Halsey Opened Up About Letting Go of Expectations for Herself During Pregnancy
The singer, who's expecting their first child, got real about their experience with prenatal vitamins and other wellness practices not lining up with their initial hopes.
Anyone who's had a baby, is trying for one, or has scrolled through parenting blogs simply out of curiosity knows there's a seemingly endless list of what soon-to-be parents are "supposed" to do during pregnancy. For example, pregnant individuals may hear from friends or family that they should cut out all caffeine and processed foods. Sometimes, though, folks — including 26-year-old Halsey, who's pregnant with their first child — deviate from those so-called best practices.
In a recent interview with Allure, Halsey opened up about the expectations she set for herself throughout her pregnancy and eventually gave up. Of all the breaks they made from the status quo, Halsey predicted that one in particular will cause all hell to break loose on the internet: "I didn't take my prenatals," the singer told the publication. "...I took them the first two months, and then the vomiting got really bad, and I had to make a choice between taking my prenatals and throwing up or maintaining the nutrients I did manage to eat that day," they recalled. (Related: Should New Moms Take Postnatal Vitamins After Childbirth?)
Reminder: Expecting individuals need to up their intake of certain nutrients throughout pregnancy, such as folic acid (a nutrient that helps prevent neural tube defects in the baby), iron (which is important for the baby's growth and brain development), calcium (which can reduce the parent's risk of preeclampsia and builds the baby's bones and teeth), and vitamin D (which promotes calcium absorption), according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. To ensure pregnant individuals score enough of those essential nutrients, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists recommends eating healthy foods and taking a prenatal vitamin daily.
While prenatal vitamins' offer benefits, people who deal with nausea and vomiting during pregnancy may experience worsened symptoms while taking iron-containing prenatal multivitamins, research shows. And those unpleasant side effects seem to be the reason Halsey took a break from their prenatal vitamins. "I was on so many medications — Diclegis and Zofran and all these anti-nausea, anti-vomiting medications," Halsey told Allure. "I went to my doctor, crying my eyes out, and I was like, 'I haven't taken my prenatals in six weeks. Is my baby okay?'"
When prenatal vitamins cause nausea or upset stomach, taking the supplements at night or with food or switching to a variety that's free of iron can help ease the unpleasant side effects, according to an article in the Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health. But if neither of those changes get the job done, health experts generally recommend taking a folic acid tablet in place of a prenatal multivitamin, according to the article. (Related: How the Chances of Getting Pregnant Change Throughout Your Cycle)
While Halsey didn't disclose if they tried any of those alternatives before stopping the supplement regimen altogether, it's understandable that they felt a tad guilty about the situation. "I was so angry with myself," Halsey told Allure. "You have one fucking job! One job! Take your prenatals! Your body's doing everything else, you can't even do that. I felt like such a failure." Thankfully, Halsey's doctor said both the singer and their baby were both in good health, according to Allure.
In addition to diverging from her prenatal vitamin routine, the About-Face founder has also given herself permission to embrace her cravings and practice the activities she truly wants to do — not force herself to be a picture-perfect model of wellness during pregnancy. "When this pregnancy started, I was like, 'You're going to do yoga and eat flaxseed. You're going to use essential oils and hypnobirth and meditate and fucking journal every single day,'" Halsey told the publication. (Related: Halsey Says This Clean Beauty Brand Is "Saving" Her Pregnancy Skin from Irritation)
In reality, Halsey's diet and self-care practices throughout the trimesters have looked much different than those ideals. "I have done none of those things," they said. "Zero. None. I eat cookies and had a bagel every single day for the first five months of my pregnancy." But when you're carrying a child and diverting all of your mental and physical energy to ensuring they grow healthy and strong, a bagel — not a bowl of flaxseed granola — might just be exactly what you need. And despite what friends, family, and strangers on the internet may tell you, that's okay.