Tuesday, August 25, 2009

10 Things NOT to say to a Pregnant Woman!

My cousin that just had a baby sent this to me (Thanks, Teresa!), and I thought I'd share:

​It's bad enough that women's bodies are already community property--objects to be sized up, assessed, commented on and ogled. When you're pregnant, the concept of personal space--physical or theoretical--flies out the window right along with your ability to control your gag reflex. Having complete strangers rub your belly is disturbing enough, but brace yourself for the onslaught of running commentary and nosy questions about your body, eating habits, and worst-case birthing scenarios people seem compelled to send your way.

​10. "Is that a venti Starbucks coffee you're drinking?" Only excessive amounts of caffeine have been linked to miscarriage, but that doesn't stop the average Joe from expressing dismay at your caffeine intake apparently. Best bet? Take a magic marker and write DECAF across the cup, or better yet, "accidentally" spill it on your interrogator. Pregnant women are so gosh-darn clumsy!

9. "What size bra are you wearing now?" Yes, your boobs have grown monumentally--and practically overnight--to prepare for milk production. There's nothing you can do to prevent it, and there's nothing roving eyes--male and female--seem to be able to do to avoid staring at your newfound friends. Turn the awkward around--when they ask how big, you can ask them, "How big do you think they are? Come on, guess! Wait--let's ask your boyfriend."

8. "Oh, don't worry--you're going to carry all your weight up front and in your thighs."Every gal's dream is to find out that the folks in her life have already gone to the trouble to determine your body type and propensity for weight gain. Consider it a blessing when your friends and coworkers let you know they've already identified your problem areas. "Thanks for the recon work, Jenny Craig!" you can tell them.

​7. "You know about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, right? Just checking!" Yeah, so everyone you work with knows you drink--a lot. But they just can't be sure you're smart enough to drop your bad habits just because you're expecting, so they're happy to point out the dire consequences if you keep boozing it up. "Do I know about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome? Sure do--did you know the average IQ is only 100?"

6. "Is that your third breakfast for the day?" Everyone knows you're eating for two, and yet, they can't help but shake their heads in amused dismay at the sight of you gobbling away all those Triscuits and cheese cubes. It's just so funny that you're just ballooning up right in front of their very eyes. And even though you've never so much as held a conversation, they suddenly feel they have the right to inquire about your nutritional habits. Just tell them you're having triplets.

​5. "Sorry we didn't invite you to the movie--you just haven't been out lately."You're already nauseous and exhausted most of the time in early pregnancy, but people still manage to be offended that you haven't been hanging out at the rock shows drinking PBRs and smoking a pack of cigs a night. They finally get the hint and stop pestering you to meet for drinks, but the downside is they won't invite you to any events at all--ever again. Time to make new friends.

4. "Wow--you're pregnant? I'm stunned." So maybe you made the mistake of saying you're not a breeder about a thousand times in your life. Maybe you publicly expressed on more than one occasion that babies are little terrorist parasites and you don't need that noise boning up your ambitions. So maybe now you're pregnant, and maybe now people want to mention that they just can't imagine your smoking, drinking, wise-cracking self conjuring up a maternal instinct. As always, a crass remark will throw most people off their scent. "Yep, little old me is pregnant. And now that I am pregnant, I've decided to embrace the whole shebang, including eating the placenta."

3. "Aren't you right about the age where all the high-risk starts?" More women than ever are delaying childbearing, and while the risk certainly increases, most women go on to deliver healthy babies. Being over 30 shouldn't give folks a license to talk to you like you're a dried-out old cooch. Response: "Aren't you an asshole?"

​2. "Do you hope it's a boy?" Wow, that this sentiment is even uttered is like ringing a big old sweeping bell of an indictment for the patriarchal culture we still inhabit. Response: "What is this, China?"

1. "Do you think you'll go back to work?" Of course, you will. This isn't the '50s. Response: "Only if you don't."

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