Talking to Pregnant Women

Talking to a Pregnant Woman
From the perspective of one in their 9th month
(this is me with one month left to go)

There’s something about being pregnant that elicits all kinds of conversations from both friends and strangers. Personally, I enjoy talking with others about being pregnant and welcome their friendliness. The first things everyone asks are:
-Do you know if it’s a boy or a girl?  And
-Do you have names picked out?

Since we don’t get ultrasounds (due to their uncertain safety and since they’re usually not needed) we aren’t finding out the sex of the baby so I don’t usually have much to say as far as that goes. Also, since we aren’t telling what names we’re thinking of I don’t have much of a response about that either.

So, beyond these usual two questions, here are some thoughts I’ve had about how to communicate with a woman who’s pregnant:

Something I personally like to hear about is the birth experiences of others. It’s important though not to be too negative and to try to keep a positive attitude about labor and parenting as well. Pregnant moms need all the encouragement they can get. Labor is portrayed negatively enough in the media, the poor woman doesn’t need any more things to worry about. I’m afraid I haven’t always been good about this myself. I had a very hard first labor and have learned that I need to be cautious about sharing my experience with someone who’s pregnant. I firmly believe that birth can be an empowering time for a woman and that her body is fully capable of accomplishing the amazing feat of childbirth. Women need to hear more of that.

“You must be due anytime!” or “I think you’re going to go early.” These comments have the potential to put a false hope in the woman. I have been told this throughout the last month and a half! It made me feel like I would honestly go early (which I haven’t) which makes me feel like I’m “late” even before the due date comes! This has been pretty hard on me emotionally and made it hard to be patient. The truth is that most women go “late” and that’s completely normal. Technically someone isn’t even late until they’re 42 weeks! So, even if the woman seems ready to burst, you should probably keep that thought to yourself.

“You look absolutely radiant!” I’ve been told this about 3 times and I can’t tell you what it’s meant to me! Even though I love having a pregnant shape (not everyone loves that) I can still sometimes feel rather unattractive. It’s definitely more encouraging than “you’ve gotten HUGE!” If you see something beautiful about your pregnant friend, let her know. It will make her day! I know it made mine!

Finally, encourage those who are pregnant to REST. With a world that tells us, “Go, go go” and “do do do” it can be hard to feel free to take a break. Pregnancy takes an incredible toll on a woman’s body and she NEEDS to take it easy. If you have some time, offer to help her out. She can always say “no” but the thought will still be much appreciated. It will show her that someone notices her and realizes pregnancy (while a very happy time) can also be a very tiring time. 

  • It must be so exciting reaching the goal line and getting to meet your little one soon! I can’t wait to read about what you have and what you named the baby. We’ve been trying to have a baby ourselves with no luck—in fact, I just found out that I’m not ovulating. Do you have any advice to pass my way to keep my mind, body & spirit healthy and happy? I’ve been reading “The Garden of Fertility” by Katie Singer and have loved it so far. Thanks so much!

  • Hi Niki,
    My heart goes out to you. I know how hard it is to want a baby and not be able to get pregnant. If you let it, it can eat away at your spirit and absolutely drain you. One piece of advice I would give you is don’t let being pregnant or not pregnant define you. I had struggled with finding my identity in being a mom or wife or in how many kids I had. I really had to let that go. I now see myself the way God sees me and it’s freed me to be joyful and at peace. I had to let go of wanting to be pregnant before I was able to get pregnant. In fact, we were looking into adoption when, “surprise!” So now, while I am SO thankful for this little one, I won’t allow this baby to determine who I am. You are so precious regardless of where you’re at in life.
    As far as nutrition, I really recommend taking a good cod liver oil. I’m not a huge supplement taker but I really believe cod liver oil is essential with our modern diet. It’s great for so many aspects of our health, especially fertility. I highly recommend “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon. There’s a LOT of great information in that book. One of the best pieces of advice I took away from that book was to load up on healthy fats for fertility, like butter, olive oil, coconut oil and cod liver oil. Healthy fats are great for a developing baby too.
    Many blessings to you!

  • Hi Laura -
    Thanks so much for the great advice. I will definitely have to keep that in mind and read it often :-) There are so many women out there that become obsessed and depressed - and I didn’t want that to be me. We’re still really early in the process, so I’m hoping things will just work out on their own. And I actually have that book from the library, though I haven’t started reading it yet! I’m definitely glad to be learning about natural and healthy ways to view and live life instead of depending on “quick fixes”. Thank you so much!