Pregnancy is an exciting time in a woman’s life. Friends and family join in the excitement, and often have lots to say about what your body is going through, and the next steps in your parenting adventure. Just like other major events in your life, having kids brings on unsolicited comments and advice - they come whirling at you at every turn and from some very questionable sources.
Unlike most other major life changes you’ll experience, growing a baby has the unfortunate side effect of being visible to the outside world. Whether you are proud of your bump, and try to flaunt it whenever you can, or you wish you could put it away when you’re in public, after awhile there will be no hiding it. Don’t worry - in case you were feeling in any way self-conscious about your new curves and increasingly rotund belly, people around you will definitely have lots to say, and most of it will even meant in a nice way. After all, everybody knows pregnant ladies are supposed to be vulnerable, and so we should be kind and gentle with them.
If good intentions are what compel others to bring up your figure in light conversation, they are the very reason not to take comments to heart. While you want to feel good about yourself, you don’t want to be embarrassed by being unrealistic about your new look.
For instance, if your best bud tells you a bikini looks great on you - even though you’re 36 weeks’ gestation - you might want to double-check the image in the mirror before you believe her wholesale. There are some things your friends will say that have a less sunny meaning underneath.
7 Before pregnancy is outwardly obvious, friends will start telling you that ‘you’re glowing’.
Though it’s very cliché, this description is losing no ground, and it’s still common to hear that pregnant women have a glow. The tricky part about hearing this is that nobody really knows what it means. You can take it in the best possible light, and believe it means you look really happy. Most people surmise it has something to do with extra blood flow - but here’s a great clue to its true meaning: it means you’re sweaty, and your face is red.
It’s no real secret that pregnant women usually feel like a fully stoked woodstove, even in the coolest temperatures. You strip off layers, but still overheat after any light exertion. Sitting in a hot, crowded room is almost insufferable – which is makes holiday dinners particularly hard.
As a result, you’re ‘fresh glow’ is probably similar to a runner having recently finished a marathon. To look at this in a positive light, sweating is not that bad compared to some of the other bodily functions that will plague you while you’re gestating, so if people really feel the need to talk about your appearance, it’s a good job this is what they’ve chosen to say. Perhaps it is the most positive thing they could think of, given that for most skinny young ladies, gaining twenty or thirty pounds in six months is a most nasty nightmare, so your skin tone seemed like a safe topic. It’s sort of like seeing a play, and telling its star how much you enjoyed your seat.
In the meantime, though, it’s best to take this particular compliment to heart, and know that your heart, pounding away in your chest in the effort to pump blood for two, is making your cheeks extra rosy today. It’s a good thing it’s not polite to bring up pit stains, or people would find a way to talk about that, too.
6 If anybody ever tells you that ‘from behind, you don’t even look pregnant’, don’t believe it. It’s a lie.
When you’re pregnant, your whole body changes. Even your toes swell. So there’s no way that your waistline and booty could possibly hope to keep a pre-pregnant shape. They just can’t. In fact even from behind your waistline will pretty much cease to exist.
This particular compliment is truly ingenious for two reasons. First, it is exactly what an ever-expanding woman wants to hear (it’s pretty hard to deny you look different from the front, but the back could be different story, right?).
Second, it takes into consideration that even with three separate mirrors you can’t possibly get a good idea of what you look like from behind. That’s nature’s way. It’s self-preservation: when you have a giant bulge on your front, you can’t twist all the way around to catch the rear view. You probably wouldn’t like it.
Obviously, not all pregnant ladies get fat. But expectant women usually gain more fat (and it’s healthy to do so), and some of it is bound end up on your rear side. As such, you could wonder why this statement is considered a compliment at all. After all, there’s nothing negative about looking pregnant, from any angle at all.
You may be thinking to yourself as you read this “I really do look pretty normal from behind.” Forget it, it’s not true. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes a little more junk in the trunk looks great, and it definitely is a great cushion for when you’re sitting down. It would be pretty weird if a bump out front was the only extra curve you grew during pregnancy, so thank heaven that you do look pregnant, even from behind.
What your loved ones are trying to get across is that you look good – so you can take that to heart. Nobody wants to believe that they’ve suffered the backside spread they’ve been fighting off for years. But the true meaning you can glean is that you look good –for a preggo.
5 Those boobs!
People can get away with saying lots of things to you about your body, but there’s one subject that is out of bounds for all but your closest friends: the ever-increasing size of your boobs.
As much as strangers feel free to touch your belly, or offer insight about your skin tone, we can all agree chest size is an off-limits topic for idle conversation. Nonetheless, your friends will notice.
For many women, an increasing bust line is the outward first sign that they’re pregnant at all, and probably the most welcome one. Ladies who were never the most well-endowed in their social group suddenly surpass their friends’ cup sizes. Take it for the blessing it is, ladies, because until your belly makes its appearance, your girls will be showing off to the world.
During the sweet first trimester of gestation, your baby is hidden away, too small for detection. For women who are excited to ‘look’ pregnant, it can seem like forever until your mid-section is obviously round. Take this advice: enjoy the girls while they’re as prominent as they are, because secretly, your friends are jealous. Other than surgery, there are few direct routes to a bigger endowment in the chest area, and you’ve just found one! Many women increase two cup sizes over the course of their pregnancy.
If you decide to breastfeed your baby, you’ll probably enjoy a bigger bust for some time after your baby’s born. But during that time, your breasts are performing a really important function for your newborn – it’s amazing to think that your body can actually nurture a baby from conception until well into its first year! During the newborn stage, your body will be recovering from birth, and you’ll be pretty busy with a baby, after all. Early pregnancy is the only time you and your partner will get to enjoy your girls in their larger state, all to yourselves.
