Saturday, September 3, 2011

How not to interact with a pregnant woman 101: A lesson in tact.

Photo by Donna Ammons, Editing by myself.

*Please read with a good hardy dose of sarcasm.
I'm a walking miracle and people are curious beings by nature.

I get that.

Pregnancy generally brings up lots of questions because, let's face it, on the whole as a culture, we have no freaking clue what is involved in the physiological process of growing a baby. However, these are not the questions, which I'd gladly answer for you, that the average consumer asks a pregnant woman.

For those of you that have never seen a pregnant woman, have never been pregnant or just plain live under a rock, I've taken the time to write this simple guide for you. A how-to of sorts.

1. When you see a "largely pregnant" woman and you ask her when she's due, because apparently that has come bearing on your day, do not act shocked when her answer infers her to still have 3 (OR EVEN OVER 4) months left of being pregnant. Your best response: "Oh, that's awesome!"

2. When you feel said "largely pregnant" woman is "about to pop", please for the love of all that is holy do not say to her, "Oh, I thought you were due any minute!" This is especially important if the woman is less than 35 weeks pregnant, i.e. 19 weeks pregnant.

3. When you feel that a pregnant woman is too large for how far along in pregnancy she is, do not say, "Is is twins?!" or my personal favorite, "HOW MANY YOU GOT IN THERE?!" (or even insist she's carrying not only a baby but a little tikes bicycle, kitchen sink, full grown adult). Most pregnant women, even the most secure in their expanding bodies, do not want you inferring that they are as big as a train, EVEN IF THE DO HAPPEN TO BE PREGNANT WITH TWINS!

4. If the pregnant woman in question kindly answers your idiotic questions with answers that aren't conducive to putting your morbid curiosity at ease do not, I REPEAT, do NOT ask her, "Are you sure?!" As a pregnant woman, we already feel stupid enough when we are forgetting where we put something daily, forgetting something seconds after it is told to us or constantly feeling like we've forgotten something even when we haven't. We don't need a stranger making us feel we've forgotten when we've had sex or had our last periods OR have seen on an ultrasound screen that yes, indeed, we are only having one baby. It's 2011 people. Technology is just a wee bit advanced.

5. Everyone is an expert when it comes to knowing what genitalia is growing inside a pregnant woman's uterus. This is based off of years of scientific research and watching the elusive pregnant woman in the wild.
The criteria for the boy vs. girl debate is easy:
-Is she craving spicy/savory foods vs. sweet foods?
-Is she gaining only a belly vs. getting "fat all over" (as it's so delicately put)?
-The Chinese sex prediction calendar.
-Which side she prefers to sleep on while pregnant.
-If her hands are soft or dry while pregnant.
-If she is nauseous or not while pregnant.
-The pendulum test.
These are all foolproof methods.......

It has NOTHING to do with:
-Genetics and family history
-The sperm donor's, husband's or baby daddy's diet.
-If the sp/h/bd constantly works under higher pressures, physically not figuratively.
-The woman's diet.
-The pH balance of the woman's uterus.
-The time during ovulation that baby was conceived.
These are all just poppycock...

Seriously people, you are not an expert and you have a 50/50 chance of being correct. Well technically you have about a 49.5/49.5/1 chance of being correct because there ARE hermaphrodites in the world. Forget about them?
Your best response on this one would be just good ole fashion, keeping your opinions to yourself. Really, you don't win a prize for being right and with odds like 49.5/49.5/1, you shouldn't feel awesome if your guess was right....unless you were in the 1% or less category.
Besides, your reasoning's behind why she is having a boy vs. a girl is some other random person's reasoning's behind her having a girl vs. a boy.

6. If somehow the pregnant woman dishes to you on her birthing plan and that plan includes having a home birth, do not respond with a "Oh my, you're brave" or something along the lines of "What if something goes wrong?!" or simply a "I could NEVER do that!" Honestly, we don't care about what you think and if you feel you could do it or not and we certainly don't need your two cents about what is safe or not. Home-birthers are generally some of the most educated women in regards to having a baby. Your best response: "Oh, that's awesome!" (seeing a pattern here?) Even responding with, "Oh good for you! I could NEVER do that!" in a way diminishes her decision to have a baby at home.

7. Going along with number six, this one is simple, KEEP YOUR HORROR STORIES TO YOURSELF! No one likes a Debby Downer and when a you are preparing for what probably will be one of the most trying times in our lives, pregnant women don't need their psyche's filled with all the terrors any random woman has ever endured with their births. Just sayin'.

8. When talking to a pregnant woman it is also safe to say, we don't need perfect strangers trying to discuss our breasts as well. Meaning, it's none of your damn business if she is going to breastfeed or not. She's not asking if you are having regular bowel movements, don't ask about her bodily functions, especially if you are a guy. Creep.

9. When actually, ACTUALLY, finding out a woman is near her "due date", at her "due date" or past her "due date" do not, anytime you see her or call her to ask, "Have you had that baby yet?!" I'm pretty sure you will know the difference between a baby in her womb vs. a baby in her arms, at least, I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here.
Pregnant women, here's a tip, give them this site: That should shut them up.

10. Lastly, I will end with this advice as well. Don't EVER start touching a pregnant woman's stomach without her permission, ESPECIALLY if you are a stranger. Only make the mistake of randomly grouping a stranger if you have a death wish that morning. We get enough stares at our belly or full blown conversations with only about 1.2 seconds of actual eye contact vs the very awkward minutes of either direct eye contact with our newly found breasts or bulging bellies that we don't need you touching us as well.

In closing, the best advice to follow is, if you wouldn't do or say it to a random non pregnant stranger DEFINITELY do not do or say it to a hormonal pregnant woman who is in the tiger, "protect your young" stage. Hope this helps you to be just, at the very least, a bit more adept when it comes to interacting with that mysterious knocked up woman.

Peace and Love.


alovelylittleworld said...

Oops! I told my friend she was brave for opting for home birth! I admired her though!!!! Sorry :( I've not made any of the other mistakes though!!!!!

Peace Love and Leener said...

haha :)

Charlotte said...

Amazing advice. Especially "have you had that baby yet". I think more pregnant women should just be rude... the questions are rude, maybe they need a taste of their own medicine! humph!

Kamika said...