KA Moms weighed in on their favorite ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ for the pregnant mother, resulting in a fun time of reminiscing and many laughs and guffaws. Enjoy some of the tidbits we gleaned:
Pregnancy is a whole new game for the female body, pregnancy in a foreign country is a whole new game, period. Here are some lovely pearls of wisdom shared with us by our OBGYNs and midwives. To say that we were mostly left puzzled and scratching our heads is an understatement. Fortunately we had the good sense (or good friends) to ignore them and continue on as our bodies were meant to.
It would seem that foreign mothers are giving doctors, midwives and OBs across the country a lot of stress about our weight, across the board, mothers were told they had gained all the necessary weight (usually by the 7th month), and to go on severe diets to not gain a single gram more.
SW: I had my first antenatal class on Saturday and it was pretty rubbish but also kind of funny, so I thought I’d share some of the gems of wisdom here and hopefully hear some of the crazy things you guys were told, too!
*Don’t eat more than a handful of fruit a day or your baby will be too big
*If you gain too much weight your belly muscles will turn to fat and you will have nothing left to push with
*Weigh yourself TWICE A DAY to make sure you aren’t gaining too much weight, but absolutely no dieting (huh?)
*The nurse repeatedly referred to the cervix as 赤ちゃんの出口
BG: Don’t drink too much water. 1 L per day max.
LAT: I loved being told to “range up” (heat up) salads for about 20 seconds. And no cold foods because it’ll cause the baby to get cold and go breech.
LK: I was told absolutely no pears because it would make the baby cold.
HK: I was told I’d gained my entire pregnancy’s ‘allowance’ of weight in the first 4/5 months and should go on a diet, making sure in particular to cut out all meat…..
LK: I remember the breaking point for me with my first OBGYN was when she told me, at the beginning of my 3rd trimester and not even 10 pounds up, that I needed to diet and to ONLY eat boiled cabbage for the remainder of my pregnancy.
Also, when I told her all my symptoms I was having (that were classic anemia signs), she just said it was because I was fat. She never ran the scheduled blood tests that would’ve caught my anemia which was REALLY bad at that point. She also thought nothing of the fact I hadn’t pooped for 6 weeks at that point….
TH: Drinking water will make edema worse. Letting your feet get cold will make edema worse so wear heavy socks in the middle of summer. Don’t drink coffee, caffeine is bad for the baby, drink ocha.
My absolute favorite pearl of wisdom – While scheduling my 2nd c-section I was told they would, reluctantly, cut me horizontally. This was not because my first had been done that way but because I was so fat that if they cut vertically the stitches wouldn’t hold and I would split wide open. I switched to a different doctor after that. Good times.
AJ: I was told to eat only boiled spinach and liver. But they didn’t have that at McDonald’s so I got a cheeseburger instead. And I only went to McDonalds cuz I was PO’d at the midwife! I only gained 7kilos the whole time, I had no idea what the fuss was about.
CO: I passed my weight limit at 6 months, and was told to eat mainly mushrooms, konyaku, and tofu for the rest of my pregnancy. So I went straight to a coffee shop and ordered hot chocolate with cream and the most unhealthy-looking cake they had to drown my sorrows
HK After MeatGate, I was told to eat only tofu for the rest of my pregnancy.
TR: My favourite is still the “fat vagina” ahahaha
LK Yeah, fat vagina and severe warnings that I’ll NEVER lose the weight (as though that’s my top priority???).
TR Don’t read novels or the newspaper after giving birth as it’ll ruin your eyesight!! That was MIL and she kept scolding me in the hospital for reading
LK: I was told not to play my DS while pregnant because it would hurt the BABY’s eyesight.
NI: Mil complained to my doc that I read too much, so then I was told to cut back on reading. 8-/
SKK: Wear socks/keep legs and feet warm even in the height of summer! Mental!
VKK NO BANANAS! Not ONE! FAR TOO FATTENING! If you absolutely have to be a horrible disgusting pig and eat fruit, HALF A KIWI per day, MAXIMUM!
IM: I ate almost nothing for the first trimester and gained 10kgs. Told to diet. I would’ve died if I ate any less food.
TN: Wear socks and keep legs and tummy warm. Take a bath every night.
Oh, and I think 90% of us were too “fat” and endangering baby/labour because of it.
AM: At my prenatal class we were told to cut dolphin out of our diets. (°_°)
LK: Oh, I was also told no swimming, cuz the baby could drown, but not a minute later was told that I must take a hot bath each night. At least that was from neighbors and not the doctor.
LU: My doc wrote “diet” in my boshi techo [Mother’s Book] at 39 weeks. Um….
