A good friend of mine is eight months pregnant.
The other day, while she was getting gas, she noticed some guy looking at her from one of the other pumps. He didn’t say anything to her until he was done pumping gas. When he got in his mini van, and as he was driving off, he yelled out to my pregnant friend. Looking right at her he says, “Hey. I don’t blame your boyfriend. I would have knocked you up too. You are fucking beautiful”! If you are reading this, I hope the hell you know that what this guy yelled out to my expecting friend was absolutely NOT something you would tell a pregnant woman. To this hillbilly, I think he was complimenting her by whistling out this statement through missing teeth. It certainly wasn’t a compliment to her and wouldn’t be considered one for anyone else in a non incestual society. It was only vile.
What can we say to pregnant women? It’s pretty common that guys (and other women) have mistakenly said the wrong thing to one. Every guy can fuck up when talking to a pregnant woman. The husband, boyfriend, baby daddy, her brother, her dad, a stranger, a friend, and even her doctor can say the wrong thing to her. Part of this is that we guys are unaware and insensitive. The other part is the emotional state of a pregnant woman.
THE SENSITIVITIES OF A WOMAN WHO IS PREGNANT
If you’ve had a baby with a woman, then you already know. They can be very tough to deal with. And it stands to reason. She has a fucking human being growing inside her. One that’s gonna come out and have to be completely taken care of. Soon! Here’s a list of things that may be affecting a pregnant woman.
1. She has gained some weight – Ya, the most obvious one. It doesn’t matter who you are, how old you are, or what your body looked like beforehand, getting fat isn’t fun. Even if it’s for the spectacular reason of having a child. It doesn’t matter. While pregnant, a woman feels less attractive because she weighs more. And she’ll be sensitive about that. Especially with her man.
2. She got pregnant – In the society we live in, most pregnancies are not planned. There are some women who feel perfect in their situation of being expecting. And then, there are many who have become “with child” in a less than ideal situation. She may be quite sensitive to this as she has to navigate her term with an asshole baby daddy, or a judgmental mother, or no guy in the picture at all, or she’s broke, or a hundred other situations that make it difficult. The vast majority of kids are loved by their mothers, but that doesn’t mean she felt great about having a baby or didn’t feel like it was the wrong thing for her while she was pregnant. And if she doesn’t feel great about the condition she’s in in her life, it’s not like she can hide it. Her expecting status cannot be hidden, so she has to live with her inward negativity while visibly being completely exposed. That means she has to be positive when talking about being pregnant even if she isn’t. And that’s gotta suck!
3. Her life is about to change completely – With every day that goes by during her pregnancy, she knows she is getting closer to her life changing forever. Most are aware of the fact that they will no longer have any time for themselves, will be broke financially, and won’t be getting any sleep for a nice long while. For many, it’s like the guy who knows he’s going to do a ten-year prison sentence, but in a few months from now.
4. She is hormonal – Pregnancy creates all kinds of hormonal changes in a woman’s body. Most are just to physically aid in carrying and giving birth to a child, but some affect how the mother thinks. This makes her slightly different in her views on certain things.
5. She can be uncomfortable or in pain – For most, it’s easy to be cool, chill, accepting, and understanding when you feel good. But what about when you are uncomfortable? How much of that niceness and caring goes away when you feel like shit? A pregnant woman can have all kinds of issues that make her physically uncomfortable. She can be nauseous, have back pain from carrying, have sleep or digestion issues, and a hundred other things that make her irritable. Pregnant women can be quite a handful at times for the men in their lives. For the most part, though, they’re remarkably chill considering their situation. Imagine the average dude having to deal with all that. Guys would surely fail miserably at keeping their cool while pregnant. We can thank God men don’t get pregnant for about a hundred reasons. So, if you read the above, you can see what a pregnant woman is up against. And hopefully, you can see why it’s a good idea to treat them well during this incredible time in their lives. Let’s see what we can do.
HAVING UNDERSTANDING FOR HER CONDITION AND HOW TO HANDLE PREGNANT WOMEN
When it comes to talking with and treating a pregnant woman well, it’s less of what you say to her and more of what you DON’T say. If you remember any time that you may have offended or insulted a woman who was “with child”, it was with something you said that you shouldn’t have. It’s almost never been where it was something you should’ve said but didn’t. This little fact helped me create a rule which works well. If you’re not sure if you should say what you are thinking, then choose not to say anything. Comments that are questionable to you like, “was it planned?” or “how far along are you?” or “your life’s about to change” may seem harmless but could put her in some kind of offended state. It may be best to ask no questions at all. A few positive comments on her being pregnant like “that’s exciting” or “I’m happy for you” is a much better conversation beginner.
Under no circumstances do you ever mention anything about weight or size to a pregnant woman. She may, while talking to you, confess that she is huge or can’t see her feet or that she’s ready to pop. This is NOT an invitation to agree with her or comment on the topic. Let her make her comments about her being bigger. Then act like you didn’t hear it. Instead, tell her she is glowing or that her skin looks amazing, or that she looks great. Pregnant women usually have amazing auras and great skin and hair. Compliment her on those things only. There is nothing wrong with talking to a pregnant woman about her situation. But let her drive the conversation. Ask her how she’s doing, then wait and let her elaborate. If she chooses to tell you about the baby’s father, listen, then only ask questions that are completely non-judgmental. She will enjoy talking with someone who she doesn’t feel is judging her.
The same thing goes with talking about her future. A question like, “are you excited about what’s to come?” is a positive non-offensive invitation for her to tell you something. Depending on what she says will help you navigate what you can ask about next. Let her control the information flow. Don’t give a pregnant woman any unsolicited advice. She’s probably got everyone who thinks they know something, telling her all kinds of shit to do and feel. Don’t be one of the many. Be one of the few and listen more than you talk. She may really need that.
As a man, it’s impossible to know what it’s like to be pregnant. We can all agree though, that it’s an amazing feat of nature. And it’s gotta be super hard to do, both emotionally and physically. Out of all the super cool shit we men can do in this world, we can’t do this. You don’t have to, of course, but I’d say to show a woman with a human growing inside her some respect and give her some slack. She’s going through something kinda big.
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