So…as I reach the end of my pregnancy, I am reaching my level of tolerance for the comments that I hear on a daily basis. Most of the time, people are genuinely happy and sweet with their words, but you’d be surprised how often I have encountered less than stellar words from people…which leads me to this post, here are just my personal thoughts on what you can and can’t say to a pregnant women:
(by the way, this picture below is me yesterday…showing off the bump and proud!)
“Wow, you’re stomach is really small”-
Ummmm, a small belly is not necessary a good thing when you’re pregnant. I personally felt really protective when people used to tell me I was really small…because when you’re pregnant, you want to know your baby is growing and getting big. It’s better to mention how beautiful the belly is and never comment on the size.
“Wow, you’re huge!”-
Ugh, this is one of my least favorite things to hear…If you say this to me, expect a fake smile and a heavily dosed sarcastic response somewhere along the lines of “yeah, that’s what happens when you’re pregnant”. Again, stay away from mentioning the size of a woman’s belly.
“Enjoy the last days of your freedom”-
I hate hearing this…like I have just sentenced myself to prison when in fact, this was a decision we made as adults and we willingly put ourselves in a position where our life would change…and we’re excited for it. Yes, things won’t ever be the same, but we have had a wonderful first chapter and we’re excited for the next one.
“You’re planning on breastfeeding, right?”-
This question is only acceptable when it’s not implied and when it’s not coming from a stranger. I 100% believe that every woman should feel free to do as they feel is best for themselves and their baby. Some women can’t breastfeed or don’t want to and that’s okay. It’s not for anyone to chose for them. I am planning on breastfeeding but I do feel defensive when I’m asked about it as if that’s the ONLY way to do things. It’s not your business and it’s definitely not your place to tell any woman what/how they should care for their baby.
“I can’t believe you’re working out/bike riding/walking in heels/carrying groceries/dancing/etc…you need to be more careful.”-
Here’s a news flash, pregnant women are not fragile. The female body is amazingly strong and yes, I do feel a little more winded than I did prior to being pregnant, but I certainly don’t feel fragile or weak. I trust myself, my body and my baby…and I have common sense. If I feel that something is not possible for me to do or it causes me any pain, then I don’t do it. I’m a big girl…I know my limits so please don’t tell me what I can and can’t do.
“Aren’t you scared?!”-
This is such a loaded question. When I tell people “no”, they immediately tell me why I should be. I feel like there is such a weird fixation with today’s society and labor horror stories. It’s kind of gross and definitely not appropriate to bring up to a pregnant woman. So instead of going down that road, better to say “women are truly amazing to be able to handle something so incredible as childbirth”…that’s bound to get you a better response ;)
And my least favorite thing comes from other parents…usually from parents of not well behaved children:
“This is what you have to look forward to”-
This sentence usually comes when a parent has their hands full with a loud, crying, screaming child. Then they’ll see me and my belly and say that line. I bite my tongue because what I would like to say is “just because you can’t raise a well behaved child doesn’t mean I can’t”. Guess it’s true, misery does love company…but I’m too busy keeping company with blissfully happy to accept that invitation.
So here’s looking forward to less of the above and more of the following:
“You look great!”
“You’re glowing and your belly looks beautiful!”
“You must be so excited!”
“Your life is going to change in a wonderful way!”
“Babies are amazing!”