What -NOT- to Say To Expectant Mothers!
So, a lesson hard learned over the past few months- Once you make the announcement that you are expecting a child-- People begin to judge you. ENDLESSLY. Friends. Family. Co-Workers. Even complete strangers!
I've always been good at dodging opinions and judgement from others unless I asked for it... Now, people just offer it without filter-- without forewarning, and without prompting of any sort!
Now, I love my friends, family, and even my co-workers (most of them) very dearly. I know many times they're offering to help, trying to prepare you for what lies ahead. But some things, like pregnancy, you just need to experience for yourself. It's different for everyone, even varies by pregnancy.
Things Not To Say To A Pregnant Woman:
#1) "You're SO big already!"
"Oh, how wonderful, you're pregnant! When are you due?"
Tell them expected due date
"Oh MY. You're pretty big already!"
Really? I just experienced that one for the first time about a week ago. Most expectant mothers do worry about weight gain in the back of their minds. Never mind the fact that I've really only gained about 10lbs so far. However, I was actually nicer than I expected I would be to the first person to basically call me fat. Part of it may have been that she was a customer at work. Part of it was shock.
I've heard endless stories of comments and even of complete strangers walking up and touching the baby belly. I believe that is where I will draw the line... I refuse to let some stranger touch my belly. I've actually let very few people touch it to date. There's this thing called personal space... learn it!
Another thing that REALLY bothers me --
# 2) People speaking to me like I'm an idiot:
Yes. Pregnancy does actually decrease your brain size temporarily. You actually DO get slightly dumber while pregnant. I like to call it my "Pregnancy Blonde". However, this doesn't mean that I'm an invalid. Speaking to me in a rude, slow manner when I've already answered your questions in a clear and concise manner is just plain rude. Even my managers don't blame me for retaliating a little bit when spoken to like that.
#3) Pregnancy Horror Stories:
Now, I know being pregnant is no picnic. But when a woman tells you she's expecting her first child-- That is NOT the optimal time to say:
"Oh yeah, my lovely child would grab my spinal cord and I'd collapse on the spot!"
"I had this huge list of complications (Preclampsia, miscarriage, etc) ... But I'm sure you'll be fine!"
"My friend's just gave birth to their daughter, it was a dry birth and she died a few hours later! There was nothing they could have done!"
REALLY? First time moms are scared shitless. I don't care what they say, no matter how happy they seem... You're going to be scared. It's all of these horror stories that perpetuate the pregnancy myths and ever growing list of precautions. Such as "This teeny amount of people had miscarriages that were possibly due to "Blah blah". It's now off limits to all pregnant women in the USA." Some of these, yes... are for good reason. Some of them are common sense. Some are just ridiculous.
When you first become pregnant, they give you a gigantic list of "Don't do these or your baby may die!!" And it's very intimidating! It sort of makes me sad to see women freaking out about that list and adhering strictly to it. But, it also makes me angry when I see a pregnant woman smoking or doing something else that is definitely proven to harm their child. (Parents who impose idiotic lifestyle choices on their children-- such as vegan/vegetarianism).
That's about it so far... By no means am I or the Hubby an experienced parent. And I'm sure he doesn't get quite the list of things that women do. But, keep in mind when speaking to newly expecting parents-- We're already scared and don't know what to expect. Our hormones (The ladies, at least) are raging, and we really can't always think in a realistic manner.
Be nice! We have enough going on already!