By Briar Brazelton
Have you ever been in a situation where someone says something uncomfortable and you don’t know quite how to respond? Have you ever been pregnant and been in that situation?! The 40+ week journey of pregnancy is an amazing one! However, as most people know, being pregnant comes with it’s own set of changes; physically, mentally, emotionally. It comes with challenges, mood swings, tears & imbalances! People come at you from every angle with different points of view, suggestions on what you should or should not do. You hear lots of pregnancy stories & experiences. You hear about great things, and scary things. All of which, are just a part of being pregnant! However, it’s time to be frank! Some people, even the well-intentioned ones, can say things that upset, scare or just downright annoy moms-to-be.
As my second pregnancy comes to a close, I thought on behalf of pregnant women everywhere, I’d put together what I’ll call, a recommendation letter. Here are a few things I, as a fellow pregnant woman, recommend you DON’T say to any Mom-to-be.
Number one: Any comments about the amount of food mom-to-be is eating. Not appreciated!
Number two: The words “stretch marks.” Just, don’t!
Number three: “OMG! You look like you’re going to pop!” or “Are you sure there is just one in there?” Just do not reference her size or weight in any way. We already feel big enough.
Number four: This one isn’t so much as words, but, going in for the belly grabs and rubs without consent. We are not a sideshow attraction! Especially if I don’t know you, PLEASE, hands off! I cannot tell you how uncomfortable it is, for the stranger in the grocery store to rub their hands on my belly. I mean, just think about that for a second!
Number five: “Oh, you like that name?” or “Are you sure about that name?” or “How about (insert YOUR opinion here)”. This ISN’T your baby or your choice! Unless you are birthing the baby or are the spouse of the one birthing the baby, sssshhhh, on the name selection.
Number six: The words, “crazy”, “hormonal”, “emotional”, “too sensitive”, “moody”, or “irrational”… trust me!
Number seven: “Was this planned?!” ummm, just not an appropriate question.
Number eight: “You look tired” in fact, I think this one applies to everyone. No one wants to hear they look tired, right! So of, course being pregnant and hearing that is an automatic downer. WE ARE TIRED! We’re growing a human, remember!
Number nine: “Are you planning for another?” or “When’s the next one?” Are you serious??!! Can we at least get through one pregnancy, delivery and recovery, before being asked those ridiculous questions?
Number ten: Don’t diminish a mom-to-be’s feelings about giving birth. If we feel comfortable enough to speak to you about our fears, concerns, excitements etc. about our upcoming birthing experience, just acknowledge and appreciate that. Hear us out, without your judgements, criticisms or two cents. Unless asked for, usually, we just want to be heard.
I’ll end with this, women are AMAZING! What our bodies can endure is incredible! We can bear children and be back to business in a matter of months! Typically we accomplish all of this, with little to no recognition, usually it’s just expected. So to all the moms, moms to be, and women out there, YOU ARE A BAD ASS!!