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Week 30: Things you should never say to a pregnant woman

I’m well into my seventh month of pregnancy, and I’m pretty sure my belly can be seen from space. OK, I know that’s dramatic—but that’s how it feels sometimes, especially when I frequently get comments about how big I look. It always goes down the same way: Someone asks when my due date is or...

image1I’m well into my seventh month of pregnancy, and I’m pretty sure my belly can be seen from space. OK, I know that’s dramatic—but that’s how it feels sometimes, especially when I frequently get comments about how big I look. It always goes down the same way: Someone asks when my due date is or how far along I am, and I watch as their mouths drop open in disbelief and listen to them exclaim that they thought I was “ready to pop any day now.” This kind of interaction has become so frequent that I even began to question whether my belly was too big. Could I be further along than the doctors said? Could there be another one hiding in there?
Of course my worries were ridiculous and completely unwarranted, but it just goes to show you how fragile a pregnant mind can be. As I fretted over whether or not I was growing a giant baby that I would ultimately have to deliver, I was reassured that every pregnant body is different and comparison is pointless. I’m short, and my small torso allows for the belly to grow only one way—out. Even though I now know my basketball size belly is “normal,” I still get a little irked every time I have to smile politely while someone tells me how big I am. Do people not know that it’s kind of rude to tell a pregnant woman she looks huge?
Pregnancy can mess with your head a little. Not only does the surge in hormones make you a little more sensitive and emotional, but for some of us, we are also struggling with an ever-changing body image. Some days I feel sexy as heck rocking this beautiful baby bump; other days I feel like a whale. It’s a roller coaster of self confidence, and the last thing I need are strangers and mere acquaintances making me second guess my size. Consider this a public service announcement, kindly urging people to stop telling pregnant women how big they look or jokingly ask if they’re carrying twins.
Aside from comments on size, it should be noted that we also don’t want to hear your labor and delivery horror stories. Pretty much since the day we announced our pregnancy, I’ve heard more stories about what went wrong than what went right. I’m sure every experienced mama feels that they’ve earned the right to brag about their birthing battle story, and rightly so, but as a first-time pregnant woman I can assure you that the thought of labor has me terrified enough as it is. At times I am curious and find myself inquiring about the birth stories of others, but that doesn’t mean I want to hear the gory details from every woman I meet. All these stories do is add to my list of crap I need to Google and worry about until my time in the maternity ward comes.
I’m sure I sound like a bitter little pregnant lady, but really I just get a little crabby at times. Don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for the moms who have given birth before me and feel honored to soon join their ranks. And I understand that those “how far along” questions and birthing stories come from a place of good intentions. I appreciate all those little gestures that show interest, compassion and camaraderie. I’m just pregnant, cranky and more sensitive than normal; I can’t help but over analyze every little thing that’s said to me.

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