This first thing doesn’t count as a tip. It’s the building block for interacting with women. Don’t ever ask a woman if they are pregnant. Not ever. There’s a 50/50 risk there, and if you get the wrong 50, the conversation will be EXTREMELY awkward. So just wait till you find out if the woman is pregnant. Or if it’s NOTICEABLE.. like REALLY NOTICEABLE then follow the tips below, but still don’t ask. Worst case scenario is that you will be extra kind to another human being.
There’s a saying that goes “If they knew better, they’d do better.” No judgment here. I was one of those who knew no better before I got pregnant. And I know I made quite a few of these “no-no’s”. So I’m looking out for you here brotha and sista. Looking out for you so that you can make a pregnant woman’s day that much brighter, believe me, we need it. Some days more than others. So follow these tips below, and you will be a ray of sunshine to that mama who is in her third trimester.
1. Meet us half way– To put it simply, we don’t bend down. We drop tons of things, and tons of things stay on the floor (the guilt of accidental littering gnaws away at me). But if one of those things is important, like my keys, then it takes a lot of will power and a sumo squat to pick it up. So if you’re sitting down and a pregnant friend walks in the door and you want to greet them, stand up a lil. Let us not bend down all the way. You don’t even have to stand all the way up, you can just stand up about 50% and we’ll be more than happy to meet you the other 50%. If a pregnant woman drops something near you, help a sister out (and the earth) and pick it up for her.
2. Get Up For Us- You’re probably thinking, “I thought you said we don’t have to get up for pregnant ladies”, but you do if there are no seats available and she’s standing up. You might think this is common sense, but not so common. Imagine carrying around an 8lb bowling ball all day. Like all day. You never put it down. You eat with eat, shower with it, sleep with it, walk in the heat or cold with it. Do you think it’s easier to hold it standing up or sitting down? It makes it a bit easier to carry it sitting down. You’d be surprised at how many people, men and women, that just look at pregnant woman standing there and don’t offer a seat. The pregnant woman might even decline the offer. Yes, might even decline, especially if they were sitting for a long time, but you don’t know where they came from. Just offer the seat. Your feet will be just fine, and when you or your significant other gets pregnant you’ll understand better too.
3. Give us the least amount of stress as possible- Look we’re ALWAYS thinking. We’re thinking about how many kicks we feel. Is the baby (babies) still kicking? Did I eat something that has bacteria in it (are the babies still kicking)? Have I drank enough water today? Is there a bathroom nearby? Will I make it back home in time to use the bathroom? So give us a hand. Don’t let us wait at a register for too long. If there is a long line, consider letting the pregnant lady skip you (imagine that, letting someone skip you in NYC). Especially if it’s a bathroom line! Help us out when we’re trying to do self checkout. True story. The attendant that was supposed to be helping me started me off, and then went to another person, and when I patiently waited for her to come back to help me she said “You could’ve figured this out on your own. You just had to hit backspace 3 times.” Really, self-checkout attendant lady? When she saw I started to get noticeably annoyed, she had the nerve to say “You have to keep cool and relax because you’re pregnant.” I had a lot of words for that lady, all which I kept to myself because I have two little ones listening. So yea… please, give us as least stress as possible.
4. Don’t make comments about how difficult it’s going to be with kids or how difficult being pregnant is.- We’re pregnant. We get how difficult pregnancy is. We really do get it. Another true story. A nurse… yes a nurse… said ” You couldn’t pay me enough to be pregnant again. The only way I would every consider being pregnant is if my daughter could not carry a baby and she needed a surrogate.” Saying things like this to a pregnant lady aren’t the most ideal. Or someone hearing what gender the baby is and then saying, for twin mamas, “Oh wow double the trouble!”. Or for all mamas, “God help you. Girls are… or Boys are…”. Again, we are aware that there will be challenges that come with raising girls or boys. Again, remember that we are constantly thinking throughout the day. So a much more pleasant interaction would be “Wow twins, that’s double the blessing/fun” or “Wow a girl/boy they are so much fun”. Be positive please. We have enough potentially negative thoughts going through our head. So help us out here. If we bring up the challenges, then talk to us about them, but if not, then just be happy for us.
5. Give a Compliment- A woman’s body is truly amazing. Not just because of the outward features, but because of what God created us to do inwardly, grow human life. It really is a beautiful thing…but sometimes we just don’t feel that beautiful. The body we’ve been staring at for years suddenly begins to change. Discolorations, no more abs, we can’t see our feet, swelling, etc…. The third trimeter brings a lot of those changes, and sometimes it’s nice to hear a compliment or two from a stranger or friend. It reminds us that we’re not the huge hippos that we, I’ll speak for myself, I often feel like. It can be anything… just don’t say “you look tired”. Anything but that. lol
6. Touching the Bump- Now some woman don’t mind and some woman really mind. So to be on the safe side, just ask “Can I touch your belly?”. And don’t be offended if the woman says “no”. To them it’s like reaching out and touching some other stranger’s stomach. That would make you feel uncomfortable, no? It is pretty awesome to feel the baby (babies) kick and squirm around, but some woman just don’t like people touching them at all, not even friends. Some women only feel comfortable letting friends touch the bump, and never a stranger. Some women welcome the belly rubs with open arms. Either way, always just ask first. It’s polite, we appreciate it and once you’ve asked you’re cleared for future rubs.
I don’t write this to make pregnant women look weak. More than ever I see my pregnant friends and other pregnant ladies and I think “Wonder Woman”. I write this so that you can have things to consider when interacting with the mamas. Perhaps the preggo had 7 solid hours of sleep and feels super energetic and can stand in line for days or stand up for days. However, maybe she only had an hour of solid sleep and is trying to get through the errands as painlessly as possible. Remember, we can always politely decline by saying “No, thank you.” but the offer is so very much appreciated.
Here’s to knowing better and doing better. =)
Preggo mama and past preggo mamas, if you have any other tips, please do share! 😊
Twin mama out,