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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, July 26, 2014

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How about talking to pregnant women like talking to non-pregnant women?
How about talking to pregnant women like talking to non-pregnant women? (Photo: shutterstock.com)

Guidelines for talking to a pregnant woman

OK, people. I get it. There is something about the sight of a pregnant woman's belly that causes us to smile inside, hold open the door and strike up a friendly conversation. I love to chat with people about how far along I am, if the nursery is complete and if we've thought about names. (OK, I don't love the last one, but I can deal with it.)

However, like many other pregnant women, I don't enjoy listening to all of the unsolicited comments about my changing and growing body. In the presence of a pregnant belly, it's as if all social norms become obsolete.

Throughout my last two pregnancies, I have received many well-intentioned comments about my body, both positive and negative. 

  • "Wow, you're really showing now."
  • "You don't even look pregnant!"
  • "All of the sudden, you look really pregnant."
  • "From behind I can't even tell."
  • "It must be time to deliver soon!"
  • "You must be really uncomfortable."
  • "You look tired."
  • "Are you pregnant?"

Much like when a woman is not pregnant, there are some simple rules of etiquette to follow when it comes to sharing your thoughts on her body.

Here are three simple steps to follow when deciding whether of not to comment on a pregnant woman's body. Read on if you don't want to be the jerk who offends or annoys an innocent expectant mother:

  1. First, ask yourself if you are a man. If you are a man, don't comment on the pregnant woman's body. 
  2. Next, ask yourself if you are a good friend of the pregnant woman. If you are not, don't comment on the pregnant woman's body.
  3. If you are a woman, and you are a good friend of the pregnant woman, you may proceed with commenting on the pregnant woman's body.

Here are some appropriate comments to choose from:

  • "You look amazing."
  • "You're glowing."
  • "You look so healthy."
  • "You're gorgeous."
  • "You are the most beautiful pregnant woman I've ever seen in my whole life."
Get the idea?

If any other thoughts or judgments enter your mind that aren't wildly positive and supportive, and you are considering saying them out loud, return to step No. 1.

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