15w0d Things You Should Not Say To A Pregnant Woman

Your baby’s the size of an avocado!

Your baby now weighs in at a whopping three to five ounces, and he’s four to five inches in length. The bones that are now in place in his ears means he can probably hear your voice as you talk to your partner and pals and sing in the car. While he’s getting used to your voice, the tiny muscles in his body, especially the ones in his back, are gaining strength, so he can straighten out a little more. And thanks to his developing facial muscles, your baby is capable of making a few expressive frowns and squints, even at this early stage. (Don’t worry, those frowns have nothing to do with the sound of your voice!) And his eyes are finally working, making small side-to-side movements and perceiving light (although the eyelids are still sealed). Peekaboo!  

Stay on the lookout for some fluttering sensations in your abdomen. It might not be right at 16 weeks, but pretty soon you’ll start feeling baby moving around in there. At first those moves might feel like gas or a muscle twitch, but over time, as baby gets bigger and stronger, they’ll be unmistakable. 

(Source: The Bump and What to Expect)

Hands down, one of the best parts of being pregnant is finally reaching a point in which J and I feel comfortable sharing our happy news with others!  After keeping Baby Z a secret for what feels like forever, I’ve been pretty excited to finally be able to let the “baby out of the bag,” especially now that I’m also beginning to sport a baby bump!  It’s a relief to tell people that I’m having a baby and not just overdoing it on cupcakes.

However, one thing that we’re definitely discovering as we tell people about our pregnancy is…not everyone has the same anticipated reaction to our news.  It has only been a couple of weeks since J and I started telling people about our pregnancy, but I’ve already been on the recipient end of lots of  interesting comments, advice, and questions.  I try to take all advice and comments with a smile and an open-mind (and a grain of salt), knowing that most come from a well-intentioned place.  That said, I would like to dedicate this post to THINGS YOU REALLY SHOULD NOT SAY TO A PREGNANT WOMAN.  I’m sure there are a lot more to come in the next few months, but here are just a few that I’ve already heard:

  1. “Enjoy ____ now because once the baby comes, you can kiss it goodbye.”  Pregnancy is already a stressful time for most pregnant women, why make it worse with a depressing, gloom-and-doom comment like this one?!  Trust me, I am more than aware that my life is going to change drastically once Baby Z arrives.  I don’t need anyone to remind me that I will never be able to sleep in or have a moment to myself ever again.
  2.  Zooming in to touch my belly without asking first.  I find it a little unnerving when people I hardly know automatically reach out to touch my belly when they find out that I am pregnant – especially since I’m hardly showing yet.  Um, I barely know you, why are you touching me?  The first time this happened to me, I was so confused by the reaching hands that I automatically just backed away (and almost tripped over myself in the process).  I can understand how a huge belly may look like an invitation to touch, but please, ask first!
  3. “Are you sure you should be eating that?”  or “You shouldn’t be eating/drinking that.”  I know that this comment may stem from good intentions, but unless you’re my husband or my doctor, please don’t say anything to me about my eating habits.  Pregnant woman are SUPER well aware of their new dietary restrictions and recommendations, so unless you see us chugging a bottle of vodka and chain-smoking (and quite frankly, perhaps not even then), we would like to enjoy our (one) cup of daily coffee or piece of (cooked) salmon in peace, please.
  4. “I hope you’re getting an epidural.”  J and I have not made a final decision on our birth plan yet, but I think the decision of how and where to give birth is an extremely personal one.  Whether we decide to get an epidural or not, please trust us that we’ll be making an informed decision that’s best for us.
  5. “You’re so much bigger/smaller than I was when I was at your stage of pregnancy.”   Umm…thanks?   This comment always makes me want to either dig into a bucket of ice cream or go on a fast…or call my doctor in a panic.
  6. “Labor was the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my entire life.  It was torture.”  Great.  Thanks.  Now I have something to look forward to.

For the most part, I welcome (and need!) most advice and suggestions, and I think most pregnant women do too.  This is our first child, and I am filled with equal parts of excitement and fright for what lies ahead, and I know that I will need all the help, support, and encouragement that I can get!  But in general, I wish people can offer just that -positive and encouraging statements, rather than judgement and negativity.

Let me end this post with the below amazing exchange I had with a colleague of mine earlier this week when we were alone in an elevator:

Him: “You having twins?”
Me: “Huh?  Oh no, just one.  You’re the first one at work to notice that I’m pregnant!”
Him: “What?  It’s pretty obvious.”
Me: “Really?”
Him: “Yeah, you work here long enough you get to know everyone’s bodies.  And you had a good one.”

(Silence)

Yeah, you should definitely not say that to a pregnant woman – or any woman.  Period.

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