how to talk to a pregnant woman: a refresher for douchebags
Lists like this have been shared a thousand times by a thousand women.
But for the love of Ganesh, no one seems to be listening! My poor husband gets an annoying lecture from me every night as I waddle (I mean pace) the floor after some random comment nearly left me in tears.
After hearing for the tenth time that day that I am an enormous pregnant elephant (which I don’t think I am, by the way), I start to lose it.
I will yell at my husband, “I don’t look that big, do I?” Then I grab him on a very sensitive place (the ear, you perverts,) and twist very hard and repeat, “Do I? DO I???!” until he collapses on the floor and smiles up at me and lovingly tells me I’m beautiful.
Since no one pays attention to the basic rules of humanity regarding pregnant woman, I’m going to be derivative and unoriginal and remind you douchebags of a few guidelines for common courtesy regarding the expectant mother.
If you already know these things, please don’t feel insulted. You are not a douchebag. You are lovely and I am not talking to you.
Douchebags, please read on.
Ask a pregnant woman if she is having twins. If she is having twins, she’ll tell you. Because she is going to be utterly freaked out that she is carrying twins. She is probably walking through life announcing, “Yes, it’s twins!” to anyone who gives her belly an uncomfortable second glance. My sister had twins so I sorta know about this stuff a little bit.
Tell her she looks like she’s going to have the baby tomorrow. What if she’s just big lady? What if she’s on her third child (ahem) and her abs are just all stretched out and disgusting and you are rubbing it in? Don’t you feel terrible now?
Tell her that her baby looks too small. Along these same lines, some women are small. Some families make small babies. What if she’s nervous about low birth weight? Again, don’t you feel terrible now?
Touch her, for chrissakes. I hate to rattle the bedrock of the hetero porn industry, but women are not yours for the touching. Even if they stick out a little. A pregnant belly is not a “touch me” sign. It is personal and private, and imagine if a stranger walked up to you and put their hand flat against your belly button. Gross.
The lower belly is also dangerously close to the pubic area. My friend, April, said, “It’s almost like someone is trying to touch your vagina.” She’s right.
I’m totally cool with my friends wanting to lay hands on the belly, but then again, those people are polite enough to ask first.
Ask open-ended questions. How are you feeling? How’s it going? When is the baby due? You get the idea? But, please, please, please know for a fact that the woman is actually pregnant before getting into details about gestation length. And (back to the Dont’s. Sorry.) DON’T ASK HER IF SHE IS PREGNANT!!! If you are not sure then just be quiet for five minutes until you get distracted by a squirrel or something.
Tell her she looks great. Compliment whatever feels right according to your relationship. Tell her hair is shiny and bouncy or her skin is glowing and radient or (if appropriate) her boobs look huge and terrific. Based on my experience, pregnant women feel hideous at least 50% of the time, so the tiniest scrap of kindness you can manage to throw her way will make her day and make you feel like a million bucks for making her day. If she looks like a god-awful sack of turds then keep your mouth shut, because when is it ever okay to insult any human being for any reason?
I’ll stop here and leave you with my favorite douchebag moment that recently came flooding back to me: When I was pregnant with my first child, a man stood next to me, looked at another woman and said, “Now there’s a woman who hasn’t let pregnancy ruin her body.”
Just in case you were wondering, please don’t say that either.
You guys want to add anything else? What else should you say or not say to an expectant mama?