I think it’s pretty common knowledge now that there are just some things you don’t say to a pregnant woman. Of course, you have those outliers of people who say them anyway, but certain comments that allude to a woman’s changing body such as “Wow, you’re so big/small!” “Aren’t you too young/old to have a baby?” and “Are you sure it’s not twins?” are a big no, no.
Then there’s always the unsolicited ‘advice’ that really isn’t helpful like “sleep now because you will never sleep again,” “enjoy x,y,z while you still can!” and “you’re going to have your hands full!” Most people know to avoid these comments and questions but others are just oblivious.
Don’t Say It
I’ll admit, through my first and now my second pregnancy I have heard a few of these, but this time around there is a new one I want to add to the list of things you shouldn’t say to a pregnant woman. This comment has come to the scene thanks to the recent global pandemic; can you guess what it is? Maybe you have heard it yourself: “So you’re having a COVID baby?!” With other versions such as “pandemic pregnancy” and jokes like “I guess you didn’t social distance” and more that are meant to be clever and supposedly funny but are just purely inappropriate for a stranger to say.
I’ve heard this a few times during my pregnancy, the first time it caught me a little off guard, I just smiled, nodded my head, and moved along. But the more I thought about it the more it bugged me. My pregnancy isn’t a ‘COVID pregnancy’ and my baby won’t be a ‘COVID baby’.
Regardless of what is happening in the world, it’s my pregnancy, my baby. And I don’t want it defined or labeled in any other way.
What people fail to see when they make that comment are the challenges that women and families are dealing with during this time while being pregnant. It’s true that for many women pregnancy, labor, delivery, and even their postpartum experience have looked very different due to COVID. Besides the obvious worries and fears and decisions pregnant women are needing to make during this time, women are also going to appointments alone instead of with their partners. Siblings and other family members aren’t allowed to meet their new addition in the hospital, and women are laboring in masks.
In my opinion, this nonchalant comment (which what is it even supposed to mean?) discredits the love, hope, planning, and joy along with the hard work that goes into a pregnancy. And besides, talk about stating the obvious, yes we know that there is a global pandemic happening right now. It’s a little hard not to! But that will not define my pregnancy or my baby.
So let me just make this appeal to the general public. Please, do not call mine, or any other woman’s pregnancy a “COVID pregnancy.” Just don’t.