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Pregnancy Etiquette

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PREG

Mitch’s Top 5 pregnancy tips for Good Guys and Gals –

  1. Don’t be the first to bring up pregnancy. It seems like a very benign and happy thing to ask about. We’re all getting to that age, a bunch of friends are have gotten married in the past few years, we are coming into our own career-wise etc. So it seems like a natural, life question to ask a couple. Here’s the thing; it’s not always easy to get pregnant. 50% after 4-5 months, 70% after 9 months, 85% after a year.
    So this tends to be one of the most important and thought out decisions in a couples’ life, and the actual tactics pretty much take place in secret because it is not EASY to get pregnant. Based on those stats, the majority of couples are trying deliberately for 5 months or more before it happens. This takes a big time psychological toll on the couple; it sure did on us.
    So now put yourself back in that conversational situation again where you ask a happy couple – ‘So, you’ve been married a year now, when you gonna take the next step and have kids?’ There are only a few options of how it plays out:

    1. They have thought long and hard about it, and are not actively trying, so they say so. This is probably the best case scenario, but you still might be risking them being a little offended that you think they ‘should’ be starting a family.
    2. They have thought long and hard about it, and ARE actively trying. This means they’ve probably had at least a few months of realization that it’s not going to be automatic. This pretty much forces them to lie to you because they won’t want you following up in 5 months. (we had to do this a lot)
    3. They are actually pregnant but haven’t started telling people, in which case, they have to lie to you anyway.

     

  2. Don’t try to ‘out’ someone. Once someone is actually pregnant, it’s pretty standard practice to wait until they get through the first trimester, because once through the first trimester, that’s when the likelihood of a miscarriage is much lower. Some people have a sick fascination with being ‘in-the-know’ and so they feel compelled to confront women about it. There is some weird human condition where we relish being ‘in the know.’ RESIST!
  3. Don’t call people out for not drinking. This one doesn’t even have to apply to pregnancy, but is particularly acute in that case. I think I might even have been guilty of this in the past, and it’s some insecure, shameful thing that people do that must be a hold-over from college days or something. Someone turns down a drink or a shot, and we say “Awe – come on, ya woos!” Or the girl version might be, “oooo, is someone pregnant?” As a rule, just be on the safe side and don’t bring it up. Go ahead and silently make a note to yourself and you can congratulate yourself later if you’re actually right, but in the moment, don’t call it out.
  4. If you are lucky enough to get pregnant and it’s relatively easy, being happy and excited is great. Boasting about how easy it was for you is not. I don’t even think it feels like boasting to the couple themselves, they are just happy, but you’d be surprised how that comes off to someone that has been trying very hard for many months. After seeing the stats, I actually see that we were probably right smack dab in the middle of the average at 5 or so months of trying, but boy, during those months, it sure felt like there was something wrong with us, and hearing about how easy it was for some people was really tough even though it wasn’t meant to be that way at all. So just be VERY careful in talking about it with peers, and again, if you’re socially awkward like me, just never be the first to bring it up.
  5. You hear this one all the time, but if a woman is pregnant, do not under any circumstances, comment on her size. It seems like such a no-brainer but when you see your friends that are women, and they are happy and excited to be moms, there’s something (at least in my head) that tries to tell you ‘it’s ok to tell her she looks huge’ She knows it, and what it represents. Your go-to ice-breaker about the pregnancy should always just be ‘how do you feel?’ Then let the mom drive where she wants to go with the conversation. I learned this the hard way.

Agree with me? Disagree? Horror stories? Leave a comment with other things to keep in mind, or any advice for a nervous father to be!

 

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