“Tis the season of Christmas lists. Here, in a service to fathers-in-law, office workers and the desperately dim everywhere, Sally Peck offers a list of the top ten things NOT to say to a pregnant woman.
Something about a pregnant woman signals the breaking down of boundaries to those around her. Normally reserved colleagues, typically thoughtful in-laws, usually polite tube commuters suddenly think they have carte blanche to play 20 questions. Perhaps it’s the whiff of sex.
So, to those who feel a bout of verbal diarrhoea coming on whenever they see an expectant woman, here is my holiday gift to you.
*Note: these are all things that family members or colleagues have asked me or my pregnant colleagues in recent weeks. You cannot make these things up.
What not to say to a pregnant woman:
1. “Is it twins?”
The only proper response to this is: “You”re looking a bit portly, yourself”.If the lady is expecting twins, she’ll give that information out on a need-to-know basis.
2. “Did you have IVF?”
If it actually is twins, do not ask: “Did you have IVF?” Romulus and Remus came long before IVF. In fact, don”t ask if it was IVF, reglardless. Use of in-vitro fertilisation will be given out on a need-to-know basis.
3. “Your bump is high/low/big/small”.
Chances are really high that the woman has a mirror, or at least sees one as she makes her way about town each day. Unless she is blind, she’s probably got plenty of pregnancy hang-ups based on her own observations. Don’t add yours.
4. “What birth control were you using?”
This was one of the first questions a colleague asked me when I told her (a mother, herself) about my second pregnancy. Unless you are currently sleeping with the woman, this is not your business.
5. “Which sex would you prefer?”
Unless the lady engages in highly unethical selective abortion practices, she has no control over this. Both boys and girls are good. Even if you don”t believe her “”I just want a healthy one”, go with it.
6. How long are you going to take off work?
She doesn’t know. She’s just trying to get through morning sickness/ uncontrollable gas/ the stupid questions of others. list of proxy websites Just wait and see.
7. “Really? I didn”t know you wanted children.”
See answer four. Assume, once its impending arrival is announced, that a child is wanted.
8. “Is it getting to be too much for you at work?” / “Should you really be going to the gym?”/ “You should really be going to the gym!”
This woman is the same colleague you’ve had for months or years. Unless she is a belly dancer or has made a career of modelling her abdominal muscles, assume that she can continue to perform her normal job. She hasn’t had a lobotomy; she”s just pregnant.
Assume that, if you know about the pregnancy, so does this woman’s GP. load test website . Doctors advise on exercise. And, chances are, this woman can still think for herself.
9. “My wife/ girlfriend had a really easy pregnancy.”
REALLY? Are you sure? 100 per cent sure? Are you certain that she wasn’t cursing you in her head? Because I”m pretty sure she was, at least at some point. And why, exactly, do you think hearing of the breeze it was for someone else will help the woman in front of you right now?
10. “Who is the father?”
If a woman is having a child on her own, and/or has used a sperm donor, she’s probably thought about this a bit more than, say, drunk people hooking up after meeting in a bar. And she may not know tons about the sperm donor. Or she may not want to tell your nosey self.
It”s best not to ask if a woman conceived using IVF
Here is what you can say:
2. You look well (this is especially helpful if she does not look well)
3. You will be a wonderful mother
Those are actually your only options.