It seems that there is something about a baby belly that makes people lose their fucking minds and forget the basic rules of human interaction. If you are one of those people, our guess / hope is that you are totally unaware that you’re colouring way outside the lines of normal social boundaries, so today we’re handing out a few friendly tips on what NOT to do / say to pregnant women. Please pay attention; after all, the last person you want to piss off is the one with raging hormones who is currently growing a human inside her body from scratch.
1. Tell her she’s glowing, tell her she looks amazing, tell her she’s “all belly”… but (and here’s where it gets tricky) DO NOT COMMENT ON BELLY SIZE. If you say, “wow you look so small for 25 weeks,” she’ll automatically go into psycho worry mode and start freaking out that she’s malnourished her baby. Before you go down the opposite road and say, “25 weeks? Holy shit – you sure you’re not having twins?”, please remember that she is probably very much aware of every single pound she has gained. She does not want to hear that you think she looks as huge as she feels.
2. We know you think your 2 cents are worth a whole lot more than that, but please, for the love of god, keep them to yourself. Pregnancy these days comes a rule book thicker and more intense than the bible itself. There is some level of risk involved with eating / drinking / doing ANYTHING and each woman has to weigh the consequences and decide what’s right for HER. With that said, if you see her shove a massive piece of brie in her mouth, you can safely assume that she’s done her research, spoken to her doctor, and decided that the deliciousness of brie > the risk of contracting listeria from it. The same goes for when you see her take a sip of red wine, order her steak medium and drink non-pasteurized fruit juice.
3. Why women like to scare the shit out of pregnant women by sharing with them their friend’s friend’s labour story from hell is totally beyond us. What about the sisterhood? WHAT ABOUT GIRL POWER?? Feel free to tell your local preggo about your neighbour who sneezed and her baby popped out, but your 36 hours of agony stories can be kept to yourself.
4. Don’t tell her to “just wait” until our kid turns into the little monster that is YOUR child. Does she say mean things to you for no reason? It’s probably taken her a really long time to convince herself that her kid will never be anything like your kid and now you’re ruining that for her. Of course, deep down she knows that one day her perfect baby will turn 2 and all hell will break loose but for now, let a girl fantasize about a sweet little angel… at least while the kid’s still in utero!
5. Before you spontaneously touch a pregnant woman’s belly, ask yourself if you would be comfortable with her spontaneously touching yours. If you are lovers, family, or close friends, the answer is likely yes, so feel free to go in for the rub. If you are co-workers, acquaintances, or worst of all, the always dreaded total strangers, maybe – just maybe – you should consider asking first or just scrapping the idea all together.
6. If you ask a pregnant woman if she’s having a boy or girl and she says, “oh it’s a girl”, your follow up SHOULD be “that’s lovely – congratulations!”. It SHOULD NOT be “Congrats! Are you happy??”. Uh no, asshole, I’m super disappointed so I think I’m going to exchange her for a boy when she’s born. Come on people! Let’s think before we speak here. And when you don’t know what to say, instead of pulling something totally socially inappropriate out of your ass, you can always throw in either a “wow, how exciting” or “you’re going to make such a great mom”. No matter the context, these always go over well with the preggos.
7. Once a woman has reached the end of her pregnancy and is just playing the waiting game, you probably don’t need to say things like “Still no baby?” No. Still no baby. And you better believe that she is far more aware of the fact that there is STILL no baby than you are since SHE is the one who’s at full capacity and completely uncomfortable. Why don’t you just sit back, relax and wait for baby’s first Instagram pic, k?
Our final piece of advice is this: The best thing you can possibly do is to continue to act as normal as possible toward your pregnant homegirls. Remind them with your politically incorrect jokes, your profanities and your invitations to the best parties that they are still their old selves and give them some hope that becoming parents won’t turn them into totally boring squares. It’s scary enough knowing that she’s fated to become SOMEBODY’S MOTHER – she doesn’t need your social ineptitude freaking her out too.
(Originally posted 01/24/14)
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