I can say with complete honesty and certainty that being pregnant is one of the most interesting experiences I’ve ever had. Not only does my body go through so many changes but it has definitely changed the way I interact with people and the way that people interact with me. I’m not talking hormones, I’m talking about pregnancy etiquette and the correct way that people should interact with a pregnant woman.
Belly Rubs: When I first found out I was pregnant, the first thing I was surprised to encounter was the people lunging forward, no bars held, to touch and rub my stomach. I, personally, never understood this disregard for personal space and now, not only is it my personal space, but also my baby. I don’t think I’m rude but I just prefer that people don’t rub my stomach unless I know you really well, and even then, I can count on one hand the amount of people that have that privilege.. Please don’t pet me.
Inappropriate Questions: When we first announced our pregnancy, I was floored by how many people immediately asked if our baby was planned and if we were going to get married soon. (Someone once even said “Congratulations… if it was planned.”) When did this become appropriate to ask? These questions and the answers to them are nobody’s business but mine and my boyfriends. Period.
Inappropriate Remarks: When the news was slowly spreading about my pregnancy, I had a coworker that was shocked and said he had no idea. My other coworker then replied with “Yes, did you just think she was getting fat?” And maybe every time I have a bite of food, it would be nice if people didn’t say things like “Eating for two huh?”.
Unsolicited advice: My personal favorite. I once wore red lipstick and a male friend of mine asked me if it was paraben-free for the baby’s sake. Another acquaintance (read: I barely knew him) saw me eating a bag of kettle chips and suggested I snack with fruits and veggies next time. A customer of mine reminded me to take my prenatal vitamins, folic acid and protein every day. I want to thank everyone for the advice but, seeing as how I’m the one carrying a child in my uterus, I think I can take it from here. And if I want chips, I’m eating the damn chips.
I knew to expect it but I didn’t realize how heavy it would all be. I wondered for a while if maybe I’m just being cranky pants about it, but I’ve read too many articles now to understand that all women that are or have been pregnant go through this and it all just boils down to basic manners. It’s not rude to ask if I’m excited or when my baby is due or how my pregnancy has been so far. I truly appreciate your interest and your concern of my well-being. In the end, I just want to have a positive environment with good energy and dialogue heading my way. There is nothing rude about sending positive vibes.