By now, we’ve all seen and opined on the controversial video in which Ranbir Kapoor comments on Alia Bhatt’s pregnancy weight gain. While the internet is divided on whether it was a nasty, chauvinistic remark or an innocent joke between a couple, this video did start an important conversation. Even though we’re all about worshipping women who give birth, we don’t always treat them well during their pregnancy.
If your partner is pregnant, you need to take care of her. And part of this package is being aware of things that you should not say to a pregnant person.
“You’ve put on so much weight”
No shit, Sherlock. This is one of the worst things to say to a pregnant woman. There is no good reason to make this comment. Do you think she hasn’t noticed or do you think it’s unusual for a pregnant woman to put on weight? And it’s also not okay to joke about it, especially in public. A first-time offence might still be excused, but if you’ve been told that she doesn’t like jokes or comments about her weight, there is no excuse for you to behave in this juvenile manner.
“I can’t wait for you to go back to your hot self”
This is even worse than the point above. Your partner is not an instrument for your amusement. She’s a human being who is preparing to give birth to your offspring. It’s up to her how and when she wants to focus on her body after giving birth and finding her feet as a new mom. Granted, it’s natural to be nostalgic, but there are times when people have to kick some sense into themselves and remind themselves to be mature and considerate. This is one such time.
“Wow, that’s a huge meal”
Some days, she might be hungry enough to eat a meal for four people. On other days, she might not be able to eat more than a few bites. But every single day, your unhelpful opinion on the size of her meal is not welcome. If you’re concerned for her health, word it better. Speak to her like an adult, don’t taunt her.
“Why are you so moody/bitchy?”
If this is something you have even considered saying as a man to your pregnant partner, you really need help. Hormonal changes and mood swings are some of the most well-known features of pregnancy. So, for you to even question this shows an unwillingness to learn even the basics of what your partner is going through. And that is much worse than ignorance.
“Do I really have to be there for every doctor’s appointment?”
Do you plan on being there for your child when they’re sick? Or do you plan on making your wife handle every doctor’s appointment herself? Because if you are planning on being an absent father, don’t ask this question and just tell your wife that you don’t want to be a part of this. And if you do, this is where your journey as a father begins, gentlemen. So yes, you should be there for every doctor’s appointment.
“We don’t have any fun anymore”
Really? Or has your definition of fun stayed the same despite a huge, permanent change in your life as a couple? For your pregnant partner, fun can mean something simple like staying in bed and watching TV or going out for an easy meal that doesn’t need dressing up a lot. As the non-pregnant partner in the relationship, you need to broaden your idea of fun too. Life is not only about downing shots and partying till 3 am.
“The baby will have only my surname”
This is not the law, this is just a social norm that has carried on for far too long. Children can lead perfectly normal lives if their name involves parts of both parents. So, if your wife wants her surname to be part of the baby’s name, ask yourself why you’re feeling the urge to fight her on this. And if the answer to this is “that’s the way it is”, don’t even bother. She knows that’s how it’s been but she wants to make sure that your child is free of these patriarchal, useless norms at least in some way.
You’re not her boss, sir. You’re her partner.
“I only want a boy/girl”
No one can control the sex of your baby. Not you, not her, not the doctor. Demanding a girl or boy might sound cute in your head, but it adds to her insecurities. She’s probably spending days doubting her ability as a mother and yours as a father. On top of that, you’ve just given her another thing to worry about. Now, she’s also thinking of how you’ll react if the baby is not what you wanted. One can, of course, have dreams of wanting a boy or a girl and it’s something very common that expectant parents talk about. But there’s no harm in saying something reassuring right after voicing your desire so that your partner doesn’t lie awake fearing your reaction.
“Your clothes are not appropriate”
This is never okay, regardless of whether your partner is pregnant or not. Your partner is an adult and has been dressing herself for a long time now. And now that she’s pregnant, it’s probably been harder than ever to find outfits that tick all the boxes for her. So, if she’s wearing a crop top that shows her belly, a fitted dress that accentuates her newfound cleavage, or a shapeless kaftan, it’s her choice.
“I can’t do poopy diapers”
Ask the doctor how you can stop your baby from pooping. When you get the answer that we’re sure you’ll get, you can go home, cry a little, and come right back to the reality of parenthood. Your baby will pee, poop, throw up, and spit up. And a lot of it will be on you. So, man up and become an expert on how to change diapers before the baby arrives. While your partner is recovering, you’re going to have to take on the bulk of these duties, you know.
“I don’t need to read baby books or get any training in how to handle an infant”
Infants are delicate, you need to know how to hold them, feed them, burp them, and change them. For example, do you know what to do if your baby has colic? Do you know what colic is? Do you know the difference between spit-up that’s normal and the kind that needs your attention? Did you know that you can tell a lot about your baby’s health just by looking at their poop?
This is only a fraction of the information that baby books and research will give you. No matter what the men in your family tell you, you need the training.
“I can’t give up my space for the baby”
Lol, right. Do you know how much space babies take up? Sometimes, an entire house can seem too small and you’re worried about “your space”? Babies need enough clothes for several changes a day, nappies, burp cloths, a crib, a mobile cot, a bathing seat, changing station, enough diapers for a small city, and so much more. There is no “your space, my space” anymore. Everything belongs to the baby now. Deal with it.
“You don’t do anything around the house”
As a man, you will never know what pregnancy feels like. But that doesn’t mean you have to show off your ignorance. She’s already growing a human inside her; her body is literally changing every day. The least you can do, as her partner, is be supportive and present. And that involves doing the household chores without complaining. It’s your turn to be the primary housekeeper and for her to “help out” when she wants.
What would you include in this list of things not to say to your pregnant partner?
All Images Source
Featured Image Source