Parenting fails are going viral all over the internet. They range from the forgetful things that can happen to any parent, to the completely embarrassing moments that are almost unimaginable.
When it comes to pregnancy and child birth, I have seen a few mishaps parents make even before their precious child is born. As an OB/Gyn, I enjoy taking care of my patients and want to make sure they avoid as many pitfalls as possible, which is why I have included some advice to assist with the journey.
Top Parenting Fails
The top six parenting mistakes I see occur during pregnancy include:
1. Pregnancy is not an excuse to eat whatever you want
A common mistake is to overeat or eat a poor diet during pregnancy. The term “eating for two” is a common pregnancy myth, as only an additional 300 calories each day is needed to provide nutrients to your child. This should entail a well-balanced diet, as adequate nutrition is always important, especially during pregnancy.
2. Assuming pregnancy is an excuse for a sedentary lifestyle
Using pregnancy as an excuse to sit around and remain inactive is another common mistake that I see. Not only is a lack of exercise harmful, but remaining fit and incorporating a regular exercise program into your routine can actually help throughout your pregnancy.
You can likely continue whatever form of exercise you were doing prior to pregnancy, and this can help with reducing physical discomfort, lowering your risk of gestational diabetes, increasing your energy and improving your sleep. Be sure to listen to your body to avoid overexertion, injury or an alarmingly high heart rate.
3. Reading misinformation or not enough correct information
You will never know everything, but read up! I encourage my patients to be well-informed and educated throughout their pregnancy. Be sure to check the sources of what you are reading so as to not rely on inaccurate ones with little evidence. Your doctor can provide you with educational materials, and there are many good books and articles with sufficient research to back up their claims.
Touch base with your physician before starting a unique or new intervention, as this could jeopardize your health or the health of your baby.
4. Jeopardizing the safety of your baby
Once your child is born, his or her safety can vary greatly depending on the environment they are placed in. For example, a new baby can easily be placed on a blanket on the floor, but if there are siblings or other kids around, this might not be a safe option. Parents might fail to install car seats correctly, practice proper calming techniques, or learn safe sleep practices. Remember, safety first!
5. Failing to test out your gadgets before it’s go-time
I remember when I had my first child, I didn’t know how to work my breast pump. I didn’t read up on the manual or test it out ahead of time. This lead to my husband learning on himself and teaching me how to use my breast pump for the first time. It was a pretty humorous parenting fail. I tell my patients that some gadgets need batteries and others need interpretation!
Make sure everything is ready to go before your baby comes, so you don’t have extra worry in a time of sleep deprivation and adjustment.
6. Not talking about big decisions ahead of time
During pregnancy and child birth, parents have to make a lot of important decisions. It is best if these decisions are made before a time when emotions are high. Some things to talk over might be what to bring to the hospital, who to call if you need to go, childcare arrangements for other children, a trusted person for middle-of-the-night emergencies, birth plan options, circumcision for males, and identifying a pediatrician for your new baby — to name just a few. I’ve seen a few patients who are left in uncomfortable situations or arguments because of this common parenting oversight.
By and large, I am able to work with wonderful parents who are extremely prepared and a pleasure to work with. Many individuals who would take the time to read an article like this are already in a great place to welcome a new baby. We all make mistakes, and that comes along with being a parent. With an open and honest relationship, your provider can help you stay clear of some bumps along the way.