Pregnancy Tips – Reacting to Pregnant Women

August 27, 2019

Being pregnant can be experienced in as many different ways as there are women who are pregnant. Given that every one of us will come across pregnant women, here are some tips on how to react and how not to.
When to congratulate someone to their pregnancy
Until a woman tells you she is pregnant, hold off. You will embarrass yourself and her if you ask her, whether she is pregnant and she tells you she is not. In addition you can never be sure whether this woman has been trying to conceive for years and you are just hitting a very sore nerve.
Another reason for women to hold off telling everyone might be that they are not yet past the first trimester or they have concerns about their employment. All you can do it stay open and ask them: How are you going?
Reactions to women announcing their pregnancy
Any reaction can be misplaced so I think the best recommendation is to simply congratulate them and ask them how they are doing and feeling about it. That is much more telling and you will be able to find out what is really going on. For some women it might not be the right time to be pregnant and for others it might finally be what they have been wishing for for years.
Remember that any time you come out with a statement rather than a question, you are giving them a part of your belief system about pregnancy rather than checking with them, what their model of the world is.
Comments about the size of the pregnant belly
There are all kinds of unpleasant stories about people’s reaction to a pregnant belly. It’s simple: Do NOT make any comment about the size, whether you personally think it’s big or it’s small. Depending on the woman’s body image either comment can be unwelcomed. A friend of mine wanted to be bigger than she was and was upset at people commenting on how small she was. She was also wondering if something was wrong with her baby. The same applies if you tell someone ‘Wow, you’re huge!’ If the pregnant woman hasn’t asked for your opinion rather than making a statement, ask: ‘How do you feel (about being pregnant)?’
Talking about pregnancy
A pregnant woman does NOT need to hear your or your friends’ horror stories, neither about pregnancy, nor about birth! If you cannot help yourself at giving advice, say something like: ‘Look after yourself’ or ‘rest well’. If you want to share what has worked for you then say it like that, rather than suggesting what they should do: ‘What really worked for me is to…’
Ask questions
The best advice is always to ask questions to the pregnant woman and find out what it is that she needs. Once you know and she might have asked you specific question then feel free to tell her what worked for you and what you think.

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