The news of a pregnant coworker, friend, family member or acquaintance is tremendously exciting. However, even if you have the best intentions, there are certain things that you should avoid doing and saying in order to respect expecting parents. Pregnancy is a sensitive topic and it should be treated as such. Following these simple do’s and don’ts will ensure you’re staying respectful to those that are expecting.
Don’t Share Her News
Once the pregnancy is officially announced a simple “congratulations” can go a long way for the expecting parents. Send a simple card or a small bouquet of flowers. One thing to note: Avoid saying anything publicly or sharing the news with others if the couple hasn’t officially announced the pregnancy.
Don’t Push for Information
If you know a couple that was married recently that does not have children, do not ask them under any circumstance when they plan to have children. This can be a very sensitive topic for couples and it is a decision that is between the two of them. Not all couples want children and many couples struggle with infertility. Consider this before you ask someone “what they’re waiting for.”
Don’t Touch the Belly
You should never touch an expectant mother’s belly unless she offers. Without permission, touching her belly is an invasion of personal space and can make her feel uncomfortable. Even if you are close with the individual, you should either ask for permission first or wait to be asked by the mother herself.
Don’t Comment On Appearance
Never comment on the size of the mother’s tummy, regardless of how close you are with her. Expectant mother’s bodies are constantly changing, and this may leave the mommy-to-be feeling self-conscious. Many women struggle with their self-image while they are pregnant, and hearing constant comments about their size can contribute to depression and low self-esteem.
Don’t Ask Invasive Questions
Make sure to avoid invasive questions when speaking with someone that is expecting. For instance, you should never ask a couple if the pregnancy was planned, how the significant other feels about having a baby, or when they are planning to have their next child. Pregnancy is a personal and private thing and should only be talked about if the couple that is expecting starts the conversation.
For more tips for expectant parents, visit Integrative Obstetrics’s blog.
Author New Jersey Midwifery