Mind Your Manners: The Pregnancy Edict
Pregnancy – one of life’s great gifts- is also a time when social cues and personal boundaries can become a little dicey. Strangers think it is “ok” to touch your stomach and people comment and question nearly every aspect of your life. Almost every woman who has been pregnant can tell you about the nosey and touchy people that suddenly greeted them wherever they went.
Coming to the rescue for pregnant women everywhere, here are some tips for how to handle yourself around an expectant mother.
Talk to her stomach– It is hard not to start speaking “baby talk” whenever we see a small child, but that is no excuse to talk to a woman’s stomach. It may be true that the baby can hear and recognize certain voices, but the voice of a stranger is not welcome. Talk to her, not the baby and your conversation will go a lot smoother.
Touch her stomach– Imagine if someone came up and started intentionally grabbing your stomach. It is not only weird and uncomfortable, but if you are protecting a small human life you don’t really want people grabbing at you. If you aren’t close, asking puts her in an uncomfortable position that you should really just avoid. Unless she offers, you don’t have the right to touch her body.
Talk about her weight– It doesn’t matter if you think she has gotten really big, or stayed surprisingly small. It is never acceptable to comment on a person’s weight. What you think is a compliment could be taken the wrong way or cause her to dwell on her weight. Let her focus on her health, not her size.
Share your opinions on raising children– Your thoughts on breastfeeding and discipline are not necessarily the opinions of everyone else. You may think you are sharing new information, but the chances are that she has already heard your argument and wants to make decisions on raising her child with the father and not you.
Share your pregnancy horror stories– You almost lost your baby? The epidural didn’t work? Your husband went to the wrong hospital? Share those stories with someone who isn’t already worried that something could go wrong with her own pregnancy. There is no reason to remind her about everything that could go wrong.
Ask about the plans for the child– Just because a person is young, unmarried, or in a difficult situation does not mean that you have the right to ask what she is planning on doing for the baby. If she wants to share, she will.
Question her food choices– You may not approve of a pregnant woman drinking caffeine, or eating certain foods, but that is up to her to decide. It is one thing for an immediate family member or close friend to comment on her choices that affect the baby, it is another think for another person in line at the coffee shop. Are you really sure she is even pregnant?
Offer her a seat– If you are on a train, in a restaurant, or really just about anywhere, it is always polite to offer a pregnant woman a seat. If she says no thank you, you don’t need to pester her, but she would probably like some time off her feet.
Understand if she feels overwhelmed or upset– pregnancy hormones can make a woman’s emotions go all over the place. It is not special treatment for you to be understanding, its kind.
Think before you speak– if you would feel weird if someone asked you that question, don’t ask it. Thinking can always save you and others a lot of heartache.
Maybe you have seen people break these pregnancy edict rules, or experienced the situations yourself, whatever the case remembering these tips can make the lives of pregnant women just a little bit easier.
- Posted by holx-admin
- On August 7, 2013