Author Topic: What TO say to a pregnant woman  (Read 7470 times)

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Paper Roses

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Re: What TO say to a pregnant woman
« Reply #30 on: July 29, 2013, 07:01:17 PM »
I guess I'm in the minority, because I never minded at all talking about my pregnancies, and loved hearing other people's experiences.  Even the scary ones - because it was a reminder that most of the time, no matter how bad it got, I was more likely than not to make it through it and live to tell the tale.  But, I also appreciated the people who didn't ask or mention it, because yes, I also welcomed the opportunities to discuss other issues.

The only comments that bothered me were the few (thankfully) that were flat-out insulting.  Like the coworker who said, "Wow!  Are you sure you're not having triplets?" 

Another one asked me, "What does your doctor have to say?"  Well, quite frankly, that was between me and the doctor. 

So, I guess my point is that there's no universal right/wrong.  Everyone is different.
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lilfox

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Re: What TO say to a pregnant woman
« Reply #31 on: July 29, 2013, 07:28:13 PM »
I don't mind most questions either, and I'll both share my first story (nothing gross in it, though it was a little atypical) and listen to others' stories, even the dramatic ones.

Comments I prefer are along the lines of complimenting my outfit or hair (this is also true non-pregnancy ;) ), and of course anything non pg related.  Comments I don't care for have to do with my choice of diet, weight, size, and how we'll have "one of each" now that we know the current bun is a boy.

On that last one, I know it's just something people say but it's nails on a chalkboard to me.  We weren't trying for a boy, we don't care about "family balancing" and we wouldn't be disappointed/planning for a third if we hadn't gotten a boy this time.  I have a relative who lamented for years about not having at least one child in her preferred gender and it made things awkward every time she brought it up.  What are you supposed to say to that?

baglady

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Re: What TO say to a pregnant woman
« Reply #32 on: July 29, 2013, 07:28:37 PM »
One friend of mine got tired of "Are you going to find out?" She was tempted to answer, "Well, we've already found out ... what with the big belly and the kicking and all ..." (but she never did).

They were asking about the gender, of course, and it's not that the question is rude; it's just that she got tired of hearing it. And tired of some people's reactions to the answer: "But why not? Don't you want to know so you can decorate the nursery/buy the right clothes?" Or acting personally offended because they didn't know what to get for a shower gift without knowing the sex.

And that was kind of her reasoning, and that of most of the baby-having people I know. They don't *want* to be showered with pink or blue stuff; they'd rather be given unisex clothes, toys and miscellaneous equipment ... preferably in bright colors because that's what babies prefer.

"Congratulations!" is safe. Also "When are you due?" But resist the temptation to react to the answer to the latter with "But you're huge!" "Only six months? But you look ready to pop!" Someone else's pregnancy is not a "get out of jail free" card for commenting on her looks.
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Katana_Geldar

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Re: What TO say to a pregnant woman
« Reply #33 on: July 29, 2013, 07:32:57 PM »
Can I make a suggestion what not to DO? Don't touch the belly unless invited!

Secret

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Re: What TO say to a pregnant woman
« Reply #34 on: July 29, 2013, 07:44:15 PM »
I have had very few people reach out to touch the belly.  Very few.  Maybe word is starting to get around?  My family won't even touch.  My cousin finally got up the nerve to ask me if he could feel the baby move next time it kicks.  I'm 9 months pregnant.  I just thought it wasn't really interesting enough for them I guess.  Now I speak up and let them try to feel it.  Now when I say, 'baby is moving' at a family gathering, there are about 7 hands on me.  Of course it is awkward when the baby doesn't move....

Oh, and I am embarrassed to admit that as an adult, I really had no experience being around pregnant women until I worked with one.  It was on her last day before maternity leave and she lifted up her shirt for me to see her belly.  I was absolutely agog.  Of course I said something stupid like, "Wow, there are not 2 in there?"  In addition to remarking that I had no idea that a belly could get so big.  Now I know that you get big at the end of the pregnancy.  I feel all of those comments about "Are you sure there aren't 2?" are total payback for my Faux Pas.

Bluenomi

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Re: What TO say to a pregnant woman
« Reply #35 on: July 29, 2013, 07:44:47 PM »
A generic congraulations and how are you feeling/doing? are fine. Beyond that, especially with strangers and people you don't know well, it's best to steer clear of wanting too much detail.

Size is an issue, no pregnant woman likes to hear you think she is bigger than you expect, some women are having issues with small babies so saying they look small can be as problematic. I'm having twins and I am completely over the 'wow you are going to be huge' comments already and I've got a way to go.

Whatever you do, don't get offended if the woman doesn't want to answer your question. Not everyone wants to share (or knows) the sex, names, due dates, birth plans etc. If they don't want to tell you, they don't have to.

Firecat

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Re: What TO say to a pregnant woman
« Reply #36 on: July 29, 2013, 07:48:53 PM »
One friend of mine got tired of "Are you going to find out?" She was tempted to answer, "Well, we've already found out ... what with the big belly and the kicking and all ..." (but she never did).

They were asking about the gender, of course, and it's not that the question is rude; it's just that she got tired of hearing it. And tired of some people's reactions to the answer: "But why not? Don't you want to know so you can decorate the nursery/buy the right clothes?" Or acting personally offended because they didn't know what to get for a shower gift without knowing the sex.

