Being 39 weeks pregnant, I thought I would help out all the non-pregnant people who may have to deal with a hormonal incubator AKA pregnant lady.
Don’t Say “You’re Huge” or “You don’t look pregnant”
Weight is a hot button issue for many women. It doesn’t matter what size they are or how great they look to others, weight is something women do not want pointed out to them. It’s rude. It’s one of the rules of etiquette that will never become antiquated. Don’t bring up someone’s weight! Don’t do it! I’ve been hearing “You don’t look pregnant” all pregnancy. Even when I was seven months pregnant I heard, “I didn’t even realize you were pregnant.” Wow.
Do Say “You look cute!”
Pregnancy should be a time when a woman only hears, “You’re so cute pregnant!” I think “cute” is best because no pregnant lady feels “beautiful” or “pretty.” “Glowing” conjures up images of sweating, since so many women refer to “sweating” as “glowing,” so that one should be out. Where did that even come from?
Do Think About What You’re Saying
The Awkward List had a post about what to say to someone who announces a pregnancy. I thought about commenting on the post, but decided to incorporate it into my list. If the person is in a commited relationship or it’s common knowledge they want a baby, “Congratulations!” is your best bet. If you don’t know the relationship status or the person’s attitude towards parenthood, “When did you find out?”, “How are you feeling?”, and “How far along are you?” are all good choices. These phrases focus on the mother and her feelings.
Don’t Share A Previously Unknown Inability to Conceive
Even more awkward than not knowing what to say when learning of a new pregnancy, announcing your pregnancy and finding out that someone has been unable to conceive. Especially for Hunny and me. We were not trying to have a baby. We had been using FAM effectively and then out of nowhere, I took a pregnancy test that became positive in seconds. Seriously. The box said it would take five minutes and I saw the line appear almost instantly. Telling a newly pregnant person that you have had trouble becoming pregnant is not a good idea. At least not right when they share the news. I’ve been trying to think of a similar situation for those who haven’t experienced this could relate to, but there isn’t one. It’s not like when you get accepted to the college of your choice and your friend didn’t because you don’t apply to get pregnant. It’s not like buying a car or a home and your friend hasn’t been able to save up money to do those things because you can’t save up something to get pregnant. A woman can do all the right things and be the perfect candidate for pregnancy and not get pregnant. Then someone conceives at a drunken party and gets on a reality show on MTV. It’s crazy.
Don’t Give Her What to Expect When Expecting
My mother-in-law got this book for me. It was meant as a thoughtful gesture and that is how I took it. However, do not get this book for a pregnant lady and if a pregnant lady tells you she’s thinking about getting this book, don’t let her!!! It’s full of what can go wrong in a pregnancy and delivery and pregnant ladies can’t take Zoloft or Ativan to keep them from having a melt down about the possiblity of having complications.
A much better book that is positive about childbirth is Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. A friend got it for me two weeks ago and it made me feel much more confident about going into labor.
When my mom was pregnant with me, she watched a news special about regular sized people giving birth to little people and was convinced and heartbroken that her child would be a little person. I’m 5′ 5″ or 5′ 9″ depending on the shoes I’m wearing. My dad wouldn’t let her watch another medical show for the rest of her pregnancy. I broke down in the waiting area when the nurse gave me the information on genetic testing. I prayed that God wouldn’t give me a special needs child, but then promised to take good care of the child if it were special needs. Of course, I didn’t get the testing and the ultrasounds show a normal, healthy baby. But still. Swirling hormones plus the suggestion of harm equal an inconsolable mess.
Do Ask Permission Before Touching The Bump
I am immensly thankful that no strangers have attempted to touch my stomach. I’ve heard horror stories of women in stores being harrassed by overly zealous strangers. Even my close freinds have all asked me before they touch my stomach, and I am forever grateful. I have the best family and friends in the world, though…
Don’t Ask “What Day is the Baby Coming?”
My dad has been asking me what day the doctor thinks the baby is coming for a couple months now. I’m not having a C-section, so they don’t know. Now when he asks, I give him the same answer, “Any day now.” You may know someone who is having a scheduled C-section and if they know when the baby will be born, it is definitely appropriate to ask. Otherwise, don’t stress out the pregnant lady. She wishes she knew when the baby was coming.
Do Have a Sense of Humor
This goes for the pregnant ladies out there, too! Yes, being pregnant is exhausting and hard, but it only lasts 40-42 weeks. That’s not very long in the grand scheme of things. The giraffee, one of my favorite animals, is pregnant for over a year (400-460 days)! You have to overlook a pregnant lady’s mood swings. She isn’t being mean on purpose. Don’t forget to be extra nice towards the end… It’s really uncomfortable to barely be able to walk, breathe, sit, stand, sleep, and do all those things normal and healthy people take for granted.
I hope this helps you the next time you interact with a pregnant lady.