Pregnancy etiquette 101

Let's talk about etiquette for a moment, specifically as it relates to pregnant women. One area in which folks could use some serious etiquette education is pregnancy, or rather how to interact with a pregnant woman.

On a recent trip to the store, a customer service employee stopped in his tracks to look at my ever-growing belly before asking when I was due.

"Not until August," I replied.

Again this man gave my belly the once over. "But you are so huge, you look ready to go. Are you sure everything is OK?"

"Yup, it's all good," I mutter, while I felt a hormone-induced rage bubble inside of me.

If I were quicker thinking, I would have said. "I know right? I don't know why I am so huge either; all I consume these days are donuts and Coca Cola. Weird eh? It's like I'm growing a whole baby or something."

Seriously dude? Yes everything is OK. I am in my second pregnancy, I have a really short torso and I married a six foot three Dutchman. It's like mating a poodle with a Malamute Husky. This belly will block out the sun in a few months - prepare to be amazed.

I wish I could say this was a one-time occurrence. Sadly this type of conversation has become a part of my daily routine. From questions about gender to my due date, I'm starting to seriously consider ordering my groceries online.

While I can accept the physical symptoms of pregnancy, I have trouble accepting the rude and ultra-personal comments. In an attempt to educate folks on how to act around pregnant women, I pulled together a list of what not to say to a pregnant woman.

"You're rounding out nicely." Never comment on a pregnant woman's weight gain. Ever. What to say instead: "Wow, you look great! What a cute belly!"

"Are you sure you're not having twins?" You might as well say, "Wow, you sure look fat."

"You look like you're ready to burst. I began hearing this gem at about week 25 of my pregnancy, from everyone from waitresses to the salesgirl at Costco.

"Should you be eating/drinking that?" My Starbucks is decaf, thank you very much, or it's part of my daily allowed caffeine. Let's just all take a break from being the pregnancy police.

"You look tired." What on earth. This is never oOK to say to a pregnant woman, or anyone else. Ever. When I looked in the mirror, I was happy with how I looked. Now I feel as though I am a gigantic evil-caffeine drinking haggard mess. Thanks.

"I hate that name." Really? Oh OK, then I won't name it that. Nobody cares that a girl named Angela took your oatmeal raisin cookie in Grade 2.

Finally, there are a few things you always say to pregnant women:

"You look fantastic." Even if she is a sweaty, wheezing Jabba the Hut with swollen ankles and a maternity top that no longer covers her belly tell her she looks fantastic. She is making a person and that's pretty fantastic.

"Yoga pants are appropriate for all occasions."

"From the back, I can't even tell you're pregnant."

"You are going to be a fantastic mom." Every pregnant woman needs a little encouragement in this department.

"You rest, I'll clean your toilet."

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