So you just found out that your best pal is having a baby–yay! Or maybe you’re catching up with your old boss, who’s 7 months along, over dinner tonight. Maybe try to avoid hitting any of these five topics (believe me–don’t even touch them with a 10-foot pole!):
1. || “You’re so big! Are you having twins?” While pregnant with Russell, my second boy, my belly was enormous. Gigantic, actually. And, it felt like everywhere I turned, people would stop and quiz me about whether I was having twins. When I said no, many would actually tilt there heads to the side and look at me funny, as if I was, quite possibly, lying to them. Please, people. As fun as it is to hear about someone expecting twins, let her tell you if there is one, two or three babies in that womb. She already feels huge enough as it is! (Check out Erin’s guest post about pregnancy and body image.)
Are women under too much pressure to get skinny after birth?
2. || “How long did it take you to get pregnant? Did you have to try for a long time?” Someone actually asked me this very question once–in front of 10 or so other work colleagues (some were men) at a business lunch. Can you imagine? I was newly pregnant with my first, and I felt my cheeks get hot and red. Truth be told, it took us 6 months, and I was so worried that I was 100-percent infertile by the fifth month, but did she, or anyone else, really need to know these details? No way! I said something like, “um, sorry, that’s a little too personal of a question, sorry!” and she sulked away. Lesson learned peeps: Don’t probe around for people’s baby-making info.
3. || “Did you use fertility drugs?” Another no-no. A friend of mine, who had twins a few years ago, said the first thing people wanted to know after they heard she was expecting twins was whether she used fertility drugs (for the record, she didn’t). How annoying! She said she never said yes or no, because she preferred to keep all issues of fertility personal (I would too!). Go ahead and ask about the babies’ sex, size, due date–but please, just leave fertility drugs out of it.
4. || “You really should be doing/getting/reading/eating INSERT NAME OF THING HERE.” OK, so you care about your friend/sister/co-worker who’s pregnant right now, but please don’t pepper her with a list of “shoulds.” It’s her job to worry about her unborn baby and her own health–and chances are, she’s worrying her head off. Plus, she’s probably already getting a ton of unsolicited health advice from every other person she passes at the grocery store. (You wouldn’t believe the stuff strangers told me!) Sure, tell her to put her feet up, but don’t rattle off a list of supplements that you think she should be taking stat.
5. || “My friend’s cousin’s aunt’s sister was pregnant and her baby died in the womb!” This is not the time to share pregnancy horror stories. When I was expecting my second, I remember feeling real anxiety when I heard these sorts of storries–so much so that I had to once turn off an episode of Grey’s Anatomy where a scene depicted a woman delivering a baby that had died in utero. If you know a sad birth story, keep it to yourself. It’s only going to cause her more anxiety.