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Friday, July 15, 2016

5 THINGS TO NEVER SAY TO A PREGNANT WOMAN

Just in case you're completely new around here, I'm currently 31 weeks pregnant with my first child. In roughly 9 weeks, my husband and I will have a soft and squishy little human being showing up and changing our lives forever. We are both more excited than we've ever been. And more nervous. Because I don't know how you couldn't be nervous. But mostly it's excitement we're feeling. But there is one thing that I've noticed more now than ever. Everyone - men and women, parents and non-parents, friends and family and strangers - has an opinion on just about everything to do with your pregnancy and your parenting choices. And they are not afraid to voice those thoughts and opinions.

Some of those questions and comments show up more than others. Today, I thought I'd share some of my least favorites, some of the things that I believe you should never say to a pregnant woman.
never say to a pregnant woman
You look huge/tiny/about to pop/like you're having quadruplets; Seriously. Don't even talk about our weight. Even if you think it's a compliment, just stop. My weight is the concern of myself and my doctor, who know whether I am gaining enough to be healthy for my baby and myself. And that is it. And even in cases like mine, where I haven't gained more weight than necessary and am actually quite in love with how my body is changing, it doesn't change the fact that I'm hormonal and irrational and hearing any comments about my weight leads me to assume that my weight is all people see when they look at me. Instead, I suggest saying things like "you look gorgeous!" or "you look like you deserve this ice cream cone!" or "damn girl, you're looking fine". Those are much better choices.

If you think you're tired now, just wait until that baby is here!; Spoiler alert: while I've never been a mom, I've met babies. I've met parents of babies. I watch television and have access to the internet. I am not living in Lala Land thinking that having a newborn is going to be all sunshine, rainbows and lots of sleep for all. You're not telling me anything I don't already know. But that doesn't mean that I'm not really freaking tired right now. Parent of a newborn tired? Perhaps not. But the most tired I've been up to this point in my life? Some days.

You really shouldn't be eating/drinking/doing that; Unless you are my doctor or you see me doing tequila shots and have genuine concern for the safety of my child, please don't comment on what you think I should or should not be consuming or doing. Yes, I've eaten hot dogs during my pregnancy. Because in moderation they are perfectly safe and my doctor agrees. Yes, I still have my allowed amount of coffee each day. Because again, it's perfectly safe in moderation. And while there are days when I wish I could chug a full pot of the stuff, I keep to my limit. Yes, I still exercise, though not as vigorously as I did before pregnancy (because tired). Again, my doctor has given the okay and actually encourages it. And while I haven't given into the medically approved occasional glass of wine, shaming the women who do just needs to stop. I wouldn't do or eat anything to put my child in danger. If I have questions on whether or not something is safe, I ask my doctor.

You better be doing (insert item here) when your baby is born; Breastfeeding. Co-sleeping or absolutely no co-sleeping. Baby wearing. Sleep training. Feeding only 100% organic, homemade baby food when baby is ready for solids. There are so. many. opinions. About everything. The amount of mommy shaming in this world is ridiculous! The best advice that I've gotten has been to listen to all of the advice coming in and then do what feels right for us. Based on all of the pregnancy and parenting pages that I follow, whatever choices we make will be completely wrong and horrible anyway - there is no pleasing everyone. My baby will be fed, clean, hopefully happy and definitely well loved and cared for. If that isn't good enough for someone, I probably don't want that someone around my baby anyway.

Let me tell you this awful horror story that happened to me/I read online; Throughout my entire pregnancy, I've avoided all of the sad pregnancy/labor/deliver/baby stories. It's hard to do when they're all over the internet, but as soon as I started reading something and realize where it's heading, I click off of it. Hormones, bro. They take normal emotions to intense levels. I know that there are all sorts of things that could happen. During pregnancy. During labor and delivery. And to my child once he or she is here in this world. And it would be easy to sit around and dwell on those things and worry and cry more than I already do. But what good will that do me? Instead, I focus on taking care of myself and my unborn child. I trust and hope and pray that my healthy pregnancy will continue on through these last two months and through labor and delivery. I hope and pray that I will be able to keep my child safe in a world full of terrifying things. But the last thing that I need to hear right now is an endless stream of horror stories. Because honestly, are you trying to scare me? Do you want me sitting in a corner, crying and terrified of all that could happen, but probably won't? If yes, please go away and never speak to me again. And if not, please refrain from bringing those things up!

There are so many other things that I could have put here. I'm not sure if people, especially other mothers, feel the need to say some of the things that they say. Maybe they've forgotten how it feels to be a hormonal pregnant lady. Or maybe they feel that it's a right of passage, their reward for dealing with it when they were pregnant. Whatever the reason, I just think that we'd all be better off if we kept our comments to positive, supportive ones. If you have advice that you genuinely think I need, go ahead and give it to me, but do so without judgement or criticism. Trust that I am doing everything that I can to care for this growing baby and will continue to do so after they are born. Know that while I may not be able to fully grasp what is coming my way, that I am at least aware that those changes are coming. I'm not going in blind. I know that my life is changing in a big way very soon. I don't need you to remind me because no amount of you telling me will help me understand something that I haven't experienced yet anyway.

I was serious about offering me ice cream though. Or a slushy. Or watermelon. Those are always okay things to say to my pregnant self. Always.

Do you have anything that you'd add to this list?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, people don't always think before they open their mouths. Hopefully your post will make someone stop before they say something they shouldn't!

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