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Women Share 37 Things Movies Skip About Pregnancies

Pregnancy messes with your body and mind in major and often life-changing ways, and no, you don't wake up like a dewy goddess ready to hit town the morning after giving birth. The post Women Share 37 Things Movies Skip About Pregnancies first appeared on Bored Panda. ...

It’s common to see happy and glowing pregnant women in films, on TV and social media. But it’s also widely known that such portrayals not only have nothing to do with reality, they’re strongly misleading and create false impressions.

In fact, studies have shown that the exposure of as little as 5 minutes of glamorized media portrayals can lead to lower body image in pregnant women. So how on earth did they become normalized?

In order to debunk the false depictions of pregnancy, women in this r/AskWomen thread are sharing eye-opening and honest facts about how carrying a baby alters you both physically and mentally. And the reality is far from pretty.

Below are some of the most important responses to “what is always conveniently left out or overlooked about pregnancy in movies and books” that should be read by everyone. Especially those who still think it’s normal for women to wake up dewy-skinned, joyous, freshened up and basically ready to hit the bar the morning after giving birth.

#1

oh let’s not forget the impact of terrible doctors. A few weeks after my first birth, I started hemorrhaging. I went to the ER and the doctor told me “I must’ve forgot what a period was.” Then with his head between my knees and a speculum inserted he said, “oh, i guess you weren’t lying.” I ended up needing emergency surgery and just narrowly avoided a blood transfusion. I had retained placenta. If that doctor had sent me home, i likely would’ve developed sepsis and could’ve died.

Image credits: Ok_Individual9340

#2

How physically painful even early term miscarriages are. They always only show the emotional pain, which I didn’t experience because I was relieved, but it felt like having the worst cramps of my life for a month straight.

Image credits: goldandjade

#3

Pregnancy messes with your body in a major way. You can lose your teeth and or hair. Some people get gestational diabetes, like, that’s a thing. I know one girl who was pretty healthy before she was pregnant but during her pregnancy her organs began shutting down. Afterwards she came out lactose intolerant, gluten intolerant and STILL has liver and kidney problems.

And that’s only physical! Mentally – post partum depression is REAL and even if you’ve had multiple kids, no problems ppd can kick you in the face with your next kid with no warning.

Image credits: anon-nsfw-504

#4

They never show how you can get depression and anxiety before the baby is even born.

Image credits: Ahnamal

#5

The bump doesn’t go away right after birth. It can take days, weeks, or even months for the bump to disappear, and the majority of women have loose skin, stretch marks, etc. from that- which is totally normal.

Image credits: loalenatrice

#6

I got a cold during my first pregnancy and had a pretty nasty cough. I was about 8 months along and couldn’t take any real medication because, pregnant, so just had to ride it out and the cough got pretty bad. It caused me to crack 2 ribs. Nothing like having someone literally kicking your already cracked ribs while you’re violently coughing. And you can’t take anything stronger than Tylenol. Yeah, it was pretty painful.

Image credits: BitterPillPusher2

#7

They never show how you can experience receding gums and rotting teeth from pregnancy

Image credits: budgetbears

#8

Pooping for the first time after having the baby…. probably the worst pain of my life

Image credits: PlumbusFungus

#9

I have a lot of pregnant friends right now and am learning a TON about pregnancy. Honestly, it sounds awful. My one friend was having to catheterize herself everyday because the baby was sitting on her urethra and blocking it. Apparently that is something that is rare but not unheard of.

A lot of them also have horrible back pain. My sister had one hip stuck about 3 inches higher than the other and herniated a disc during pregnancy.

Image credits: TurbulentArea69

#10

They show morning sickness, cravings, back pain, and waddling. Where’s the character with the worst acne of her life? Or the one who can barely walk because her pelvis is literally splitting into thirds? Or the one who gains 50 pounds before they get diagnosed with gestational diabetes and are allowed one tortilla or glass of milk every 3 hours so they can only eat meat and green veggies for 6 months? I want a movie where the pregnant woman needs to have an emergency procedure done to suck the blood clot out of her hemorrhoid so she can exist without excruciating pain.

Image credits: Cdmelty1

#11

How hard breast feeding can be for some of us!

It’s not always as easy as stick the baby on the boob after delivery and off ya go.

It’s a real skill and can be hard to learn and doesn’t always work for everyone, despite best intentions.

Image credits: DrVerryBerry

#12

How f*cking clinical it is. My first birth was in a hospital I was 19 and scared. They treated me like I was a horribly sick person, not a laboring woman. I was not allowed out of my bed, I wasn’t allowed food or drink, wasn’t allowed any birthing tools like a ball or anything. They allowed my whole family to come in (13 people) I couldn’t rest. Then my epidural failed, they didn’t believe me. Didn’t believe me when I said I needed to push, didn’t tell the doctor my epidural failed so I got 7 stitches on the inside without pain meds, I hemorrhaged and they didn’t do anything about it. Let my entire family back in immediately after they put my legs out of stirrups, I didn’t even see my baby the first hour because everyone had her. Then they made me get up and walk across the other side of the unit to a different room, except I was weak from blood loss, part of my body was still numb and I was exhausted.

