Tuesday, August 9, 2011
How to Talk to a Pregnant Woman
And since I want to be pregnant, I'm going to give a preemptive lesson in pregnant woman etiquette. This is etiquette for YOU, not for the pregnant woman. So, here's a short list of things you should never say/do.
DO NOT touch the belly. I don't care how cute or big or round or small or perfect or wonderful it is. Being pregnant tends to make someone want MORE personal space, not less. They have a life GROWING inside their personal bubble - there isn't enough room in there for you, too. Ask first, because chances are she won't say no whether she wants you all over her or not.
The average pregnant woman does not care about your pregnant friends, family, or random acquaintances, how ever many times removed. Really, you DON'T need to tell her about them. Whether she carried full term or delivered prematurely, and whether or not it was a happy ending, and no matter how you know the person - pregnant woman doesn't care.
A pregnant woman can eat and drink just about whatever she wants to eat and drink. Unless you see her taking her third jell-o shot or snorting some coke, it's none of your business if she wants to eat a turkey sandwich or drink a soda (or a diet soda).
If you find yourself wanting to make a cliche reference to her gestation, such as "almost there!" or "long way to go!" or "Haven't had that baby yet?" feel free to duct tape your mouth shut. Your comment is not welcome. Pregnant woman knows exactly how pregnant she is, and roughly how much time she does or doesn't have left. Whether she wants more time to prepare or is secretly looking for herbs that induce labor, your comment will only serve to annoy her. Just don't bother.
Avoid comments about how many children she has or wants to have, or how close together they are. She can be working on her first, or fifth, or seventeenth, and she still won't welcome your opinion on how many she should have. I assure you that she knows where they come from, and whether or not she planned them goes into a personal realm of questioning that should be avoided even between some friends.
Avoid commenting on her size. If she's already enormous, she knows it. You don't need to point it out to her. And if you think she's not enormous, or want to say it just to be nice - you still shouldn't. She feels enormous, and being lied to (or what she will perceive as a lie) isn't going to make her feel better about herself. Promise.
After being pregnant three times, I assure you that I speak the truth. Heed my words on etiquette and be blessed.