Sometimes, human beings really take conversations too far. It seems like we temporarily forget that what we are saying is actually being heard by the recipient. Nowhere is that more apparent than when we are speaking to a pregnant woman. While on one hand, we are cautious and careful around her and help her move about, on the other, we completely overlook the impact our questions might have on her. Below is a list of seven things we should never ask of an expecting mother, lest she returns the favour with a cold reply:
“How come you’ve suddenly put on weight?”
When we ask her the all-important weight question, she probably wishes to say, “Well, that’s because I have a tiny human growing inside me. What’s your excuse?” That’s how horrid the question feels.
“It is starting to show now!”
You may be oblivious to the various stages of child birth but by saying this, you are simply stating the obvious. Not to mention, the woman is probably feeling even more conscious about her bulging waistline than before. “Obviously! I’m not giving birth to a mouse now, am I?” would be a fitting reply.
“Do you feel alright?”
There are a lot of hormonal changes that a woman undergoes during pregnancy. From morning sickness to a heightened sense of smell and anxiety — sometimes even all three. Therefore, asking if she is feeling alright is likely to aggravate her more. She probably wants to respond by saying, “No, I really feel like throwing up,” but is just being polite.
“Can you feel the baby kick?”
A baby begins movement about 16 to 25 weeks into the pregnancy. The time period may differ from woman to woman but almost all of them feel the baby kick eventually. If you are curious to know, simply wait until you are notified of the kicks without asking. If not, then be ready to receive a kick yourself.
“What do you crave the most?”
Remember: if a pregnant woman wants something she will tell you and ensure that you get it as her cravings are hard to resist. We suggest you don’t bother her unnecessarily as it will only irritate her. “Right now, I’d want nothing more than for you to keep quiet,” is probably what she is thinking.
“Are you ready to be a mother?”
Becoming a mother is a great emotional journey for most women, especially those who never thought they would have a child someday. There are some women who do not plan for kids until they discover that they are pregnant. Others suffer great anxiety due to the great responsibility that is coming their way. Questioning whether they are ready for it provokes these insecurities.
“Was it planned?”
Regardless of whether the baby was planned or not, it is none of your business.
Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, October 25th, 2015.