For some reason it seems that when you announce your pregnancy to the world everyone and their cousin/neighbor/teacher/pet llama have some ‘advice’ they think you NEED to know. Most expecting moms just stand there and listen to the person say their peace and then go on. It’s kind of rude to not listen right? Wrong. You don’t have to listen to anything you don’t want to hear. But it can be hard to nicely tell someone to shut up. Maybe if they knew what to say or not say instead, we would have more inviting conversations between neighbors. Here’s a few things you should say to an expecting mom…and what you shouldn’t say, ever, at any cost.
Things to say:
“How are you feeling today?” – You need to then actually listen and care about what she says.
“You look radiant! You are just glowing!” – Chances are she’s feeling less than radiant or glowing some days, remind her she is beautiful and that she is doing a great job.
“Do you need me to do anything for you? To help with anything around the house maybe?” – Growing another human being is hard work. There are going to be days she wants to say screw it and set the laundry on fire instead of washing it, especially if she has other children.
“Do you want to talk about anything?” – Sometimes she may want to vent, about her feet swelling, not being to sleep well, having to pee every 5 minutes. Just listen to her. It could make her day so much better being able to vent and get that out.
Notice how none of these things include making comments about her belly size….TAKE NOTE OF THIS.
Things to NOT say:
“Are you sure there’s not twins in there!?” – Do you want to be told you look fatter than the day before? No.
“Well my friend had your OB and her and the baby almost died!” – Stop it, right now. Expecting Mom is an adult and can make her own choices for who she wants to be her care provider. Only give her your opinion if she asks for it.
“My labor was soooo long and hard and then I tore soooo bad!” – Quit with the horror stories! Your birth story is not hers. She is probably already nervous and anxious about labor & birth, she doesn’t need you to add to that. Share positive stories or none at all.
“What do you mean you don’t want an epidural?! You say that now, but you’ll cave!” – Don’t undermine someone’s plan. You don’t know their pain tolerance level, or their preparations for achieving an epidural free birth. If they do decide on an epidural anyways it’s not your place to say ‘I told you so’ or give them any grief over it either.
“Just get a cesarean, it’s so much easier.” or “Don’t have a cesarean, because that was hell.” – Again, stay out of it. It is not your business. If your opinion was wanted, you would be asked for it. If a mom decides a cesarean is for her then support that. If she ends up with an unplanned cesarean then make sure to be even more sensitive to her feelings and do what you can to help, not hurt.
Trinity Doula Services supports all types of births without bias or judgement. Contact us today to see about getting the Doula care you desire.