Privacy In Pregnancy – Does It Exist?
I mentioned this in an earlier blog post but i thought i’d expand a little, maybe I am a little oversensitive on this issue as I am a generally private person – or was before I started this blog but I felt a general lack of privacy during my pregnancies and too much negativity regarding my choices which were not always agreed with by others.
When you are pregnant or have a new baby peoples attitudes towards you seem to change they often seem little or no grasp of the concept that this is your pregnancy/baby and these are some helpful guidelines for the non pregnant people in your life:
- The appropriate response to a couple telling you they are having a baby is ‘Congratulations!’ with genuine enthusiasm. If this is not possible TRY HARDER – any other response can be quite upsetting.
- Through the wonders of
sciencecommon sense, we know that babies are made ONLY by the mum and dad (except in exceptional circumstances)– not grandparents, aunts, uncles or nice lady in the local shop. Unless the baby is in your uterus or you are the man that helped put it there, you may not ever use the phrase ‘my baby’ – you are not the one doing all the hard work.
- Also, unless you made the baby as defined in the above point, the pregnancy, birth, and raising of the child are not about you. It is not your choice / decision to make. Although your input is appreciated and sometimes valued, you have no right to sulk when we do it our way!
- The body of a pregnant woman should be treated the same as any other body. You would not randomly touch someone’s stomach if they were not pregnant,and I presume you would also not ask about the condition of their uterus, cervix, or how they plan to use (or not) their breasts. If we want to share this information we will. Leave us with some dignity intact please – we already have to be prodded and poked and examined enough!
- Likewise, no woman wants to hear comments on her weight…ever. A pregnant woman does not find it flattering that you think she is about is pop (I heard this a lot), must be having twins (this one too and no I wasn’t), looks swollen or has gained weight anywhere else. Likewise I would imagine that telling her she looks too small would only make her worry that she is somehow starving her baby (nobody EVER said this too me). If you are having a fat day or not looking your best do you really want everyone pointing it out to you?
- By the time we reach adulthood, most of us have picked up on the fact that the summer is hot. We are hot every summer – when it finally arrives – when we are not pregnant. We don’t need you to point out that we will be miserably hot before the baby comes as there is not much we can do about it now. Nor do we need to know how badly you will feel for us because we will be pregnant during the summer and how glad you are that YOU will not be pregnant this coming summer (Must remember to have a winter baby next time).
- Childbirth is actually not a public event. And even though the extra cash could buy nice baby things – we will not be selling tickets! As crazy as it may sound, some women really do not relish the idea of a host of family members seeing them at there worst along with a view of their genitals. If you are wanted or need there you will be invited do not presume or sulk (yes mum I meant you). Some people think the birth of their child is a private and emotional moment to be shared only by the parents. You wasn’t around the baby was created (it’s private), don’t expect to be there when baby arrives (again private).
- If you offer to help after the birth (thank you), this may mean helping around the house, help with cooking meals, shopping, school runs and generally stay out of the way. Holding the baby all the time and interfering with breastfeeding and sleeping schedules (we don’t want them to need to held to go to sleep as this will cause problems later on) is not really helping.
- We know that you want to visit and get to know the new baby but don’t overstay your welcome, it’s our baby and we would like some ALONE time if it’s not too much to ask. And please please please no unexpected house calls – it is quite likely that we haven’t been sleeping and don’t welcome being woken up by the door bell.
Ok so maybe I do go a little over the top but I am sure that you will be faced with at least one of these situations. I am the master of evil looks and seem to nip it in the bud with a quick glance but I am sure you can find a nice way of letting people know that you want them to back off a little at the times when it gets a bit too much!
Posted in Pregnancy