I speak from experience on the topic of things to not say to a pregnant woman.
Surprisingly, pregnancy for some reason, screams to other people: topic of conversation.
Let me just say that if you’ve ever been pregnant before, you know full well to not say anything to a woman clearly baring children unless it’s something like, how long do you have left? Pregnancy, for some women, is flower petals and rainbows – but if you’re anything like me, on bed rest at 35 weeks… You essentially want to assault anyone saying those typical bystander things. I took a little survey of things pregnant women wish other people would shut the hell up about, and I added a few of my own… So without further ado, here’s my list of shit to not say to pregnant women:
- Pregnancy does not mean incompetency. I mean this in a sense of, unless a pregnant woman asks you to help with something, or acknowledges she cannot do said action alone: typically this means, don’t say things like “You’re pregnant, let me do it.” Pregnancy doesn’t mean we lost our ability to be functioning human beings. We aren’t weak. We know what we’re able to carry, and unless our doctor tells us not to, were going to continue our daily routines as normal.
- We are aware of what we’re eating and we like it that way. I have Crohn’s disease, and I am a different human in the sense of pregnancy, but I have experienced remission with both of my children. This means, my ability to eat what I want is now available to me. After years of not being able to eat this, or that, I am going to eat whatever the hell I want. We understand that it’s good to eat healthy, but for the most part, women like myself experience a sense of craving for very unique, usually unhealthy things. (With my daughter, it was snickers, mountain dew, and macaroni and cheese. With my son, blue Powerade, blue raspberry slushies from Sonic, and a specific Mexican restaurant.) I keep myself hydrated, I eat suggested amounts of fruit and vegetables, but I also have no problem giving into my cravings. That being said, do not say things to a pregnant woman like, “should you be eating that?” The answer is probably not. However, again – unless our doctor tells us not to, we are going to do it. Do not comment on how much weight we’ve gained as you ask us whether or not we should be eating something, because odds are, the response you receive in return will 10/10 be a bad one. We know how much weight we’ve gained. We step on a scale every month. You don’t have to tell us. In fact, please just fucking don’t.
- Don‘t address our belly. Don’t say things to us like, wow, you’re all belly. Because odds are, we’ve noticed we aren’t just all belly and the constant reminder that it looks like we aren’t gaining weight is annoying. Don’t say things like, wow, you look like you’re about to pop. If we look like this, enough for you to open your mouth and say something, odds are, we already know. (And at that point, we’re probably already over being pregnant.) If we’re swollen, don’t point it out. When it comes to a woman’s appearance while pregnant, unless you want to call us a beautiful glowing goddess, just don’t say anything.
- Our hormones are not the reason why we commit to certain actions. Hormones don’t alter everything, contrary to popular belief. The only thing my hormones have an effect on at 35 weeks pregnant, is my amount of crying. (Usually at sad movies, babies, or sometimes I will cry over not getting whatever weird shit I’m craving.) They don’t affect my attitude, they don’t alter my ability to make decisions, so quit blaming my actions on being pregnant and having hormones. Sure, I have pregnancy brain, I’m forgetful, but I’m not a bitch because of my hormones. I’m a bitch quite simply because that’s just who I am as a person. (Sorry not sorry.)
- Women in the first trimester who are still stuck to bad habits (smoking, caffeine, etc. Not hard drugs.) If people know you’re pregnant and see you’re smoking, someone always says something. Granted, I do not condone smoking while pregnant if you can help it, but being that I was a smoker, my OB specifically told me to not quit cold turkey, as it is proven to cause stress on the baby in the first trimester. Sometimes, these habits are hard to break, and if we are still in our first trimester, odds are our bodies are going through an abundance of changes and we are trying our best – back off, would ya? We’ll get there.
- Whether this is your first child, or your 4th, for some reason, in the third trimester, people assume it’s fair game to verbally assault you. Stop that, Susan, we take enough shit from our utero companion beating the hell out of us. We don’t need your two cents. “You look like you’re exhausted!” Yes, Becky, it’s because I am. Because growing a human is not easy. Because my body hurts. I’m eight months pregnant with a toddler. Of course I’m exhausted. Thank you for pointing it out. “Have you had your baby yet?” No, but when I did, you’ll see it on Facebook or something… leave me alone. I don’t have time for your shit.
My advice, if you are questioning whether something you are saying is feasible to say: odds are, it’s not.
Mind you, we may not let our hormones control us, but part of being pregnant there’s a time when we lose our filters due to pure exhaustion… This means you may end up getting told to shut up. Not our problem.
Growing a human is hard work, but, slapping someone for over stepping their boundaries with word vomit? Not hard. Don’t test us.