Are friends, relatives, coworkers, and even strangers on the street getting all up in your business now you’re pregnant? Pregnancy seems to inspire an array of unsolicited, and often quite tactless, comments from friends, family, and even people you’ve never met before. Just in case anyone you know (or don’t know) needs a friendly reminder of appropriate pregnancy etiquette, here’s a list of the top 10 things you shouldn’t say to a pregnant woman.
1. Was it planned? Planned or not, she’s sharing her exciting news, so be happy for her. Aside from being rude, questioning her decision to have a baby is none of your business. So stick a smile on your face and let only words of congratulations come out of your mouth.
2. Are you sure you’re not having twins? You’ve basically just called her fat! The fact is, some women’s pregnant tummies are huge, while others carry really small. And if she is carrying a little extra weight, she’s probably feeling super-sensitive about it and doesn’t need it pointed out to her.
3. Did you take fertility drugs? Getting pregnant isn’t easy for everyone. The emotional and financial struggle many people go through to have a baby is exhausting and disheartening. Be mindful and avoid intruding on her joy.
4. Can I touch your tummy? Awkward! Since when did it become appropriate to rub anyone’s tummy? If she wants you to feel her baby kicking, she’ll invite you to feel it. Don’t put her in an uncomfortable position by asking her, and certainly don’t touch without her consent.
5. Have you thought of a name? Here’s the thing – everyone has an opinion on names. When we think of a name, we usually picture someone we know who shares that name. Chances are she’s not going to want to subject herself to your opinions on any names she may be considering.
6. You’re breastfeeding, right? Pregnant women are usually well aware of the pros and cons of infant nutrition. Some simply can’t breastfeed or decide not to. However she chooses to feed her baby, support her choice and respect her decision on this.
7. It’s about time! For many women, building a career, travelling, or relishing time spent with their partner are more meaningful and important than immediately starting a family. When it does happen, it’s the right time for them.
8. Should you be eating that? One of the first things she’s made aware of by her lead maternity carer or midwife is the list of foods to avoid during pregnancy. If she chooses to have a once-a-day coffee or a bite of sushi, she doesn’t need you playing pregnancy police.
9. Will you have more kids? The reply to this question could vary depending on just how far into her pregnancy she is! Either way, she’ll probably want to get through this pregnancy first before she starts planning the next one, so don’t pressure her.
10. Are you going to deliver naturally? “Natural” means different things to different people. And sometimes even the best-made plans go awry, which is often the case in childbirth. Whatever happens, she’ll value your encouragement more than your disapproval or judgement. After all, the end result of a healthy baby and healthy mummy are the most important factor!
photo credit for this article Shannon McIntyre at Little Life Studio: https://www.facebook.com/littlelifestudioNZ