So far during this pregnancy I have encountered people who appear to have lost the ability to filter acceptable things to say to me about my pregnancy. I had the exact same problem when pregnant last time too so surely I can’t be alone in this?!
It is for this reason I have come up with a list of 5 things NOT to say to a Mummy-to-be, for your own good, please read and take note. These are all things that were said to me at some point during my pregnancies…
1) “Are you pregnant?” If you don’t know for sure, don’t ask. It is likely that you:
a) are trying to get her to tell you before she is ready.
b) think she has a belly, which is just plain rude. If this is the case, don’t then back up your question with “I noticed your tummy!” as some kind of justification.
Asking this question is always a big NO. Mainly because there’s a chance the answer is going to be “No”! This question has come at me from other Mums who will have gone through the same initial 12 week stage when you don’t really want anybody to know…
2) Upon announcing her pregnancy to you and you feel the age gap between her children is unacceptable, you tell her so. For example “It’s very soon!“
Chances are, when she announces “I am pregnant!” to you, this is not code for “do you think I should have another baby or is it too soon/too late?”!! If you are not the babies father, perhaps consider keeping your opinion to yourself, unless asked.
Deciding when to have children is not normally a decision taken lightly and when it’s a second or third child, there will already be a worry of how the new baby will affect the existing children. Be supportive. And at least say “Congratulations!”! Note in this case with me, the person in question did not say congratulations..!
3) After asking when she’s due, say “Oh that’s AGES away!“
She will know exactly how pregnant she is and therefore, exactly how long she has left until her due date. She will be counting down the days! Highlighting how far away it is, will not make it any easier for her.
4) “You should eat this/drink this/do this to help with your morning sickness“
Truth is, everyone is different! It’s great that eating a dry cracker first thing in the morning meant you never had any morning sickness but don’t ram it down her throat (literally or not). If she asks your advice, go ahead, until then, she’s probably heard it all before and might not want to hear it again. I had a taxi driver on the way to the airport early in the morning telling me that I should drink cold coffee, apparently it was the only thing that worked in stopping her morning sickness. I didn’t try it…
5) I saved my fave until last… Never at any time during the pregnancy say “Wow, look at the size of you!” or “OMG you’re HUUUUGE!“
I hate this. It is never acceptable to say this to a non-pregnant person, so nobody should think it acceptable to say to someone who is created a beautiful brand new life in her tummy. Babies need room to grow Goddamit and they need their mummies to be happy and stress free, not worrying about how much weight they’ve put on or whether or not you think they’re HUUUUUGE.
If you do say something along these lines, you automatically lose the right to be offended at anything she says in retaliation.
A couple of other useful pointers to help you escape with your life:
1) NEVER touch her baby filled tummy (especially before she even has a baby bump!), unless invited to do so. Uninvited touching is not appropriate for non-pregnant bellies and pregnant tummies are no different.
2) After the baby is born, make NO mention of her post-pregnancy bump. Yes she’ll have one, no she won’t want it pointing out. She will probably already be feeling emotional, tired, fat, uncomforable, frumpy and hormonal so don’t go adding to her woes. Just tell her how beautiful her baby is and ignore what she looks like.
Remember, us pregnant ladies have all kind of things going on in our minds and bodies, making babies is a bloomin’ tough business, please say only nice things to us. and if you do say something mean, don’t be surprised if you receive a chinese burn or a kick to the shins.