Step back from the bump. Here’s how to avoid an expectant faux pas
While pregnancy is a truly special time in your life, it is also a time of intense change, emotionally and physically. So it’s understandable that expectant women are a little more sensitive than normal. With that in mind we have compiled a list of things to avoid saying to a pregnant woman. And if you are expecting, and find you’re taken aback by a remark, remember what can seem like an offensive comment is often meant with good intention or in light-hearted jest. Because after all, no one wants to piss off a hormonal pregnant lady.
Asking someone this question is basically like asking someone how many times they had sex last month. Trying to fall pregnant can be an incredibly sensitive issue, so it’s best to hold off the inquisition.
The idea of personal space becomes strangely non-existent during pregnancy. If you are struck by an overwhelming sensation to touch the bump, please don’t, unless you are invited to. Imagine how you would feel if a stranger or even a friend came over and started rubbing your stomach uninvited.
Translation: you look huge! Most pregnant women don’t need a stranger to remind them that they feel enormous, so try a fail-safe ‘You look radiant!’ instead.
Usually a phrase repeated by friends and family with children, uttered with an overly tight smile and a mad glint in their eye. Sleepless nights are an unavoidable fact of having a baby, there’s no need to rub in the fact that lie-ins will no longer be an option.
Trust us, most pregnant women are highly aware of what they should/shouldn’t be putting into their mouths and however well your intentions, you questioning what they are eating and drinking is only going to make them feel annoyed, or upset and second-guessing their judgement. So unless an expectant woman is throwing back shots at the bar, try to leave them to decide their diet for themselves.
Every pregnancy is different, and if a woman is carrying particularly small or large they will most likely be very aware of the fact. Highlighting that the size of their bump is not ‘normal’ will only cause them to worry.
Insomnia is one of the most common side-effects of pregnancy so looking tired is not unusual. Pregnant or not, it’s a comment that no-one ever likes to hear.
This mostly applies to the second or third time around or so on. A comment based on stereotypes that is best to ignore. Gender doesn’t matter – a healthy baby is what’s important.
Not so bad when it is towards the end of a pregnancy (though it is something you will hear a lot) but when you are 22 weeks in and someone says you look like you are about to burst, it’s not the greatest confidence booster in the world.
P.S And never tell horror stories of your own birth experience, you’ll know what we mean when you see the fear in a first-time mother’s eyes when you start talking about a 72-hour labour…
Words by Amanda Woodward-Brown
Image courtesy of Masha Rotar. Follow Masha on Instagram @masha_theone