Oh how exciting, your friend has told you that she is pregnant! Even if you are a mommy yourself, your head floods with questions and comments. As someone who has experienced that flood of comments and questions myself when I announced my pregnancy, I am here to give you your list of no no’s.
1. Are you worried about gaining/losing the weight?
With my pregnancy I was so excited about the ability to eat, eat, and eat. Let’s be honest, I LOVE food. Initially, I swore I would eat healthy and ensure not to gain too much weight so I could lose the weight faster. However, there were times that I finished off the pizza or grabbed a late night snack. It happened, I am human and I am making a human.
There isn’t a pregnant woman or newbie mom around that hasn’t had to jump on a scale and take note of the weight gain/loss. Every time I went to my OBGYN appointment I got on that dreaded scale and they charted my “growth”.
As human growers we want to be able to eat healthy, eat the last slice of pizza, have a healthy baby and then magically slip back into our pre-pregnancy jeans. So trust me when I say, your opinion about the weight is unnecessary, whether it is gaining it or losing it, it will be thought about enough by the person making the baby and her doctor. She does not also need your opinion.
2. Was it planned?
Do I really need to explain how inappropriate this is? Unless this person is a minor and you are the guardian, you have no business asking this question.
As an adult we are aware of the consequences, or should I say the possible outcomes, of unprotected sex.
If this was asked and the person says no, then what? How do you come back from that? Do you now begin counseling sessions with this person because you unloaded emotions and thoughts that they are having? Have you seen a pregnant woman unload her emotions? Spare yourself the experience.
3. Are you going to circumcise if it’s a boy?
Circumcision decisions are made by the parents. At the time of pregnancy there are so many thoughts, questions and concerns that a mother has. This may not be a priority for quite some time.
For some families this decision is based on cultural or religious beliefs. What do they say never to talk about with your friends? Politics and religion. This falls under that category. Perhaps her choice would be different from yours. Should your opinion on her son’s penis be something that she has to worry about or be bothered with at this time, or ever? Unless you will be asked to perform this surgical procedure this is not something of your concern.
4. You’re going to breastfeed right?
Oh to breastfeed or not to breastfeed, that is the question. This debate has gone on for so long. Every mom has her own opinion on the situation. Some believe that it is essential to have a healthy baby and some moms find this to be unnecessary as long as proper nutrition is provided through formula.
When I announced my pregnancy I got every bit of unsolicited advice on breastfeeding there was. I even had strangers in grocery stores and parks ask me about this. I did my fair share of research, as I am sure every mother does. I of course, loved the idea of burning extra calories and losing the baby weight faster by doing so. However, when my daughter arrived, what I had planned for is not what I ended up doing. I was not producing enough milk to be able to satisfy the thirst of my screaming newborn. I met with a lactation specialist, I drank Milky, drank the tea, drank a beer, I tried everything but hanging upside down while pumping. It just didn’t happen. I gave in and for the sake of my daughters well being, I busted out the formula that I luckily had on stock.
Due to the months and months of solicited advice from others, I had so much guilt over not being able to do what I thought my body, as a mother, was supposed to do. If your friend brings it up and asks your opinion then feel free to share your experience; however if she does not ask your opinion on this, please withhold your opinion on the situation.
5. It’s about time!
To you, this may seem like an innocent and lighthearted comment. Are you aware that in most healthy women the average is about a 15-20% chance to have a miscarriage? Your friend may have actually suffered in silence through a previous miscarriage. Due to most miscarriages happening within the first 13 weeks, it is often before the mother has even announced the pregnancy.
I was never aware of just how common a miscarriage was, until I myself experienced this. After sharing with a select few I became more mindful of this. Co-workers, other friends and even family members that I had never known been through this before came to me with stories of their previous experiences.
Ultimately, all your friend is asking for in response to her announcement is for you to share in her excitement and quite possibly to request your future babysitting services. Stock her freezer with frozen meals, offer your emotional support and pass the pickles!