Don’t Ask: The Tales Of A Hormonal Pregnant Woman
I am currently pregnant for my third child in less than four years. To say I have felt nonstop pregnant for these last four years would be a gross understatement.
Once your bump becomes visible, it’s as though a sign has been sent out to the universe that they have a free pass to ask about your health, birth plan, family planning, and almost anything else.
Let me tell you as a very hormonal pregnant woman, it’s better to not ask.
These are questions I have been asked in at least one if not all of my pregnancies. These are also the answers I did say versus the answers I would have liked to say.
I know people mean well, but the mental and physical load pregnant women carry should be taken into consideration before all else.
“Are you going to have more kids?”
Actual response: “We’re not sure yet!”
Desired response: “I haven’t even squeezed this kid out yet, and you’re asking me if I plan to do it again? One baby at a time, please.”
Some women may know their plans for their family, but it is a very private matter. Unless you have a close relationship with a friend or family member (and even then, use discretion), it’s better to let them tell you themselves.
“Was it planned?”
Actual response: “We were open to it.”
Desired response: “That is absolutely none of your business.”
Asking someone if they planned or did not plan to have children is asking about their personal relationships and sex life. Inappropriate. Period.
“You know there are ways to prevent that, right?”
Actual Response: “Well, we like each other!”
Desired response: “This is, again, none of your business.”
If I need any resources on procreation, I’ll be sure to go to my doctor. Thanks!
“Do you plan on breastfeeding?”
Actual response: “Yes, I do.”
Desired response: “May I ask why you’re so interested in what kind of nutrition my baby will receive?”
I know many women are looking to relate, are just generally curious, or want to be able to share their experiences, but there are many women who choose not to breastfeed. It might be because they are unable, they may have to go back to work, or they had a previously awful experience and don’t want to endure the mental load. If they want to share that information with you, they will be sure to reach out.
“How do you plan to deliver?”
Actual response: “I’ve been lucky to be able to deliver naturally with an epidural.”
Desired response: “Unless you’re in the room, I am not sure it matters.”
Again, humans crave to relate and understand, but how someone brings a child into the world is between them, their doctor, and their partner. If they want to share, they will. Many women might not know the answer OR have had a traumatic experience before.
“Can I touch your belly?”
Actual response: “Sure, thanks for asking”.
Desired response: “Sure, thanks for asking, but not everyone is comfortable with that.”
After being pregnant for 3, I have almost no shame. People can rub my belly if they want, but if I were not pregnant, it would be a very weird thing. Don’t impose your desire to feel a pregnant belly on someone who may or may not want their own personal space.
Here are some great things you can tell/say to a pregnant mama:
“You look great.”
“Best of luck!”
“How are you feeling?”
“Would you like my seat?”
“Can I help you with anything?”
“How far along are you?”
Before asking a woman anything about her baby, labor, delivery, or family planning, keep in mind boundaries. Always better to play it safe than roll the dice when it comes to a pregnant woman.