Why is it that tact and common sense can fly out the window when people see a pregnant woman? Thanks to our raging hormones we are sensitive, emotional creatures, and it doesn’t take much to set us off! Here are 7 things NOT to say to a pregnant woman:
1) How did [insert partner’s name] take the news? Was it planned?
When someone tells you you’re pregnant ‘congratulations, I’m so happy for you, well done’, is pretty much all we want to hear. You could venture a question about the due date, but stop after that.
2) Oh, I thought you were because…
Pregnant women want their announcement to be a surprise, so please don’t burst our bubble. A colleague of mine started baking potatoes in the staff kitchen for her lunches, a dead giveaway, but we all said zip and let her have her moment.
3) You look tired
Gee, thanks, that's because I’m growing a human. Tell me I’m glowing instead, because I’d like that way more.
4) Have you thought of a name/bought a cot/got baby's room ready yet?
Argh, the pressure! Asking what I've done so far could either bring on a) panic because I've done nothing and you've inadvertently highlighted that embarrassing fact, or b) a gushing and extremely detailed description of everything from the number of and uses for the pockets in my new bought nappy bag, to the amazing deal I received on a set of used Baby Einstein dvds, which are in great condition except for one which has a scratch about halfway through the second episode and is missing the back paper cover.
5) Are you sure there’s not two in there?!
You’ve just insinuated that I look enormous, yet I will graciously reply with a half-smile, that no, there is only one baby, and mentally cross you off my Christmas card list for next year, and perhaps the year after.
6) You should/shouldn't be...
Eating that, drinking that, doing that...If you don't have an alternative on hand to offer, please don't tell me what I should/ shouldn't be doing.
7) Don’t touch!
Something about the smooth roundness of a pregnant belly brimming with life compels people to give it a pat, like it's a puppy. So this is more what you don’t do rather than don’t say. Just ask first! This especially applies if you are a stranger.
- Christine Stride