Already a mummy: why I am uncomfortable with the term ‘Mum-to-be’

I have given birth to two children, yet I have never been a ‘mum-to-be’.  I realise this may seem impossible, but for me, the term is never one that I was happy about being associated with my pregnant self.

In my mind, ‘mum-to-be’ is someone who has never been a mum or been pregnant.  You have never had your own child that you are responsible for, although you might plan for it in the future. But of course at the very moment you conceive, you are already responsible and the choices you make will impact your child from that very moment (or even earlier, if you take into account the need to be in good health in order to conceive in the first place). Particularly well-known examples of this are choices around alcohol, smoking and taking the appropriate supplement (see: .  Because I was making choices about these and other things for my children long before they were born, or in the case of some aspects of it, before they were even conceived, I considered myself a mum from the day I first saw those two blue lines.  I felt every inch a mum, and the rollercoaster of life had taken a dramatic plunge into a completely different paradigm.  The ‘student’ days were well and truly over, but I didn’t seem to mind this… I was quite contentedly doing all that I could to cherish and nurture both bumps from day one and felt an overwhelming rush of love whenever I thought of him or her.  Like any mum, I’m sure I didn’t get everything right, and that’s no different in pregnancy to after it: it is a constant journey of learning.  But the compelling desire to do the best I could to care for the baby was certainly there.   This is why I feel so strongly that mums who have suffered miscarriages and those who have never had a live birth are still as much a mum as I am, if not more so, because they too will have felt this, but are also, unlike me, amazing towers of strength.  Mums who never carried their own children but have adopted or benefitted from surrogacy will have been planning, making decisions about their children (and loving them) from before birth, probably even more so than me.  All mums are united as mums, regardless of the nature of the pregnancy by which their child came about or the age of their child (and by child I include those who have just been conceived): we were all at no point mums-to-be but were in fact mums from the very beginning.

So dear pregnant or expectant friends, whether you hold inside you a bundle of cells or are minutes away from holding your bundle in your arms, drink in the amazing realisation that you are already as much-a-mummy as those of us diving for that-about-to-spill-over cup of coffee…

Sharon-Ann Photography







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