I don’t know what it is about pregnancy that seems to make people forget about boundaries. Even with a bazillion articles floating around Facebook saying “Don’t touch my belly!” and “Quit commenting on my body!” there seems to always be someone who hasn’t gotten the message.
So, for those of you that seem to have difficulty seeing pregnant women as human beings and not just walking baby vessels, this is a list (and in no way is this a complete list) of questions you should not ask pregnant people!
…And when in doubt, keep your mouth shut, and your hands to yourself.
Is it twins? Not an acceptable question. No one wants to be told that they’re huge, thankyouverymuch.
Haven’t you figured out what causes that, yet? Haven’t you figured out that how many children other people have is none of your business.
Are you sure you’re only XX weeks? Again, no one wants to be reminded how large they are getting.
Should you be eating/drinking that? Unless you’re their doctor/obstetrician/midwife you have no business reading out the “Do Not Eat” list. A cup of coffee each day has been deemed perfectly safe.
Have you been gaining enough weight? The other side of the “Are you sure you’re not having twins?” inquiry. Peoples weight is not your business. The size of some ones body is not something you should be commenting on, unless they’re a bodybuilder and you’re judging a competition.
Are you going back to work? Either way, she may feel defensive. Parents who are returning to work quickly may feel guilty for being away from their baby, while those that plan to take an extended maternity leave have concerns that others will judge them as being lazy, or giving up.
Can I touch your belly? You’ve been told not to just touch her belly, but seriously, you shouldn’t ask either. This question puts her in an awkward position if she would rather that you didn’t. Keep your hands to yourself, unless you’re invited. Basically, if you wouldn’t do it if she was not pregnant you shouldn’t do it when she is and if you do go around touching unpregnant people’s bellies, you should probably seek some kind of therapy.
Are you going to breastfeeding? This is another one of those possibly loaded questions. There are many factors that may interfere with a person’s ability or desire to breastfeed. Choosing to breastfeed is a very personal matter and one that isn’t always a light topic.
Pregnancy is not a free pass for you to comment on some ones body or choices, or offer your unsolicited advice. There are a million ways to do pregnancy and parenting well. Generally, if its an area you wouldn’t normally ask about, don’t ask a pregnant person either.