4 Things Not to Say when your Pregnant Friend Tells you She’s Pregnant for the First Time
Written by a first time mama, this list might change for additional pregnancies… but I’ll write that post when the time comes.
- I knew it / I thought so
Your friend has been holding on to this precious, amazing and exciting secret; she’s been waiting for the right time, trying to hide it (well or otherwise) until she was comfortable to share her exciting news. Saying “I knew it” completely invalidates the anxiousness and excitement she has felt in deciding when & how to tell you.
- Anything related to your previous pregnancy/ies.
This is her time. Be excited for her, ask her how she’s going, offer guidance if she wants it (don’t just start doling out advice! See #3). There will be plenty of time to share stories and she’ll likely ask you about your experiences as time goes on, but at this point, it’s about her, her growing family and the myriad of things going on in her world.
- Offering advice
The thing is, pretty much everyone does this. There’s time for that and depending on the kind of friendship, she’ll ask you and you’ll get to share the things you learned during your pregnancy/ies. Advice is well intentioned but in those early weeks and months it can also be overwhelming and contradictory. If she doesn’t want to hear it, it’s likely going to come across as annoying and you’re assuming she’s done little research on the fact her entire world is going to change. Guess what? She’s probably looked up just as much as she wants to and can handle at that time.
- Horror stories / the “just you wait” comments / anything negative
Why would you do this? She’s just told you a massive, wonderful secret and you’re going to shit on it? She likely knows that things are going to change forever AND she knows that she can’t even imagine all the ways her life will change. She’s witnessed pregnancies, heard about births, seen her friends raise their own children, so she has some idea of the variety of experiences, good, bad and otherwise.
The same goes for comparisons, has she had a good pregnancy so far and yours was awful? How LUCKY is she? Why hate on her or call her names, even in jest? Be supportive and positive. She’ll want good, strong, positive women around her and comments like that won’t make her want to share her experiences with you.
So with that short list out the way, what can you say?
How do you feel?
How far along are you? / When are you due?
How has pregnancy been for you so far?
How does “partner’s name” feel?
How did you tell your parents, both sides?
Is this the first grandchild?
Are you going to find out gender?
Are you going to announce it? If so, do you know how/when?
What are you most looking forward to?
What’s been your favourite part so far?
What’s been the least favourite part?
What’s surprised you so far?
It’s not hard, simply start a conversation, be passionate and excited about the adventure she is on. Allow her to share what she’s been going through so far. It is such a unique experience to be pregnant for the first time, not only for her but for her partner (potentially) and their families also; let her experience it positively and openly.