In my 25+ weeks of pregnancy, people have said some pretty crazy things to me. ‘Crazy’ as in, “you do realize you’re talking to a pregnant lady, right?!”
I mean, I understand that everyone has opinions about pregnancy and how pregnant women should act… wait, actually sometimes I think people shouldn’t have opinions because they aren’t pregnant and have no medical knowledge about pregnancy, but that’s kind of a different topic.
As soon as people found out I was pregnant, the opinions about pregnancy started rolling in my direction.
Thank goodness I don’t look super pregnant (winter layers help with this), because I’m sure once strangers start sharing their opinions this list will be even longer! (Maybe there will eventually be a part 2 to this post… but I kind of hope not.)
I’m sure these friends/family members/acquaintances didn’t mean to be offensive, but… well you can see how I managed to be sort of incredulous that I was hearing some of these statements. So I went ahead and assumed what they meant was actually quite different than what they said.
These comments needed some translation:
Person said: ‘Pregnancy grosses me out.’
What I’m sure they meant: ‘You are a lovely and miraculous vessel of human life!’
Person said: ‘Are you sure CrossFit is safe to be doing?’
What I’m sure they meant: ‘It’s awesome you’re working out while pregnant! I’m sure this is great for both you and the baby. You rock!’
Person said: ‘It’s really selfish for a pregnant lady to drink alcohol while pregnant.’
What I’m sure they meant: ‘I respect your right to live however you want to and I’m sure you did the research on what to do and what not to do while pregnant, so I respect your decisions and am sure you’re doing everything you can for your own health and for the health of your little baby.’
Person said: ‘Are you sure it’s safe to travel overseas?’
What I’m sure they meant: ‘Have a great trip! You deserve an awesome babymoon before this baby forces its way out of your vagina!’
Person said: ‘I would never drink caffeine if I were pregnant.’
What I’m sure they meant: ‘Enjoy your tea!’
Person said: ‘Should you be eating that?’
What I’m sure they meant: ‘That looks delicious! Enjoy it. I’m sure you already checked with your doctor about what an appropriate diet is for pregnancy, and I know you’re making the best choices you can.’
Person said: ‘I think baby bumps are gross and I hate when I see pictures of them all over my social media feeds.’
What I’m sure they meant: ‘Baby bumps are beautiful and pregnant women are the most gorgeous creatures on the planet!’
Person said: ‘If you can’t just abstain from sushi, caffeine, alcohol, etc. while pregnant, there’s something wrong with you.’
What I’m sure they meant: ‘Being pregnant must be so hard! You are selfless to give up so much of yourself to incubate another human for 9 months.’
Person said: ‘Eat whatever you want (meaning lots of chocolate), you’re pregnant!’
What I’m sure they meant: ‘I would never want you to use pregnancy as an excuse to be unhealthy, because that can’t be good for you and I know you’re working on being well-balanced, but if you want more chocolate, go ahead!’
Person said: ‘Oh, you’re going to be a stay at home mom for a while? Won’t you get bored?’
What I’m sure they meant: ‘It’s so great that you’re going to forego your salary to be a stay at home mom. What an awesome thing for your (future) child!’
Person said: ‘But you don’t look pregnant!’
What I’m sure they meant: ‘Congratulations!’
And then there are the remarks that need no interpretation:
Person said: ‘You look so healthy!’
What I’m sure they meant: ‘You look so healthy!’
Person said: ‘Ohmygosh you look beautiful.’
What I’m sure they meant: ‘Ohmygosh you look beautiful.’
Person said: ‘Look at that bump! I love it!’
What I’m sure they meant: ‘Look at that bump! I love it!’
Person said: ‘You definitely have that pregnancy glow!’
What I’m sure they meant: ‘You definitely have that pregnancy glow!’
The point is, we’ve all been unintentionally offensive at some point in our lives, but pregnancy is one of those times when everyone might want to be a little extra sensitive. There’s a lot of pressure out there for pregnant women and I’m sure new moms are in a whole league of their own! I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it, though. Women in times of transition needs unconditional support, not judgments of any kind.
My advice of the day is to tell a pregnant woman she’s beautiful, doing great, etc. Ask her how she’s feeling. Ask her what new pregnancy milestone she’s at. Ask her what she’s struggling with.
Pregnancy is hard (but so, so beautiful) darn it!