Expectations vs. Reality of Pregnancy

Expectations vs. Reality of Pregnancy
María José Roldán

Written and verified by the psychopedagogue María José Roldán.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

In this article we’d like to discuss how the common expectations and reality of pregnancy vary from woman to woman. While each woman’s experience is different, there is one thing that we all generally have in common: there is no such thing as a perfect pregnancy.

Pregnancy is a magical stage, when a woman is creating new life inside herself. The reality, though, is that neither the fairy tales or the horror stories are true. Every woman has her own experience.

If you follow the pregnancies of the stars, you might think that this is a rosy time of relaxation, glowing skin and a body which, baby bump aside, remains the envy of other women. Although some women try to portray the perfect pregnancy on social media, the reality can be quite different.

There are women who feel that their experience of pregnancy is quite harsh, or very intense. There are women who put on a mere 20 pounds, and others who gain 45 while on a diet the whole time.

The magic of new life gives rise to very different experiences for pregnant women. But, although it is never as easy as they say, or as hard as you think, it’s worth separating expectation from reality.

Expectations and reality of pregnancy

Expectations and reality of pregnancy

I am going to keep my figure and won’t need maternity clothes

The reality is that your body will not be ugly, because the body of a pregnant woman is always something beautiful. But you will have to spend money on clothes that will fit your new and temporary shape.

Maternity underwear is essential for your comfort, along with wider-fitting shoes, larger bras, roomier shirts… anything that makes you more comfortable is important.

I will have beautiful skin

Although hormones can make the skin and hair of pregnant women look especially good, the reality is that you will not always have smooth, perfect skin.

These same hormones give some women pimples and pigmentation during pregnancy. If it’s hot out, you will also sweat a lot.

I can eat whatever I like

No, you can’t. You can’t eat for two, either. Although you will sometimes be hungrier than usual, particularly in the first and third trimester of pregnancy, this does not mean that you should devour everything in the fridge, or eat anything that takes your fancy.

The idea is to be conscious of what you eat every day, and stick to a balanced diet, for your own health and that of your baby.

People will be more considerate

The reality is that there will be people who are more considerate towards you. Some people might give up your seat when they see that you are tired. But others will look away selfishly and won’t do you any favors.

You will also run into people who ask you intrusive questions, just because you are pregnant. If you don’t want to answer, then don’t.

I will have a cute baby bump in the third trimester

It is true that you will have a lovely baby bump, but also that you’ll have trouble moving around. When you drop something, picking it up will be agony. Sleeping will become mission impossible, and you will waddle around clumsily because your balance will be affected.

Showering will turn into an olympic sport. Yes, you will have a beautiful bump because your wonderful baby is in there growing, but having it will make life a little more difficult.

I will fall in love with every baby I see

Not exactly. Although it is true that, when you see your baby for the first time, you will fall hopelessly in love, the truth is that the sight of someone else’s newborn might stress you out. Other parents will tell you how they haven’t slept, that they are constantly tired, and so on.

You might feel a completely overwhelmed about how your life will change when your baby comes into the world. The reality, though, is that it’s worth it in the end.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Guggino, Alice & Barbero, Sara & Ponzo, Valentina & Viora, Elsa & Durazzo, Marilena & bo, Simona. (2016). Myths about nutrition in pregnancy. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 36. 1-2. 10.3109/01443615.2016.1168372.
  • Soma-Pillay, Priya et al. “Physiological changes in pregnancy.” Cardiovascular journal of Africa vol. 27,2 (2016): 89-94. doi:10.5830/CVJA-2016-021

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.