How (Not) to Talk to a Pregnant Woman
I’m sure you were expecting The Sunday Brunch Buffet, but I’m 39 weeks pregnant today and can’t focus on the internet for one second. If I’m not obsessing over labor (was that the first REAL contraction? What are the signs of labor just-before-labor??) or maniacally cooking everything in sight (and mind), I’m slowly getting baby things ready as though this kid may never come out.
I was hoping to go into labor around 36-37 weeks. I figured this would give me a nice healthy baby who didn’t weigh as much as a baby elephant (I love you, Casper). No go. We’re now at 39 weeks and it might not be so bad if it didn’t feel like the baby were resting between my knees and people on the streets didn’t feel so bold as to speak to me the way they do.
Maybe you’ve never been pregnant. Maybe you’re the type of person who can let insensitive comments slide off them like butter on a hot skillet. Maybe you are that insensitive person on the street. Whoever you are, I’d like to give you some advice on how to talk (or not talk) to a pregnant woman.
1. You’d better be darn sure you’re talking to a pregnant woman if you’re going to comment on her “pregnancy.” She may not just be a lady with a large middle, she may have given birth days or weeks (or years) before, and still have more of a tummy than anything else. It does not make us feel pretty or accomplished or like supermom to have someone assume you are six months pregnant when you are actually six weeks postpartum. I’ve been in these shoes, and I’ll be buying my makeup from a different Clinique counter from now on, thankyouverymuch.
2. Its weird that you want to touch someone’s belly. It’s nice of you to ask though. Some of us don’t mind the touching, but some also need the out. Do you always want to touch it, or just when there’s the chance of feeling a baby move? You know its going to come out right? You can hold it then.
3. Do not comment on size. I can think of no other scenario in which people feel comfortable shouting out how huge/tiny/round/low one of my body parts are. And they shouldn’t feel comfortable in this one either. I certainly don’t. This is very closely related to my next point which is…
4. …do not attempt to guess a due date. You will be wrong. And offensive. Yes, by seven months most women look like they’re going to pop, but guess what. They keep getting bigger. It doesn’t help to hear that she “must be due any day!”
5. Do not tell your horror story. Oh, you were in labor for 36 hours before having an episiotomy/vacuum extraction/c-section? Your back labor had you throwing up for hours before getting an epidural which gave you a piercing migraine? Greeeeat. That’s just what I need to hear.
6. You also don’t need to tell me how busy I’m going to be or how I have my hands full. I’ve probably already had a good pregnant-cry over it in the last 48 hours when my preschooler peed on the floor and my toddler splashed in it like it was God’s greatest spring rain puddle. I KNOW. And I’m coming to terms with it.
7. If I am overdue/putting on a lot of weight/looking really uncomfortable, I am not dying and I don’t want you to look at me that way. Tilting your head to the side and putting on a sympathetic face makes me feel like I should be sympathized with. That means there’s something wrong with me. Did you ever think maybe I don’t feel that way? God gave me this baby and he will send it out when He’s good and ready. I’m trying to have a good attitude and you’re bringing me down. If you can’t be uplifting about my pregnancy then ignore it and talk about the weather. I’ll probably call you later just to chat, because you will be the only person not dragging me into self pity.
Ok, so maybe this list doesn’t cover every pregnant woman’s preference, but let’s be real. This is my blog and I’m going to boss you around in any way that benefits me. Tomorrow we’ll talk about food again, I promise. Also check back on Tuesday for an awesome giveaway opportunity!