Let me start out by saying that I’ve never been pregnant, but that these foolproof tips are borne of years of observation and conversation. So give them a read and then go make a pregnant lady’s day.
1) Being touched by strangers
Did you resent learning to keep your hands to yourself in kindergarten? Well, you’re in luck. Look at that businessman on the train, wearing a suit and tie and frowning at his smartphone. Would he like it if you suddenly embraced him or caressed his tummy? No, of course he wouldn’t. But pregnant women are different. As soon as the bulge of that fetus is visible to you and me, her body is fair game, from the bathroom to the boardroom to the bus. Hands on!
2) Temporal judgments
A pregnant woman is particularly attuned to the passage of time – just listen to her obsess about the first, second and third trimesters. That means she’s also anxious to hear your unsolicited time-related verdicts. For example, feel free to ask her how old she is, and then follow up with any conclusions you may have on whether she is very young or rather old to be a mother. If you think she looks older or younger than she is, make sure she knows it. And remember, once you’ve spotted her belly, what month and day that baby is supposed to emerge is information that you are entitled to. The mother-to-be will also appreciate your comments on whether her current size matches the current duration of her pregnancy. Does she look rather slim for 7 months or “ready to pop” at 6 months? Make sure she knows it!
3) Personal questions
Imagine that man on the train again – his tasteful striped tie and black leather shoes. Would he want you to sit down next to him and ask him his age, whether he feels sick to his stomach, and whether he has children, whether they’re boys or girls, when their birthdays are and what their names are? No, he probably wouldn’t appreciate it, but here again is the magic of pregnancy: gestating women love answering your personal questions. Remember: the propagation of the human race is every person’s business, and that includes morning sickness, the baby’s sex, due date and name, birth plans, and anything else you can think of. Remember: when a woman can no longer conceal the fact that she’s carrying a fetus, she owes you these answers.
4) Horror stories of labor and delivery
That pregnant woman sitting next to you wants to bond with you. Once you’ve ascertained that her due date is just a few weeks away, the best way to cement your relationship is to tell her about your sister-in-law’s cousin’s 43-hour labor and episiotomy during the blizzard of ‘93. Pregnant ladies enjoy these narratives, which fortify them for their own deliveries.
5) Your projected body image woes
Pregnant women are always ready to soothe your anxieties about their bodies. The last thing they want is for you to be stuck wondering if they’re pregnant or if they’re just packing some extra belly pounds, so feel free to ask them. If, because you were afraid they were simply fat, you’re relieved to find out that their rotund figure is due to an impending birth, make sure they know it. They love being reminded of their ungainly figures, and carrying a baby is the difference between hoping others mind their own business, and having an appreciation for being the subject of strangers’ bodily speculations.
Is there anything else pregnant women love? If I’ve missed something, please add it in the comments.