When someone finds out they are pregnant, everyone wants to offer their opinion – it is a well known inconvenience of pregnancy. I say inconvenience because although people simply want to help, some will take any opportunity to pass down every golden nugget of information. They do mean well, but often these golden nuggets are the last things you want to hear whilst pregnant. Pregnancy is such an individual experience and will be unique to every person, and because of this there’s so many different ways to agitate a hormonal pregnant lady. We are irrational, it happens. I think there’s a few key areas that should be completely off-limits for open discussion: long story short, if you happen to see me within the next 2 weeks, I beg of you, do not make any of these comments. Just don’t.
1. ‘Your 8 months pregnant? But I’m fatter than you are!’
This is in the exact same boat as ‘Woaaah your bump is massive’. You may think this is a compliment and that you are making me feel better, but you are not. My weight gain may not be all that significant to you, but currently I’m feeling like I fall somewhere between a post-gobstopper Violet from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and a baby whale – so it’s definitely significant to me.
Making it clear how insignificant you find my weight gain simply draws attention to how irrational my own insecurities are right now, and I’d really rather you didn’t, I already know. Also, lets not forget how awkward the silence is that follows a comment like this – yes chances are you are bigger than me, but I can’t exactly agree with you… Instead, I’m forced to grit my teeth and utter a fake laugh, when really I’m just irritated it was brought up in the first place.
2. ‘Your really fit, you’ll sail through labour!’
And again, you’re trying to help, but this really does not. At this point I’m blatantly ignoring the prospect of labour – after 40 weeks or so, my magical stork will drop off my little bundle of joy in the night and I’ll wake up with a flat stomach. Telling me I’ll sail through is just lulling me into a false sense of security. I am extremely fit, sure, but my body is used to long runs and squat racks, that doesn’t make me any more accustomed to pushing a watermelon out of my vagina. I’m fairly sure I’m right in saying no-one sails through labour, if you do, your a superhero. Labour is hard, worth it, but hard. My fitness level won’t change that.
3. ‘Have you been craving pickles?’
Serious question, that I would love for someone to answer: is this a common craving? For me, this has been the pregnancy equivalent of ‘Nice weather today eh?’. Whenever conversation dries up, or someone doesn’t know how to reply when you tell them your pregnant, they will automatically revert to classic pickle craving banter. 9 months in and I’m bored of the pickle banter, I know its supposed to be light hearted and comical, but I really don’t like pickles, and it got old after the first trimester. Give it a rest eh?
4. ‘Oh, your pregnant? Was it planned?’
Please, at least try and hide your shock. And then just stop yourself before you get to the second part of that question. How it is that anyone thinks they are entitled to ask this I’ll never know, wether my child was planned or not is my business, and putting me in a position where I have to answer it is almost insulting. If I say it wasn’t, will you judge me? Will I be a worse mum because it wasn’t? A baby is a miracle regardless of the circumstances it came about in, and anyone who thinks they are entitled to know these circumstances is just asking to press my very pregnant, very hormonal buttons. I’ll openly say that my pregnancy was unplanned, but there are many girls who are less open, quite rightly. I wish people wouldn’t put them in a position they don’t want to be in. ‘Congratulations’ will do just fine!
5. ‘May as well catch up on your sleep now then eh!’
I’d not thought of this before, hold on, better bank some of that sleep up then… Cue eye roll. Again, everyone is trying to be comical, and yes I’m perfectly aware of the fact sleep deprivation will now be a very real thing in my life, but sleeping more right now, won’t make me any less tired later, and reminding me of the lack of sleep I’ll be getting for the next how long is not helping me! Please let me live in my magical bubble where my baby will sleep through the night without a hitch, at least for now, I can’t imagine my bubble will last much longer….
6. ‘Do you plan on breastfeeding?’
I won’t even elaborate much on this. Just don’t go there. It is absolutely none of your business how I plan on feeding my child. They will be fed. That is all. If you fancy putting in your two-cents on the Breast is Best Debate, then there are so many online forums that will welcome your opinions, and you can fight it out tooth and nail there. Woman have enough to think about during pregnancy without having the added pressure of pleasing society; everyone takes a different stance on Bottle vs Breast, but it’s a personal decision, and generally not one that you should have to defend whilst pregnant.
That concludes my top six, if people can manage to avoid them then we’ll get on like a house on fire during the latter stages of my pregnancy. Does anyone have any pet peeves for comments during pregnancy? Or am I the only irrational one here…. Thanks for reading, Kirsty