Friday, November 21, 2014

The 5 BEST Things to Tell A Pregnant Woman

Pregnant women can be sensitive -- sometimes overly so.

But in my experience, they usually have a pretty good reason for being angry or sad. You would be too if people just randomly felt the need to make comments on your appearance and perceived parenting abilities!

When I'm pregnant literally everywhere I go (seriously, everywhere) somebody makes a comment about my size, how busy I am, touches my belly, or just outright stares at me. It is like...pretty rude. I could write blog after blog about what not to say -- but I'll be honest, I just don't have time. (I am really busy, you know) ;)

So instead of that I wanted to give you a list of appropriate things to say to an expecting mother.

(Note: This applies if it is a first time Mom, or a mom of 6.)

You look great!  This is a great way to great an expecting Mom. Now, if she is in her pajamas and is obviously stressed trying to wrangle toddlers -- don't say this sarcastically. But if it looks like she is put together (or tried, at least) saying "you look great!" is a fantastic alternative to "you're all belly", "you are getting so big" (Seriously, never say that), "you're so tiny" (also, don't ever say that) or "you're carrying low/high/etc".  The fact is you don't know her body, or her mood so a genuine compliment is best.

I'm so excited for you!  Motherhood is a journey that is a little bit scary. Everyone wants to put their two cents in on whether they think the new mom will be overwhelmed, give their best parenting advice or worst labor story. I'm not sure why people feel the need to share those stories with expecting Moms (or, um...anyone really) but just resist the urge. I promise you plenty of people are filling her in on "what to expect". She may seem calm, but I promise there are bits of her that are scared and nervous. Chances are what she really wants is someone to be genuinely excited for her. Let that person be you!

I'm bringing dinner for you on Wednesday. What can I bring? See how I did that? It wasn't a question. Pregnant moms are tired, but they also are pretty used to providing for everyone. Ironically, they are usually horrible at accepting help for themselves. So, by saying "I'm bringing you dinner, what can I bring?" You aren't giving her a chance to say "no", and you are giving her the opportunity to put in a request. And I promise you, she'll have something in mind she'd like to balance on that belly! (Because, why wouldn't you do that?) :)  You are picking a specific day that week and you may have to insist. But do. Chances are she'll really appreciate not having to cook dinner that night. Offer a frozen meal or even to just order delivery for her! But insist if she initially rejects.

You're going to be a great Mom! Now, this is more specific to a new mom, but for moms that already have a baby you could alter it to: You're such a great Mom. This baby is so lucky! Why? Because every mom (new or not) is a little bit nervous. Some extra confidence from a friend will brighten her day and mean more to you than you can probably know. Bringing life into the world is scary -- but being responsible for it for the next 18 years is almost unthinkable. Encouragement is the best thing you can give!

You look great! Yea folks, I'm putting that twice. It's that important. If you feel like you need to comment on her appearance at all -- this is basically the only acceptable thing to say. (Variations: You look amazing, you look beautiful, etc). Don't comment on specific things. I know some people mean well with that, but its usually a back-handed insult. (Ex: "You're all belly! Man, when I was pregnant I gained weight everywhere!"   Um....ok? What is the pregnant mom supposed to say to that?) Seriously. Even if you aren't quite sure how she is still walking upright, just tell her she looks great. Trust me.