If you’ve ever spoken to a heavily pregnant woman, you’ll know she’s lost touch with rational thought. Reason and common sense have gone the way of her waistline. BOOM.
She’ll never admit it, but pregnancy has made her a tiny bit more sensitive than she’d normally be. This can make conversation with a pregnant woman like running through a beautiful field riddled with bindis. And land mines. And rabid dogs.
Be prepared to be misinterpreted, taken out of context and straight up misquoted.
She doesn’t mean to be so precious. She might even have the occasional flash of lucidity that tells her she’s being a tad dramatic but chances are she’s not even aware of it and she thinks you’re the one being incredibly insensitive.
In the interest of saving the relationship with your preggo mate (the good news is it’s temporary so don’t write her off just yet), here’s a list of questions you might want to avoid:
“How much longer to go?”
Innocuous, innocent question? You’re just making conversation, right? You’d think so… but do you know what she hears?
“Because you’re so disgustingly huge you look like you’re ready to drop your bundle on my feet.”
Be prepared to get spittle on your face as she hisses, “I still have 14 weeks to go, thanks for asking….”
Alternatively she’ll hear, “because I’m so bored with your pregnancy I want it to be over already.”
SO sorry to bore you. I promise I won’t drop my kid on your shoes.
“Get sleep while you can!”
Oh well aren’t you the font of all knowledge and advice? You seem to know ALL about having babies. Because someone told you once that babies don’t sleep much, so you helpfully suggest she saves up all her Zzz’s so she won’t feel tired when the baby is cluster feeding every 90 minutes like a tiny, hungry vampire.
- Sleep doesn’t work that way. There’s no bank to withdraw from that will make the upcoming months of sleeplessness bearable.
- PREGNANT WOMEN DON’T SLEEP EITHER. They’re constantly awake because they have heartburn or they have a baby pushing on their bladder or their pillow fortress has just collapsed or they’ve just copped a kick to the diaphragm that has them waking up, gasping for breath.
- If she has any other children… sleep? Hahahahahaha…. shut up.
“You’re so big/ small/ medium/ barely showing/ freaking enormous…. “
JUST. DON’T. GO. THERE. Nothing you say will be interpreted the way you meant it.
It is NEVER a compliment to tell someone they are huge. Even when they are pregnant. Trust me. Just don’t talk about it.
If she’s small, she’s probably worried about it and will feel judged if you mention it. Yes, logically we know you’re trying to be nice but it won’t stop her thinking, “are you saying I’m not taking care of my baby, that I’m already a crap mother?” It’s like falling down the rabbit hole of faux pas. AVOID.
If she looks normal…. well what’s normal anyway? Look, this is a no-win conversation. There is nothing to gain from mentioning her size. You wouldn’t discuss this with a non-pregnant person so avoid gawking at the enormous preggo.
“Is the baby here yet?”
Oh, I’m sorry, are you impatiently awaiting the arrival of my child? How annoying for YOU.
Do not expect a favourable response from a woman in her final weeks of pregnancy. She’s busy drinking Raspberry Leaf Tea and eating green curries in an effort to get that watermelon out. She really doesn’t need to be managing the disappointment of her friends and family on top of it all. If she needs some extra irritation, she’ll let you know.
If she wants you to know she’s in labour, she’ll call. If she doesn’t want you to know, because it’s really none of your business, she won’t. Rest assured, you’ll find out when the baby actually arrives. So quit nagging or suffer the terrifying, hormonal consequences.
“Are you excited?”
Well there’s really only one acceptable response for this and it’s, “OMFG I’m wetting my pants with wonderment and joy!” so if the mum-to-be is feeling a bit blah about it she’s going to have to lie and then go home and feel shit because there’s obviously something wrong with her because she’s not farting rainbows in anticipation.
Truth is, a lot of first time mums feel anything but excited. They feel anxious and nervous and a tiny bit terrified and completely overwhelmed. But they’re not allowed to say that because people don’t actually care if you’re shitting yourself, they only want to hear about how all your dreams are coming true.
So let’s all agree that YOU are really excited and she’s probably losing her mind a little bit so let’s skip the whole charade and just give her a hug. Just don’t touch her tummy while you’re at it.
“How’s it all going?”
Don’t ask this question unless you actually want to know in vivid detail. Then go right ahead and ask. Thank you.
Deep down, we know you’re just showing an interest and making conversation but the logic that was once present is long gone. It has been smothered in ugly, hairy, bloated hormones. The closer to the end she is, the more irrational she’ll get. Unless you’ve happened upon one of those rare, peaceful pregnant women who is completely unfazed by everything happening to her. They do exist. I’ve seen them. I’m not one of them….
Looking for stuff you CAN say to a pregnant woman? Tell her she looks gorgeous. Compliment her hair, which probably looks better than it ever has. Tell her she’s glowing and you can’t wait to meet her beautiful baby. Then give her a hug and ask if she’d like a cup of tea and a biscuit. Or four.
Have you ever unintentionally offended a pregnant woman? Have you been that mortally offended preggo?