Monday, 24 July 2017

Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

When you are pregnant you experience a number of side effects, one of which is the sudden need everyone around you has to offer their input. Well meaning comments and questions can come across as quite personal and sometimes even rude! Please for the love of God, do not say any of the following to any pregnant women...ever...

Don't ask her if the pregnancy was planned
This is just such a rude thing to ask someone! It doesn't really matter how the pregnancy came about and it's really not anyone's business outside of the people that made the baby. Keep to 'congratulations' when someone shares their good news. 

Don't say it's 'about time'
Again, it's only the business of those involved in making the baby. You don't know what someone has gone through to get pregnant or their reasons for waiting until later. It's a very personal thing and it's not a matter of 'keeping people waiting'.

Don't share your birth horror stories
She knows the end game, she knows how the baby needs to come out. She does not need you scaring her with tales of your horrific birth experience, or how your friend did something really embarrassing during labour. Unless she specifically requests the gory details, please don't share.

Don't tell her she looks huge
Under any other circumstances you wouldn't tell someone that they look huge, so why think it's any different just because they are pregnant? Towards the end of my pregnancy I felt like Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka. I did not need this pointing out to me in any way. Even if you think she looks huge, do her a favour and don't say it out loud. Just tell her she looks great and make her feel a bit better, even if she knows you're saying it to be nice. And definitely don't ask her if she is sure it's not twins.

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Don't tell her she looks small
Whilst we are talking about judging her on her size, don't imply that she is not having a healthy pregnancy because she's small. Every pregnancy is different, every woman is different and not everyone looks the same when pregnant. If there are any concerns about her or the baby, that is between her and her Midwife, it's not your place to judge.

Don't pass judgement on her choice of baby name

If she shares her baby name choice (or choices) with you, do not air your views on that name. She really does not want to hear that you knew someone with the same name once who was a complete dick. She doesn't want to hear what you think the other kids will call them in the playground. Her and her partner have chosen that name for their own reasons and even if it's not to your taste, it is to hers.

Don't ask her how she is going to feed her baby
Unless she has offered the information herself, don't ask her whether she is going to breast feed or formula feed. There is enough pressure on women regarding this and again it is not really your place to ask. Why do you need to know how she is going to feed her baby?

Don't question her if she has a coffee, or give your opinion on what she is eating/drinking in general
Most pregnant women have scrutinised all of the advice regarding what they can and can't eat or drink and she will be making informed decisions. I had the odd coffee later on in my pregnancy and it was well within NHS guidelines for caffeine consumption, other people choose to not have any caffeine. I read a terrible story on social media recently where a barista queried a pregnant woman's order and said 'do you mean decaf?' and when the woman said no, gave her decaf anyway! It's not up to you to police what a pregnant woman eats or drinks.

Don't tell her to 'sleep while she can'
The last time I checked, you can't bank sleep. If you could I would be still in credit from my teenage years. And also it's not really headline news for anyone that newborns don't sleep through the night, the parents to be already know it.

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Don't ask her if there is 'any news' as her due date approaches
I went two weeks over my due date and by the time I reached that stage I wanted to kill most people, especially the ones that asked me if there was 'any news'. And definitely don't express that you feel impatient or suggest she is 'keeping you waiting'. At the end of a pregnancy you are tired, nervous and excited and you are desperate to get the baby out and at the same time you want the baby to stay in forever. The last thing you need is being asked if the baby has arrived, people will know when they know.

What comments drove you mad when you were pregnant?

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