I had no idea how ridiculous people could act when faced with a pregnant person.
Honestly, it seems like some see a bump walking towards them and they panic, all common sense leaves their brain and they end up chatting absolute rubbish at you.
So, for those who seem to not know how to speak to people once you’re aware of the fact they’ve got another human brewing inside them, I’ve prepared a short list of what NOT to say to your friendly neighbourhood pregnant lady.
- Do not comment on their bump/appearance at all unless you’re going to tell them they look amazing.
If you think they look tired, that their bump isn’t big enough, that their skin looks like it might actually be flaking off or that they just generally look like shit – don’t tell them.
Chances are you’re right and they probably do look like shit, but they’re probably also fully aware of it.
Someone who’s probably spent ages that morning rubbing E45 cream into their dry, scaly skin and standing like a Tellytubby in the mirror assessing the new stretch marks that are appearing by the minute does not need to be reminded that they’re looking a bit pale at the moment.
- Don’t regale them with every terrible tale you’ve ever heard about birth.
This one goes out to the woman on the maternity ward in the bed opposite me after Elliot was born, Who looked across the ward at this 20 year old girl sat, terrified and pale as a ghost with a newborn baby in her arms and said, menacingly “Have you had a poo yet? It REALLY hurts.” and then trotted off to have a fag, leaving me in tears.
Take it from me, pregnant people do not need your stories of your friend’s wife’s cousin who had a c-section disaster, a third degree tear and a failed epidural.
If they want to tell you about their hypnobirthing book they’ve been reading and the water birth they’re really interested in having – don’t shoot them down with “HAHA! YOU’VE GOT NO CHANCE OF THAT HAPPENING, PREPARE FOR THE PAIN!” because what does that really achieve? Probably me crying into my husband’s shoulder at 1am because I hate him for getting me pregnant.
- Don’t touch them.
Don’t ask to touch them.
I highly doubt you’d go up to a non-knocked up person and ask them what they’re having for tea whilst rubbing their belly, so don’t do it to me.
- Don’t make assumptions about what I want.
From the day I started telling people I was pregnant, I’ve had comments of “bet you’re excited for a girl” and “bet you’d be gutted if it was a boy!”
There’s only so many times I can grit my teeth and smile whilst saying “all I want is a happy, healthy baby.” Really doesn’t matter what’s going on in their nappy as long as it’s not a massive shit that’s about to creep up to their neckline.
- Don’t look at their drink in a coffee shop with disgust.
Honestly, I’ve had people look me in the eye, look down at my cup and then look back at me with a raised eyebrow and say “…I hope that’s not coffee.”
Actually, please do say that as I’ve thought about it a lot since last time and have found a better comeback than last time where I looked at them blankly and said “it’s….tea?” with a confused tone.
At the end of the day, unless you’re me asking in the coffee shop if it’s definitely decaf before I down my Christmassy latte – it doesn’t matter what I’m drinking!
- They’re pregnant, not senile.
For some reason, people seem to be pitying me like my brain turned off as soon as that egg got fertilised.
I’ve had people at work pat me on the shoulder and patronisingly tell me that “it doesn’t matter, you’re pregnant so we understand you’re not at 100%” when actually they’re the one that cocked up and it was nothing to do with me.
Don’t assume I’m now only thinking about babygrows and breast milk because I’m a person outside of this pregnancy and I’m still capable of everything I did before.
Other than hoovering the stairs. I will hold my hands up and say I can’t do that anymore.