To put it simply, pregnancy is packed with opportunities for embarrassment. Here’s how to deal when the blush-inducing moments strike.
Scenario 1: You’re in a staff meeting when the urge to purge strikes … and you only make it as far as the door.
How to deal: Vomit is possibly one of the most unpleasant aspects of pregnancy—nobody likes to throw up, and it’s even worse when there’s an audience. Most people really are sympathetic to morning sickness and won’t hold it against you. (If you haven’t announced your pregnancy yet, this may be a good time to spill the beans.) All you can do is apologize, clean up the mess if your office doesn’t have a janitor, and hope it doesn’t happen again. Although you might want to start carrying around a handful of paper bags in case it does.
Scenario 2: You lose control of your bladder, and you aren’t the only one to witness the event.
How to deal: Try really, really hard not to sneeze in public while you’re expecting—doing so has caused an accident in more than one pair of maternity pants. There’s a legitimate reason, of course (your bladder is being squashed by your growing child), but unfortunately, that doesn’t make it any less uncomfortable. If you have an extra layer of clothing handy, tie it around your waist. It’s better to be seen in a less-than-flattering tank top than with a wet behind. And if you can’t hide it, hope those nearby just think that your water broke—equally awkward, yes, but completely beyond your control.
Scenario 3: You’re strolling happily along the sidewalk when, next thing you know, you’re on the ground.
How to deal: Expectant mothers have notoriously bad balance and coordination. If you’re visibly pregnant, everyone will be extra worried about you, so just take a moment to make sure you’re fine then thank your fellow citizens for their concern. Not only is taking a tumble while expecting embarrassing, it’s pretty scary too. Your baby is well-protected by the fluid surrounding him, but it’s always a good idea to inform your doctor if you’ve fallen hard, just to be on the safe side. Mend your boo-boos with bandages and your pride with chocolate ice cream. Rest assured your ability to walk normally will return in the not-too-distant future.
Scenario 4: You burst into tears when the girl behind the pharmacy counter is rude to you.
How to deal: Nothing makes someone more uncomfortable than a crying woman, particularly a crying pregnant woman, so said rude girl probably learned an important lesson. But you might also consider—and I say this as gently as possible—that maybe she wasn’t as rude as you think. (Sometimes hormones tend to exaggerate things.) Regardless, don’t sweat it: With-child women cry—a lot. And it’s OK. Dry your tears, wipe your sniffles, and continue about your day. (One word of caution: You’ll probably find yourself crying again for no reason postpartum, and that’s completely normal too. You’ll be back to your old self soon enough, I promise.)
Scenario 5: Was that a trumpet? Nope, just another mom-to-be letting one rip.
How to deal: Pregnancy gas often sounds and smells horrendous, and sadly it can’t often be controlled. I happen to have an incredible sense of humor about this sort of thing—a not-so-great habit I’ve passed on to my children—but my friend, who prefers to remain anonymous, found it mortifying. “I kept farting and farting at work, and it smelled terribly,” she confesses. “Everybody knew it was me, but nobody was brave enough to say anything. I wanted to die.” Gas happens. Try to spare your peers the discomfort as much as possible, and find some humor in those times you can’t. Or just blame it on someone else; that’s always an option too.