Pregnancy and you blog

Pregnancy advice: How to handle unwanted comments

By Mary M. Murry, R.N., C.N.M. May 23, 2012

During pregnancy, you're sure to be warned about many things — deli meat, caffeine, sleeping flat on your back. In fact, I often think that unsolicited comments, stories and advice are perhaps the most prevalent and dangerous side effects of pregnancy. Wouldn't it be nice to have an early warning system?

"Incoming! Run for your life!"

For example, it can seem that everyone has something to say about your tummy, whether you want to hear it or not. One person will tell you that you're too big and must be carrying twins or, at the least, you're wrong about your due date. The next person might tell you that you're way too small and can't possibly be due when you say you are. No one ever tells you that you look just the right size and that your baby is growing exactly the way he or she should.

All of this can wreak havoc on your thoughts, causing you needless worry. You might start to doubt your due date. You might wonder whether something's wrong with your baby. You might convince yourself that you really are carrying surprise twins or that your baby will weigh 10 pounds.

So how can you protect yourself from these kinds of remarks? Putting your fingers in your ears and singing, "La la la, not listening, not listening," is one way of dealing with it. Of course, that could open the door for comments about your mental health.

Instead, you might want to patiently let the person pause for breath and then say, "Thank you for your concern. Isn't this lovely weather we're having?" If the person wants to continue expressing his or her view, feel free to end the conversation and excuse yourself.

If you've been bombarded with these types of comments and they've gotten you worried, share your concerns with your health care provider. He or she can reassure you about your due date, the size of your baby, the number of babies you're carrying — and anything else you might be worried about.

The next time you see a pregnant woman, remember that her emotions are on a wild roller coaster ride. Be sure to tell her that she looks beautiful and her tummy is just the right size!

May 23, 2012