Aug 26, 2010

10 things Never to do or say to a pregnant woman

Someone posted this on one of the many message boards I check that give me far too much information on being pregnant and birthing a child. I thought some of them were hilarious and thought I would share. I agree with most of these, but some of them don't bother me so much. See my additions in red.

1. The appropriate response to a couple telling you they are having a baby is "Congratulations!" with enthusiasm. Any other response makes you a jerk. This includes such statements as "It's going to completely change your life" or "You'll never go to another party again". Yes, I do realize it is going to change my life, but I do not plan on becoming a hermit because I have a child.

2. Through the wonders of science, we now know babies are made ONLY by the mother and father- not grandparents or anyone else for that matter. Unless the baby is in your uterus, or you are the man that helped put it there, you may not use the phrase "my baby"

3. On the same note, unless you made the baby as defined in 2., the pregnancy, birth and the raising of the child are not about you. You do not have input. No one wants to hear your opinion unless they ask for it. Mom and Diane, I actually do value your opinion on this, haha... as with most women who have had babies before me. I think #3 is really speaking about people who offer opinions without being asked, or are constantly negative in their advice.

4. The body of a pregnant woman should be treated the same way as any other body. You would not randomly touch someones stomach if they were not pregnant, nor would you inquire into the condition of their uterus, cervix, or how they plan to use their breasts. Pregnancy does not remove all traces of privacy from a woman. I actually don't mind when people touch my belly.... as long as it is an appropriate time and not for too long :) The talk about whether or not I will breastfeed is kind of odd to me though... especially when a guy asks. Why on earth do they want to know or care??

5. Likewise, no woman wants to hear comments on her weight- ever. A pregnant woman does not find it flattering you think she is about to pop, must be having twins, looks swollen or has gained weight in her face. Telling her she looks too small only makes her worry that she is somehow starving her baby. Making such comments invite her to critique your physical appearance and you may not act offended. The only acceptable comment on appearance is "You look fabulous!" This really really does make me mad. On my first day back to school for In Service, I can't tell you how many times I heard "Marcie, looks like you put on a little weight this summer." I'm sensitive enough about how much I weigh, and don't need to be reminded that this cute, tiny thing inside me is making me look like the Goodyear Blimp!

6. Most of us have picked up on the fact that summer is hot. We are hot every summer when we are not pregnant. We don't need you to point out that we will be miserably hot before the baby comes. And on the same note, I don't want to hear how "freezing" you are in 90 degree weather. I still sweat 24/7.

7. There is a reason that tickets to L&D are not sold yet on ticketmaster. Childbirth is actually not a public event. It may sound crazy, but some women really do not relish the idea of their mother, MIL or a host of other family members seeing their bare butt or genitals. Also, some people simply feel like the birth of their child is a private and emotional moment to be shared only by the parents. I am announcing this publicly to the world: I am totally fine with having my friends and family visit in the hospital while I am laboring, however, the moment a doctor or nurse comes in to "check" anything, get out. And along the same lines, while I am delivering my child, it will be me and Drew in the room... you can wait a few minutes and see her after I've done the hard work :)

8. Like everything else in life, unless you receive an invitation, you are not invited. This includes doctor visits, ultrasounds, labor, delivery, the hospital, and the parents home. You do not decide if you will be there for the birth, or if you will move in with the new parents to "help out". If your assistance is desired, rest assured that you will be asked for it. I'm ok with visitors. If I want you to leave and tell you to get out, though, please don't take offense... just remember I'm tired and hormonal :)

9. If you are asked to help after the birth, this means you should clean up the house, help with cooking meals, and generally stay out of the way. Holding the baby more then the parents, interfering with breastfeeding and sleeping schedules, and making a woman who is still leaking fluid from various locations lift a finger in housework is not helping. Word.

10. The only people entitled to time with the baby are the parents. Whether they choose to have you at the hospital for the birth, or ask you to wait 3 weeks to visit, appreciate that you are being given the privilege of seeing their child. Complaining or showing disappointment only encourages the parents to include you less. Again, we are family oriented people - those close to us will be included, especially since she will be born around the holidays! But whining is never a good idea!