It’s highly likely that you will encounter a pregnant woman at work, at home, at the gym or via your Facebook feed. While she may enjoy engaging with you on topics such as hobbies, families, work gripes or nursery decorations, it’s important to be mindful of the fact that she may not want to engage with you on everything and everything under the “pregnancy topics” umbrella.
In order to prevent any mishaps (i.e. her hormonal self losing her shit and punching you in the face) – here’s a list of things she’s sure to NOT want to hear coming out of your face.
1) Oh my god, my labor was absolutely horrifying. Worst pain of my life. She is perfectly capable of visualizing worst-case scenarios in her own head without any help, thank you very much. No need to tell her some godforsaken story that will haunt her for the hours/days/weeks after she hears it.
2) I only gained 17 pounds during my pregnancy. I totally craved organic apples and rice cakes the whole time! Yeah, you’re a freak of nature. And also? An arrogant braggart. Step away from her and her Cheetos or she might place that crinkly bag over your head and strangle you with it. That is, once she creases the bag into a v-shape and finishes pouring the last of the crumbs into her mouth.
3) Oh my, your bump is getting bigger every day! The cousin to the “You must be due any day!” comment. Believe it or not, pregnant women are pretty attuned to their bodies and can tell when their skin is stretched to the limit, their organs are getting mashed and wedged into every available space inside their bodies and can really feel that extra 30+ pounds they are carrying with them every time they take the stairs.
4) How long are you planning to breastfeed/pump/? Or any other questions or advice at all related to the why/how/when/where she is going to nourish her child. It’s none of your freaking business. Until you’ve lived INSIDE her body and/or have analyzed her genetic makeup and/or lived through her exact life situation, you are in no position to offer unwanted advice or analysis.
5) Are you supposed to be eating/drinking/doing that? Unless she’s drinking a six-pack of beer or chain smoking cigarettes, I’d say it’s safe to assume that she’s making sensible decisions for her unborn child, based on advice from her doctor. If you’re questioning something as ridiculously benign as feeding her baby salty/fatty Cheetos, refer to possible consequence as described in number 2.
6) When I get pregnant I’m going to _________________. (Insert eyeroll here). Yea, shut it. You have no idea what you’re going to do. Even if you’re already had one, the second (or third or…) time around can be a whole different ballgame. In reality, you will do what the baby tells you to do. It’s nature’s prep for when the baby is here and is in charge in person.
7) We’re out of donuts in the lounge. The horror! The horror! Even if she’s never enjoyed a peanut-covered donut is her entire life, there might be a day during her pregnancy when ALL SHE CAN THINK ABOUT is swallowing a peanut-covered donut, and hearing the news that the peanut-covered donut-eating-opportunity has been stolen from her can be devastating. Don’t be the messenger.
8) How are you feeling? Pregnant. She’s feeling pregnant. Exhaustingly, whalishly, hormonally pregnant. She feels like shit and wants to stab everyone around her in the eye with a fork. Even if she feels happy, she also feels like crying. Frankly, it takes physical and emotional energy she doesn’t have to fake a smile and tell you she’s feeling just fine. Don’t steal precious energy away from the baby by asking this question. Unless you want to harm her baby. Stop harming the unborn babies!
9) Hi Mommy! Okay, hearing anyone other than your own flesh and blood call you mommy is just disturbing as hell. It’s not even sort of cute. Pure creepo, right there. If it’s said in a high pitched voice, it makes her think you might actually be psycho enough to try to murder her in her sleep. Stop creeping her out.
10) Shrimp. Raw chicken. Mangoes. Or any other word that conjures up even the notion of a smell so offensive that it makes her literally gag just from hearing the utterance. I realize you may not know ahead of time which word will cause this response (especially if it’s something seemingly ungagworthy, such as the word “dust” or “wall”), so just let the bobbing Adam’s apple be your guide.