People seem to have a lot of interesting, free-flowing opinions when you are pregnant.
Once you start telling people you are pregnant, basic human etiquette seems to go out the window. Women start giving you unsolicited advice. Your food and lifestyle habits are questioned. And people also start blurting out things that you would never say to a non-pregnant person. I don’t know where this feeling of “I can say anything to her now that she is pregnant” comes from, but lets clear things up.
My Top 5 Things to Stop Saying and Doing to a Pregnant Woman
- Touching the belly: I really didn’t think this needed to be said but apparently it does happen, and it happens often. Unless the women tells you to come feel, don’t ask to touch! Would you touch a non-pregnant women belly? No! So don’t just run up with outstretched hands, it’s uncomfortable. Even more uncomfortable is having to make up an excuse to say no to someone asking you to touch.
- Ask if she is pregnant: Again, I didn’t think people actually did this until I got pregnant. Unless she has explicitly told you she is pregnant, you play dumb and say nothing. This is wrong for several reasons: (1) What if she isn’t pregnant… Awkward! (2) What if she just miscarried but is still showing? (3) What if she already delivered and is just still carrying the pregnancy weight? and lastly, (4) It can be difficult for a pregnant woman to deal with the changes her body is going through. If she is concerned about the changes and you point them out to her, she is only going to feel badly about herself.
- Unsolicited Advice: Now advice can actually be a good thing, especially for new moms. If you are having a conversation about the upcoming changes, feel free to tell her how you handled that particular situation. Outside of this, keep it to yourself. Every mom is different and has their own way of handling things. If she wants your input, she will ask.
- Perfect Mommy Critiques: This takes “advice” to a mean level. Don’t question her diet, lifestyle, or habits. Don’t ask if she has asked her doctor if it was ok for her to eat a certain food. Never tell her you never did this or that during pregnancy and neither should she. Don’t act shocked that she would continue to work out a lot or not at all. Don’t judge her non-organic food choices. Just don’t be a mean person! You weren’t perfect during your pregnancy, and even if you were, who cares! Americans are way to extreme. There are different cultures out there that have different rules and expectations during pregnancy. Your opinion isn’t how she has to live her life. She has her own doctor and they can discuss recommendations and what is a no-no.
- Discuss her weight gain: Again, who does this?! Well, a lot of people do, actually. Sometimes I find women are just curious about expected weight gain. Other times, people are just being jerks. The weight gained during pregnancy is between her and her doctor. Don’t ask and don’t imply anything about her weight.