Pregnant bellies are pretty damn incredible if you ask me. Not only are they capable of housing a growing fetus, but they grow and stretch in order to protect actual life. I mean, that's incredible. Still, a woman taking up space in today's society isn't necessarily celebrated, so people have some "feelings" about pregnant bellies that are anything but positive. Thankfully, there are things every grown-ass man says about his partner's pregnant stomach that can counteract all that damn negativity. These things include, but are not limited to: compliments, praise, and glowing reviews of what a wonderful job his partner's body, stomach included, is doing.
The pregnant stomach reminds me of the old adage "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all," because your partner should be your rock, your support system, and your validation when you're fighting the constant insecurity 40 weeks of pregnancy, more or less, can bring. So if comments about a woman's pregnant stomach aren't explicitly positive and supportive, they shouldn't be made at all.
I was lucky, in that my partner was incredibly complimentary and told me all the things I needed to hear throughout the duration of my pregnancy. He thought my stomach was a beautiful thing and couldn't wait for it to grow even bigger. He loved placing his hand over those little protruding feet on my bare belly. Rarely did I experience a moment of offense, because when he said he loved me pregnant, it showed. Every grown-ass man should behave the exact same way, and anything less is unacceptable. On that note, here's what every grown-ass man says about that glorious, baby-holding belly.
Instead of putting all the focus on my stomach, my partner made my entire pregnant body a big deal. He made sure I never felt anything short of astonishing. As if creating a baby, and rocking that belly, moved me into total "Queen" status. I don't disagree and all grown-ass men should tell their partners the same. All day, every day.
"I Love How Your Body Is Nourishing Our Baby"
Let no partner forget the reason for a pregnant belly — there's a baby in there, and that baby is growing. It's not easy to feel that miserable, so make no mistake: being pregnant is work. How about all you grown-ass men stand up, and recognize everything your partner's body is doing and going through. My partner reminded me often how incredible pregnancy is, and how proud he was of me for enduring.
"Whatever You Wear Is Beautiful On You"
My pregnancies made me so insecure. Body image issues don't just go away because you're pregnant. If anything, they're magnified. I never felt beautiful in any of my clothes, and I missed being able to wear jeans. There were plenty of times I wanted to cancel plans because I felt huge and uncomfortable. That's when my partner would lay a hand on my stomach and tell me I looked good in anything. Sometimes I believed him, sometimes I didn't, but at least he said it.
"You Make Pregnancy Look Easy"
For a long time, my stomach felt like a roadblock. Even as my babies grew, and I accepted the fact that I wouldn't be pregnant forever, it didn't feel like myself. I felt limited.
My partner reminded me that even if I was feeling like garbage, I looked like growing a human being inside my body was easy as pie. I mean, it's not, and it wasn't, but it was great to hear my partner say otherwise.
"Let Me Look At You"
One of the best parts of being pregnant (if there is a "best" part) is when your partner admires the way your body is changing for the sake of your baby. He doesn't criticize it, or demean it. He admires, and cherishes, and puts you on a pedestal, because that's where you belong.
Not A Damn Thing
Of course, a partner doesn't have to make comments about a pregnant woman's body either. Like, you really don't have to say a word about it. And sometimes, especially on the difficult days, saying something only makes things worse. My partner became good at recognizing those moments, and rightfully kept any thoughts, suggestions, or misguided compliments to himself. Thanks, dear.
At the core, on a fundamental partnering level, every grown-ass man should thank his partner for going through something that's not only life-changing, but emotionally vexing, physically traumatizing, and a personal assault on autonomy altogether. Basically, if you haven't thanked that pregnant stomach yet, you'd better get crackin'.
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