What NOT to say to a Pregnant Woman
This one was a very cathartic one to write. Months of stupid, insensitive comments all pent up came flooding out as soon as I touched the keyboard... thank goodness I did this before the birth!
I appreciate that it's tricky knowing how to navigate this topic, and preggo women can be SUPER sensitive, but over the past 9-or-so months I have heard some HOWLERS. There have been times during my pregnancy that I have lost my shit, sometimes with downright offensive comments, sometimes because I spilt some coffee on myself ten minutes before.
A lot of women have contributed some great material to this list, so if you've shared your experience with me lately, see if you can find yours here!
If you don't know what to say to a pregnant friend, or if you have recently offended a pregnant woman, THIS blog post is for YOU. Avoid seriously awkward moments that neither of you will ever forget (for all the wrong reasons!) and avoid all the pitfalls.
And if you're pregnant and have been recently offended by some ignorant ass-hat, feel free to send them this post so they can learn the error of their ways.
Keep in mind, that these are all things that have been said ad verbum to me or women I know, I didn't just make them up.
Fun game: if you know you've offended me at some point, see if you can find your comment on my list!
Don't tell her your traumatic birth story!
This one amazed me. It seemed as though the closer I got to my due date, the more women wanted to tell me about their own birth story and how awful it was. I had to start telling people to keep it to themselves, that I didn't want to know.
Likewise, don't tell me about your friend who "just gave birth" and how badly it went.
Also, don't imply that it was awful, or say things like "you'll see".
"Should you be eating that?" Or any comments about food…
I had one guy at my gym who any time he saw me eating something with sugar would yell across the gym "hey, aren't you supposed to be some kind of nutrition expert or something?! Not setting a very good example are you?" (God, I hope he's reading this).
What can I say? "Thanks, mate, I'm aware of my less than ideal nutritional choice for this meal, and I feel a bit bad about it anyway, especially since I haven't been able to stomach a vegetable for over a week, but thanks for pointing it out AND yelling it in front of all these strangers. I have had a total of about 5 minutes relief from extreme nausea over the past 2 months, but I appreciate your input. I'll try harder next time."
Don't call me that. Don't refer to my weight. Don't imply that I have put on weight or that my body has changed in any way. This is truer in the first and second trimester when a lot of women feel a bit self-conscious and in denial about their body. (For me, I had embraced it by the third, but still didn't appreciate the suggestion that I had put on weight!)
It's crazy how appropriate people think it is to comment on a pregnant woman's body. I most enjoyed the company of friends who ignored the fact I was pregnant, didn't ask me about it right away and didn't immediately make a comment about my body/belly.
"Are you the mother or the grandmother?"
TWO women have told me that they have been asked this. If you see a woman holding a baby, for everyone's safety and dignity, just ASSUME that she is the mother. If you have any doubt whatsoever that she could be either, for the love of god, just assume she is the mother. Worst case scenario you make an old lady's day, but to be asked this when you are a new mother must just be HORRIBLE.
"You won't have time for all this exercise/sleep/work during