In our pregnancy experience, the baby bump attracted so much unwanted comments. In one of our rants, a friend told us that this tactlessness is a norm. “Expect the worst”, she said, as even more will come when the baby arrives.
Within nine months of pregnancy and post-partum, women go through so much changes and this affects how they respond to people. While some may have good intentions behind the “tita comments”, some are just plain hurtful.
While what seems like the best solution is to just let it go, sometimes, keeping it to yourself (and cry later) can do more harm than good.
Here are some things you should never say to a pregnant woman:
1. You’re getting fat!
“You’ll gain so much weight, and you will never get it off anymore.”
Of course she will put on weight, she’s growing a baby inside of her! It’s more of a problem if she didn’t.
Also, do not expect her to get back to her pre-pregnancy shape after giving birth. It doesn’t work that way. Remember how much time it took to gain it? It will most probably take as much time or more to take it off. Respect her body for the incredible work it did: bringing a baby to life.
Simply put, whether she did gain so much weight or not, your comment is not invited.
2. You look haggard.
Some of the hormonal changes’ effects are breakouts, nausea, and fatigue. Pregnancy can be exhausting at best, and the last thing a pregnant woman would be concerned about is her looks. All these troubles, and you comment about how swollen her nose is.
3. You can’t eat that.
Cravings during pregnancy are uncontrollable. In an ongoing study in Baby Center, large cravings have an apparent link to what nutrients the body needs.
Unless what she’s craving is truly harmful, don’t stop her from getting what she wants. Most women now would have done their homework about what they can and cannot eat. The rule of thumb is always to keep everything in moderation. So if she says she wants a cup of coffee, just get her some already. P.S. It’s okay to have less than 200 mg per day.
Also: don’t get from her food if she didn’t offer to share it. 😉
4. It’s Like You’re Hormonal or Something!
It’s common for pregnant women to have mood swings because (again) of the many changes they experience physically and emotionally. Other times, this can be even coupled with other concerns such as the weight of the coming responsibility.
These heightened emotions may appear to others as irrational. That being said, you can be proactive by making a conscious effort to understand them. Sometimes, having someone to vent out to can help them manage their feelings.
In our pregnancy, it helps me when my husband gently points out that I’m getting grumpy. Even though I try to keep it all together as much as possible, most of the time, I couldn’t catch myself and take out the stress on him. So, do not be quick to say “you’re too sensitive”, or to lash back with anger as well. The ending won’t be pretty.
5. I Had It Easy When I Was Pregnant…
When you’re having a hard time in your pregnancy, other people will be talking about how easy their experiences were, as though this can make you feel better. Just offer to hold their hair back while throwing up.
6. Pregnancy myths
Some of the myths we encountered:
- “Don’t eat dark foods, your baby will have dark skin!”
- “Why are you wearing jeans? Your baby’s nose will get flat!”
- “Is your belly itchy? Your baby is hairy.”
- “You’re having a girl, your bump is round.”
- “You’re having a boy, your bump is low.”
- “You’re having a girl, your bump is high.”
- “Pwera usog! (licks thumb and spreads on pregnant woman’s skin)*
Usually, we just nod and silently disagree. Information on pregnancy and baby development are readily available in the internet and your OBGYNE will be advising you with the facts. There’s a science for this!
*This is a common practice towards pregnant women and babies. DO NOT DO THIS. 1. It’s gross. 2. Your saliva has so much bacteria. 3. Seriously, it’s gross.
7. Unsolicited Advice
“You should exercise.”
“Get an epidural.”
“Don’t get an epidural.”
By the time we announced our pregnancy, advice poured in and got a little too overwhelming. We appreciated their thoughts, but some can be overbearing, and insisted that we do the same. As we evaluated which ones we liked to keep, it’s those that came from people who asked us first what our plans were and those who we actually asked for advice.
And as a bonus, don’t touch the bump unless you are invited to do so.