If there's one thing that makes people forget their manners or a woman’s need for personal space, it's pregnancy.
No-one could possibly understand the plight of celebrities critiqued in gossip magazines quite like a pregnant woman.
After all, a bunch of strangers moaning about your weight gain behind your back, is nothing once your grandma has done the same to your face at a family gathering.
So, here are a list of things you should never say to a pregnant woman, along with some replies should anyone dare to say them to you:
#1: “OMG You're HUGE!”, aka, “I Can't Get Over How Big You Are!!!”
Wow, thanks so much for saying that. I was wondering whether anyone had noticed my bump, but now I know how jaw-droppingly huge it is I feel much better. Yes, I can see the fear in your eyes that I'm going to have to give birth to a baby the size of a four year old, and no, I don't want to talk to you anymore. Goodbye.
#2: “Are You Sure It's Not Twins?!”
Oh gee, what a witty and hilar comment. I see what you did, you took the size of my bump and implied I was actually carrying two babies. Har har har. Please let me know when your next stand up gig is. Oh, and to answer your question, yes I'm sure it's not twins. I'll be sure to let my midwife know your concerns though. Which medical school did you say you attended again?
#3: “Wow, What A Neat Little Bump!”
Little compared to what? Who are you comparing me to? This is my pregnancy, my baby, and this is the size I'm meant to be. Thanks for your reassuring, kind comment that will undoubtedly play on my mind at 3am next time I can't sleep (so, tonight then) but I think I'll trust my healthcare provider's judgement if that's ok. No offence, of course.
#4: “You Look Exhausted/Awful/Tired/So Pale!”
What a great way to voice your concern, thanks so much for commenting on the fact that I am not meeting your high standards today. In case you haven't noticed, I'm busy growing a new person, but I'll be sure to spend more time applying my make up before the next time I see you.
#5: “Oh Wow, You're Still Pregnant!”
Er, yeah. Obviously. Either that or I've left my baby somewhere and am wearing cushions under my jumper to compensate. Do you think that's likely? Well, it's great to know you're still insensitive. Anyway, it's been great to catch up, I need to go and try and find this baby now. Lord knows where I left it.
#6: “Don't You Think You're a Little Old/Young For This?”
Clearly not. Let's assume that since I've gotten to this stage, I'm pretty happy about my decision. Don't you think you're a little rude for this?
#7: “Was It Planned?”
Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to just spit my drink out all over you, it was the shock.
I assumed you knew that was none of your business.
#8: “Is This One Of Those Famous Pregnancy Mood Swings?”
Er, NO. This a rational woman feeling annoyed about something, just because I happen to be pregnant doesn't mean you can chalk this down to an unpleasant symptom. In case you're interested, pregnancy mood swing comments are more infuriating than time of the month comments. Sometimes, I'm just in a bad mood, ok?
#9: “Wait Until… The Sleepless Nights/The Birth/You Have A Toddler!”
This isn't a competition, I'm not trying to out do you. I just wanted to have a little moan to a friend, please don't then use my own future to scare me. I'm sure sleepless nights are tough, and the toddler years, as well as sending kids off to uni, but I'm not doing that right now. I'm pregnant, and every so often I would like to be able to have a moan about my aching back/how tired I am/my clumsiness without being dismissed as naive.
#10: “Gosh, I Hope You Have a Better Birth Than Mine… [insert a traumatic birth story here]”
Me too! I'm not spending this pregnancy wishing for a terrible birth. I know sometimes things don't go to plan, I know a birth plan isn't written in stone, but you know what? I can plan for a nice birth, and I can approach the birth feeling positive about the experience. So please, PLEASE, stop trying to tell me horror stories about childbirth. I really, really, REALLY, don't want to hear them. In fact, when you share your/your friend’s/your mother’s/your nextdoor neighbours sister’s cousin’s awful birth horror story, it even makes it more likely that a woman will have one because they are freaking out of their eyeballs worrying about it!
#11: Is There Any News Yet?!?
Yes, I had the baby weeks ago and decided not to tell you. Or perhaps I'm in labour right now, in which case can you please stop texting me, I'm busy. Or maybe, just maybe, I'm at home desperately waiting for labour to start, and am being bombarded by texts from (ok, I know, well-meaning) friends and family asking if there's any news. NO, THERE'S NO NEWS and I'll be sure to let you know when there is.
Want to know if I have had the baby yet? Feel free to visit a website which has all my impending birth updates: Have You Had That Baby Yet?
Can you please try to take my mind off the painfully draining waiting process instead of making me feel even more impatient? Pressure from well meaning family and friends can result in mothers feeling like their baby isn’t coming soon enough and she may be more likely to accept an unnecessary induction of labour…. see point #10 which may then come true.