Tips for dealing with a pregnant woman

In and of itself, being pregnant isnít easy. Itís one of lifeís cruel jokes that when youíre more hormonal and emotional than youíve ever been in your entire life, all the rules of etiquette and good manners go out the window for those around you.

Whether youíre in a grocery store, at the bank or just running out of your house to grab the mail, someone will make a comment about your pregnancy, and often those comments are far from what you might want to hear.

Any of my co-workers will tell you that Iím one of the less crazy, hormonal, emotional types. Honestly, I think Iíve taken it pretty easy on them. But to save the rest of you from the wrath of that other kind of pregnant woman, here are a few dos and doníts for dealing with expecting women.

1. Donít touch the belly. When a complete stranger walks up to you and starts rubbing your stomach, the typical response would generally be some type of violent outburst. Unfortunately for pregnant women, this is all too common. Never in my life have I felt the need to go up to a fat person and rub their stomach, so why do people do it to pregnant women? If youíre a friend or a family member, itís acceptable (with permission), but strangers should just plain back off.

2. Donít question the number of children the pregnant woman is carrying. You might think itís funny to ask a question like ďYou sure thereís only one baby in there? Looks like you could be carrying three or four.Ē I can assure you, itís not. In fact it can be quite dangerous. Pregnancy has actually been used as a defense in murder trials before, and with comments like that, youíre presenting an awfully good defense if the pregnant woman does go insane and decides to murder you on the spot. (I might have made that up, but it sounds plausible to me.)

3. Donít make any comment referring to weight gain. Addressing a woman about the topic of weight is a risky subject matter under the best of circumstances. When dealing with a pregnant woman, youíre taking your life into your own hands. The expecting mother is all too conscious of every pound she gains. Having someone else point out that fact, especially when they seem amused by it, is like waving the red flag in front of the bullís face. Cutesy comments like ďstand next to me so I look smaller,Ē or ď I didnít know you were pregnant, I thought youíd just been drinking a lot of beer latelyĒ are also not entirely kosher. If you choose to go that route, just remember youíre proceeding at your own risk.

While Iíve indicated that several of these comments could send a pregnant woman into a hormonal rage, there is another very real possibility. That is that the woman in question could break down into a pool of tears at even the slightest provocation. You might think youíre being funny or amusing, but those comments could possibly cause an already stressed person to go over the edge.

Having pointed out all these tips, I may have made it sound like pregnant women are incapable of controlling their emotions. Thatís not entirely true. There are times when we could probably deal with a nuclear holocaust without batting an eye, there are also times when watching a television commercial could probably make us cry for three hours. Itís difficult to predict, so proceed with caution.

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