Sunday, August 17, 2008

A PSA from Pregnant Women Everywhere

I don't know where this originated but it's awesome. Wish I had the guts to share it with some people I know.

Dear Non-Pregnant Person,
I hope you find these guidelines helpful in your interactions with pregnant women as failing to follow them may result in serious physical harm. If you are thinking, surely she doesn't mean me- then you should probably read this twice.

1) The appropriate response to a couple telling you they are having a baby is "Congratulations!" with enthusiasm. Any other response makes you an ####.

2) Through the wonders of science, we now know that babies are made ONLY by the mother and father- not grandparents. Unless the baby is in your uterus or you are the man that helped put it there, you may not ever use the phrase "my baby".

3) On the same note, unless you made the baby as defined in #2, the pregnancy, birth and raising of the child are not about you. You do not have input. No one wants to hear your opinion unless they ask for it.

4) The body of a pregnant women should be treated the same as any other body. You would not randomly touch someone's stomach if they were not pregnant, nor would you inquire into the condition of their uterus, cervix or how they plan to use their breasts. Pregnancy does not remove all traces of privacy from a woman.

5) Likewise, no women wants to hear comments on her weight- ever. A pregnant woman does not find it flattering that you think she is about is pop, must be having twins, looks swollen or has gained weight in her face. Telling her she looks too small only makes her worry that she is somehow starving her baby. Making such comments invite her to critique your physical appearance and you may not act offended. The only acceptable comment on appearance is "You look fabulous!".

6) By the time we are 20-30 years old, most of us have picked up on the fact that the summer is hot. We are hot every summer when we are not pregnant. We don't need you to point out that we will be miserably hot before the baby comes.

7) There is a reason that tickets to L&D are not yet sold on Ticketmaster. Childbirth is actually not a public event. It may sound crazy, but some women really do not relish the idea of their mother, MIL or a host of other family members seeing their bare butt and genitals. Also, some people simply feel like the birth of their child is a private and emotional moment to be shared only by the parents.

8) Like everything else is life, unless you receive an invitation, you are NOT invited. This includes doctor appointments, ultrasounds, labor, delivery, the hospital and the parents home. You do not decide if you will be there for the birth or if you will move in with the new parents to "help out". If your assistance is desired, rest assured that you will be asked for it.

9) If you are asked to help after the birth, this means you should clean up the house, help with cooking meals, and generally stay out of the way. Holding the baby more than the parents, interfering with breastfeeding and sleeping schedules and making a woman who is still leaking fluid from multiple locations lift a finger in housework is not helping.

10) The only people entitled to time with the baby are the parents. Whether they choose to have you at the hospital for the birth or ask for you to wait three weeks to visit, appreciate that you are are being given the privilege of seeing their child. Complaining or showing disappointment only encourages the parents to include you less.

I hope this helps- it sure makes us feel better.

All Pregnant Women


Jessica said...

Wait, so according to #4, it's not okay to ask a woman if she'll be breastfeeding?

Teriana said...

That's good advice for all those inconsiderate people out there. So how is your uterus today, by the way?

The Bells said...

In response to Jessica's comment, that would be a "negatory, good buddy." =)

Jessica said...

Interesting. It's in my standard repertoire pregnancy smalltalk:

1. When are you due?
2. Do you know if it's going to be a boy or a girl?
4. Do you have any names picked out?
5. Are you planning a natural childbirth?
6. Are you going to breastfeed?
7. Have you picked out a nursery theme?

I wonder why it's a touchy subject. I can see how, "Do you plan to breastfeed? Because you really should breastfeed. It's sooooo much better for the baby!" would get annoying. But otherwise, it seems like a pretty innocent question.

Glynis said...

Oh the times I was made to feel like an elephant! I enjoyed this, I usually say, congratulations and good luck, the good luck has several underlying meanings ;) you look blooming, let me know if I can help, then I run before I get drafted for toddler sitting duties ;)
I enjoyed this thanks for sharing

Eternal Sunshine said...

This is great - Can someone please write one for older kids? We have a few grandparents who seem to think that MY children belong to them, so they can make whatever decisions they want...

I'll leave it at that before it becomes a full on rant on a stranger's blog! LOL!