It seems nowadays our society has deemed it socially acceptable to say literally anything- regardless if it is appropriate or not- to a pregnant woman. It is almost if as they become public property once that belly starts to show. I am here to put my foot down and say loud and clear PREGNANT PEOPLE HAVE FEELINGS TOO! So without delay, here are the top ten surefire ways to offend a pregnant lady.
Unless you are very close friends and have that type of relationship the “H word” should ALWAYS be avoided. If you ever throw down the twins card, you have crossed into dangerous territory. No women will ever feel glowing after being told essentially that she looks like she has an additional tiny human’s equivalent of fat on her.
2.) Give her unsolicited advice
Seems harmless huh? Well believe it or not you are probably the 5zillionth person to tell her she needs to get her baby on a schedule/feed on demand/co-sleep /never let baby sleep in bed. All that advice is probably making her feel like she looks like she doesn’t know what she is doing. There is a 50% chance she will be planning on doing the opposite of what you suggest anyways. Just let mom find out what is right for her and her baby on their own.
3.) Make her feel guilty or fearful for her birthing choice
If she wants to have a natural birth, good for her! If she wants to have an epidural, good for her! Telling her that her baby is going to drown at her water birth, or that she is not a real woman because she is not experiencing birth naturally is flat out a jerk move. Sure those seem like extreme examples, but even the “are you sure that is a good idea being out of the hospital? or the famous “Just wait until you are actually in labor, you will be begging for drugs!” will not change her mind, and is condescending. Same goes for, “Oh you want an epidural? Aren’t you afraid of having a giant needle shoved into your spine?”. Just let her birth her way, not how you would.
5.) “You’re naming the baby WHAT?!”
I feel like this should be obvious, but since almost everyone I know has experienced this in some variation I will touch on it lightly. Please don’t. Naming a baby is hard. “Aww, that’s nice”, will do just fine.
4.) Tell her your birth horror stories
I could write a whole blog post on this (I plan to) but I will keep it short and sweet. This NEVER does any good. All it does is freak out moms-to-be and cause unnecessary fear leading up to and/or during labor. I get it if you have had a traumatic labor and need to talk through it, but to a pregnant person is not the way.
6.) “You know how babies are made right?”
This may sound cheeky when you say it, but I have never known a woman who has taken this well. What we hear is “Unprotected sex is the only logical reason you would have a baby at this point in your life.” Even if the baby was a surprise it is not humorous to make comments about it.
7.) “Was this planned?”
First off it’s not really your business. Secondly, see #6.
8.) “You are too young/old to have a baby!”
Well it’s happening regardless of what ever society deemed was the appropriate age to reproduce. So please keep this judgment to yourself.
9.)You are going to have her hands full!
This also brings about the feeling, “I look like I don’t know what I am doing.” This statement never makes someone feel better. “I’ve been there, it’s hard, but you will do great.”, will be much better received.
10.) Touch and/or kiss her belly without asking
I know pregnant bellies are magical, beautiful forms that seem to have some strong magnetic force. However, contrary to popular belief, personal boundaries still apply when someone is pregnant. I know it takes every ounce of self control to resist the urge to burst that personal bubble and rub that adorable belly. The struggle is real… but you can do it!
I’m not saying this to make anyone feel guilty. But seriously people, stop and think, “If I was a tired, sore, emotional pregnant person, how would this make me feel?”. Do that and you will change lives… or at least not ruin someone’s day.