This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending a friend’s wedding, a delightful collection of amazing people from nations all around the globe. It was a beautiful, international celebration!
While there, I sat for a while and chatted with my friend, Puleng, who is currently 38 weeks pregnant. She’s gorgeous! This lovely, ebony beauty from the Dominion of Lesotho. She affectionately calls herself a Lesotho princess, and I wholeheartedly agree with her.
She started to tell me how difficult it’s been to prepare for this new baby. The waves of fear rolling over both her and husband have been suffocating. And they’re getting it from all sides―not only from doctors who are obliged to tell them what could go wrong but also from well-meaning acquaintances who share their personal horror stories.
Please, people, don’t do this! It is not ok to scare the life out of a new mommy until she’s paralyzed at the thought of the impending birth. Seriously?! How is that even helpful?
So, before I hear this from yet ONE MORE woman, here are my thoughts on “WHAT NOT TO SAY TO A PREGNANT WOMAN.”
1. Don’t tell her the WORST case scenario
This sounds kind of obvious, but you’d be surprised at what people actually share with a pregnant woman. Serious complications, nightmare experiences (both during and after), hospital failures (including terrible doctor or nurse stories), and difficult baby issues (such as colic, reflux, and ‘you’ll never sleep again’). Shocking.
Don’t do this! Whether you are innocently trying to give her a heads-up or indulging in an “I can beat that story” competition with your friends (especially if she’s in the room with you), don’t do it! Be aware of your surroundings.
These kinds of stories only serve to plant FEAR into the heart of a new mom, and that’s the last thing she needs. Fear will cause her body to be tense, uptight, and resist what it needs to do in order to deliver that baby. Fear is a bad thing!
A pregnant woman’s #1 enemy is FEAR. Fear of pain, fear of failure, fear of loss. At all costs, don’t make her more afraid than she is already.
2. Don’t tell her the BEST case scenario either
Ok, this may sound contrary to what I’ve said already, but hear me out. When I was pregnant with my first child, someone gave me a copy of a very popular book which basically taught that, because the curse of sin has been broken through the cross, we don’t have to experience the curse of having a painful birth experience. We can experience “strain, no pain” in childbirth.
Don’t get me wrong. The message isn’t false; it’s all true. The curse HAS been broken, and God’s heart for His children is to bless them way beyond their wildest expectations. It’s true, and many women have been greatly encouraged by this book.
The problem was in HOW I received that message. I loved the stories of one-hour, pain-free deliveries. Who wouldn’t want that? And I fully expected to be the exception to all of the horror stories around me. But when the ‘back labour’ hit and my contractions soared far above the “strain” level right into the “pain” level, I thought “God, why do you hate me?”
I wasn’t just disappointed; I was devastated! The presence of such pain made me feel like I wasn’t spiritual enough. “Those other women must be sooo much more spiritual than me. Something must be seriously wrong with me. Why can’t I have a supernatural childbirth? I’m obviously not worthy.”
A pregnant woman’s 2nd worst enemy is COMPARISON, especially if she’s comparing her experiences with those of other women who’ve had it much easier.
So, if you can’t tell her the worst and you can’t tell her the best, what should you say?
3. Tell her how POWERFUL she really is
♥ Tell her that the human body is amazing! Everything about childbirth is a miracle. Did you know that hormones released during pregnancy cause the cartilage holding her hips together to soften, eventually letting the baby pass? I know, because during my last two pregnancies, those hormones kicked-in earlier than usual, and I actually had to wear a brace to hold my hips together. That’s amazing!
♥ Tell her that she was MADE to do this! The more she knows about her body, the more empowered she will feel. Childbirth isn’t something that happens TO her―it is something she DOES!
♥ Tell her to aim for the Adrenalin! Yes, childbirth is physically more challenging than ANY exercise class you will ever take. Imagine doing pilates for 12 hours straight. Are you going to be tired? You betcha! But, let me tell you, the adrenalin rush that comes at the end of having that baby will beat ANY HIGH you can imagine. No drug will touch it. It’s the best! After my natural deliveries, I was super tired, but the adrenalin rush was so incredible that I just wanted to run around that hospital a couple of times, and then eat a STEAK! Don’t give me any toast and jam―I want steak!
♥ Tell her that you believe in her!
♥ Tell her that she CAN do this!
♥ Tell her that she is powerful!
♥ Tell her that she is beautiful!
♥ Tell her that she is going to be a Great Mom!
♥ Tell her that you are going to be there for her afterward (and mean it).
These are Words of Life to a Pregnant Woman!
Part 2 of this series is going to list The Best and Worst Things to Say to a Pregnant Woman. I want to hear from YOU!
- In the comment box below, tell us the BEST and WORST thing you heard someone said to you when you were pregnant?
Those unforgettable moments either make us laugh or cry, but sharing the experience will always bring a smile.