And that was kind of her reasoning, and that of most of the baby-having people I know. They don't *want* to be showered with pink or blue stuff; they'd rather be given unisex clothes, toys and miscellaneous equipment ... preferably in bright colors because that's what babies prefer.

"Congratulations!" is safe. Also "When are you due?" But resist the temptation to react to the answer to the latter with "But you're huge!" "Only six months? But you look ready to pop!" Someone else's pregnancy is not a "get out of jail free" card for commenting on her looks.

I'll sometimes ask when a woman is due, but my usual responses when told are either, "oh, a ways to go yet - how are you doing getting prepared?" or "sounds like you're almost there! Getting excited to meet the little one?" Something like that gives her an opportunity to say something like "just fine" or "oh, yes" and elaborate - or not - as she chooses, and that seems to work fairly well.

TheBardess

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Re: What TO say to a pregnant woman
« Reply #37 on: July 29, 2013, 08:25:40 PM »
I think it's important to remember that pregnant women aren't some sort of weird alien species. You don't have to come up with whole new lists of topics to talk to us about or make lists of specific things to say. We may be pregnant, but we're basically still the same people we were before. I mean, you can ask "when are you due?" or "how are you doing?" but really, you don't have say any particular thing(s). You can go ahead and talk to us just like you would any other person.
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Miss Tickle

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Re: What TO say to a pregnant woman
« Reply #38 on: July 29, 2013, 11:21:39 PM »
I've always found "Would you like a foot-rub?" goes over very well.

Millionaire Maria

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Re: What TO say to a pregnant woman
« Reply #39 on: July 30, 2013, 12:57:58 AM »
For myself personally? The question that I would have liked to be asked the most? "So, I know it's a huge thing, but are you sick of talking about your pregnancy yet?" Because honestly, the answer would have been "heck yes! how is your life going?". Especially the second time around. It's just exhausting to answer the same questions over and over again.
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DottyG

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Re: What TO say to a pregnant woman
« Reply #40 on: July 30, 2013, 01:10:49 AM »
For myself personally? The question that I would have liked to be asked the most? "So, I know it's a huge thing, but are you sick of talking about your pregnancy yet?" Because honestly, the answer would have been "heck yes! how is your life going?". Especially the second time around. It's just exhausting to answer the same questions over and over again.

See, I think that might kind of hurt my feelings a bit.

That's why this is so subjective. What's hurtful to one person is fine to another. Pretty much like any other situation - even outside the pregnancy issue.


Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: What TO say to a pregnant woman
« Reply #41 on: July 30, 2013, 01:16:31 AM »
I think, to me, the key is to treat a pregnant woman like you would any other woman.

Don't ask probing questions.  Don't dwell on her appearance.  If you don't know her, don't ask personal questions.

Just talk to her.

If you're friends or acquaintances, talk to her the same way you spoke to her before she was pregnant.

If you don't know her or are getting to know her, talk to her like you would another stranger or new friend.

annambe

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Re: What TO say to a pregnant woman
« Reply #42 on: July 30, 2013, 03:05:15 AM »
But to me, that would include asking a few questions about "huge, life-altering event", be it pregnancy, new job, new home, new boyfriend or whatever.

If someone I considered a friend (or even a friendly acquaintance) just told me that I looked good or congratulations, and then moved on to a completely different subject when I was in the middle of "huge, life-altering event", I wouldn’t think of it as polite, I would find it a little hurtful, because I would feel like they didn’t care about something that obviously was a big deal to me.

Addy

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Re: What TO say to a pregnant woman
« Reply #43 on: July 30, 2013, 03:56:56 AM »
I have had very few people reach out to touch the belly.  Very few.  Maybe word is starting to get around?  My family won't even touch.  My cousin finally got up the nerve to ask me if he could feel the baby move next time it kicks.  I'm 9 months pregnant.  I just thought it wasn't really interesting enough for them I guess.  Now I speak up and let them try to feel it.  Now when I say, 'baby is moving' at a family gathering, there are about 7 hands on me.  Of course it is awkward when the baby doesn't move....

Oh, and I am embarrassed to admit that as an adult, I really had no experience being around pregnant women until I worked with one.  It was on her last day before maternity leave and she lifted up her shirt for me to see her belly.  I was absolutely agog.  Of course I said something stupid like, "Wow, there are not 2 in there?"  In addition to remarking that I had no idea that a belly could get so big.  Now I know that you get big at the end of the pregnancy.  I feel all of those comments about "Are you sure there aren't 2?" are total payback for my Faux Pas.

My DIL is almost 7 months along and I got to touch her belly yesterday (at her invitation.) I realized that it was the very first time I had touched a pregnant belly that was not my own!

Gyburc

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Re: What TO say to a pregnant woman
« Reply #44 on: July 30, 2013, 07:35:19 AM »
I'm agreeing with The Bardess and Sheila Take a Bow - treat us normally! If you ask how we're doing and we say 'Oh fine, thanks, and you?' just go along with it.

I've had two extremes recently. On the one hand, a couple of people that I thought were friends have simply failed to contact me, and the last two times I saw them by chance they didn't even bother to ask how I was. They aren't very keen on babies, which I can understand, but still...

On the other hand, my MIL keeps pestering me to go and buy baby clothes with her. This would be lovely (and she is honestly a nice person) but it's pretty obvious that she wants to spend time with me because I am carrying her grandson, not because she actually wants my company.
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