This is sort of a follow up to this post, but focuses more what pregnant women do and do not want to have said to them. I know when I was pregnant with the Goober, I had several “Did you really just say that?” moments (and am likely guilty of many myself). *Pregnancy hormones may or may not be involved in the determination of this list…
Do I really need to explain why this one is mildly offensive? It’s really nobody else’s business what goes on in your bedroom (or wherever, lol) and would you really want someone to call your baby a mistake or an oops? My kids will be 23 months apart, and already, barely in my 2nd trimester, I have gotten this question more than I can count.
Commenting on how big or small a woman’s belly is a sensitive matter, pregnant or not. Chances are if her belly is huge, she is probably aware and doesn’t need reminding. If her belly is smaller than the norm (I’m not fully certain there is a norm when it comes to pregnancy, by the way), there can be a lot of insecurity about the baby’s growth and health and congrats, you just rubbed that in. Never compare bellies either. I had a random stranger in Starbucks when I was pregnant with the Goober ask me how far I was along (29 weeks) and proceed to exclaim that she wasn’t as big as I was when she had her baby at 40 weeks. Umm, thanks?
This goes along with the size comments I’m sure, but I have a very vivid memory of unloading groceries from my car and a man walking his dog ask me if I was having twins and then asking me, “Are you sure there is just one in there?” I spent the rest of the day feeling like I was the size of a Mack truck.
This one is just frustrating, because it usually comes from a place of love and an attempt to provide advice or guidance through sharing of experience, but if worded poorly comes across as marginalizing how the pregnant woman is feeling in the moment. Also, for first time moms, some of these stories can be harrowing and slightly traumatizing and cause anxiety where none is warranted.
So now that I’ve run through some of the “What Not to Say”, here’s a list of things that you SHOULD say to a pregnant woman!
Say this instead:
Even if she knows you are lying (and believe me, now as a pregnant mom to a toddler, I know there are people lying to me), it still feels good to hear and can boost spirits that might be lagging a bit in the midst of the hormones, bloating, morning sickness, exhaustion, and variety of other pregnancy symptoms the books never seem to accurately convey.
I don’t really know how to write a paragraph for this one. It seems sort of obvious that in a day and age where soon-to-be parents are inundated with do this, not that (believe me, the irony there is not lost on me), that hearing a simple “You got this. You can do this” can be such a relief.
Again, this one seems obvious. If you are happy for them, tell them! Keep it simple, straightforward and uncomplicated.
This is my alternative to #4 in the ‘Don’t Say’ category. This is a great way to offer advice and a listening ear. It lets the soon-to-be mom that you have experience she might like to learn from, but puts the ball totally in her court and shows that you are willing to be there for her, even if she just wants to talk about everything but baby and pregnancy.by