My second and third births were totally natural and at a birth center in the water with a midwife and no visitors. My midwives actually listened to me and did a fabulous job.

I’m not saying all hospital births are bad but way too often laboring women are treated like sick people when they aren’t sick they’re going through a natural process.

Image credits: DumpsterFire0119

#13

I think it’s funny in movies/tv how a pregnant person has one contraction and immediately knows she’s in labor, not really how it works lol. My water broke with my second child and i still took my like two hours to be convinced it was actually my water. I also think it’s weird how labor is always depicted with screaming and pain when a large portion of people get epidurals.

Image credits: Ok_Individual9340

#14

They never show the unglamorous things we experience after birth. I had to wear adult diapers for several weeks. Even now, if I sneeze hard or laugh too much, I might pee my pants

Image credits: cuckedprincess

#15

I’m not planning to be a mother but from the experience I heard from other women, new mothers aren’t always head over heels with a huge grin on their face when they first see their first baby and feel like it’s the happiest they’ve ever been in their life.

The way Mama Doctor Jones often reminds in her videos on YouTube, not every mother will feel this “magical” feeling and that’s okay; the baby didn’t do anything but make you suffer for 9 months for now and you still have to get to know each other, some will immediately adore it when their child is handed over to them and others will need some time for it to happen.

Image credits: MissInfer

#16

I’ve always hated that pregnant women on TV only see weight gain in this perfectly round belly. Yeah, you gain weight in most other places when you’re pregnant, too.

Image credits: allworkandnoYahtzee

#17

I feel like babies aren’t ever gross looking in films? Like right when they’re fresh out of the body and being passed to the birth mother to hold.

No baby comes out perfectly clean, plump, and smiling with lots of coos. They come out kind of gremlin like with lots of extra gunk on them. I feel like every baby I’ve seen has a slight blue/green tint too fresh out of the womb

Image credits: sunshineandcacti

#18

They never show the fatigue you get. Pregnant women in movies have nonpregnant levels of energy. It’s pretty common to be completely exhausted all nine months. Growing a human is tiring

Image credits: kinkyspidersex

#19

They never show how isolating pregnancy can be. Suddenly, you can’t do regular things with your friends, like drinks after work or even going out to eat, because you feel nauseated or too tired

Image credits: alnumero

#20

They never talk about the gas we get. Frequent farting is not included in most media depictions of the beautiful miracle of pregnancy.

Image credits: Izzli

#21

Postpartum depression. Not all women experience it after the birth of their children BUT there’s enough cases out there to prove it’s real and something that should be discussed.

Movies/books will document EVERYTHING there is to know about motherhood but literally skip over that part for a happy ending. It gives this false sense of reality that motherhood can only take a toll on your body and not your mind. That’s why so many people overlook obvious signs of the mother experiencing this.

Image credits: Pretty_Princess90210

#22

They never talk about the swelling. You don’t see women wearing sensible shoes to accommodate the swelling. Instead, they’re running around in heels to dinners, work, and parties

Image credits: Substantial-Duck3466

#23

I went up a shoe size and had to start wearing glasses when I had my kid.

Image credits: didumakethetea

#24

Childbearing hips are a lie! You can have wide hips, but still have a narrow pelvic opening on the inside.

When I had my daughter, I had a hard time pushing her out, as her shoulder got stuck. The doctor told me that if I had anymore children, we would want to induce early to prevent this, as my daughter was the biggest baby my body could handle. She only weighed 7lbs 4 oz!, which is actually a little smaller than an average baby!

Image credits: Murderbot_of_Rivia

#25

Movies focus on the head – mothers would tell you that shoulders are actually wider (and thus hurt more)…

There are so many things. When you’re pregnant, you’re risking your health and life. In many countries, epidural isn’t the norm, medical abortions are hard to get. There’s the realization that now you’re not in control over your own body, there’s a lack of bonding with a kid after giving birth. I’ve known some women who were so glad to be done with the delivery and there was no love towards the kid if anything – just annoyance at how loud the newborn can be.

Permanent changes to your body. Skin, stretch marks – okay. Vision, bladder, shoe size, issues with kidneys, psychological and hormonal changes – people don’t tend to talk about those much.

Image credits: psotnica

#26

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

I figured pregnancy would be pretty easy but I almost died. I violently threw up throughout my entire pregnancy. Lost about 20kgs. Could not eat or drink because my senses were so heightened that EVERYTHING made me violently ill. Everything smelt and tasted putrid…so rancid. I just wanted to die. I was so depressed with how miserable pregnancy made my life. Needing IVs to survive. NEVER AGAIN. One and done.

