There are so many brilliant posts to be written for this series, but the fact of the matter is that I can’t write them all. This one is one such post. I’ve never been pregnant, though I know from my friends that there are plenty of things you shouldn’t say to pregnant women. When my dear friend Raquel asked if she could write a post for this series on that very topic I nearly jumped out of my seat with excitement! Her blog is seriously fantastic and is my biggest blog crush – just go read it! So…she gets the distinct honor of being the first person ever to write a guest post for my blog! Go Raquel!
So I loved Amanda’s new series she started, and I just had to jump in! After being pregnant most of last year…I heard my fair share of comments, and criticisms, and whatnot. I think any pregnant woman can vouch for me…people seriously do NOT know what is appropriate to say to a pregnant lady sometimes. There were times I had to stop myself from back-handing people. I think there should be laws protecting pregnant women from this type of verbal assault (okay, maybe I’m being melodramatic), but still…there are some things you should just NOT say to a pregnant woman. I’ve compiled my list here:
10. Do you have cravings? This is just an annoying, overused question. Okay, have you heard of morning sickness? Ya, it makes me nauseous when we talk about food. Half the time you talk to me about cravings and food, I’m either going to be sick, or I’m starving. So if we talk about food, how about we do so over lunch and you can buy?!
9. You should go natural/You should get the epidural/You should breastfeed Really any comment that has the word “should” in it is a no-no. I feel like everyone has pretty strong beliefs about epidurals…either do or don’t, and strong beliefs about breastfeeding. This is totally fine, and I’m always glad to discuss it…but let the pregnant woman bring it up. Let her initiate these conversations. The last thing she needs is to be bombarded with everyone and their mom’s opinion about labor, deliver, parenting, and the rest of their lives! I often wonder if people just see pregnant women and think “I need to tell them every possible experience I’ve had with pregnancy and parenting and give her all my advice so I can thoroughly overwhelm her and freak her out!” I’m sure this doesn’t happen, I’m sure people are well intentioned with their advice…but just relax for half a second! The woman is pregnant for goodness sake!
8. What if you have a huge baby? Don’t judge my baby!!!!
7.It’s okay, you’re eating for 2. I’ve actually used this excuse myself, but when someone else says it to me…I obviously feel like a pig. When someone else has to justify how much food you are eating or comment on how much you are eating,it can be a little embarrassing, regardless of me being allowed to eat a little more since I’m pregnant.
6.(Women who tell you their entire intense dramatic birth stories) Okay, so I realize women telling each other their birth stories is kind of this motherhood bonding experience, but I only enjoy it when I ASK. Especially as a first time pregnant girl, getting bombarded with intense and sometimes scary birth stories does not ease my already freaked out first-time-mom mind. If I want to know your birth story, I will ask.
5. How much weight have you gained? When has it ever been ok to ask a woman about her weight gain????
4. (Person who immediately feels my pregnant belly without asking) I realize this varies between women, I actually didn’t mind when my good friends touched my belly, but when acquaintances did it or people I really didn’t know, it was bothersome and straight up uncomfortable. Just ask yourself: “Would I share my toothbrush with this person?” If the answer is ‘yes’ we are probably close enough friends that you go ahead and feel my belly. If the answer is ‘no’ you should probably just ask me first. (Note: if you are a male and you are not the brother, father, or husband of the pregnant woman, you should never ever just start feeling her belly…I probably wouldn’t even ask…just assume it’s not ok)
3. You look uncomfortable/hot. No…really? Who knew that growing little arms and legs could be so exhausting? If you really wanted to be helpful, why don’t you offer me a glass of water instead of gawking at me being uncomfortable?
2. You’re getting soooo big! Newsflash…I’m PREGNANT. Maybe you forgot, but when a woman is pregnant she grows an entire human being INSIDE her and so sometimes there’s this side effect that causes a woman to get…BIGGER. But thank you Captain Obvious for your comment. I’m actually glad you reminded me because despite the fact that I can no longer sleep on my back because my baby could crush my lungs, that none of my clothes fit me, and the fact that I can no longer put on my own shoes…I actually forgot how big I was! (Hopefully you noted my sarcasm!)
1. Oh my gosh, you are about to pop! I just really don’t like this term “pop”. It’s like you think I’m about to explode at any moment. It really just takes away from the beauty of pregnancy and birth when you compare me to a balloon.
There are actually tons of things you shouldn’t say to a pregnant woman, but these are definitely the top things. If you really want to help a pregnant lady out, tell her she looks great, that she’s glowing. EVERY pregnant woman still wants to feel beautiful because we already feel huge and sweaty most of the time. Just remember…pregnant women are right at that very moment co-creating with God…so you better darn well be nice to them! It’s no small task to grow a small human.