It seems these days that as soon as you fall pregnant it’s everybody’s business. What with Kim Kardashian being likened to a whale and Kate Middleton called ‘too thin’ to carry a child, I doubt I could stand the judgement, nosy questions and constant spotlight on the size of my belly that would take place if I were pregnant. Yes, I do realise that I’m not famous, but instead of the paparazzi being responsible for these actions, I’d be more worried about friends, family, acquaintances or worse… strangers in supermarkets.
We’ve got a couple of pregnant women in the office and there’ve been a few occasions where people have unknowingly upset or irritated them by the things they’ve said. So to ensure you don’t make the same unwitting mistake the next time you see a pregnant woman, we asked our members to give us a list of the things that people said and did that made them most peeved when they were pregnant…
DON’T say dumb things
This may come as a shock to you but if you know somebody is pregnant, chances are they know it, too – and have a pretty good idea what it’ll entail. There’s no need to make comments like, “you have no idea how much your life is going to change”, or “was it planned?” because majority of the time they have thought about it, did plan the pregnancy (crazy cats), and are fully aware of its impacts. Likewise, asking questions like, “should you be eating that?” or simply shaking your head and frowning as they drink their cup of coffee is a no go. It’s not your body or your baby that they’re carrying, so what they choose to eat or drink is their decision.
DO respect her privacy
“Oh yeah I love talking about my stretch marks, cellulite and sex drive!” said no pregnant woman, ever. To be honest, this one probably wouldn’t bother me so much, but most women prefer to keep private details private, and just because you know (or think you know) that their body is changing, doesn’t mean you have the right to ask about it. A good way to check whether you’re over stepping the boundaries is to think, “would I be asking if she’s still having regular sex if she wasn’t pregnant?” If the answer is no, keep your question to yourself.
DON’T touch her belly (without asking)
Apparently the belly bulge is sometimes a tad too tempting for people to touch – even if they don’t know its owner. Imagine standing in line at the deli, waiting patiently for your antipasto mix, when a hand sneaks up and starts caressing your stomach. Oh and now this ‘kind’ stranger is making ‘coochie coo’ noises to it too. Awesome. But in all seriousness, touching a pregnant woman’s stomach is invasive, so if you don’t know them, don’t do it – and if you do know them it’s always good manners to ask first.
DO be considerate
Yes I know, you’ve had a long day at work, your feet are sore and there’s no way in hell you’re giving your seat up for anyone! But try adding ten kilos, an aching back and swollen ankles to that. Yep, the signs on public transport aren’t just there for decoration; if you see a pregnant woman, do kindly offer your seat. The worst that could happen is she says no, which is a lot better than if you don’t offer and she ‘accidently’ hits you in the head with her handbag.
DON’T comment on her size
No matter how excited, happy and high-pitched you say it, the words, “oh my god, look how huge you are!” may not be taken as quite the compliment. Pregnant woman are obviously going to get bigger, but just the same as you’re worried whether that snickers you ate earlier is going to show up on in your thighs next week, they’re also worried about excess baby weight. Not to mention the fear of how much it’ll hurt if their baby’s head is in fact the size of a basketball. The same goes if you think they’re smaller than they should be. While, “wow you’re looking so slim!” is usually a phrase every woman is dying to hear, saying it to a pregnant woman can worry her and make her think her baby isn’t growing properly. So what can you say? We reckon, “oh my god you look a-MAZING” generally gets good results!
What are some things you should NEVER say to a pregnant woman? What annoyed you while you were pregnant?