4 Swollen Ankles
Swollen ankles are not cute, but your friends will likely never tell you so. They have reassured you about all of the turmoil your developing body has put you through so far, and even though the state of your stems is worst yet, they will think of something positive to say.
Truthfully, the nicest thing your nearest and dearest can do is to keep quiet, especially during the heat of summer when your calves make a neat straight line down to your puffy, pudgy feet.
Your friends will probably look at your legs and think ‘I will never let myself develop cankles.’ But regardless of their nasty inner thoughts about your legs, most friends will come up with something nicer to say.
Sometimes swollen ankles are symptomatic of a dangerous pregnancy-related illness. During those times, it would be nice for somebody to pipe up and tell you your marshmallow shape is not healthy. Otherwise, when it’s more a factor of shifting fluids in your body, it will likely just cause you to be self-conscious.
Unlike the comment about your behind, any fibs friends tell you about your ankles can be discredited by looking down, since you can still see your feet (sort of) and the view from above does them no favours.
The sympathetic conversation will not be enough to counter your feelings about your body at this point. Therefore, when your feet swell, and you feel the worst kind of awful, and the best thing you can do is put in earphones to drown out the well-meaning comments, and put your feet up somewhere. When you’re suffering swollen ankles, you deserve it.
3 So cute!
As your baby grows, you will hear again and again that you're 'cute'. On the face of it this is a compliment, but it can seem like a real insult to a grown woman.
Here's a catch about being pregnant: according to the general population, you have temporarily lost all sex appeal. On top of any considerations to how you actually look, pregnancy carries a bit of a stigma when it comes to sex – mothers are often portrayed as sweet, if asexual, beings. After all, nobody wants to think of her own mother as seductive.
Your friends are so supportive, and will reassuringly tell you on your worst day how sweet you look. Sadly, you can translate that to mean 'not sexy'.
Secretly they're pretty glad that you're no longer competition when it comes to the fellas.
Let's face it, you've moved from enticing minx to mommy dearest in a matter of weeks. Part of this has to do with your rounder cheeks and your growing tummy, and it's exacerbated by flowing or flowery maternity styles.
The cute comment comes from an honest place – people often really like the idea of pregnant ladies. After all, you’re realizing all of the nurturing capabilities you have to offer by growing a person inside of you.
But the comment doesn't take into consideration that your view of yourself probably hasn't changed at the same rate as your body, and it might not change all that drastically through your pregnancy – so maybe you'd like to feel sexy, or fashionable, or maybe you want to appear fierce and professional – just like at any other time of your life.
Luckily, your partner will probably find you as appealing as ever, and will be able to see past the 'cute' factor that stops up everybody else and enjoy your pregnant body. If you need help, there are some pretty sexy maternity lingerie lines you can check out. Those who really know you will be able to see that you're as sexy as ever.
2 Those Hormones!
I wonder if, like Santa Clause, looking rotund is translated to being jolly.
Out of a distinct lack of anything else to say to a pregnant lady, some chatterboxes will remark about how happy you look.
For those experiencing it, pregnancy is a pretty happy time. After all, it’s a pretty big deal to be getting your very own baby and pregnant ladies are on the direct line to getting one (or two!). But those nine months can also be tiring and stressful time – and very taxing on your body.
Since your face directly mirrors your mood, which likely swings widely between serene and angry at a break-neck pace, if somebody tells you that you look happy it’s probably not true.
Instead, they are probably thinking you look grumpy.
Hormones are a strong force on your moods at this time in your life, and boy, are you getting a lot of them. Sometimes you’ll cry over something insignificant. Later, you may laugh until you cry over something plain that strikes you funny. Or maybe you’ll feel hysterical.
So while you might be happy in the wider empirical sense, anyone who sees you might get a different impression from your overall demeanour.
One who has blessed you with the compliment that you look happy, though, will tell you so because she is probably assuming that you must in fact be happy, even if that’s not how you look. It’s also possible your friend is afraid you’ll hurt her if she says the wrong thing. But there’s no sense spending your day trying to look pleased and peaceful as you go about your gestation, if in fact you are losing your mind. Sometimes you need the support, and it’s worth looking a little less put-together to get it.
Either way, you’re best to take this comment at face value, - if you're projecting a happy look, good for you! Although you may be tired or stressed, you have a lot to be happy for.
1 About to Pop
Later on in your pregnancy, you will be a much larger person than when you started. Being inside your body, you will probably be as aware of this as any yokel that decides to point it out. Nonetheless you will probably be told many times that ‘you look about to pop!’
A comment borne of pure surprise at your sheer volume at the end of pregnancy, you can expect to hear about your dangerously explosive situation many times a day from the well-meaning jerks you encounter. There are a few things that make this the comment you’re most likely to hear at the end of pregnancy: you're no longer very cute, you don't look happy, and there's no use even pretending you don't look pregnant from any angle, unless the lights are off.
There's not much hiding the true meaning of this statement, particularly coming from people you know well: what that means is that you've moved beyond having a round belly, and are moving into a size category that is just purely surprising. It’s a very nice version of what shocked acquaintances are thinking when they witness your ballooning size.
Not only is your belly big at this point, but at just before your baby is born, it’s very likely he will “drop”, giving your torso a sagging quality that gets a great reaction from others.
A person who looks as though she is about to pop probably looks very uncomfortable, too. You can count on your face giving away far more than you'd intended in that regard.
However, you can make this comment work on your behalf, no matter how much it hurts: you must tell everybody who mentions your size that you also feel like you're about to pop. The person on the bus will thereby release his seat to you, your best friend will get you a pillow and a cup of tea. You should milk your size for all it's worth at this point, because after your baby's born, it is all about her. And really, it's such a rude comment, you should get something out of having to hear it.