10 things you should say to a pregnant woman (or new mother)
Just a few well-meaning phrases will go a long way in helping an expectant mother feel more comfortable during her pregnancy. Try these out on the next mom-to-be you come across and watch the smile erupt on her face.
When a woman is pregnant, fluctuating hormones can cause lots of changes to occur in her body that can often be hard to bear. These changes vary from woman to woman and include such things as thickening ankles, wider hips, a bigger stomach, and a nice new waddle close to the delivery date. Don't make the mistake so many people have by saying things a pregnant woman really doesn't need to hear. A few well-placed comments can go a long way toward shaping how a woman thinks you see her and how she may see herself.
Following are 10 suggestions for what to say to a pregnant woman (or new mom). Use one or use them all. A mom-to-be just may thank you!
You are beautiful!
This should go without saying. Beauty is more than skin deep and should extend beyond a culturally accepted dress size. This will make her day (and possibly the rest of her pregnancy!).
You are so brave
And she is! Pregnancy and delivery are not for the timid. A woman’s body will change in ways that will prevent it from ever going back to the way it was before. This comment will help her feel that her sacrifices will be worth it.
You will make a great mother
Every woman will have a different mothering technique. New mothers-to-be may be a little more nervous going into the process. "Will I be a good mother?" is a common question every woman asks herself, even if only quietly in her head. Let her know that you think she will.
That is going to be one lucky kid
This goes along with number three. The mother-to-be isn't the only human who will be affected by this process. Let her feel a little pride in the miracle that she is creating.
This is awesome news!
Not shocking news. Not distressing news. Whether or not the pregnancy was planned the deed is done. Let the celebration begin!
May I please watch your other kids for you?
Taking care of children is often compared to herding cats, and the new mom will be exhausted by the end of the day. Giving her a little break during pregnancy or after the birth will be a huge blessing.
Please, take my seat
(on the bus/train/tram/etc.). Never, never, never, never let a pregnant woman stand. There is not enough Web space to go into how tacky and rude that is.
Cloth or disposable? That is entirely your choice!
Please do not begin a debate over what is going to cover that new baby’s tooshie when in all likelihood you will never have to change a single diaper on it. An excited, expectant mother does not need to hear your views on landfills. Save it for the next town hall meeting.
Or messy kitchen, building pile of laundry or cluttered family room. Just love that baby. Even better, do the dishes for her or pick up a towel and start folding.
I’m in your corner
By the very nature of the process, a woman carrying a child has to do a lot of things alone. Let her know she’s not completely isolated by supporting her any way you can. She is literally carrying the next generation. Be kind.
The prospect of raising a baby is both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time, regardless of how many the woman has had before. So much of what an expectant mother goes through is solo but supportive family and friends around her can help in immense ways by attitude alone. Try your hand at a few of these suggestions to let her know you are on her side. The end goal is to help the mother to feel comfortable, happy, safe, and supported.
Ramona Siddoway writes from Houston, Texas. An avid traveler she has published articles in Angola, Brussels, and the UK as well as the United States. Besides contributing to FamilyShare she writes for Young Adults and Middle Grade. Ramona is married with four children, a dog that is paranoid about the outdoor sprinkler system and an Angolan cat that is incredibly snarky when she is cold.