“Wow, you just keep getting bigger and bigger!”
Someone’s got a muffin in the oven.
Are you sure it isn’t twins?
The way you’re carrying, I just knew it was a boy.
Looks like you’re having a girl!
You’re due in January? It looks like you’re ready to pop!
You don’t even look that big!
You look tired.
You look great!
People feel free to comment and speak about a pregnant woman’s body in ways they never would to a non-pregnant woman. Suddenly acquaintances, strangers, friends, and family members are talking to me about the size of my ass, belly, breasts, and general appearance.
And these comments are all over the place. To one person I look “small” and “great”. To the next they wonder if I’m sure I’m not having twins. Sometimes these comments feel judgmental and hurtful.
And then I wonder why they hurt. Why are these comments getting to me?
Part of it is the frequency. Working in a yarn shop while pregnant has opened the floodgates on people asking the 3 Big questions: When are you due? Do you know if it’s a boy or a girl? Have you chosen a name? Every day I field these questions and what I have to assume are the well-intentioned comments that follow. I’m excited and grateful to be pregnant, but after a while, this routine started to wear me down.
Most people don’t seem to know or remember what a pregnant woman looks like at each stage. Add to that the fact that every woman’s body is different (we know that, right?) and adjusts to pregnancy in its own way, and there is absolutely to reason to make comments on appearance or comparisons to someone else’s pregnancy.
So, here’s the thing.
My body is doing this incredible thing we haven’t always been sure it could do. It is creating and sustaining life, growing and changing just as it should. Sure, my ass, belly, and breasts are bigger! And sometimes I’m uncomfortable and not enjoying every minute of being pregnant. But that’s normal.
All of this is to say that I know you mean well. You’re trying to make conversation and show me that you’re interested and happy for me. But I think there’s a better way.
Instead of remarking on a pregnant woman’s size, take a moment to share in the awe and the beauty of what her body is creating. Say something that acknowledges what she’s going through while also complimenting her beauty and strength.
Next time you’re visiting with a pregnant woman, try one of these instead and see what happens!
5 things every pregnant woman would love to hear:
- Wow, you look fantastic!
- I’m so happy for you. Congratulations!
- Your body is doing amazing things.
- How are you feeling?
- You seem radiantly happy.
Any of these would put a smile on my face and start a more meaningful conversation.
I am carrying a healthy baby in my glorious, round body. When you think about it, pregnancy is pretty darn amazing. We should all stop and revel in that, if just for a moment.