Among the women I know, there have been various reactions and responses to pregnancy. One even claims to have enjoyed it (and she’s not some sort of sorceress, as far as I know), but most seem to experience varying levels of discomfort. It’s hard to generalize, because every woman and every pregnancy is different, but if my circle is any indicator, there are some consistent things that are needed (and wanted) that definitely qualify as things pregnant women shouldn’t have to ask for. (And no, I’m not just talking about an in-home housekeeper and nanny, but that would be nice, wouldn’t it?)
I mean, it would be awesome if every need a pregnant woman had could be met without her asking, but given how unreliable and inconsistent that cravings are, it’s hard to make accurate assumptions. I couldn’t possibly expect my partner to know that today I need chocolate donuts, even though yesterday I definitely needed sausage pasta, unless I told him. To be fair, feelings can be tough to predict, too, given the hormones.
So, I certainly don’t blame anyone for not knowing exactly how to respond to the pregnant woman in their life at any given time. But, I think there are some safe things that can be assumed. For example:
Which reminds me, I need to be pen an open love letter to my body pillow, about which I would have not managed to endure an entire pregnancy. In fact, I think it may have single-handedly saved both my life and my marriage, since it relieved my partner from the aggressive snuggling I required.
Dibs On The Bathroom
During my first pregnancy, my husband and I had one bathroom in our home. Thankfully, we lived to tell the tale so I know it’s technically possible, albeit challenging (especially after long car trips. But whatever, she should still have priority).
That She Not Be Judged For Eating Whatever She's Eating
I think my partner was slightly amused by my ability to out-eat him in the later days of pregnancy. He never said anything to give me this impression, but I simply assumed. If the roles been reversed, I sure would have been. I was a vacuum.
Her Partner’s Sweatpants
I wish for everyone to have a partner who’s so accustomed to sharing his or her sweatpants that they’re actually surprised when the pregnant woman in their life remembers to ask before simply putting them on. I wish this so hard that it’s right up there with world peace and my own personal meet-and-greet with her royal highness, Judy Blume.
Respectful, Safe, Affordable Accessible Medical Care
Is this too much to ask? No, no it’s not. Some lawmakers would make it seem so, but personally I think it should be a given.
The Support And Patience Of Her Loved Ones
To each their own when it comes to relationships, but I can hardly fathom a pregnancy without support from someone. And, while that support can take a variety of forms (emotional, physical, digestive, Netflix-related), what matters the most is that it suits the mom-to-be and her needs.
Help Getting Up From, Or Getting Into, A Seated Position
A note to anyone in proximity to a pregnant woman in her second trimester and beyond: just extend your hand. She may not take it, but she’ll probably appreciate it nonetheless.
The Last Cookie
Special shout-out to my spouse, who either legitimately doesn’t mind or does a really good job pretending, when I polish off all the baked goods in our house. To show you my appreciation, I’ll share my uterus with your spawn. Does that seem like a fair trade?