Pregnancy evokes so many emotions in people. Not just for the woman who is actually experiencing the pregnancy but also for those who know them and love them and even for strangers who may cross their paths.
For some reason, pregnancy causes people to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do; offer advice, tell stories, ask inappropriate questions. Most people don’t mean any ill will when they get a little too persona with a pregnant women they don’t know well it’s usually just their way to share in the excitement. Even in all your excitement there are probably some times where it’s best to just keep your opinions, thoughts and even hands to yourself when it comes to someone else’s pregnancy.
Belly touching: I know you’re dying to touch it right? Don’t do it. Especially without asking. Wait there is an exception to this rule, if you’re close to the person and you know they are the touchy feely type then I see nothing wrong with giving them a little pat. If it’s the girl that sits next to you at work and you don’t touch her on a normal day to day basis then I’m going to say the hands off rule is probably best. Imagine how crazy I would seem if I randomly walked up to someone on the street and rubbed their non-pregnant belly? Why then, do some feel it’s perfectly acceptable to lay their hands on the pregnant belly of someone they barely know without permission?
Weight comments: A person’s weight is not my business when they aren’t pregnant so it’s absolutely not my business when they are. Commenting on a woman’s weight when pregnant rarely leads to anything good. Mentioning how small a baby bump is can, sometimes, lead a mum to be to worry that maybe something is wrong. On the flip side telling a woman she’s looking big is not nice and not necessary. Trust me, don’t ever ask if they are carrying twins, you might not like the response.
Baby name opinions: Baby names are typically something that mothers and fathers to be put a lot of thought into and the decision is not usually made lightly. I’ve been witness to someone announcing a baby name and getting an “oh you’re serious” reaction. If you aren’t the biggest fan of the name just keep it to yourself, you’re not the one who has to live with the name after all. When I was expecting Mr. T we didn’t tell anyone the name we had chosen because we loved it so much that we didn’t want opinions to make us doubt it. When we finally introduced him everyone fell so in love with him that they weren’t about to trash his name. It was just as beautiful as he was.
Telling horror birth stories: I will be the first to admit that when you’re talking to a newly pregnant friend it’s hard not to share your experiences. You can relate to each other. You are going through similar experiences. Of course you are going to share it, just try to keep the scary stuff to yourself. We all know childbirth is going to hurt, there is no need to tell an almost ready to pop mama that you tore so badly you required 2 layers of stitches and were afraid to pee for a week!
I can’t pretend I haven’t been guilty of some of these things. I’ve caught myself talking about my experiences with Mr. T with a woman who is close to giving birth and wanted to kick myself afterwards. Talking about how I had no idea my baby was sick will not make my pregnant friend feel at ease. I’m conscious of that so I try to avoid it in conversation. I try not to offer unsolicited advice but it can be hard. I love when I can relate to someone and it takes every ounce of strength in me to overwhelm an expectant friend with my own excitement for her.
Most people are just so excited to share in someone’s pregnancy experience and don’t mean any ill will but sometimes there are things that are best kept to yourself. I’m a big believer in leaning on your tribe and pregnancy is a perfect time to do that just try not to cross any lines.