He’s no longer a baby. And, despite me knowing I’ve retired from the baby-making business forever, my ovaries seem to be twitching right now. To my utter disbelief, I’m feeling nostalgic for my pregnant baby bump. So, whether you’re a fellow “I’m done” mum, a “Let’s get busy” lady or you’re currently with child, here are 10 pregnancy perks every mum can relate to.
The unexpected pregnancy perks we can all agree on
1. The battle of the bloat is over
Ate too much pasta last night and woke up looking like you swallowed a beach ball? Don’t stress! One of the best things about being pregnant is not needing to worry about sucking it all in, or whether your paunch is protruding over your pants. Muffin top? More like loaf top. Embrace the bloat, lady. And grab yourself another serving of spaghetti while you’re at it (see #4 below).
2. No more Aunt Flo for nine months
Let’s face it: periods are no fun for any of us. So for nine months, pack away the tampons, wear white (maternity) jeans to your heart’s content and give PMS the middle finger. The only downside? You’re going to get nine months’ worth of period pain – and then some – in one hit come Labour Day. Eep. And don’t get us started on the fourth trimester…
3. A whole new wardrobe… of elasticated waistbands
Elasticated pull-on pants, hidden belly bands and waistbands so high they’d give Simon Cowell a run for his money: maternity fashion is aaaaaall about Lycra, Lycra and more Lycra. Whether you’re looking to disguise, encase or show off your bump, comfort is the numero uno goal when you’re preggers. Be gone, underwire! Bugger off, button fly jeans! And come hither, stretchy pants… You’ll miss ‘em when they’re gone. Ah, truly one of the best things about being pregnant.
4. Weight gain is actively encouraged
Look, we get the whole ‘eating for two’ thing is a myth, but even so, pregnancy is a time in your life when no one’s going to be judging you for reaching for seconds. In fact, the doctor will be disappointed if you aren’t putting on the pounds – when else does that ever happen?! Yep. Pregnancy perks, right there.
5. You’ve got a built-in ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ card
Ok, relax, we’re talking metaphorical prison here. But being pregnant means you have a valid, accepted and UNQUESTIONED excuse to avoid certain things. Don’t fancy eating something but don’t want to cause offence? Blame it on your pregnancy nausea. Really can’t face going to that get-together? Blame your bailing out on pregnancy exhaustion. Just wait until the baby comes along – kids are THE ultimate escape-plan enablers.
6. No more struggling for small talk
Getting lots of special treatment and attention can be appealing to many people, but for a closet introvert like me, it certainly isn’t up there as one of my top pregnancy perks. But what IS good is that growing a small human means you’re never at a loss for small talk at social gatherings. Yep, you can bet your bottom dollar you’ll be swapping “So what do you do?” for “Have you had any bladder leakage yet?” Nice.
7. The good hormones are pretty great
Pregnancy hormones are pretty vicious things at times. They can leave you blubbering over a piece of burnt toast or feeling utterly worthless because you forgot to buy milk this morning. But sometimes, sometimes, they can be wondrous things. I’m talking luscious thick locks, glowing skin, strong and shiny nails and a bursting-out-your-bra cleavage. A goddess of creation, that’s what you are.
8. Free tickets to the kick show
I’m putting it out there: I reckon this is going to be high on every mum’s list of top pregnancy perks. Because, well, it’s just amazing, quite frankly. Feeling – and seeing – your baby kick you from inside your magical uterus… there’s nothing like it (yes, I know gas is a fairly close second). It’s fair to say I miss this incredible sensation ALL the time.
9. There’s a valid reason to rest
Growing a baby is exhausting work. So how good is it that people insist you put your feet up, take a load off, or go enjoy a nap when you’re expecting? We don’t need telling twice! Go stock up on your R&R, lady! Note: uttering the words “The doctor told me I need to rest” is the ultimate shutdown to anything you don’t feel like doing, but use it wisely. See also: #5.
10. Oh, sweet child of mine
If it’s your first pregnancy and you’re not already broken by the realities of motherhood, then you get to spend nine whole months drifting off into fantasyland about this perfect child you’re creating who says and does the cutest things. Who won’t smear poop on the walls, stick their fingers up the dog’s bum and watch Hey Duggee on loop. Yeah. Enjoy that while it lasts.
All together now: hooray for procreation!
This article was originally published in October 2019.