What NOT To Do Or Say To A Pregnant Woman
I’ve been on a lists tangent lately. I don’t know, sometimes I get going on them & I just get on a roll until the next blog post inspiration strikes. Anyway, one lovely lady inspired me to write about things that should not be done or said to a pregnant woman. And after both of my pregnancies, here are my two cents:
1) Don’t tell the pregnant woman how small her belly is. You may think that you’re being complimentary, but I promise you that that woman is now probably irritated, or wondering if everything is ok with her pregnancy. At least that’s how I thought when I’d hear that comment with my last pregnancy. “You’re so small! Are you sure you’re 6 months?” And this was me: Nope. Technology now is really so hit and miss, this baby could be due next year for all we know. Yes I’m freaking sure I’m 6 months pregnant. That’s why doctors have JOBS!”
2) And don’t tell a pregnant woman how big her belly is. I heard this comment with my first pregnancy. “You’re huge! Are you are you’re not having twins?” I seriously wanted to slap anyone who said this; just slap them hard across the face with a fish. I have no idea why that idea popped in my head, maybe it’s because we’re on vacation in Seattle & just saw that fish toss at Pike Place Market. But I feel like the impact would be so much harder and more dramatic than if it was just your hand. I mean, imagine just reaching into your purse, grabbing a fish by the tail and just slapping someone super hard & fast across the face with it. Oh the sleep deprivation is really showing its face today huh? Anyway, back to my point. I honestly got to where I’d be like “Yep, I better check that out. Maybe you should come with me to my next appointment and tell my ob your theory. Those ultrasound machines? Psh! Rude and random opinions trump those any day!”.
3) If you value your life, do NOT comment, joke or insinuate that a pregnant woman is “fat”. Sadly I heard this comment with my first pregnancy quite a few times. And it’s like “No I am not FAT, you horse’s ass, I am pregnant! I am literally growing a person INSIDE of my body. I am BUSY making bones and eyeballs and hair while you’re just being an insensitive asshole.” Same goes for when people “joke” about swollen hands or feet. Or really any part of a pregnant woman’s body. I once heard a quote that was something along the lines of “The last time I heard ‘look how big you are!’ and it was meant as a compliment was when I was in the first grade”.
4) Always ask before touching, kissing, patting (really any kind of contact with) a pregnant belly. Because here’s the bottom line: that belly is still a part of that woman’s body! Some women aren’t fans of anyone touching their bellies, some are ok with friends and family doing it, some just prefer only their husbands to do this; really the best course of action here is to just ask first. I personally love the idea of patting that person’s belly right back if they don’t ask first. Imagine the look on their face!
5) Keep a positive opinion about genders. When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter I was so excited and happy and just overjoyed. And this really had nothing to do with her gender, but everything to do with that I had a healthy pregnancy and was just so very excited. So many people would talk about little girls and dresses and bows and princesses and stuff; and yes, I was excited for that too. But really, I was just so overjoyed I was having a healthy baby. Then when I found out I was pregnant with my son, I was again so excited, happy and overjoyed. With both pregnancies I cried worth overwhelmingly happy emotions when I found out the gender. But honestly? I can wholeheartedly say that I would have been just as happy if it had been a second girl. The comments people make are interesting “now you have the pair” and “now your family is complete”. And I mean, yes, that’s true. But our family was also complete with just our daughter, now we’re just continuing on with feeling complete. If that makes sense. What I’m trying to say is that our joy for our family had nothing to do with our kids’ genders, but everything to do with our kids in general and that they are happy and healthy. I’m sure families of all boys get annoyed when they hear “Were you trying for the girl?”. Just as families of all girls get tired of hearing “Don’t you wish you had a boy?”
6) Why do people ask “When do you think the baby will be born?” Granted, I realize this is an innocent and curious question. One that I’ve probably asked other women myself. But towards the end of both of my pregnancies, whenever I heard this all I wanted to do was scream “Do I look like I have a freaking crystal ball in my hand? Or like I have this sweet new device where I can talk to my baby like ‘Hey, so were you planning on arriving on your due date? Or what? Because Mama needs some wine soon”.
7) Please, do NOT share birth horror stories. I don’t know if people think they’re trying to be helpful, like maybe by “warning” pregnant women about their experiences she can watch out for it? Or maybe they’re bragging to show that they were tough through their birthing process? But please, share these AFTER she’s given birth. By telling her these things while she’s still pregnant is actually pretty cruel! I think the only thing that is accomplished is she will now probably be more worried, higher anxiety and wondering if that will happen to her. Let’s build pregnant women up! Instead of horror stories, let’s share positive beautiful stories! Or words of encouragement. When I was getting scared about giving birth towards the end of both of my pregnancies, my mom told me “Go to a crowded mall and look around at everyone walking around. All of those people were born by some woman giving birth. If all of those women can do it, you can do it too. You are so tough”.
So for all of you pregnant women out there, I want you to know that even though I don’t personally know you, I believe in you. And you are all so tough, and already amazing and loving mothers. You are beautiful, no matter what your size is, or what your hair looks like, or what you’re wearing. You are growing a beautiful new life! If that is not beauty in its purest form, then I don’t know what is. As always, you’ve totally got this Mama!