“Each month has an average of 30-31 days…except the last month of pregnancy which has 1,453 days.” -E cards
One of my best girlfriends is due any day now and we recently got to talking about the hysterical, sometimes horrific, things people say to pregnant women. We decided, and I think most pregnant women would agree with us, there is an epidemic that needs to be corrected. I experienced the audacity and bluntness during both of my pregnancies and I feel like I finally have the opportunity to explain the top 10 things you should never say to a pregnant woman.
- “Oh my gosh you are so HUGE/BIG/Much bigger than last time!!” Try re-phrasing this to “you look beautiful/amazing/could barely tell you were pregnant. And you can stay away from the whole “your skin is glowing” phrase because what we really think you are telling us is that we look sweaty, which is true, our hormones are a furnace that are literally cooking up a baby, so you don’t need to point out the elephant in the room, that is just annoying!
- “WOW, you are really going to have your hands full!” Thanks Captain Obvious, I didn’t already think of that myself. Try re-phrasing it to “It will be so great that your kids will be so close in age they can be playmates” or “full hands, but fuller heart.”
- “Pregnant all during the hot summer?!? You really didn’t time that one right!!” Actually, some people just want to have a baby, no matter the season, so you don’t need to tell me it was poor timing, it was actually God’s perfect timing! But I do thank you for reminding me how hot it is outside and how hot my body gets while baking up a baby. Try re-phrasing it to “you must love going swimming this time of year.” or “you are handling pregnancy during the summer so flawlessly”.
- “I know what you’ve been doing!” Can we just say gross? Come on, really? I am not going to re-phrase this one in any way because it is completely inappropriate.
- “Oh, another boy (or another girl)? I guess you will have to try again.” No, some people do not feel the need to keep trying to have more children just so they can have both a boy and a girl. Some just feel blessed enough to have happy, healthy children. I will not re-phrase this one either.
- “You must be due any day now.” or “You look like you are ready to pop.” You have no idea when a complete stranger is due so please do not assume you can tell by her stomach when she is going to have the baby. Try re-phrasing to “You look great, when are you due?”
- “You probably shouldn’t eat that/drink that/lift that/wear that/smell that…” Listen, most women are being seen regularly by a doctor or midwife of some kind and have probably read at least one pregnancy book, we know what we should and should not be doing. If we want to have a cup of coffee, do not judge. If I sneak some sushi do not give me the dirty eye. If you see me lifting my 25 pound son at 40 weeks pregnant, do not tell me he is too heavy and I should not be doing that. We do what we gotta do when we gotta do it, so let us be.
- “I bet that wasn’t planned.” or “That was poor planning.” I actually didn’t ask for your advice on the planning of my pregnancy so please do not feel the need to share it with me. Thanks.
- “Are you having twins?” or “Are there twins in there?” Chances are, it is not twins, so saying this is NOT going to make me feel any better about the fact that I already feel huge. So unless I tell you I am having twins, do not ask me.
- “Don’t worry you will bounce right back.” or “You will loose the weight/get back in the swing of things in no time.” Please, do not make statements that might have been true for you because they may not be true for someone else. When I don’t “bounce back” right away I don’t want to think there is something wrong with me. I am glad you are an optimist, but loosing the baby weight or getting back to “normal” life after birth with no maid, no personal trainer, no chef and no nanny is going to take a long time if it ever happens at all.
To all the mama’s out there, I hope you can share this with that “friend” who just doesn’t quite get it. People, you have to realize that we cease to be a regular human adult once we are pregnant. We can not feed or dress ourselves without a comment, at no other time is an adult’s personal hygiene open for comment; hair dye, hair spray, deodorant chemicals, dangerous shoes, dental office fluoride, basic medicines, food choices, etc…It is so weird and then you discover it never ends! You always belong to the creatures you carried. It is a total loss of autonomy. After two years of wearing maternity clothes, you consider a new plan while you are eating cheerios off the floor…then opt for new sweats and sleep. Being pregnant is just the beginning of THE hardest job in the world, so please do us moms all a favor and think before you speak, that is all we ask of you. Thank you in advance.
*Photo’s by the amazing Lindsey Gage