Comments During Pregnancy

preggo

I knew this post was coming, it was inevitable. After 4 pregnancies worth of hearing people’s thoughts, an exchange I had this week reignited my frustration with people’s comments during pregnancy. I had just met a new female colleague at work, and here’s how our very first conversation went:

Her: “Oh, you don’t have much longer,” eyeing my belly.
Me: “I have 10 weeks to go.”
Her: “Really? You look like you’re about to deliver.”
Me: “That’s not something you’re supposed to say to pregnant women” (proud of myself for that one). But I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. “I have pretty big babies and a shorter torso, so I just carry it all out in front.  I’m feeling great actually.” (Why do I have to make excuses?)
Her: “Yeah, you just stick out there pretty far.”
Me: Pretty irritatedly, I changed the subject to something professional, which is what we should have been talking about at work.

WHAT?! I just met this person and THAT was how our first conversation went?  Surely, most people are smart enough to know: keep your comments to yourself when it comes to pregnant women. Right? Apparently not. Here are some other actual comments made to me in this pregnancy…

  • Are you having twins?
  • Wow, you just keep getting bigger and bigger.
  • You carry big.
  • You carry small.
  • You must not have long left. (like every week after 20)
  • Etc.

Seemingly everyone feels the need to weigh in on how a pregnant woman is carrying her child, her weight gain or other pregnancy-related  issues. But it’s not the perogative of the general public or even close family and friends to give pregnant women their assessment of how she looks. Big or small.  You’d think “small” would be a compliment, right? A friend of mine shared that one of her friends was having a baby with an abnormality that affected it’s size, and it was going to be born really tiny.  So you just never know the individual situations.

Pregnant women are on a mission to grow a child! And part of that journey is to let go of our own obsession with body image. It is not our body anymore. It is our body PLUS another body. We don’t really have a lot of say in how the morphing happens. So when we hear things about how others feel in regards to our changing bodies, it sets us back in our self-acceptance of the process.

Here are the kinds of things I’ve wanted to say back to people:

  • How was your 6 am spinning class? Mine was fine.
  • Would  you like my assessment of your body?
  • I’m actually not pregnant.
  • Other sassier ones I shan’t put here.

On a personal note, with every “big” or “wow” or “you must close” comment, I feel like people are taking away from the effort I’m putting forth in growing that baby and trying to do it in a healthy way. I keep up my workouts 4 times a week, just on a less intense scale. I gain the recommended weight and not a pound more. I don’t need validation to know that I’m giving it my best effort, but it irritates me to have people (especially those who are on the less than healthy side of things) throw in their comments, like somehow they might be useful. Nope, it pretty much just makes me realize that they don’t have a clue what a healthy pregnancy looks like.

And on behalf of pregnant women that gain more than they want to be gaining, as long as they’re feeling healthy and the baby is doing fine, who cares? Let them off the hook. It’s not the easiest to say no to the food your body is telling you it wants (McDonalds, ice cream, and Combos) when your hormones are raging. It’s super hard to choose to workout when 1/2 the time you want to be taking a nap. And when you can barely bend over to put on your shoes, nothing sounds better than plopping yourself in front of the t.v. with some popcorn. People piping in with their comments is the least helpful thing. When pregnancy is over they can put in the effort to get to their desired level of fitness.

So basically, a lot of people I’ve encountered don’t have a clue. Here’s a parting list of the very few appropriate things to say to pregnant women:

  • How are you feeling?
  • Can I do anything to help you?
  • You are simply radiant.

To that well-meaning, but apparently daft member of the general public who wants to make a verbal assessment of my pregnant body, I say, “Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent.”

Rant over.

Heidi

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. I totally agree!! I have been having to justify my weight as well but on the opposite end of the spectrum. I never until now (I am 22 weeks pregnant with my first) thought telling a pregnant women “how petite she is” could be just as offensive as “oh my, look how big you are!” Everyone seems to LOVE to comment on “how small” I am; “have your doctors said anything about you not gaining weight?” As if I am not eating and starving my child…I have had 2 ultrasounds and they have been perfectly average and exactly to the day measuring on point! I have had a marvelous pregnancy with no morning sickness, mood swings, food aversions, just overall healthy and uncomplicated. Peoples constant comments can get to you and make you feel like “your not doing it right.” General rule of thumb, don’t comment on other people bodies unless they specifically ask (and can handle) an honest evaluation!

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