Image credits: NicoleChilton

#27

They never show how different every pregnancy is. Just how not all women are the same, and not all pregnancies are the same

Image credits: Emotional-Power214

#28

Horrible migraines with bad auras every few days.

#29

They never discuss how you can develop food intolerances. After my second pregnancy, I became lactose intolerant. After my third, I became wheat intolerant

Image credits: idgaf-about-a-name

#30

The thing that always annoys me is that a character will throw up once, realize she’s pregnant, and then things move on. Idk about others but my first trimester nausea lasted like 8 weeks. Very little appetite, constant misery…

#31

First trimester fatigue. It took me by surprise. I couldn’t do ANYTHING for weeks. We’re talking sleeping 14 hours a day and still feeling tired.

I used to nap on my lunch break, nap when I came home from work, and still fall asleep at 9:30pm. I basically slept and went to work.

Turns out growing extra organs really takes it out of your body.

#32

They don’t show when something goes horribly wrong.

With my first pregnancy everything was perfect and then at 8 months I went in because I hadn’t felt the baby kick in a while.

They don’t show you still having to go through every moment of labor knowing that you’ve already lost your child.

With my second pregnancy ( twins) again horribly wrong. They don’t show emergency situations. They don’t show sitting on the toilet and then getting a gush of blood. They don’t show the hospital staff running in. They don’t show the panic. Or the medical staff quickly having my husband sign off on a hysterectomy neither of us was prepared for and the doctor saying if we don’t do it your wife will die.

I have a c-section scar going down my abdomen not across. It isn’t small at all. Also the scar itched for the longest and sometimes still does 9 months pp. I still can’t feel about 3 inches on either side of the scar.

Also pregnancy I wasn’t just sick in the mornings. No it was all day long 24/7 the whole flipping time. I’m pretty sure I vomited from the time I conceived the twins until two days after they were born.

Both pregnancies I lost more weight than I gained. I didn’t hit my pre-pregnancy weight until 5 wks before the son we lost and 3 weeks before the girls were born. I finally hit 100 lbs 3 or 4 days before the twins were born and I think my max weight with our son was 104 or 105. So not everyone puts on a ton of weight. My doctors were very concerned about my weight but I couldn’t keep anything down.

I was exhausted. As soon as I made it home every day I fell asleep on the couch. I didn’t even have the energy to make it to my bed.

I had absolutely zero balance. I wasn’t allowed to climb steps or anything like that from the time I started showing until they were born. I would get dizzy if I stood up from sitting or bent over. Also the joint swelling and the fact that I couldn’t see my feet or where I was stepping. I have a 2 story house and unless I had someone to walk me up the stairs I couldn’t get there.

Also if I dropped something I’d just stare at it because I couldn’t get low enough to get it without needing help getting back up.

You never see them getting stuck in a recliner or just sitting and not being able to get up. The hell from trying to get up when you lay down is never shown.

Plus I’m a type one diabetic and insulin dependent. There is a whole host of issues with that.

There is a lot. Pregnancy is insanity. It is extremely dangerous and brutal the entire time. Sure it looks so lovely but its deadly to a lot of people.

Also there is no guarantee that you can breastfeed. I got lucky and could out produce any cow in my state but a lot of women either couldn’t make enough or couldn’t make any at all. There are a lot of people that shame those mothers who can’t/ don’t breastfeed and its awful. Then there is a whole different group of people that shame mothers that do breast feed their children. We have enough to worry about without being shamed for how we feed our baby.

#33

I know a woman who couldn’t pee normally afterwards. She couldn’t tell when she needed to pee and needed a tool to let it out every other hour. Today she has a catheter.

Image credits: DistantShadow

#34

Aftercare. Movies will go from pregnancy, water breaking, then birth, then ‘1 week later’. They don’t talk about afterbirth, how swollen ‘it’ gets, how painful it is to move or how stressful breastfeeding can be.

#35

I feel like a lot of the times pregnancy in movies consist of 4 stages : sex, morning sickness, shopping and the birth itself.

I am currently 40 weeks pregnant with my second I this time I have major problem with my hips. Like at least my first few steps after standing up I am limping. And morning sickness can be very different with every pregnancy and every person. First time I was nauseous for 5 months, and threw up every day at least once. Couldn’t eat a lot but slept very much, which in turn made me incredibly dizzy. This time I threw up 3 times total and felt fine most of the time. With birth itself I am not sure if the main difference is because of movie magic or because most pregnancy movies I’ve seen take place in the US (or the past). But for me I only had my husband in the room and the rest of our families were at home and not waiting at the hospital. I also didn’t wear one of these weird hospital gowns, just my own shirt, socks and a blanket for warmth.

Image credits: xXChihime

#36

My dad is a doctor, he has always said that pregnancy is exactly the same as having a serious disease, your body is put into so much stress for a long period of time and things can go south so fast it’s scary that women will have more than 1 baby

#37

After birth. The placenta etc. I mean I’m not sure it needs to be seen but birth doesn’t just end when the baby comes out.

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