My husband Micah and I are thrilled to be welcoming our second child in May. Our fertility journey has not be an easy one, so we are beyond grateful for this sweet addition to our family. Even with hearts full of gratitude, let’s be honest. Pregnancy can sometimes be hard and full of some hilarious and less-than-exciting changes to one’s body. For instance, swollen ankles, the inability to see your toes or roll over, and of course the ever-growing need for additional stretchiness in one’s leggings!
It seems on the days you’re feeling especially unglamorous, someone makes a silly remark or asks a ridiculous question. While the intention is most likely harmless, it can nevertheless be hurtful. To prevent future pregnancy etiquette blunders, here are some do’s and don’ts of what to say to someone who is expecting:
Congratulate her and wish her a safe delivery and the best of health.
Offer her your seat or lend a helping hand in situations where she may have to overexert herself. This is a gracious, thoughtful gesture.
Offer a genuine smile and a sweet compliment.
Ask her how she’s feeling.
Ask if she needs anything.
The Do Nots:
Never mention anything about weight. Ever. Everyone seems to have an opinion — “Oh you’re big,” or “Your bump is so small. Are you sure your baby is healthy?” Everyone carries differently in pregnancy. Plus, you may never know someone’s journey. Take our story for example. IVF hormones certainly didn’t do me any favors in the weight department, but I know this baby will be 100 percent worth every extra pound gained. People sometimes say something in jest and have no idea the emotional and physical challenges that may have been endured to get there.
It’s never a good idea to share pregnancy horror stories or unsolicited advice. Keep interactions positive. If she asks specific questions about your experiences, be honest and open, but otherwise it’s best to keep mum on the details.
Hands to yourselves. Don’t touch her belly without permission. Any kind of uninvited touch is inappropriate.
Don’t judge or ask too many questions. “Are you sure it’s safe at your age?” “I didn’t think you wanted more children.” “Are you planning to breastfeed?” Those questions are too personal unless you know the party you’re asking well, and oftentimes it’s none of your business. It’s best to allow the mom-to-be to share what she feels comfortable sharing.
Don’t push your gender preference. Even if they have five girls and you’re hoping for a boy, the mama is simply hoping for healthy. It could have been a long road, and they may just be grateful to be expecting. Babies are wonderful, no matter the gender.