A little bit of wisdom: Being pregnant doesn't mean I'm stupid or blind or in need of advice! I got this!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

A couple of days ago Regan and I returned from a shopping run to Woolworths, and met our neighbour in the car park where he was sitting in a camping chair cleaning his golf clubs. After making some polite conversation I was ready to head on up to our apartment, but Regan and said neighbour got to chatting about pregnancy, to which, the neighbour remarked that I was getting “huge”.

I fought to keep up  my cool disinterested fa├žade. Fought. I wanted to run over and impale him with one of his golf clubs. I don’t dispute that I have gained some (a lot of) weight and yes, I probably do look “huge” but to say it, just like that!?! It was horrible.

Because this is my first child, a lot of things are new to me. One thing I have noticed is that people tend to pass comments to pregnant women that would be totally unacceptable to non-pregnant women. For example, pointing out swollen ankles, swollen feet, bigger or heavier boobs. Then there is all of the unsolicited advice, such as endless diatribes on the caffeine content of chocolate cake, old wives tales for afore mentioned swollen feet, comments on the size and height of your bump, I wont even touch on all the food comments, what's good, what's bad, what does that craving mean.

People seem to assume two things about the condition of pregnancy:

1. It renders women stupid and unable to think for themselves
2. It makes them interested in what you think. Particularly in your thoughts about whether their weight gain is sufficient or, conversely, exorbitant.

Get a grip. Neither point is true. I am not stupid, and no I don’t care what you think, and forcing your thoughts and opinions down on me will only lead to you hurting my already fragile feelings or me totally red-carding you from my life (dramatic I know).

Self esteem is a fragile thing, a word or a look can do untold damage. No matter what your personal feelings about weight gain, healthy eating, body image etc. is, it's really unkind to force these on to your pregnant friends. Like anything in life, you don't know the burden the next person is carrying. She may already be feeling horrible about her body.

Personally, there have been a few times when I have struggled with coming to terms with my changing body, but reminding myself why or rather who my body is changing for makes all the difference.

In conclusion, before you pass that comment to that pregnant lady, close your mouth and think it through, she probably doesn't need you to point out her weight gain and she definitely is not interested in your crappy hand-me-down advice. 

You're welcome. 

1 comment

  1. Ah, I couldn't have said it better myself! It's so good to hear someone with similar views to my own about the way people talk to/about them while they're pregnant. Huge internet solidarity high five! Thanks so much!

    I've found it really frustrating that there is always a bit of an air of "you're doing something wrong" when people talk to pregnant women - too big, too small, you should be doing X thing, you shouldn't be doing X thing, etc. People say things that they would never have the forum in which to say otherwise and it's so hard to make people realise they've said something really offensive. Those bits of 'advice' just add to my existing insecurities about my pregnancy ("am I doing this right?!").

    I hope the next ten (give or take) weeks go swimmingly for you and you're feeling okay! I'm right behind you!


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