OK, people. I get it. There is something about the sight of a pregnant woman's belly that causes us to smile, hold open the door and strike up a friendly conversation. I love to chat with people about how far along I am, if the nursery is complete and if we've thought about names.
However, like many other pregnant women, I don't enjoy listening to all of the unsolicited comments about my changing and growing body. In the presence of a pregnant belly, it's as if all social norms become obsolete.
Throughout my last two pregnancies, I have received many well-intentioned comments about my body, both positive and negative:
"Wow, you're really showing now." (I'm aware.)
"You don't even look pregnant!" (Uh oh. Is my baby growing?)
"All of the sudden, you look really pregnant." (Thanks.)
"From behind I can't even tell." (Glad you were staring at my butt.)
"It must be time to deliver soon!" (Let's hope.)
"You must be really uncomfortable." (Uh-huh.)
"You look tired." (Can I punch you in the face?)
"Are you pregnant?" (Blank stare.)
Much like when a woman is not pregnant, there are some simple rules of etiquette to follow when it comes to sharing your thoughts on her body.
Here are three simple steps to follow when deciding whether or not to comment on a pregnant woman's body:
1. First, ask yourself if you are a man. If you are a man, do not comment on the pregnant woman's body.
2. Next, ask yourself if you are a good friend of the pregnant woman. If the answer is no, do not comment on the pregnant woman's body.
3. If you are both a woman and a good friend, you may now proceed. Here are some appropriate comments to choose from:
"You look amazing."
"You look so healthy."
"You are the most beautiful pregnant woman I've ever seen in my whole life."
Get the idea?
If any other thoughts or judgments enter your mind that aren't wildly positive and supportive, and you are considering saying them out loud, return to step No. 1.