When I was pregnant with my first baby, I was surprised to find that (at least to some people), social and cultural rules I thought were pretty well established somehow didn't apply to pregnant women. Pregnancy is such an emotional time, but also such a special and wonderful time. I love being pregnant, and I especially love babies. I have been surprised at the negativity expressed to and expected from pregnant women. Words are powerful! A thoughtless comment from a stranger can make me feel embarrassed or self-conscious, while a kind and generous comment can really make me feel wonderful.
I've created a list of do's and don'ts when talking to a pregnant woman from my personal experience. I'd love to hear your thoughts as well!
|In labor with a 9lb baby (I can see why everyone thought it was twins!)|
- Don't ask if she's having twins. Twins are not that common, and if she is having twins, she'll tell you.
- Don't try to think of a joke. There just isn't a good joke to tell a pregnant woman. (e.g. say she's looking "swell," "well round-ed," etc.)
- Don't be or act surprised when you learn her due date.
- Don't tell her she has a long time to go until her due date.
- Don't tell her she looks uncomfortable.
- Don't tell her she's about to pop. Avoid the word "pop" generally.
- Don't tell her there's a doctor on hand when she walks into a public place.
- Don't be surprised when she says she's feeling well.
- Don't ever tell anything negative about your birth experience. If you had a bad experience and you're asked about it, think of something positive to say about it.
- Don't tell her anything negative about either gender (which is harder, easier, etc).
- Don't guess at a due date, gender, or anything else.
- Don't touch her stomach unless you are so close you would be touching her stomach if she weren't pregnant.
|After a jab from my dad about my growing tummy, I responded by pulling out the measuring tape. We were both pretty surprised to find out we were about exactly the same size (although he was slightly bigger).|
- Be very excited for her.
- Tell her she looks beautiful. Because she does; she's pregnant!
- Ask her how she's feeling.
- Express sympathy if she's feeling sick or fatigue.
- Tell her her due date is soon. If it's not soon, tell her it will be there before she knows it or it will come up really fast.
- Be excited to hear if she's having a boy or a girl; both are exciting and wonderful options!
- Offer to help (babysit, clean house, etc) before or after the baby is born.
- Give presents :)
- Be very respectful of any choice about the birth- natural, epidural, hospital, home, etc.
What has your experience been? What have you learned from talking to or being a pregnant woman?