I just wanted to review a few rules for friends and family members, or even complete strangers for that matter.
Only the pregnant woman herself may make a joke about her weight gain. Her jokes are not an invitation for your jokes.
Only the pregnant woman herself may joke about her size. Even if she is thin, she is her largest during pregnancy and will see herself as big even if you don't.
No one may comment on the amount of food consumed by a pregnant woman. It is rude to monitor anyone's food consumption unless he or she is on a diet and has asked for your help.
No one other than the baby's dad is allowed to state their opinion about the chosen name for the baby, EVEN IF ASKED. You can always think of something nice to say even if you don't like the name. You don't have to lie and say you love it. But you can respect the name chosen by the parents.
If asked if an outfit makes a pregnant woman look big or fat, the answer is always no. Because what she really wants to know is if she looks unattractive. Because of course she looks big, there is another person living inside her. She is going to look big no matter what she is wearing.
Any pampering or gift giving of any kind is always welcome. Some ideas may include but are not limited to, a back rub, a foot massage, going out to eat, a manicure, free babysitting, jewelry. (This rule applies to all women but is especially nice during pregnancy.)
Don't EVER ask a woman if she is expecting twins. If she is not expecting twins, your question is insulting because it implies she is large enough to be carrying two babies. She will tell you if she is expecting twins if she wants you to know.
If you don't have nice things to say about labor and delivery, don't say it. We all know that labor is difficult, but your 80 hour labor with an epidural that never worked isn't an encouragement. By the time a woman is pregnant it is too late for her to avoid labor. Your horror stories only cause her to fear what she cannot avoid. In reality, labor is challenge that many women find fulfilling. Let pregnant women hear personal stories from those ladies. She already has enough scary stories she heard about before she was even pregnant.
Don't ever ask if a pregnancy was an accident or if it was planned. I know someone who used to say, "All babies are surprises." Whether planned or unplanned all babies will surprise you as they settle into your womb and once again upon their arrival into this world. Our intention mean little once their arrival is anticipated.
Don't indoctrinate a pregnant woman with your old wives tales. Here is a list of some of the most common ones I hear that bother me the most. Raising your arms over your head will not cause the umbilical cord to strangle the baby. Lifting a preschool age child for some motherly loving will not cause you to lose the baby. Pineapple is full of Vitamin C and actually is good to eat while pregnant. It does not cause deformations. If I am tired, I will sit down. If I am hungry I will eat. I do not always have to remain seated and I am not eating for two full sized adults. I am able to walk around the neighborhood, exercise is good for me and baby. Basically, unless your "advise" has a recent study showing its harmful effects on me or my baby, I don't need to hear about it.
I know some of these rules may seem silly. But the truth is, they all have been violated during my pregnancy. And I know no one had the intention to be insulting or rude. Therefore, I felt the need to post these rules to help those that may need a reminder.