The “Baby Factory” Has Some Polite Words of Advice

I would like to politely suggest that Emily Post, Queen of Etiquette, update her advice on pregnant women. 

Let me clarify — not her advice for pregnant women, but her advice for anyone who encounters an expectant mother. 

Here are a few comments that Ms. Post may wish to advise against making to any pregnant woman:

“How far along are you?  You’re tiny!” OR “How far along are you?  You’re huge!” (During my two pregnancies I have frequently heard both of the preceding statements in the course of a single week — which means that people have vastly different notions of how big a pregnant woman should be in, say, her 6th month.)

“You’re certainly hiding it well!” (Maybe 100 years ago, women wanted to “hide” their “condition” if they were pregnant and unmarried — but generally these days women are fine with the concept that people will notice that they’re “in a delicate way.”)

“Your face changed!” (Generally this is not okay to say to anyone, particularly a woman who is — to quote pregnant Calliope from Grey’s Anatomy — a “hormone casserole” whose body has swelled to many times its normal size.)

“You’re carrying low — you must be having a boy!”  (Curiously, I’ve heard this most often from male strangers on the street during both pregnancies — both of which have been girls, by the way.  I’m not sure what makes any man (a) comfortable commenting on on a strange woman’s abdomen as she is walking past; (b) certain that they know whether she is “carrying high” or “carrying low”; or (c) confident that they understand the correlation between the way a woman is “carrying” and the sex of the baby – ???)

And here’s my personal favorite:

“You’re having another one??  Well, aren’t you a little baby factory!!” 

If I could be so bold, I’d like to suggest that Ms. Post include the following two polite, acceptable comments that I believe most pregnant women would not find offensive and would welcome hearing:

“Congratulations!”

“You certainly have that pregnant glow about you!”

If any explanation is needed, perhaps Ms. Post could offer that it’s never very polite to make comments about another person’s body — even if that person is pregnant!! 

P.S.  For some fun reading, check out Emily Post’s etiquette website, www.emilypost.com — now managed by her great-granddaughter Peggy Post.  Here’s her advice for new moms:  New Mom Etiquette.

P.S. 2 – On a similar topic — here’s an enjoyable post on TODAY Moms about encountering the “pregnancy police” while drinking a glass of wine at a social event:  Back Off, Pregnancy Police — I Know What I’m Doing!

About A Mom In Brooklyn

A mom in Brooklyn
This entry was posted in Pregnancy and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The “Baby Factory” Has Some Polite Words of Advice

  1. Cara says:

    Julie,

    This post made me laugh out loud, something I didn’t know was possible before 8am! Given I work with 300 women of child bearing age, you would think that people would be more sensitive but I’ve heard that some of the comments are totally insensitive “wow, you’ve gained so much weight. I didn’t gain much but then again I was skinny pre-pregnancy” to the odd “you look like a turkey”. Where’s the common sense?!?!

    I hope to see “the baby factory” aka you sometime soon. Hang in there. 🙂

    Cara

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s