Yesterday I received a text from a really close friend, upset because people have been remarking that she looks ‘big’ for 4 months pregnant. I mean, really? Why do people feel they can do this? The fact that she’s actually carrying very tidily and looks amazing, that isn’t even the point.
Why do people, when you’re pregnant, feel they have some sort of right to say things about your body? Why do people, when you’re pregnant, feel they have some sort of right to touch you?
Some women find pregnancy hard, not least because of the sickness and tiredness, but also because of feeling fat… I mean, there’s something about not being able to see your feet, that makes you feel like a small hippopotamus. Personally, I loved it. I loved my bump, I loved how it grew: the bigger, the better. But that’s not how it is for a lot of us ladies. Many of us feel self conscious at the best of times, but when you’re tired, hormonal, possibly nauseous and working really hard to grow another human being inside of yourself, it’s hard to take comments on the chin.
I know that, when people comment, or touch your bump, they’re not being intentionally mean. I get it! They’re just interested. But your comments, or your uninvited physical touch, are not welcome. Here are the top do nots…
1) “You look tired.”
2) “Your bump is quite big isn’t it?”
3) “You’re large for *insert number of weeks*!”
4) “Are you sure you’re not carrying twins?”
5) Touching a bump uninvited.
These things are hard to hear from friends and acquaintances, so don’t even think about saying these things to someone you don’t know. Do not touch a stranger’s stomach. Ever. It’s weird.
Here are some more appropriate things to say…
1) “When are you due?” followed by, “You look great!”
2) “You look great!”
3) “Can I help you carry your heavy bags?”
4) “You look great!”
5) “Would you like some chocolate / cake / both?”
That’s it! They’re my always acceptable things you can say to a noticeably pregnant lady. Notice how touching their bump isn’t on that list. Don’t touch someone unless they say you can. Also notice how the only comment about looks is positive. Nobody wants to hear how they look fat and/or tired. Nobody.
So, there you go. Be kind to these super women who have literally grown another organ, in order to grow a human being inside of their own bodies. It’s really quite incredible! Marvel at them, love them, and respect them!
Hands off their body! It isn’t yours to touch, or comment on.