If you've been pregnant before - you know exactly what I mean. It not only opens you up to ridiculous questions, but makes people think they can give you advice and comment on everything and anything about your pregnancy. And these days thanks to the internet, everyone thinks their a doctor and their advice is solid...but it's 2014. And I have a doctor and a computer with access to creditable sources.
Have you ever stopped and think about some of the things people say?
Are you sure it's not twins? - No, this is 2014...there is modern technology to confirm the number of children I am currently growing
When are you due? ::month:: Oh, you won't make it to then?- GREAT, just what I want to think about...having my child early
Are you excited? - No, what if I wasn't, how would you react to that answer?
It is just simply amazing.
Looking back over my personal experience with pregnant ladies - I feel totally blessed to have older siblings and cousins, making me an aunt at the young age of 9. So I've been around ladies with babies for a while - and I feel like this has helped me in many aspects... I can change a diaper with my eyes closed, babies don't frighten me and...you learn how not to be an asshole to a pregnant person - because you see the backlash of the person's words. In a country where speaking your opinion (re: Duck Dynasty) can cause so much trouble...pregnant women seem to be largely ignored by the PC world.
Except Kim Kardashian...who everyone said every awful thing in the book about. And while I've sworn off her show, if you just Google "Kim Kardashian, pregnancy" -- people were awful.
It's tough enough to be pregnant and when people open their mouths and don't think. It makes it worse. You're gaining weight (ugh), you're uncomfortable, you're having trouble sleeping, you're throwing tantrums about food (yep), your SO can hear you snoring through the walls...without all the noise.
I belong to a "Ladies due in February 2014" group on Facebook and here are some of the lovely things that people have said to them about their pregnancies...
Giving labor advice/stories when not prompted... "I was in labor for 36 hours and it was awful. They had to end up doing a c-section"
Just want I want to think about, especially if it's your first child and you do not know how your body will "react" to active labor
Commenting on size..."Wow you look so small for _x_ months" or "OMG you look like you are going to pop"
I have been told "so small" the entire pregnancy while my coworker was told back in December she was going to "never make it" to February. I bet she just loved hearing that
Eating habits..."Oh I hear you can't eat anything" or "I thought you couldn't eat that" or "Hmm, not my baby"
First, while I don't condone gorging yourself during pregnancy - I see no reason to judge me if I'm eating a second piece of cake. It's MY choice. If you are having a healthy pregnancy and are gaining healthy weight...I see no reason to go for that second piece of red velvet cake. Also, pregnant women are given a huge list of NO'S for food. We are well aware of what we can and cannot eat - we do not need you, who is not a doctor to comment.
Life post-baby... "You'll never sleep again" or "Get sleep now"
Newsflash: you can't bank sleep. You can't stock up on sleep for the future. Taking a nap today, will not help me two months from now. This isn't AT&T's rollover plan.
"People have been having babies for years" - Wow, you've successfully guessed how we are still on this planet. Gold star. It doesn't lessen any issues that I am currently having.
"Can't you have a small glass of wine?" - NO. First, personally I hate wine. Secondly, you are suggesting that a pregnant person ingest alcohol. Some doctors are okay with it and some say to avoid alcohol at all. Do yourself a big favor and don't even bring it up.
"Are you excited?" - Honestly, what kind of question is that really? What if someones not excited? What if they are nervous because it's taken them years to get pregnant.
What are you having? Is that what you wanted? Just don't. Sure, deep down inside maybe each parent was hoping for one or the other...but that's personal. And you can't change what the baby will be.
"Can I touch your bump?" or just blatant reach for your stomach. Sorry - am I reaching for your boobs? No? Good. Don't touch my stomach.
Also, if you are MALE (especially one with no kids) - here are some of the topics you can completely avoid discussing:
- anything to do with breastfeeding or pumping...ever. Breastfeeding is a private thing and when you decide to talk about it, it can make the woman feel uncomfortable about it.
- jokes about length of time in labor, sorry are you pushing a baby out? No. Then keep your balls quiet.
- asking the woman when she's going to "pop"
- basically anything other than "how are you feeling?" can be taken off the table
Even males with kids...unless your a really close friend or family member -- it's still awkward. So just don't do it.
Do I sound bitter or angry? Meh. You can just say this - after experiencing being pregnant, I have found it appalling what people think it's okay to ask or discuss...or the attempts to touch the bump. I feel like pregnant ladies need to really begin to be more vocal as to how people are treating them. I tried to reply how I could with what was presented to me -- but the truth is, you end up feeling like the jerk.
The truth? If you search for what not to say to a pregnant person, pages and pages of results come up. So it's definitely just me and the ladies who are in my Facebook group...it's a lot of women who are offended and insulted everyday. So the next time you go to open your mouth or serve up an opinion about pregnancy...stop and think how the woman you are saying this to is going to feel.
PS I know this sounds like a rant...and that's because it is. So if you want to engage a pregnant woman in conversation stick to compliments and ask her how she is doing and about the nursery -- and focus on positive things. Here are some examples
This is going to be one lucky kid.
You look amazing.
What can I make [to eat] for you guys?
Can I watch your other kids for a few hours?
You look like you're glowing.
You're going to be a great mom!