Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash
If there is a pregnant someone in your life who you love and she is nearing her due date, or who is past it (poor lady), be sensitive about what you ask. Don’t ask if she’s had the baby yet. Don’t ask if she’s in labor. Don’t ask why she is there at an event you thought she would miss. Don’t ask if she’s doing anything to help induce labor (she really has no control over when the baby chooses to arrive). Don’t ask if she plans to go bungee jumping to try to help things along, no matter how funny you think that is. Stop texting her every day! A baby arriving is a big event and we understand you can’t wait to meet the little one. She is feeling the same way. You bugging her doesn’t help – here are some reasons why your good intentions could make her feel worse:
1. She’s grouchy already. In the last few weeks of pregnancy, she is bigger than ever and her movement is limited. She is hungrier than she was the whole pregnancy but can’t eat hardly anything because there is no room left. And she is more exhausted than she thought possible, but too uncomfortable to sleep. All these things contribute to her general grouchiness. It’s best not to annoy someone who is already grouchy.
2. She wants to deliver this baby more than you want her to. Trust me, she has invested a lot in this pregnancy, and she is anxious, too.
3. If you know her well enough, she probably already plans to let you know when she is in labor or when she has the baby. Stop asking!
4. She may not want to share all the gory details of her doctor visits with you. Asking if she is effaced or dilated at all is actually very personal (think about what you’re asking!). If she wants to share, she will. If not, it’s really none of your business.
5. She may need a distraction. Asking why she is there instead of laboring is stupid – she’s there because she’s not in labor. She would probably be bored sitting at home acting like life has stopped. Waiting is hard! Let her go out and do stuff without bugging her about it! Who knows, maybe the activity will help the baby come faster? It’s not your job to make her feel unwelcome or dumb for even trying to participate in usual activities. She’s pregnant, not dead.
Things To Ask Instead
1. Can I bring you dinner? More than likely she can’t even think of what to cook, or she hasn’t been to the store in forever.
2. Can I watch your toddler so you can nap? See above point about exhaustion.
3. What’s on your grocery list? (Not “Can I bring you anything from the store?”) Just grab her a few items while you are out and drop them off – but don’t stay too long unless you run the vacuum while you are there.
4. What’s on your to-do list? She is very conscious of the sheets on the beds that haven’t been washed in awhile, the floors that haven’t been mopped, and the sinks and toilets that need to be scrubbed. If you really want to make her feel better, tackle one of those projects! She probably did them a few weeks ago in preparation for delivery and has not had that baby as soon as she thought, so it all needs to be done again (now that all her nesting energy is gone).