A couple weeks ago, I wrote a somewhat snarky blog about what NOT to say to a pregnant woman. While I stand by everything I said in that blog (and continue to get downright rude comments in spite of it), I feel the time is now right to provide an alternative for those who just need a little guidance on what is okay (and encouraged!) to say.
Here we have five things you can say that won’t get you in trouble with a pregnant woman:
1. Pregnancy agrees with you.
Thank you. There is no need to be more specific than this. You don’t have to compliment us on our body or congratulate us for only gaining weight in our tummy (we don’t have a lot of control over that anyway). Remember, the fewer comments about our actual shape, the better. But this simple, nonspecific compliment has the ability to makes us feel pretty for five minutes, despite our pimply skin and swollen feet.
2. You’re glowing.
We all want that fabled pregnancy glow. Only some of us get it. (Did you know “glowing” skin is actually a side effect of our hormones? It’s true. Our wildly fluctuating hormones can either cause our skin to have a rosy glow… or if you’re less lucky, they can lead to serious acne breakouts. Guess which camp I was in.) Still, if you see that we’ve achieved that elusive pregnancy glow, say so. We want to know that you’ve noticed we’ve suddenly evolved into some kind of glimmering mythological creature.
3. How are you feeling? Really?
I’ve heard some mamas get tired of this one, but honestly, it will never wear out on me. If you ask me how I’m feeling, be prepared for the truth. Because I need an outlet to vent that I feel like complete crap (for lack of a better word) most of the time. At 37 weeks 5 days pregnant, I am constantly uncomfortable, I haven’t slept through the night in months, and I sometimes cry because the space below my right bottom rib hurts so bad. I don’t like to complain this much, but it helps to get it off my chest, and it’s comforting to know that others truly care. So please ask me how I’m feeling (but only if you want the truth).
4. You will be a wonderful mother.
Pregnancy gives mamas-to-be a lot of time (9 months, in fact) to think about the future. For a first time mama like me, this is ample time to worry about all of the things that we might struggle with. We’ve heard that our babies won’t sleep, that breastfeeding hurts, and that recovery from birth is difficult. We’re probably spending a lot of time on online forums reading about the problems of other mamas, and wondering if we will struggle with the same thing. Will my baby have her days and nights flipped? Will she have trouble latching on? What if I go through postpartum depression? There is a lot of unknown, but your reassurance in our abilities eases the anxiety.
5. Your child is very lucky to have you.
No one has said this to me, but I think if someone did, it would change my entire day for the better. In truth, I have dealt with a lot to bring my child into the world (let’s just talk about that first 20 weeks of throwing up/being continually nauseous). But the thing is, I would endure another 20 weeks of that horror if that’s what it took to bring her safely into the world (I’m grateful that I don’t have to go through that again, but the point is that I would). My daughter is wanted and she is loved. My baby will grow up with two loving parents that will work hard to provide for her. She really is lucky, as this is not the reality for many children. And while you don’t have to say this to me, I think more people should recognize and acknowledge it when babies are blessed with such circumstances. “Your child is very lucky to have you,” is perhaps the greatest compliment you can give a parent.