I'm not the only one who believes there should be rules for talking to a pregnant woman about her body, right? And rule numero uno should be: don't. Seriously, just don't do it. Don't tell a pregnant person she's "all belly" or "about to pop." Please resist that urge to touch her without her permission. And by all means, don't tell her she's definitely having a boy or girl. When randos predict the sex of her baby, I guarantee that soon-to-be mom is having some choice thoughts that would leave any intrusive stranger second guessing every life decision they've ever made.
When I was eight months along and massively pregnant, I went to a dear friend's wedding. While getting a pedicure on the toes I could no longer see, my nail technician informed me that I was having a boy. Also, she said she's never wrong. Interesting, since my midwife told me we were having a girl. Another guest took one look at me and remarked, "I carried just like that and had all boys, so I don't know what to tell you." You don't know what to tell me? How about keeping your mouth shut, then? It was all I could do not to give her a big old, Trump-style, "Wrong!"
Considering the total mindf*ck a gratuitous prediction does on a mom, I think minding one's own business is the better part of valor. So, if you're thinking of walking up to some unsuspecting pregnant woman you do not know, take a second to think before you speak. Better yet, consider the following thoughts she'll probably have if you do make some random prediction, and don't say anything at all.
"You Don't Know"
That's cute how you think you know more than a trained ultrasound technician. I don't care what kind of voodoo you do, even a sonogram isn't 100 percent reliable. Also, I'm not telling you if I'm craving sweet or salty foods or whether I sleep on my left or right side because I don't think it means anything.
"That's Very Binary Of You"
OK, so maybe not every mom is thinking this, but I definitely am. The categories of male and female do not encompass the lived experiences of all people. 1.7 percent of human births are intersex. The boy/girl binary also fails to represent a variety of gender identities and expressions. The only person who knows someone's gender is the individual themselves. To the random person on the street, I'll thank you kindly not to put limitations or gendered expectations on my unborn child.
"I Don't Actually Care"
Sorry, but your opinion is no good here. Not only do I not care what you think, I don't care what the sex of the baby is. I'm not saying that gender disappointment isn't a thing, but at the end of the day, most of us are happy with ten fingers and ten toes. As long as it's not an apatosaurus, I think I'm good.
"Excuse Me, Do I Know You?"
I might put up with my sweet, elderly neighbor's predictions, but a stranger is a whole different ballgame.
"Are You Serious?"
For real, who do you think you are? The fact that I'm visibly pregnant does not give you permission to make unsolicited guesses about my baby's genitalia.
Let me just interrupt you for a second and say, "No." Like, we're not doing this today, OK? Thanks but no thanks.
Look, I have a lot of hormones going on right now, and my mouth is full of swear words for you. I can't help it if one of them slips out. I know most people are well-intentioned and just making conversation, but how about a nice comment about the weather instead of my baby's sex organs?
"Just Smile And Nod"
Go-Go Gadget Impulse Control! I'm already hurting the feelings of everyone around me, so I will try not to lose my crap on a stranger. If you see a pregnant woman taking deep, mindful breaths (through clenched teeth), she's probably dealing with a flippant comment about gender from a random.
"If You Touch My Belly, So Help Me..."
I mean, if they're going to do something they already shouldn't, what's to stop them from from doing something else? Certainly not social boundaries, because those are apparently already out the window. Once someone opens the door with a comment about the sex of the baby, you definitely have to worry that they're going to lay hands on you next.
"Wait. What If They're Right?"
I mean, I don't care as long as the baby is healthy and I know that gender is a social construct, but I did just Pinterest my heart out on a wall hanging of her name.
Uh-oh. You know what just happened? Someone's passing comment just sent mom-to-be down the rabbit hole. Give her a break, and mind your business, y'all.