15 Subtle Ways You're Offending Pregnant Women, So Think Before You Speak
Pregnancy can go all kinds of ways. It can be thrilling or terrifying, peaceful or chaotic, joyful or fearful, or maybe all of those at different times. The point is, you can't know what a pregnant woman is experiencing. Assuming that someone is experiencing pregnancy a specific way and then forcing that assumption on them probably doesn't feel like a big deal when you're doing it, expect for the fact that you surely aren't the only one. When 10 people remark on the size of your belly, it's tiresome. There are subtle ways you didn't realize you're offending pregnant women, women who need bolstering and support, not critiques and opinions.
When I was pregnant with my last baby, I can't tell you how many times I heard how exhausted I looked (I was, and it was depressing to hear how much it showed) or how many times I had to politely deflect unwanted touches. On the one hand, it's beautiful that pregnancy brings out the caring, nurturing side of people. On the other hand, it's overwhelming that pregnancy brings out the critical, controlling side of people as well.
Using some consideration of this reality can make your next conversation with a pregnant woman go so much smoother. Just take a look at the ways you're offending pregnant women and try not to commit these blunders noted here.
1. You Comment On The Assumed Age Of The Mother
No one wants to hear that they are either too young or too old to look like they'd be pregnant, even if you think it's harmless chit-chat. Guessing someone's age is always rocky ground, even more so with a preggo.
2. You Comment On The Size Of The Bump
Pregnant women do not need to hear, nor do they want to hear what you think about the size of their bump. Maybe the mom is already worried about the size, and you just made her more anxious, or maybe she feels you're implying she's eating too much or not enough. Either way, just don't remark on the size of the bump.
3.You Tell Them How Exhausted They Look
You may feel like you're being sympathetic, but nobody likes to hear they look tired, pregnant women included.
4. You Give Your Opinion On Thier Eating Habits
5. You Ask If ___ Is Normal
You may think you're being helpful, but pregnant women are often already stressed about the health of their baby, and don't need your worry compounding their own.
6. You Joke About What's "In There"
Funny to you, annoying to the pregnant woman.
7. You Ask How Many Babies Are "In There"
If there are twins happening, the pregnant woman will let you know (if she's choosing to share that information.) Otherwise, keep your guesses to yourself.
8. You Ask About The Father
There are so many ways this can go wrong. Unless you are close friends with this pregnant person, don't inquire on the paternity. I know from personal experience that this can be tiresome and sad for the expecting mother.
9. You Share Your Pregnancy Stories
I know you're just trying to create a feeling of comaraderie, but unless the pregnant woman asks for your stories of pregnancy and birth, don't share. It's a case of information overload.
10. You Predict The Baby's Gender
It's best just to let the parent's comment on the gender, whether it's desired gender or predicted gender or the results of the ultrasound.
11. You Say "You Guys Are Pregnant"
I know it feels like the friendliest thing to say, but for many pregnant women, this is annoying as heck. The pregnant woman is the only one actually pregnant.
12. You Touch Their Belly
Pregnant women bring out the caring side of people, and that is truly awesome. Just be careful to remember that your feelings aren't her feelings, and although you may think it's lovely to gently touch her stomach, she may feel violated. At least ask first.
13. You Assume They'll Be Unable To Work
Pregnant women are not instantly debilitated. In fact, some pregnant women work up until the very last second. It's not up to you to worry about it. (Unless you are the boss, in which case, move on.)
14. You Remark On Them Being Pregnant Again
If a woman wants six kids, she will have six kids. And if that surprises you, best keep it to yourself. The only thing to say when hearing that someone is pregnant is congratulations.