This post is sassy and I do not apologize for that.
I never thought it would be necessary to compile a list of things you shouldn’t say to someone creating life but over the last 8 months it has come to my attention that a large part of the population lacks tact, sensitivity or awareness when it comes to the subject of pregnant bodies. Apparently, any lessons taught about how you are to speak about others physical appearance do not apply once a lady is impregnated. I did not know about this secret- I just assumed it was as off topic as it was to let someone know their face looked really broken out that day or to tell Ms. Mary at church that she looked like she was packing a on a few more doughnuts in her thigh region. But I was wrong. So very wrong. No one gave me the memo until I found myself wearing maternity jeans. When a woman is around 8 months pregnant her appearance and weight is open topic to converse about in public sometimes with exclamation loud enough for everyone to hear. This is usually accompanied by wild hand gestures, tummy poking or rubbing.
So because so many think this is what makes pregnant mamas gleam with pride and confidence let me share the 5 things you should never say to a pregnant lady.
1. “Holy cow! How many are you carrying in there? Are you sure it’s not twins?”
– No I’m not sure, for all I know its a litter of kittens in there or maybe its a litter of baby hippos because apparently I look like a mama hippo to you. Thanks for the pep talk though! Now I feel truly slim, trim and dynamic.
2. “There’s no way you are going to make it to your due date!”
– Oh no! Have I not been notified that your my Dr. or Midwife? You mean that I have been accidentally seeing an unqualified ding bat this entire time? Well, they sure had me convinced with all their medical degrees! Should I drop my panties now and have you examine my cervix?
3. “You need to put a bucket under your legs! or Be careful, that baby is about to fall out in the floor!”
– A bucket? Is that how they deliver babies these days? Do I really look as if I am in active labor? Are you trying to say I look far too big to be walking around in public? Actually, I have at least 5 more weeks until my baby arrives and if she was to drop on the floor right now she would be premature. Thanks for your innovative delivery idea though, dumbass. Stay classy!
4. (For my smaller baby bump friends) “There’s no way you are that far along- you’re barely even showing!”
– Thanks for making me feel insecure about the development of my baby. Is my baby okay? Should I be worried? If I wasn’t already worried enough, I am now!
5. “You are HUGE!!!”
-Sigh. Punch to the throat!
Unfortunately, I’ve heard all these comments and more (even #4 in the earlier months) for what seems like several hundred times. I don’t know what it is to make people think that saying things like this is normal or even okay to say to anyone but especially to women who are already stretching their physical, mental and emotional capacities to the edge.
We are far more aware about how our bodies have dramatically changed in just a few months than you. In fact, we sometimes find it difficult to even face the mirror some mornings, especially whilst trying to bend over and apply stretch mark lotion to our expanding bellies. Some mornings we try on so many outfits that we end up crying atop the pile of discarded clothes. Most days we struggle with the fact that our bodies will forever be changed and wonder if we will ever get back to the size we once were. We wonder if our husbands and partners still find us attractive and if our stretch marks might send them into the arms of another. We fear that we aren’t doing it right- not eating the right things, not exercising enough, not reading enough parenting books, not resisting that cookie at the potluck. We are inundated with massive amounts of information, health advice, parenting advice, social and cultural expectations, breastfeeding tips, relational changes, job changes, maternity leave, insecurity, emotional stress, lack of sleep, nausea, weight gain and loss, swelling, medical tests, complications with mom and or baby, fear, delivery options, pain management plans, choosing pediatricians, preparing a nursery, budgeting, wondering how are we going to pay the bills, questions- countless questions, childcare, carseats, to vaccinate or not to vaccinate, judgement and the list goes on and on.
So before you make a careless comment (even if your intentions are golden and pure) stop and think before you comment about her size and appearance. She is already overwhelmed with not just the physical changes she is going through but with the “big life” stuff too. Ask yourself first if the thing you are about to say will uplift and praise her or only confirm her insecurity and lack of confidence. Remember that you are just one out of 20-30 people she will interact with that day who might (most likely) also comment on her appearance and that you might be the one who her southern sweetness decides to evade her for the moment while she ends up kicking your ass.
Your best bet? Tell her she has never looked more beautiful because she has never needed to hear that more than she does right now. Allow her to actually be proud of the amazing dwelling space her body has accommodated for the new life she is creating. Celebrate the way her body miraculously transforms to create life.
Relentlessly sassy and real,
-the pregnant lady
What are some of the crazy things said to you when you were pregnant?