How to talk to pregnant women

Sober St Paddy’s!

There are a million articles and blog posts on the internet about what not to say to pregnant women, and yet somehow people don’t seem to be getting the message. Commenting on someone’s body, unless directly invited to, is a no-no in normal life, so why does that change when your pal is gestating? Apart from being rude, it’s boring. Preggos grow. For those who are stuck for something to say, I’ve got you covered:

1. “You’re absolutely glowing!”

Your pal may not be feeling her best. She may be groggy, hungry, stroppy, or just a bit gassy. She cannot reach her toenails to fix the chipped paint. She is still suffering from morning sickness in her seventh month. She does not feel at her most attractive. Now is not the time to tell her she is huge; try this phrase instead, and see how she beams. You’ve just made her day.

2. “Your baby is going to be adorable.”

You may gently rib the expectant parent/s about the size of their child’s nose/ ears/ forehead if it is a running joke between you. Just be sure to also mention how their baby will be the cutest ever, even if you don’t really believe it. This is also a suitable replacement for the question, “Do you know what you’re having?” Not that it’s rude to ask this – it is certainly preferrable to many of the other things preggos get asked on a regular basis – just that if you must comment, maybe try and say something she hasn’t heard a thousand times.

3. “Here, have another biscuit.”

Your local preggo is hungry. She is on the hunt for sugar in all its forms, but she won’t turn down a savoury snack either. If you’re out for dinner, encourage her to have the last spring roll; if you’re in the pub, buy an extra packet of crisps. She will be trying her best to be polite, but she wants to scarf the lot. Let her.

4. “I can’t wait to come to soft play with you.”

You are making plans for the summer, lining up your festivals, your marathons, your trips to Ibiza. You should definitely be excited about these things, you deserve them! And you haven’t chosen to spawn, after all. Your preggo will be excited to hear you talk about them, too, and she wants to be enthusiastic. Maybe don’t rub it in, though? It’s perfectly acceptable to ask her opinion on a destination you know she loves, or what to wear to a rave you know she can’t attent, but it is also kind to talk about something you can do together, either before the baby arrives or afterwards. Your friend is looking forward to the change in her life, but she knows the likelihood is that she will lose touch with a few childless friends. Reassure her you won’t be one of them by planning some afternoons in the park on sunny days, some trips to get ice cream with bubba in tow, or maybe even a jaunt to the aquarium or science centre. Maybe you’ll do these things, maybe you won’t, but it is nice for your friend to know that you don’t intend to ditch her, and that you’re excited for the baby to come too.

5. “Oh god, I’m so hungover.”

There is a little bit of schadenfreude involved in this one. Your pal has not had a drink for many months. She probably misses it, at least a little bit. Let her have a giggle at your expense, and with luck she may even treat you to your hair of the dog.