Pregnancy is a delicate time in every woman’s life… yeah right, just kidding. Pregnancy is anything, but delicate. It’s hard, it’s not easy, most of the time it’s not fun either. There is wonder and beauty to it, but not every woman feels that way about it. Very few women feel like radiant, sexy beings, but those women are unicorns. Nature has a funny way of making every person see a pregnant woman as a beautiful glowing creature. She is the only one who (usually) doesn’t see herself this way. That’s probably because she’s trying to manage acting “normal” when her body is pumping enough hormones to power 5 people. Hormones alone mess with you a lot. Managing those and acting normal would be a big enough job, but it doesn’t stop there. Your intestines are being shoved up your esophagus and your pelvis is splitting apart giving you intense back and sciatica pain, under which conditions you are also expected to act “normal.” Add to that hot mess the nausea, incontinence, constipation, diarrhea, sweating and you now know why we don’t feel beautiful. Now imagine experiencing all these symptoms day after day, you may even add a toddler to that recipe, and then comes along some person who remarks, “Get sleep now while you can!” It’s little things like this that break the proverbial camel’s back.
I understand that most of the people making these unwanted remarks simply don’t understand that they are being offensive. They probably mean well and maybe they have never been pregnant or have never been close to someone who’s been pregnant and they just don’t know. So I am here to help! Please read this and take into consideration that when you see a pregnant woman, these are things that are kind and that may brighten her day.
You’re due when?! You look great!
I’m staring here because EVERYBODY always asks “When are you due?” Towards the end of the pregnancy this becomes a nuisance to hear. I personally don’t ask very pregnant women this because I feel they hear it 10X a day anyway. And the worst is when she has to tell the person she is past her due date because then they say even stupider things. However, when you do ask or when it comes up in conversation, you tell that woman she looks amazing. Even if some part of you doesn’t think she does, you keep in mind the hell her body is going through to create another living being and you say, “Damn, she looks good.”
You make pregnancy look so nice/easy/beautiful.
Many people think this, they just don’t say it this way. You can add in “I know it’s not easy, but…” and this will be even better. It’s hard daily work and being recognized for that feels really good.
I wish you a really great birth.
This is for all you women out there who want to share your 2¢ about labor and birth. Do not. Even if you think she wants to hear it. Stop it right now. Unless she specifically asks you a question, don’t give her your opinions or experiences. An example of this would be, “I’m going to Hospital A for my birth, where did you go?” to which you could reply, “I went to Hospital A/B/Home Birth/whatever” and leave it at that unless she specifically asks you why or what you liked about it. She has her own ideas and plans for birth and she’s already heard 500 from others that she never wanted to hear. Do not tell her how hard it is going to be or how awful your labor was or anything negative. Tell her only good things and wish her the best.
How is life/work?
It’s nice to talk about pregnancy, but it’s also nice to talk about other things. Most pregnant women have a life outside of being pregnant and it’s nice to talk about it. Ask them how their day was, ask them what’s new and meaningful in life.
If you need someone to help with the laundry/take the kids to the park/bring you a casserole just let me know!
This is the real winner. Before and after birth, every woman needs this. This is how it used to be when women lived in small villages: she had a baby and all the women in her family and the village would come over and take care of the home and clean and wash and cook for 2 weeks or more after the baby was born. In today’s world we don’t do that so much, but it would be incredibly appreciated. Maybe not at that level, but a little help goes a long way. By the way, she will probably forget that you offered or may not text or call you so you should do that too. Send her a text saying, “Hey, I have time on Wednesday if you need someone to wash dishes.” Some women don’t want to directly ask you to come fold clothes, but it’s great anyway. Whatever you’re good at or can do easily, offer that. And bring a decaf mocha with you. These little things mean the world. They are the things that truly build relationships. We all need a little help from our friends, especially when our bodies are taking a toll for another cute little body.