Pregnancy Etiquette Guide

Talking with some lovely ladies on Twitter today got me thinking about how discussing pregnancy is a political and emotional minefield but of course you don’t realise this until you have actually been pregnant and had to deal with the seemingly innocent comments which incur a new kind of wrath within thanks to a barrage of sometimes irrational hormones.

So for every man out there and ladies who have never been or are not yet pregnant I give you your guide to Pregnancy Etiquette:

DON’T

  • comment on bump size, for example please do not say “its not very big is it” or “wow you’re big already” or “are you sure there is only one in there” – this kind of comment will leave the mother to be fretting about her precious unborn child not growing properly or being so huge she will be torn to pieces on its exit.
  • give any negative reaction to finding out the sex of the Baby – it cannot be changed and despite having half a dozen boys at home it does not mean that another one is a disappointment. Think about it this way when you say “its a shame you’re having another boy/girl” said mother to be will be mortally offended as you are basically saying “oh you don’t want another one like the one you’ve already got” or if they did actually want to branch out of pink/blue clothing you are reminding them that they can’t.
  • compare bump size with other pregnant ladies you know – we all grow differently and we do not want to hear about your sodding friend who hasn’t put on any weight and has a “neat little bump”.
  • touch the bump, why on earth do people think this is ok? If someone touched you on your body you would have the right to sue for sexual harassment. It is not a touchy feely free for all. A lot of pregnant women don’t mind the bump being touched but for gods sake ask first please.
  • make assumptions for us, this may be an area where we use pregnancy to our advantage, particularly when it comes to heavy lifting and cleaning out pets but do not assume a pregnant women is handicapped in anyway because we are still the same woman we were before we were pregnant. Losing the ability to eat and drink and do whatever you want is very frustrating. So rather than miss us out when you pour wine or dish out pate ask nicely “would you like some”.
  • upon finding out the sex do not ask “does that mean you will go for another after this one” because this one of the same sex is just a blip and we surely need to rectify the mistake with another one. Insulting to say the least.
  • try to think of more interesting questions than “when’s it due” and “do you know what you’re having”, or at least don’t ask them first – we hear them a hundred times a day.
  • regale first time mothers with horrific birth stories or educate them on perineal massage and episiotomys, they will learn in their own good time.
DO’S
  • give up your seat on public transport / park bench / couch.
  • offer a back rub although this is probably best reserved for close friends / family.
  • expand your horizons when entertaining and buy nice non-alcoholic drinks, I’m not talking about water, squash and coke but sparkling grape, elderflower, non-alcoholic lager.
  • congratulate them when they announce the sex of the baby (see above)
Many thanks go to @mummylimited, @snafflesmummy, @tmntanning@VannaBeAViking, @JordanFleet, @Kellyfairy, @icod and @LisaGCreates for their contributions to this piece.
Please comment with any of your biggest Pregnancy Faux Pas I have forgotten.
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5 Responses

  1. All so true. I wrote a slightly more ranty version if this when I was 6 months pregnant! http://youfoundkelshidingplace.blogspot.com/2011/02/rant.html

  2. Totally agree – my mil used to always say ‘gosh you are bigger’ when I was pregnant – I felt awful because yes I was big because I was on BED REST and a HIGH CALORIE DIET trying to help her future grandchild survive

    *and breathe*

  3. This is all so true!! I love the new blog btw, I have subscribed as now I can’t follow you on google. I have also changed blogs this week if you wanted to take a look! http://www.mummydaddyandmemakesthree.co.uk x P.S used our tommee tippee spoons for the first time yesterday- thank you!

  4. *Stocks up on Schloer…*

    RCx

  5. Thanks for reading!

    Kelly I loved your ranty version, I am sure later on I will do one which is much more ranty!

    Muddling – sometimes people need to take a deep breath before they speak. I assume MIL is quite happy at what you have produced though.

    Ritzi – glad to see I have influenced you via a parenting blog!! Really enjoying your far-removed from parenting blog. 🙂

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