Somehow, as soon as a woman announces her pregnancy, everyone becomes an expert on it. And I mean everyone! It doesn’t matter if they have ever been pregnant, if they are doctors or if they even have a vagina. People will start giving you advice, whether you like it or (most likely) not.
I am used to this type of unsolicited advice-giving because I come from a family that does not know what the word boundaries means and therefore grew up with everyone telling me not only what I should do, wear or think, but also how to do those things.
Things people need to stop telling pregnant women
1. Anything about your labor/birthing experience. – Though I am sure other people find it absolutely fascinating hearing about how long you spent in labor and how your kid got stuck in your hip and how the doctor had to perform McGyver surgery on you while you were awake….I really don’t care. No, really, I don’t. Unless you’re actually my friend, I am not interested in knowing your birth story. I probably don’t even like your kids that much either. Just saying.
2. How constipated you were during your pregnancy. – I know, it’s really hard to imagine someone not wanting to hear about how much you did (or didn’t) poop while you were pregnant! But I really don’t give a damn about it. And no, I also don’t want to tell you how my bowel movements have been. Unless (see above) we’re actually friends. And even then, that would be a big maybe.
3. How I won’t have a life after pushing my baby out. Life = gone! – Really? Now, I am not as blue-eyes as some people who believe the blogger mom they follow (you know, the one who only posts the good things and has a perfect life) actually shares everything on her Instagram. But I also don’t think having a baby means I will not ever have a life anymore.
4. Asking if I really want to eat/drink that or saying I am not eating enough. – Apparently, once someone is pregnant, people don’t just magically know everything about pregnancy. No, they also get a nutritionist degree sent to their doorstep for the duration of said pregnancy! How amazing is that and where can I get one?
I find this to be not only incredibly disrespectful but also really dangerous to do. Unless you actually have a degree, you should refrain from making said comments. And even if you have one, just keep your mouth shut unless the person asks you!
Speaking as someone who’s been living with an eating disorder for the better part of 20 years, having people who don’t know me that well telling me I should eat more/less just makes things worse!
Why is it acceptable to comment on pregnant women so much?
5. Telling me how big/small my bump is. – I’m sorry, but I seem to not have gotten the memo telling me how big my bump should be! I really should talk to my postman. Bumps, like people, come in all shapes and sizes. Just because your bump was bigger/smaller, doesn’t mean there is something wrong with my bump. Besides, you wouldn’t like it if people were going around telling you how big your ass looks, would you?
6. Telling me something is wrong with my pregnancy because I don’t have *insert whatever pain/complaint you had*. – Does it make you feel bad that I don’t have back pain at 7 months pregnant? Do you want to make a formal complaint? I already have Fibromyalgia, which causes chronic pain. So I feel like I should get a break and actually enjoy the fact that for once I DON’T have back pain!
Unless, of course, you want to trade the pain you had on your back for a few months with the pain I always have. If you do, I’m game. (no, really, I am!)
7. How your sex life/libido was during your pregnancy. – No. Just, no.
8. Sharing how your vagina looked after birth and how your husband/boyfriend/whoever the fuck you sleep with felt about it. – Did I mention that I don’t care? Yeah, I don’t. No, really, I don’t want to have a mental image of what your vagina looks/looked like and I always get mental images when someone tells me something, so please don’t.
9. Sharing the changes your vagina/nipples went through during pregnancy. – See above.
Does having a baby mean you lose your life forever?
10. Asking me how much weight I put on. – Seriously? See number 4, will you? One thing I hate is when people get shocked because I didn’t put any weight on yet because it is just so OMG. Or having my aunt ask me “what about weight gain” or my father saying I have to work out to “keep your weight in check”.
Some women put on more weight, some don’t put on as much and some don’t put on any. And no, just because you put on 50 kg while pregnant, does not mean I have to. Nor does me not putting on weight mean my baby won’t be just as healthy.
So just get this: it’s none of your fucking business!
11. Telling me I can say goodbye to any good clothes or how I won’t ever use makeup again. – I am having a baby, not a feral raccoon! And I also have the common sense not to wear my silk blouse while carrying a newborn. Not that I have a silk blouse, but that is beside the point.
12. Telling me I cannot possibly travel with *OMG* a newborn BABY. – I will turn 30 next year and I’d like to spend that day with my parents. Yes, that requires taking a 3h plane to Portugal. Oh, what is that you say? I cannot ever go on a plane again because I will have a baby?! Oh my, how did I possibly forget that?!
It’s actually proven that newborns handle flights better than toddlers, just saying. Besides, if my doctor (you know, the one who went to University and has the actual degree) tells me I can do it, I can fucking do it.
And just FYI, my parents drove from the North of Denmark to Portugal when I was two and a half years old and I survived it. They did too, in case your worries don’t just concern the baby. Oh and we also had a German Sheppard in the car with us, he survived the trip too!
Why is my birth plan so important to you?
13. How I will never ever have a vacation again when I have a baby. – Ok, first of all, I feel like people are forgetting that babies are not some kind of aliens. Secondly, I went on vacations with my parents as a kid. Why shouldn’t we go with our baby? Sure, maybe not when the baby is 2 weeks old, let’s give it time to adjust to the big world. When it’s a few months old, why not?
14. Asking me about my birth plan/Telling me I absolutely have to have one. – In case you did not know, you can’t really plan a birth. Sure, if you want to plan every single detail of your labor down to the second, go for it! I’m not spending my time planning for a water birth that I might end up not being able to have. Babies come when they want to come, not how you plan them to.
15. Asking me if you can touch my bump AFTER your hands are already on it. – I really don’t care if you loved it when people
shamelessly assaulted you touched your bump without your permission. However, I don’t like it and I will hit if you try to do it. Oh, you think that’s impolite? Then don’t touch someone’s body without their permission! Seriously, all of my two friends ask me if they can touch me and they’re my friends. So why can’t you be respectful and polite? Would you like it if someone grabbed your ass in the middle of the street? No? It’s the exact same thing to touch a pregnant woman’s bump.
16. Seriously, just stop staring when you see a pregnant woman. – I had absolutely no idea this was a thing, but apparently, it is! People (mostly men) will just bluntly stare at my belly whenever I’m on the street or the supermarket. Yes, it’s a bump. Yes, there is a baby in it. Do you want me to explain to you how that works? I already feel huge and have problems walking in a straight line, so I really do not need you looking at me like I’m some kind of alien, okay?
17. If you bump into a pregnant woman, apologize. – This should be common sense, regardless if someone is pregnant or not. Whether you bump into them while walking on the street or hit them right on the bump with you huge-filled-to-the-top-purse at the grocery store, just say sorry! Seriously, the latter happened to me last week and it hurt like
a motherfucker hell. Yes the woman just looked at me (because I yelled when it happened, I mean, someone had just hit me ON MY STOMACH, WHERE I HAVE A BABY!), then looked at my bump – bluntly! – before she rolled her eyes and walked away.
Yup. She just rolled her eyes and walked the fuck away. What did I do? Well, I couldn’t actually move (or breathe) for a few moments – did I mention she hit me right on my bump and it hurt? But when I was actually able to react, I did what every grown woman does. I cried. Like a fucking baby. Yup, I started crying.
Luckily it was right next to my place and the ladies working there already know me. One of them saw me and wanted to know who had hit me, but by then I didn’t know anymore. Apparently, every woman in the store was wearing big black bags and black coats.