I have a lot of friends expecting now and they all share the same complaints. They have all asked me to write about etiquette regarding pregnant women, so here it goes.
The one thing people need to remember is that pregnant women are normal, they are just pregnant. Their eyes are still on their faces, so when talking to them, please make it a point to look at their eyes and not their stomach, or for that matter, their now-ample bosoms. This is a common gripe among the pregnant women I know. All of a sudden, people think their eyes are elsewhere.
Another major irritant among pregnant women is that people—from officemates to friends they haven’t seen in a while—hold their stomachs when they see them. The first gesture is a hand to the pregnancy bump. Please respect the personal space of pregnant women. Not only are they more sensitive emotionally, they also do not like people constantly touching their stomachs throughout the day.
Questions to avoid
Also, avoid questions like when are you due? Is it a girl or a boy? Simply send your good wishes and hope she is having a pleasant pregnancy. Then take the cue from the mommy-to-be and if she opens up regarding the state of her pregnancy then you can begin to ask the usual questions. Remember that not everyone is open to revealing private aspects of themselves.
And just a final caveat, for those friends and relatives that are newly married or have been childless for some time, kindly respect their feelings as well. Oftentimes when a woman is unmarried, family gatherings turn into an inquisition as to when she will finally get married. Then when she finally does, it becomes an endless probing of when she will conceive. If a couple has been married for a while, there goes the endless questions of why there are no babies on the way.
As much as extended family members are only showing concern and love, it may be interpreted as pressure by the woman on the receiving end, so tread with sensitivity and caution.
The Year of the Dragon has, indeed, filled the maternity floors with beautiful newborns, let this serve as a short guide for etiquette regarding pregnant women and you’ll find your pregnant friends and relatives thanking you in their hearts for it.