I realized some things during this pregnancy, specifically on things that are annoying to a pregnant woman. I thought I’d share them here, for your reference.
1) “You’re huge!” – Stating the obvious, aren’t you? Yes, I know my belly is huge. There’s another human being in there, after all! But you don’t have to point it out EVERY TIME YOU SEE ME. Once is ok with me. But to say it whenever you have the chance is not only annoying; it’s a highly insensitive statement to a pregnant woman.
2) “You look like you’re giving birth in a few days” or “Is that an 8-lb baby?!” – This is similar to statement #1. Let me tell you something that might SHOCK you: Every pregnancy is different. If one woman is barely showing at 4 months, another could look obviously pregnant at the same stage. Saying that a woman will give birth to an 8-lb baby without an ultrasound to confirm will only cause undue stress and worry. In fact, saying it in a know-it-all way when in fact the mother knows the actual weight of the baby will only make YOU look uneducated.
3) “Are you sure you can’t have this?” – Yes, I can’t have any alcoholic or caffeinated drinks during pregnancy. Yes, I can’t eat sashimi. Yes, I can’t eat junk food. And for those who have gestational diabetes like me: Yes, I can’t have that cake. FYI, there’s a growing baby inside me. Anything I drink and eat will go to the baby through the placenta. I don’t know about you, but I want my baby to grow strong and healthy and have well-developed internal organs. So, yes, I can’t eat/drink those things that I used to enjoy before pregnancy.
4) “You really hate that smell?” (While holding something out in front of a pregnant woman) – During my first trimester, there were specific smells that I avoided, like vinegar and cooking fish. Vinegar is one of the staple condiments/dips for Filipinos. So imagine my discomfort whenever the breakfast served is best eaten dipped in vinegar. And imagine my annoyance when people around me tease me and tell me to dip my food in vinegar, too, just like they do. ABSOLUTELY ANNOYING. It’s good to know what triggers a pregnant woman’s morning sickness, and it’s great to make the extra effort to make sure none of the triggers are around to make her pregnancy easier.
5) “You look so stunning/beautiful!” – While this is flattering, it made me think: “Does that mean I looked ugly before my pregnancy??” It’s a double-edged sword, really. Yes, it feels great to hear compliments like that. It boosts a pregant woman’s confidence, especially when she feels ugly or too fat. But then it makes a woman wonder how she looked before, and that’s not a good thing, too.
That’s it! So when someone close to you is pregnant, be more sensitive to her. Choose your words wisely. A pregnant woman’s anger is not something to trifle with.