Unofficial Pregnancy Etiquette

Things you can do to prevent a pregnant woman from fantasizing about killing you — or from snapping your head off in a raging preggy fury:

  1. Do not wear perfume/cologne. I know you think you smell nice, but it literally chokes me. If you absolutely must wear perfume, for the love of all that is holy — don’t pick something floral. Stick to fruit-based scents. (And if you’re on BART with me, I will totally get out of my seat and move somewhere else to get away from the smell.)
  2. Do not touch the belly without first asking (and receiving) permission. Only my grandmother, husband, and son are allowed to run up and rub the pooch without losing a hand.
  3. Please, at least attempt to look at my face while we’re talking.
  4. If you see me drinking a soda or a cup of coffee, don’t tell me that I’m putting my baby at risk and that I’ll have a miscarriage because of the caffeine. Have you been with me to my doctor’s appointments? Are you an OBGYN? No? Well then, shut the eff up!
  5. If I happen to be sipping a wee bit of red wine? Same answer as above. Mind your own business. (For the record, one glass of wine will not hurt the baby. In fact, if momma is very stressed out, sometimes the doctors actually recommend it. Just don’t be drinking a bottle of it.)
  6. If a preggy woman is dumb enough to share her chosen name(s) for the baby with you, the ONLY correct answer is: “That is lovely. I’m so happy for you.” (Even if the name is hideous.)
  7. Also, if you ask what the name is and said preggy woman says “We aren’t going to decide until we see the baby and we’re keeping the list under wraps.” Guess what? She’s not going to tell you! If you keep asking (ahem, Mom), she’ll tell you fake names. Here are a few I used on her last time (apologies to anyone who knows someone with these names): Cletus, BillyBob, Rudolph, Starshine-Rainbow, Magenta, Purple, Barney, Moonbeam, RoyRoy McMann, and Monkey. (No really, I told her once that we were actually going to name our son Monkey, and that we were torn between “Man” and “Moo” for middle names.)
  8. Bringing smelly, fried food in a container with you in an enclosed space may just get you thrown off the train.
  9. If you eat lunch in your office, close the door (if you have one). Nothing is worse than the mingling of smells at lunch time.
  10. If you’re not sure if someone is pregnant? Don’t ask. Really. If she’s not, then you’ve just told someone she looks fat. (Or if she really is pregnant, she may just be screwing with you.)
  11. Don’t ask how much weight a woman has gained during her pregnancy. The one caveat: Another preggy worried about her own weight gain can ask another preggy about it for advice.
  12. After hearing when the baby’s due date is, refrain from the following comments: “Really? You’re so huge I never would have guessed!” Or “Wow! You’re so big, you must be having twins!” In fact, just strike the word “huge” from your vocabulary.
  13. Note to old, skeezy men on BART: I know you’re staring at my boobs. Yes, they are bigger than they were the last time you leered at me. You can stop looking now. Or I’ll raise my eyebrow at you while making a disgusted sound/face and stare back until you look away.
  14. Note No. 2 to old, skeezy men on BART: Why are you hitting on me? Really? I’m freaking knocked up. I’m the size of a small planet, and my balance is crap. I can’t lay on my back at night. I sleep with a pillow between my knees. I’ve got gas that could empty a frat house during the drunken revelry that is Greek Week. Go away. So help me, if you even think about touching me, I’m going to be mailing that hand back to you in little pieces.
  15. Note to the young kid on BART sitting in the disabled spot: If I can stand up (at 8 months pregnant) for an elderly person with a walker during rush-hour traffic, so can you. Get off your ass.
  16. After finding out someone is pregnant, do not call her every day to ask what is happening with the baby (ahem, MOTHER). Because you’ll get the same answer: “Same as yesterday, I’m fat, my back hurts, and no — I haven’t felt the baby move yet. (pause) Why? Because its still too small. You went through this twice, didn’t you?” Also note, the tone of that answer will get more annoyed as time goes on, until we either have to have one of our throw-down, come to Jesus talks or I call in the big guns — Dad — and tell him you’re driving me insane, while threatening to change all my phone numbers and move to Nebraska. (Why Nebraska? Because its far away and its unlikely that you’ll get a nonstop flight. THAT’S WHY.)

I’m sure all of you would never do any of the above. But I swear, people lose their filters when looking/talking to pregnant women. You wouldn’t believe some of the things I’ve heard.


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