I saw this article online and loved it. I think every pregnant woman out there should distribute it amongst anyone that talks to her. Some of it doesn’t apply to me or doesn’t bug me, but some of them ring SO true!
Random belly touching = NO. Would you like it if a colleague or acquaintance started rubbing your stomach with no warning? Yeah, thought so. If you really want to touch her belly, ask the pregnant woman first – and be prepared for her to say no or rub your stomach in return.
–> actually this doesn’t worry me too much. People are just excited/being nice.. I figure if it doesn’t hurt me, why put up a fuss?
Genuine compliments = YES. Every woman likes to hear that she’s looking pretty, and women who aren’t necessarily feeling so great/attractive would like to hear it even more. If she’s looking especially good, tell her so!
–> it’s a real wake-up call when admiring glances from strangers give way to “oh, she’s pregnant” glances once you’re pregnant. To be honest, you feel a bit like you’ve lost a whole identity and gained a whole new one. Chris does a fab job of still making me feel beautiful, but yes, compliments do go a long way :)
Implying she’s fat = NO. Chuckling “Sure you’re not having twins?” is not funny. Her doctor will tell her if she’s putting on too much weight or if her baby is exceptionally large. Chances are, you’re not her doctor, so keep your mouth shut.
–> really hate this when people comment “oh you’re giant”, “you sure you’re not due this week?” etc etc, even when they think they’re being reaaaallyyyyy funny. It’s not actually funny, it’s RUDE. I never comment on people’s weight, I don’t see why people should comment on mine, regardless if I’m pregnant or not.
Telling her she looks tired = NO. If a pregnant woman looks tired she probably is tired, so there’s really no need to point it out, Captain Obvious.
–> fortunately haven’t had anyone say this to me (yet), but I would regard it in the same category as the one above.
Telling scary birth stories = NO. Know a woman who had the worst labour in history? Keep it to yourself. Of course, if the mum-to-be wants honesty about your own birth experiences, tell her the truth – but unsolicited birth stories should never be shared.
–> heh I don’t mind this. I’m morbid!
Giving her your queue space = YES. Public toilet lines and peeing every five seconds while you’re pregnant can be a bad mix, so if you’re a woman and see a mum-to-be in the toilet line behind you, be kind and let her in front of you.
–> I’ll be frank, I do judge people that look at my belly, then still refuse to let me ahead of them, giving me a blank stare instead. I immediately think they’re self-focused, rude, and in need a bit of a slap. Perhaps they’re not, but that’s the impression they give me!
Giving up your seat = YES. It’s so simple but clearly very hard for people to remember: it is just good manners to give up your seat on public transport for a tired, hot and uncomfortable pregnant woman. There’s no harm in just asking her if she wants it!
–> needless to say this is true. Same comment from me as the ‘queue’ one above!
Talking about her breast growth = NO. You wouldn’t have brought up your colleague’s/neighbour’s/cousin’s/client’s breast size with them before they were pregnant, so what’s changed? Larger boobs are a pregnancy fact: accept it and move on without staring.
–> I discuss this in-person and in private with friends, but get a bit miffed when people mention it publicly. It’s WEIRD. And creepy.
Telling her what to do = NO. It’s her body and her baby: if she wants a Diet Coke or five biscuits in a row, it’s up to her. Of course there are health guidelines but ultimately it’s the mum-to-be who chooses what she wants to do!
–> one of my biggest gripes. I hate the phrase “You should/shouldn’t”. If you’re not my husband, you’re not allowed to tell me what to do, thanks!
Acting like an expert = NO. “You’ve got ages to go, you haven’t dropped yet.” “Your baby is obviously breech, you’ll need a caesarean.” Mind if we see your obstetric or midwife credentials before we even consider listening to you?
–> no one’s said stuff like that to me yet.. but yes, I can see why that would be a little mystifying ;)
Pampering her = YES. Not every pregnant woman enjoys a massage, but there are lots of other kind things you can do to pamper her. If she’s your partner, even rubbing her feet or shoulders at the end of the day can be heaven.
–> OMG YES YES YES…… Coming out to meet me (even if you’re only a few blocks away), helping me flag a taxi first, warning me of any irregular ground/steps coming up, making sure I always have a glass of water to drink, etc, makes a HUGE difference for me. I do notice and truly appreciate small actions like that :)