Saturday, June 9, 2012

Things you shouldn't say to a pregnant woman...

Why is it that common sense goes out the window when it comes to pregnant women?  I am always amazed at the uninvited commentary I get when people find out I am pregnant whether its how I'm carrying or what type of pacifiers I should use.  And, after a conversation I had this morning, I just had to make a list and share it with you all to keep in mind the next time you have a run in with a pregnant lady.

1. "Are you sure you aren't having twins?"

This is a transcript of a conversation I had with someone this morning at a church women's get together.  I'll call her Jane.

Jane:  So, when are you due?
Me: September 21st
Jane: Oh.  Are there two in there?
Me:  nope, just one.
Jane: Have they told you that you are measuring big or anything?
Me: My doctor hasn't said anything.  Its common in this phase of pregnancy to have a growth spurt as the baby pretty much doubles in size between 16 and 24 weeks.
Jane:  Are you sure you aren't having twins?
Me:  Well I've had two ultrasounds and they've only seen one.

Seriously?  Thanks for calling me fat.  Because I'm not already self concious about my weight gain or anything.  Every woman carries her baby differently.  Don't ever even assume someone is pregnant unless they tell you first and then don't ask if she's having twins unless she has told you.

2. "Was it an oops baby?"

First of all, its none of your business.

Second, even if it was an unplanned pregnancy, I would not refer to my child as a mistake. 

3.  "Are you sure its a boy?"

My mom and I were checking out at Macy's buying baby boy clothes and the woman ringing up our purchase says "Are you sure its a boy?  Two of my daughters thought they were having one gender and it was wrong and they had to exchange all of their clothes."

Have you been with me at any of my appointments?  Nope.  Do you know that I have a "butt shot" of my son where I can see his little man parts?  The people with the actual medical degrees told me it was a boy and I trust them

On another note, why are you trying to stress out a pregnant hormonal woman?    Now I'm afraid to wash any of my baby clothes just in case I might have to take them back in case something was wrong.

4. "You probably shouldn't be eating/drinking that."

Its perfectly safe for a pregnant woman to consume up to 200 mg of caffeine per day (about 2 cups of coffee).  Personally, I have read all the pregnancy books and am aware of what I should and should not eat.  You implying that I am ignorant or would be putting my unborn child in any sort of intentional danger is offensive. 

5.  "What does your doctor say about _____?"

My conversations with my doctor are none of your freaking business!  If you tell me where you got YOUR medical degree, then I will take your opinion into consideration.

6.  "Are you sure you are pregnant?"  or "Are you sure you are xx weeks along?"

I have not gotten this question but know people that have.  Again, every woman carries her child differently.  I have a friend who is 3 weeks ahead of me but has a very different body type.  While I am definitely looking preggo, she looks like she might have eaten a few too many doughnuts.  She is tall and thin and has a very long torso.  I'm sure she gets this question all the time.  I'm also sure that she has had an ultrasound and can also feel her little guy kicking.  So yes, she's sure she's pregnant.  Unless she has a history of being a compuslive liar, take her word for it and don't question it.  Some women are as self conscious about being too small as others are about being too big.

I know that most people have only good intentions when they ask these questions.  I'm sure that "Jane" didn't even realize that she was indirectly criticizing my weight gain.  But people need to keep in mind that along with pregnancy comes hormones which make us extra sensitive to lots of things - especially things that have to with the way we are taking care of our unborn children.  For us first timers, we are already stressed about the notion of being a parent and doing everything we can to make our pregnancy a healthy and positive experience.  Placing doubt in our brains is the least helpful thing you can do.

What comments are helpful? 
"You look great!"
"How are you feeling?" ( I know I mentioned a previous post about this but when people ask I know they are concerned about me)
"I'm so excited for you"
"Do you need anything?"

I would say the majority of people I deal with all say very nice and complimentary things.  Its only a few that say what I have mentioned above but the negative ones are the ones that stick with you and ruin your day.  So remember to respect a pregnant woman and her hormones and think about what you say.

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