If you've ever spoken to a pregnant woman, you'll know that rational thought isn't always present. Reason and common sense has gone the way of her waistline. Long gone.
She'll never admit it, but pregnancy has made her a tiny bit more sensitive than she'd normally be. This can make conversation with a pregnant woman like navigating a minefield.
Be prepared to be misinterpreted, taken out of context and straight up misquoted.
She doesn't mean to be so precious. She might even get the occasional flash of clarity that tells her she's being a tad dramatic but chances are she's not even aware of it and she thinks you're the one being incredibly insensitive.
In the interest of saving your relationship with your preggo mate, here's a list of things you might want to avoid.
1. "How much longer to go?"
Innocuous, innocent question? You're just making conversation, right? You might think so. But do you know what she hears?
2. "Because you're so huge you look like you're ready to drop your bundle on my feet."
Be prepared to get spittle on your face as she hisses, "I still have 14 weeks to go, thanks for asking...."
Alternatively she'll hear, "because I'm so bored with your pregnancy that I want it to be over already."
SO sorry to bore you. I promise I won't drop my kid on your shoes. Maybe.
3. "Get sleep while you can!"
Oh well aren't you a fountain of knowledge? You seem to know ALL about having babies. Because someone told you once that babies don't sleep much, so you better save up all your Zzz's so you won't feel tired when the baby is cluster feeding every 90 minutes.
A. Sleep doesn't work that way. There's no bank to withdraw from that will make months of sleeplessness bearable.
B. PREGNANT WOMEN DON'T SLEEP EITHER. They are constantly awake because they have heartburn or they have a baby pushing on their bladder or they've just copped a kick to the diaphragm that has them waking up, gasping for breath.
C. If she has any other children... sleep? Hahahahahaha.... shut up.
4. "You're so big/ small/ medium/ barely showing/ enormous.... "
JUST. DON'T. GO. THERE. Nothing you say will be interpreted the way you meant it.
It is NEVER a compliment to tell someone they are huge. Even when they are pregnant. Trust me. Just don't talk about it.
If she's small, she's probably worried about it and will feel judged if you mention it. Yes, logically we know you're trying to be nice but it won't stop her thinking, "are you saying I'm not big enough, that I'm not taking care of my baby, that I'm already a crap mother?" It's like tripping down the Rabbit Hole of faux pas. AVOID.
If she looks normal.... well what's normal anyway? This is a no-win conversation. There is nothing to gain from mentioning her size. You wouldn't discuss this with a non-pregnant person so avoid gawking at the enormous preggo.
5. "Is the baby here yet?"
Oh, I'm sorry, are you impatiently awaiting the arrival of my child? How annoying for YOU.
Do not expect a favourable response from a woman in her final weeks of pregnancy. She's busy drinking Raspberry Leaf Tea and eating green curries in an effort to get that watermelon out. She really doesn't need to be managing the disappointment of her friends and family on top of it all. If she needs some extra irritation, she'll let you know.
If she wants you to know she's in labour, she'll call. If she doesn't want you to know, because it's really none of your business, she won't. Rest assured, you'll find out when the baby actually arrives. So quit nagging or suffer the hormonal consequences.
6. "How's it all going?"
Unless you actually want to know. In vivid detail. Then go ahead and ask. Thank you.
Deep down, we know you're just showing an interest and making conversation. But the logic that was once present is long gone. It has been smothered in hormones. The closer to the end she is, the more irrational she'll get. Unless you've happened upon one of those rare, peaceful pregnant women who is completely unfazed by everything happening to her. They do exist. I've seen them. I'm not one of them....
Looking for stuff you CAN say to a pregnant woman? Tell her she looks gorgeous. Compliment her hair, which probably looks better than it ever has. Tell her she's glowing and you can't wait to meet her beautiful baby. Then give her a hug and ask if she'd like a cup of tea and a biscuit. Or four.
You can read more from Lauren Dubois at on Facebook at The Thud.