When you become pregnant your body doesn’t belong to you anymore. It mysteriously becomes public property, without warning people you barely know suddenly think it’s ok to touch your bump and have an opinion on the way you look, things you wear, eat, say….it absolutely fills me with rage!
I went to a party the other night, which was lots of fun, but I got so fed up with people grabbing at me and touching my belly, several drunk men actually kissed my bump! I mean seriously, intrusive! It may be a home for my baby whilst he grows, but it’s also my stomach. I’ve always been relatively self conscious about my body and weirdly in pregnancy I feel more confident most of the time (apart from those miserable hormonal days when I’m filled with self doubt and I hate everything!) but belly button kissing is a step too far!
My other favourites are “How long have you got to go? You’re huge already!” “Bloody hell, you’re gonna be soooo fat!” Yes I know, I can see this, I’m already worried about how I’m going to cope with the extra weight over the next three months, thanks for stating the obvious!
It’s even worse when it’s followed by things like…
“I had a tiny little bump when I was pregnant” – well good for you!
Men who think they know better “your midwife doesn’t know what she’s talking about, you can eat pate” “a few glasses of wine won’t hurt” “my wife smoked all the way through her pregnancy, never did her any harm” (seriously – have you seen your kids?) bigoted, outdated, stupid men. It’s my body and my baby and I will chose to eat, drink, smoke what I chose to – which may I add is nothing in the case of the latter two. Have you ever grown a human? No I think not, therefore no one cares about your stupid male opinions.
By far the worst though is everyone’s opinion of your name ideas and choices. I play a game with my young nieces where each time I see them they give me different name ideas for their new cousin, they’re usually the names of their class mates or in the case of my youngest niece they’re random objects she can see at the time such as “tree” or “puppy” It’s just a bit of fun so they feel involved but for some reason adults seem to think they can join in, “oh you can’t name your baby that” “no I don’t like that choice” “that’s a rubbish name, how about..” Or in the worst cases actually making jokes about my name ideas. I’m sorry, I didn’t realise you were the expert on baby names! I’ve had to discard a lot of perfectly good names because of insensitive comments or jokes from friends and family, as a result our ideas are now top secret and actually unless my husband and I can agree on something soon our son will be baby no name!
It can be difficult to know what to say to a pregnant woman as you have no idea what they might be sensitive about, the best thing to do is to not ask about name choices, and if they offer them just smile and say it’s a nice name. You have no idea how much anguish I’ve had over people’s raised eyebrows and stupid comments about name ideas. When my son is finally here and named you’ll all just get used to whatever we choose.
Don’t comment on bump size. My bump is huge. My best friends is tiny, neither of us want it pointed out , you just need to say “you’re looking great” “pregnancy suits you” or if we look shit – don’t say anything at all! Say “how nice to see you!” We don’t want to know every detail of your pregnancy or why we should and shouldn’t be doing, eating, wearing certain things, I also don’t want to hear about how you went to the gym everyday until you popped your kid out because I get puffed out putting my shoes on, and no, men of the world, it’s not because I’m unfit it’s because I’m fucking pregnant!
Helpful and friendly advice from friends and loved ones is always welcome but making me feel worried about my size, shape, activity levels, name choices, diet is most definitely not! There is enough to worry about in pregnancy without being made to feel paranoid by
flippant comments. Oh and if I don’t know you well enough to hug you when we meet up, keep your hands (and lips) off the bump!