JN: When my baby was in breach position for a few weeks, the dr. had me doing some stretches/poses each night in the hopes of flipping her around (dunno if they worked or not, but she did), but he conveniently pointed out that leaning over and cleaning the bathtub was the same pose, so yay! I could still be the good housewife at 36/37 weeks.
JS: BIND THAT BELLY, WOMAN! BIND THAT BELLY!
RB: When I was pregnant with my first child we hadn’t been here long. I always wondered what the big red kanji stamp was in my book. I’m glad I only learned it was TOO FAT after delivery! Wasn’t as bad as my husband breaking the ‘baby’s’ arm during the compulsory baby bathing class for prospective dads. Our village talked about our baby’s chances of survival for weeks lol!
MS: I am amazed at the lengths people go to avoid using the word ‘vagina.’ Especially considering that the word ‘chin-chin’ is ubiquitous at kindergartens throughout the country.
DS: Oh man what have I NOT been told here! I couldn’t get an epidural because I was too fat and they couldn’t find the spot to insert the needle. Unless it was an emergency c-section then they could find the spot. They told me to stop drinking coke (which I wasn’t at the time) so my husband said she drinks a lot of water not coke. They then told me to stop drinking water it was bad for the baby. No explanation why.
I had to diet from day 1 and to only eat rice and 1 pickle twice a day.
I had a doctor pinch my vulva and say do you want a fatty vagina?! I said I already had one and it was genetic. He didn’t say anything else.
I had a midwife ask if I was eating healthy. I said yes I was even buying organic vegetables. She told me McDonalds wasn’t organic. I laughed and asked if she was an idiot. She didn’t appreciate that and never talked me again. I was obviously gutted to not have her there.
DK: i was too fat so i was going to get high blood pressure. (no…i didn’t). The dr. in one of my post-birth visits asked me, with a smirk, if my husband picked me up and carried me like they do in the movies. I asked him (short little guy with a bigger-than-me wife) “Do you pick up YOUR wife?” (the nurse began smirking…).
SW: Oh, I forgot～ they also said if your belly looks bigger sometimes it’s because the baby is cold so it’s surfaced looking for a heat source and we should wrap up in a blanket and keep extra warm for three hours, then if the belly isn’t back to its usual shape we should call the doctor.
CK: I told my Obgyn (same guy for all 3 pregnancies, I thought he’d be used to me by number 3) that I was Australian and therefore addicted to cheese and so I had to consume a certain amount per day and an occasional swig of red wine to stay genki. I promised him I’d find him the best possible Aussie cheese and wine and I presented him with a fab bottle of wine and chunk of cheese upon leaving the hospital. He was very chuffed and the nurses all had a big giggle
JS: I still hold a grudge for the jackass doctor that told me I was too fat to ever know the sex on my baby prior to birth and that I was too fat to ever have a vaginal birth.
EG The nutritionist after checking my 3-day eating journal, told me I was eating too many raw vegetables. I should cook some of them. Hmm. Boil all the nutrients out, huh?
JS: They told me that they couldn’t tell me Luna’s blood type because there was a chance still that it would change.
LK: My OB I switched to at 32 weeks “allowed” up to 10kg. I had only gained 7 by delivery. But when I spiked at one checkup (from water retention), the midwives just went, “oh, a little high this time! Well, just be careful!” and marked to reduce sodium in my book. At my old OB? That would mean lecturing DH about “letting” me eat so much. My new OB is great and I’ll use him again.
Nurse: your belly is cold
Me: very cold
Nurse: be careful and heat it up
Me: what happens if your belly gets cold?
Nurse: nothing really
ST: These doctors and midwives would have been shocked at my weight gain ha ha ha! I gained about 27 kilos! Like B., I had a doctor who just laughed and agreed when I said it was my huge boobs….
LGK: I was told not to go to karaoke
VKK: When I had placenta previa I was told not to exert myself. When I looked it up later and found out that sex and orgasms are a complete no-no. I asked why the hell we hadn’t been told this at the first, and was met with puzzled blinks and an exclamation of “But you’re already pregnant!”
In the end, we all had healthy strong babies and pregnancies and nature took its course whether we were short, tall, underweight, overweight, just the perfect exact weight, and somehow our doctors survived the experience too.
Erinn LaMattery: workaholic SAHM with a possible touch of ADD. Favorite question: Free time? What's that?? Days are spent: raising 4 children, teaching part time, developing a jewelry business (http://facebook.com/offonawhim), and following the lives of the KA Moms! Cooking, cleaning and shopping are all secondary.