I knew once I announced I was pregnant that there would be many people telling me things about pregnancy, babies, etc. Many people have been SO supportive and so excited with me. Some people are just like “oh you’re pregnant, congrats” and move on with their life and some people have had negative things to say or don’t seem to care at all. I have dealt with it all and nothing has wavered my excitement for this precious baby to come in November. However, I thought I would help some people out with some tips on how to treat pregnant women and what to not say or do.
- Never tell her she’s looking bigger or tell her every single day how much weight she looks like she’s gained. Some women may not be phased by the weight gain, but I am not one for sure. I have never weighed more than 122 pounds in my LIFE and I have only gained about 5 pounds but I am already freaking out about it. LOL. I know I have to gain weight and I’m totally fine with that. But what I’m not fine with is people always commenting that I haven’t gained enough or they can tell I have and mentioning it to me EVERY DAY. Or be like my husband and try to be sweet and say “you don’t look any different than you used to” when I have a stomach that now sticks out. I wanted to commit murder when he said that haha, like no I never looked like this and if you think I did then you must have always thought I had some chub on me. (God bless you Stephen haha) He really meant well. I swear.
- Never tell a pregnant woman what she can or can’t eat, unless you are her doctor. The first week I told anyone I was pregnant, I was at a crawfish boil and this lady had the audacity to come up to me and tell me I shouldn’t be eating crawfish. Um, no lady!! I already asked my doctor because I am obsessed with crawfish and she said it was fine! So MIND YA BUSINESS. Most women obviously don’t want to bring harm to their baby and won’t intentionally eat things to hurt him/her. Also, you may be coming from a good place, but if she’s eating bad, you probably don’t want to tell her that because she will probably strangle you. Luckily for me, I have been super lucky and crave healthy foods like fruit, tons of water, and protein shakes. But every now and then I crave a big bowl of fruit loops with marshmallows or a little debbie fudge round haha.
- DON’T TOUCH THE BELLY. Just don’t do it. Unless she specifically asks you to so she can show you how the baby is kicking or acts like she wants you to, don’t even try. Or at least ask, but don’t get upset when she looks at you like you’re crazy. My new response will be grabbing your belly fat and tugging on it for good measure. I am not a damn petting zoo people. I am growing a baby that kicks me like crazy and I don’t need you weirdly trying to touch my stomach like a creeper. Some women may not care at all, but for the majority just ask first. It will end better than you just randomly trying to touch them. I don’t even like hugging people much so that feels even more strange and intimate to me.
- Don’t give her unsolicited advice. Trust me, she is probably already stressing out about tons of things and she doesn’t need extra things to worry about or do because you think you have a say in how she will raise her kid, what she should or shouldn’t put on her registry, whether she will breastfeed or not, or what she will do when the baby gets here. She might ask you down the road anyways once she processes everything and can do some research herself. But let her come to you!!
- Ask if her pregnancy was planned. It’s honestly none of your business. Like none. And whether it was or was not is between her and her significant other. Maybe she has been wanting a kid for several years or didn’t even think she wanted kids and ended up pregnant. She’s still processing that she’s having a baby. No matter how prepared she may think she is or would be, it’s still going to be a shock to her when that little blue plus sign shows up on her pregnancy test stick.
- Don’t tell her about your horrific birth stories or stories about infants and things that might hurt/kill the baby. I promise you she knows more than you think, even first time moms. Her doctor and people she goes to for help will definitely advise her and support her. There is no need to talk about how your back has never been the same after your epidural or how you were in labor for nearly two days or how your baby almost died or a friend who just miscarried after x amount of weeks. IT SCARES US. It puts unnecessary stress on the mom when what she needs is LESS STRESS. Keep your big mouth shut. Capiche?
- Don’t start with the “I hope you can get your figure back” comments. I’m sure she hopes for the same thing but if she doesn’t, she doesn’t. It’s none of your business and you shouldn’t make her feel stressed about the amount of weight shes gaining. I can promise you, the doctor is keeping track and will let her know if he/he is concerned about the weight gain and being able to bounce back.
- Tell her “you better sleep now”. Do you know how many times I have already heard this and I’m only half way through my pregnancy? You can’t save your sleep hours. They don’t roll over like phone minutes used to. She will sleep as much as she can, but either way it won’t matter. She’s going to be tired when the baby comes from birthing the dang thing. She’s going to be tired waking up in the middle of the night when the baby cries. It’s a part of parenthood.
- Don’t say “enjoy ______ as much as you can, because when the baby comes, you can kiss it goodbye”. Just because a baby is coming along doesn’t mean all the joy and fun gets sucked out of your life. A baby is something to celebrate. Parents can still make time to do things by themselves after the baby comes. You can still splurge on personal things for yourself even with a baby. You shouldn’t feel guilty for taking care of yourself or going off somewhere without the baby for a few hours or even a few days. It’s fine. And it’s none of anyone else’s business what you do.
- Don’t give unsolicited advice about whether or not the mom should go back to work or stay at home with her newborn. Some people can’t afford to not work. Others can’t work because daycare takes their entire income. People do what’s best for their family AND their child. I know the mom who goes back to work will cry for weeks about leaving her baby and feel guilty all the time for quite awhile. I know the mom who stays home will get lonely despite the baby being there and wish they had more people to talk to and be around that are adults. It’s hard making those big decisions and no one but the husband and wife should have a say in what they decide to do. NO ONE.
Hopefully these tips helped and also made your laugh or not feel so alone in the bizarre adventure of being pregnant. I am so ready to have this baby here and be able to experience the ups and downs of parenthood with Stephen.