So, your friend is totes preggers. It’s kind of the end of an era. No more carefree blackouts and one-nighters. More diapers, less mascara, and basically zero free time. Regardless of how your bestie is doing while a human tapeworm essentially hijacks her body, there are some things you just don’t ask or say once she tells you the news.
It’s 2019 and I shouldn’t have to list these out, but being almost five months pregnant myself, I’ve found that people really, truly, have no sense of decorum when they see a baby on board. I’ve been taken aback multiple times at the things people have said and, for the record, I am not easily offended (hence why I write for this website). I’ve also been shocked at strangers’ comfortability in asking to touch my stomach, but that’s an article for another time. #Donttouchme2019.
Here are a few of the things you need to never, ever, say to your pregnant friends.
1. “You Look Ready To Pop!”
I had a lady tell me I looked seven months pregnant. I’m barely five. I spent the rest of the day wondering just how big I really look. Maybe I should take up kickboxing? Marathon training? Then I cried for a while about the state of my body while I made my husband rub my feet. My point is, please don’t comment on a pregnant woman’s weight or looks. Our backs hurt. Our boobs hurt. We can’t suck our stomachs in. And all we want is pizza and sleep. Be kind.
2. “Were You Trying To Get Pregnant” / “Was This Planned?”
Wow! Why don’t you just ask me my ovulation schedule, too? Or if I can even shave my vagina anymore? Spoiler alert: I can’t. Anyway, it’s absolutely no one’s business whether you were or weren’t trying to get pregnant. Maybe you’ve been trying for years. Maybe a condom broke and you said “oh well” and decided to keep it. Maybe there are a billion other alternate explanations I won’t type out because it’s none of my business. I can’t believe people even ask this question in 2019. Talk about me behind my back, and please don’t make me explain to you how we were or weren’t trying.
3. “Are You Going To Breastfeed?”
Why do you ask? So you can tell me how amazing or horrible it is and then fill me in on your own expertise about how you totally made the right choice and everyone else should, too? Hard pass. Pushing breastfeeding on someone is rude and really sh*tty. You don’t know if the mom-to-be you’re spouting unsolicited advice to is having trouble producing milk. Maybe she’s always wanted to do formula. Regardless, once more for the people in back, it isn’t any of your business. If I want to breast feed, I will. If I want to pop a bottle of formula in his or her mouth, I will. And I better not get sass from you when I do.
4. “You’re Going For A Natural Birth, Right?”
What if I’m not? What if I want every epidural in the hospital and all the Pitocin my body can handle? What if I want to give birth in a giant water bath surrounded by dolphins while a string quartet plays “Old Town Road” on a loop for me? Maybe I’ve already scheduled a C-section around my friend’s bachelorette party. My point is, it’s none of your concern what my birth plan (or total lack of plan) is. I’m doing what’s right for me and you did what’s right for you. We good?
5. “Are You Sure It’s Only One?”
Hey! F*ck off! Maybe I just ate a party pack of Taco Bell tacos. Or maybe, yeah, the baby is getting bigger. They tend to do that. Regardless, as a rule, don’t ever, EVER comment on a pregnant woman’s weight. We’re feeling pretty large, tired, and unwieldy, and you pointing it out isn’t making the situation any better. Leave me and my shapeless outfits alone, thanks. My thunder thighs don’t need your brilliant insight.
6. “You Look Tired/Sad/Exhausted”
Wow, what brilliant levels of insight you have! I haven’t pooped normally in weeks. Rolling over in bed is now an Olympic sport. I cried thinking about how much I love hot chicken. So, please, don’t comment on how my emotions or my under eye bags are showing. It’s tacky. Why don’t you tell me how great my giant boobs look, or how I’m totally glowing (and it isn’t just the increase in face grease), instead?
7. “I’m Sure It’s A Boy/Girl”
OMG do you? Where were you stashed during my ultrasound? There is literally no scientific evidence to support your random claim that you can 100% tell what I’m carrying by looking at how my fat has redistributed or how my stomach is currently hanging. On top of that, maybe I want to be surprised. So please keep your wives’ tales to yourself and try not to comment on the shape and size of my watermelon belly.
8. “I Was In Labor Forever! I Hope Yours Is Better!”
Cool! I don’t f*cking care. You labor is not my labor is not anybody else’s labor. That’s great you pushed a baby out in an hour, or sad that you laid in agony for 48. I really don’t need your reminders about the absolute terror my vagina is about to endure, although I do have it in mind to tell my husband to avert his eyes, Raiders of the Lost Ark style. So, unless I ask, please keep your horror stories to yourself.
9. “Should You Be Eating / Drinking That?”
… or “I bet the baby is hungry; you should probably eat.” Ummm how about I’ll eat or not eat what and when I want? Unless you nonchalantly hitched a ride with me to my doctor, I’m pretty sure you aren’t aware of what she’s told me is chill to eat, not chill to eat, and how often I actually need to eat. Maybe she told me a glass of wine is okay here and there, and that yes, I can have a rare steak. Let me live my life and make the best choices for my baby, k?
10. “Enjoy The Quiet/Happiness/Peace Before The Baby Comes!”
I’m doing my best, and you reminding me of the impending chaos isn’t helping. Last I checked, I’m kind of an adult, and, much like dealing with a puppy, I know this isn’t going to be all sunshine and rainbows. It’s going to be sleepless nights, blowouts that completely ruin the cute clothes I bought, being unable to take a shower alone, and full-blown panic attacks when I run out of wine. I have nine months to settle that in my mind, and I can do without the chiming in.
Images: Ignacio Campo, Unsplash; Giphy (10)