As I pen this, I’m nearly nine months pregnant with our first
child. Our little boy is due any day!
Since I learned I was prego on December 10th, people have said (in many instances) kind and
gracious words while others have said things that if out of ignorance I’ve ever said to another
mom to be, I’m going on record here to apologize and state that I’ll never say them again, God
willing. Over my nine-month journey, I have become pain- fully aware of how folks lose all sense
of boundaries with a pregnant woman. People mean well, and they’re not saying these things
out of malice or to bother me enough to include them in a blog post – but I thought I would clear
the air. I hope this list makes you smile (and even giggle), and I also hope it will help make you
aware of what to say and not to say the next time you’re talking to an expectant mom.
- “Are you sure you’re not six or seven months? You look
big today.” I was asked
this at 21 weeks, more like five months. Yes, I’m sure.
- “Are you sure it’s not twins? One might be hiding behind the
other.” So, are you
saying I’m so big there must be two babies in my belly?
- “Was it planned?” This question irritates me, yes, he was
”planned.” Whether they
were intended by the child’s parents or not, babies are a gift from God, and it’s such
a nosy question. Are you asking me if I had unprotected sex with my husband on
purpose? I think that’s none of your business.
- “Is it your husband’s?” I was asked this with my husband
standing right next to me.
There are no words for this one, except, yes, the baby boy was sired by my husband.
Thanks for asking.
- “You’re not allowed to drink coffee.” Um, thanks, but actually,
I am “allowed” to
drink coffee. According to What to Expect When You’re Expecting, the most helpful
and (at the same time) frightening book on -out there, on page 69: “Most evidence
suggests that drinking up to approximately 200 mg of caffeine a day is safe during
pregnancy. Depending on how you take your coffee (black or with lots of milk), that
could mean limiting yourself to about two cups (give or take) a day. Which means
you’re good to go (and fuel your get-up-and-go) if you’re a light or moderate
- “You might change your mind about his name after he’s born.”
My husband and I have
had our boy’s name picked out for years. We use it when we talk to him (yes, we do
that). You may know people who had this experience, which is great for them, but I
still don’t understand why you’d say that to me? Why not say what a nice name
and move on?
- “Wouldn’t it be great if you had him on your birthday?” No,
it wouldn’t. My birthday is
about three weeks after my baby’s due date. That would make me 43 weeks (10-11
- “You’re going to get carpel tunnel.” Wow, I didn’t know you
were a doctor! And that
every single pregnant woman gets carpel tunnel! Again, just because you or someone
you know had that experience doesn’t mean I will. Please don’t speak that over me
(along with number seven). I already have carpel tunnel, it started 11 years ago and
I’ve since made lifestyle and ergonomic changes that keep the pain away.
- “You’re not allowed to dye your hair.” Please people, unless
you’re my doctor (which
you’re not), don’t tell me what I’m allowed and not allowed to do! No one has researched
or freaked out about this stuff more than me. I am “allowed” and I did (gasp!). From What
to Expect When You’re Expecting, page 144-145:
“Even though no evidence suggests the small amount of chemicals
absorbed through the skin
during hair coloring is harmful when you’re expecting, some experts still advise waiting out the
first trimester before heading back to the salon for retouching. Others maintain that it’s safe to
dye throughout pregnancy.”
I waited a few weeks into my second trimester to be on the safe side.
I also didn’t feel well
enough the first trimester to make a trip to the salon (smells are also magnified during the
first trimester and I handled this much better during the second).
- “You look great.
- “You look beautiful.”
- “You look lovely.”
- “You have that lovely expectant glow.” or
“You’re glowing.” We love hearing that.
- “You’re so tiny!”
- “You don’t look like you’re having a baby.”
This made my day one day at the beginning of my fourth month.
- “You’re so little!”
- “What a lucky baby!” Well gosh, thanks!
- “You’re going to be great parents!” “You’re going
to be a great mom!” Again, thank you. Expectant
mothers love hearing this one.
In other words, if you’re not telling me how fabulous I look or compli
menting my future
parenting skills, then please keep your comments and projections to yourself.
Have any DOs or DON’Ts of your own? Please share in the comments below.