Hormones and small talk often don’t mix. It’s no secret that pregnant women can be a little edgy at times, especially as that due date nears. And while some woman are more than happy to answer questions from total strangers in the street or at the supermarket, many mums (myself included) would probably prefer you didn’t mention the following 15 things.
So if you are approaching a pregnant woman, proceed with caution and keep this list in mind.
And, if you are pregnant or have been before, then let’s take a trip down eye-rolling lane with some of these classic comments.
1. “Can I touch your belly?”
If you answer yes, then you get the creepy belly touch. If you answer no, then you get the stink eye from the stranger. Either way, it’s going to get awkward.
2. “You know ___ is bad for the baby, right?”
Most pregnant women know the ins and outs of what’s good for baby and what’s not so good for baby. And what we won’t know won’t hurt us (or the baby). So let us eat our deli meat and cream cheese.
3. “Wow, you still have a while to go.”
When someone asks, “When are you due?” you are going to get either the above comment or “not long to go!” as the reply. The latter is always preferred.
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4. “You’ll never sleep again.”
This is usually followed by, “so you better get some rest while you can.”
Just smile, nod and try not to think about the countless books you’ve read outlining the rules on baby sleep. Most newborns will sleep up to 16 hours in a 24 hour period. But sometimes it’s just easier to keep this information to yourself.
5. “Oh, you’re having a girl. I can tell by the way you’re carrying.”
Never mind what the ultrasound or the doctor has said.
6. “You look like you are ready to pop.”
And, if you’re lucky, you will “pop” all over their shoes.
7. “Are you sure there’s only one in there?”
Yes, you know you look like you are about to give birth to elephant triplets. And, yes you know they are only joking when they say this. But it’s so hard to find the humour when your bladder is being pummelled from the inside.
8. “Wow, you’re positively glowing.”
Glowing. Sweating like a pig. Same same.
9. “Ugh, I’ve always hated that name.”
This one is always awesome to hear. Our personal favourite though is: “I know someone with that name and he is in jail now.”
Play it safe: When people ask you what you are planning on naming your baby, just say, “I don’t know yet.” Or use their name.
10. “Was it planned?”
Next question, please.
11. “I’ll bet you are hoping for a boy/girl (opposite gender of the children you already have).”
Got two boys? Then everyone around you will assume you want a girl. Got two girls? Then you are obviously hoping for a boy, right? That’s the mentality. Again, it’s easier to just agree.
Or, change the subject. “Hey, look, a rainbow” is a perfectly good reply to this question.
12. “Are you planning on breastfeeding?”
This question can phrased in different ways. For example, “Are you planning on having a natural labour? Co-sleeping? Swaddling?” are some of the variations to this question.
Essentially this is just a more polite way of asking, “Have you heard of the controversial research against your decision? No? Well, let me tell you all about it.”
13. “My back is killing me.”
Followed by, “I’m so tired.” You know that calm breathing exercise you learned in prenatal class? It’s designed for comments like this.
14. “Do you mind if I have the last piece of cake?”
Cake is all we have at this stage. Don’t mess with the cake.
15. And, finally, “Can I give you some advice?”
No need to answer, really, because advice is coming. Unwanted advice is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy. And it seems to last through all trimesters. Kind of like heartburn.