10 Things You Should Never Say to a Woman Who Is Nine Months Pregnant
Since I recently gave birth at 41 weeks, I got a lot of random comments from people – mostly people I didn’t know, which was always interesting. I guess people don’t realize that women who are 9 months pregnant, especially when they have gone past their due dates, are very hormonal and to make any of these comments or ask any of these questions is opening you up for all sorts of things.
Disclaimer: I am sure that I have said one or more of these things in my lifetime, but now I know better! This post is not meant to offend anyone who has made these (common) “mistakes” and should be taken with a grain of salt;)
Here is my list of top 10 things you should never say to a woman who is 9 months pregnant.
1. “Are you sure you’re only having one baby?”
I suppose it’s possible to be carrying multiples and not know it, but if I knew I were carrying multiples, then why would I tell you I was only pregnant with one baby. Besides, it would be highly unlikely that a second baby wouldn’t have shown up on an ultrasound by this point in a pregnancy.
2. “What are you doing at work?” (When the person finds out your baby was due last week.)
Yeah, I’m at work. Where else would I be?
3. “How far will your doctor let you go?”
I guess I will “go” until the baby decides he/she is ready….and it’s not just my doctor’s decision. I am in charge of my body, thank you very much.
4. “So when is your induction scheduled?”
It’s not. Not everyone wants to pump themselves full of drugs to force a baby out before he/she is ready if there is no medical reason to do so, no matter how miserable or frustrated they feel.
5. “You look like you’re ready to pop!”
Thanks…just in case the amount of weight I’ve gained this pregnancy doesn’t make me feel bad at all, your comment sure helped out with that!
6. “So when are you going to have that baby?”
Seriously?! If I knew when I was going to “have that baby,” don’t you think I would just tell you? And I would be much happier and more comfortable if I knew the answer to that, too. Unfortunately, though, babies don’t usually tell you when they plan to come out…
7. “When does the doctor think the baby will be born?”
Doctors are not fortune tellers. They really have no idea. They can guess, and some of them do, but it really doesn’t mean anything. I don’t think our doctor really thought we would make it to 40 weeks, but we got to 41 weeks before Felix decided to show up. Again, babies come when they’re ready and not before.
8. “How big does the doctor think the baby will be?”
This is another one of those things that the doctor really doesn’t know. Ultrasounds can be off up to 2 pounds above or below the “guess.” We had ultrasounds with both our children and both were off. Anya was almost a pound less than what they projected the day before and Felix was a half pound more than what was projected the day before. I have known people whose ultrasound weight “guesses” were right on, so you just never really know. Our doctor also “guessed” the weight of Felix by feeling him inside my belly, but guess what? His guesses were never consistent from week to week, because it is just a guess.
9. “How much weight did you gain?”
Seriously, just don’t even go there. I don’t think this needs any explanation. Thankfully, no one ever really asked me this, but it is definitely on the list of things not to ask!
10. “You don’t want the baby to get too big….”
Supposedly, babies gain approximately a half a pound a week during the last several weeks of pregnancy. However, as I mentioned before, ultrasounds can be way off. I am sure that in some select cases, a baby that’s is really “big” (whatever that means to you) can cause problems, especially when there are medical conditions involved (such as gestational diabetes, etc.), but in most cases, the baby will probably be as big as he/she should be. According to our doula, “your body typically will not create a baby that you cannot birth.” There are exceptions to that from time to time, but even the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is now saying that a suspected “big” baby is not necessarily a legitimate reason for an early induction. (I should say that every case is different and should be discussed with a doctor you trust…induction isn’t always “bad” and there are reasons for them sometimes.) I am convinced that since most women do not make it to 40 weeks (much less beyond that) so people aren’t used to hearing what a typical baby would weigh if born at 40, 41, or (gasp!) 42 weeks…..
I have definitely caught myself getting ready to make some of these comments without thinking, but having had two children who were born past their due dates, I am now learning to think twice before I speak.
Yes, I was uncomfortable, exhausted, and ready at 41 weeks, but the worst part of going that far was the shocking looks and comments I got because I did not have an induction date set. Even when calling the doctor’s office at 39 weeks to schedule my 40 week appointment, the receptionist seemed to be trying to hide how surprised she was that I did not have an induction scheduled already. Luckily, I was perfectly healthy and so was our son…not everyone gets that lucky! As I watched everyone else who was pregnant (with due dates around mine) have their babies, I have to admit I was a little jealous. However, most of them were due to either elective inductions or inductions due to medical-related issues. I guess I should consider myself lucky to have been healthy enough to carry both of our children past 40 weeks. I can say that, especially this time around, waiting an extra week or two was well worth it to get the have the experience we had!