Wednesday, August 26, 2009

10 Annoying Things People Say and Do to Pregnant Women

Okay, so I have had a wonderful pregnancy overall, but I found this list and was amazed at how much I could relate! I had to share this, because in some ways I feel it is my Public Service Announcement to everyone out there who says these things to pregnant women! I have experienced each one and can tell you that they are all very annoying.

1. Old wives tales as gospel. As scientific as it is, it's annoying when people tell you with certainty what sex the baby will be based on how you're carrying.

2. Manhandling. Suddenly your globe of a stomach becomes public domain. Old women and customers in grocery stores suddenly flock to molest your belly as if it is the most accepted and natural thing in the world. More common than a handshake.

3. Horror stories. While pregnancy brings kinship between women who otherwise had nothing in common, it also brings out their burning desire to regale you with stories of their horrific stories of birth. Never will you hear more about botched episiotomies and days of fruitless labor and stopped baby heartbeats. Why anyone thinks someone with labor on the horizon would want to hear this is beyond me.

4. The just wait until...syndrome. Nothing is less pleasing than to have your current station in pregnancy belittled with just wait until... (insert anecdote here). Sometimes it is only limited to how much worse your pregnancy will get (as if it hasn't been bad in different ways throughout) but it can also extend to just wait until you get no sleep when the baby is here. When does this end? When I have a baby I guarantee I will start hearing about the terrible twos...when I have a 5 year old it will be "Just wait until you have a tween" and then just wait until you have a teenager. Thank you harbingers of doom, but I think I will take my torture one day at a time.

5. The belly reactions. Pregnant women are hormonal; they are seldom happy with their expanding waistline and are self-conscious in regards to their looks. Why do people feel the need to point out how big they are? "Oh my god! You're huge" are NEVER words a woman wants to hear. Similarly, "Are you sure you aren't having twins?" should have a moratorium slapped on it.

6. Unsolicited opinions on birth plans and breast feeding. The debates between no drugs vs. drugs in labor and breastfeeding vs. not breast feeding can be hot ones...but it should be relegated to the no talk zone along with religion and politics. I am sure that everyone feels like their information is true and correct, but it is a personal choice.

7. Ingestion Nazis. The people that watch you like a hawk just waiting for you to eat or drink something that they think is on the no no list. Pregnancy is hard enough without people commenting on nitrates or caffeine. What self respecting pregnant person isn't going to be aware of the do not eat or drink items and the risk associated with each? Everyone's Dr. is different and new information is being uncovered every day.

8. Unsolicited name advice. A name choice is a privilege bestowed upon people carrying and raising the child. Yet, despite varying tastes, everyone wants to weigh in on name choices. Even the most well meaning person offering up names puts the pregnant couple in the uncomfortable position of having to shoot down names. One man's Bertha is another man's treasure.

9. The “expert” syndrome. It seems that some women who have been pregnant, even forty years ago, feel like they know everything there is to know about all pregnancies. Even though all pregnancies are different they feel the need to weigh in of what is normal or not normal in a pregnancy. Even if they are directly contradicting scores of baby books and professionally trained medical workers, they toil on, spreading misinformation and causing panic or feelings of abnormality.

10. Unhelpful weight advice. Yes I know it is better not to gain too much weight. Yes I am aware of how hard it is to take off weight. Yes I know that breast feeding will not melt away my fat. Yes I’m aware that stretch marks are no fun to have. Enough said.