I found out that I was pregnant when I was about 3 and a half weeks along. This Friday, I will be 33 weeks. Throughout this journey people have been oh so helpful in offering advise, "complimenting" me, and making comments about pregnancy in general.
I love being pregnant. I love the way that I feel. I love the way that I look. I love watching my body change. I love knowing that I am growing a son inside of me. I love how wonderfully supportive and sweet my husband has been.
Most people have been very friendly and I know that people mean well when they talk to a woman who is pregnant. For the remainder of this post, PW will stand for Pregnant Woman! I feel like it is a duty of mine, as a PW, to offer some of my own advice about how to talk to a PW.
1. Remember that anything that you say to a woman who is expecting will be taken to heart and exaggerated and thought about more deeply than you ever thought possible.
2. Small comments that are said in passing to a PW are heard by her.
3. Do NOT try to compliment a PW. You may think that saying things like, "oh WOW you are sooooooo small" or "how far along are you?....that's IT!" would be wonderful compliments to give a PW. Well, that is not what she hears. She hears you saying "is your baby growing enough?" "Are you gaining the proper amount of weight?" Then, she thinks about this "compliment" for several hours and may even have an emotional breakdown when her husband asks her "how are you feeling?" when he gets home from work!
4. Do not ask her how she is feeling and then when she says, "great" or "fine" give her a "just wait...." scenario to think about.
5. Do not ask about her and her husband's laboring and birthing plans. If you feel called to ask about these plans (that really are none of your business) do not make a face or proceed to judge and explain why a different route would be better. Do not laugh when she tells you her birthing plans that you asked about.
6. When you hear her talking to a friend about her plans to cloth diaper, do not laugh and talk about how disgusting disposable diapering is and how cloth diapering will be even grosser because you have to touch all of the poop and put poop in your washing machine when you have never tried cloth diapering yourself!!! Do not ask her why she plans to cloth diaper if your response will be, "well, I really don't care about the environment enough and I heard it doesn't really save you any money anyway."
7. When a PW shares with you about how she and her husband felt a little scared over the weekend because she didn't feel her baby move for a couple of hours, do not respond by telling her a story of someone that you knew who LOST THEIR UNBORN CHILD AND FOUND OUT BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T FEEL THE BABY MOVING. Respond by saying, "That does sound scary. I'm glad that you have felt him move since then. You look great."
8. When you find out that someone you know is pregnant, do not tell them ANYTHING NEGATIVE about being pregnant, birthing, laboring, raising a child, or "how your life is over once you have a baby". The woman is already pregnant. Say congratulations and leave it at that.
9. If you are 100% positive that someone is pregnant, and you can only be 100% if that individual woman TOLD YOU HERSELF, just tell her, "you look great." (even if she doesn't) Just say it. If she feels great then she will appreciate that others think so too. If she is feeling crappy and miserable and ugly then that one little compliment may boost her mood for just a second!
I hope that some of this can be helpful to those of you who are not pregnant and it will definitely serve as a reminder to ME when I am no longer pregnant how to talk to a PW!