8 Things You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Co-Worker
Jill Hare | Excelle
Until getting pregnant, I would have told you that women in general are much friendlier and more socially polite than men in the workplace. This is something I used to appreciate. No, I didn’t do an official study on this, it’s just something I’ve noticed. Women, in general, tend to pay more attention to the details, ask polite questions, and be complimentary. Men, in the work place environment, can be all business. After being pregnant, I’ve come to appreciate this all-business attitude.
If you’re a career woman who’s pregnant, I’d like to take this opportunity to charge with you something: educating women on how to talk to women who are pregnant. Is this necessary? Absolutely. Let me tell you all about it.
I’m 35 weeks pregnant. Technically, there are five more weeks until I’m due. I cannot bump into anyone (pun intended) without them commenting on the size of my belly. Do men make these comments? No. (As my husband says, men only look at pregnant women to figure out if they’d be hot if they weren’t pregnant. Ha.) Women, on the other hand, make the most outrageous comments. Smart, intelligent, polite businesswomen can say the meanest and stupidest things. Such as, “Wow, you’re huge.” Last time I checked, telling someone they were “huge” was a “huge” no-no.
As an educator by trade, it’s my goal in these last few weeks of pregnancy to teach females how to interact with a woman and her protruding belly. They are the same courtesies we should extend to everyone. I encourage you to help teach younger women- older woman may need a brush up on what’s kosher these days:
1. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
2. Under no circumstances should you say to a pregnant woman that she is “big,” “huge,” or heaven forbid “enormous.” If it’s meant to be complimentary, make sure it’s a compliment. If you wouldn’t say it to someone who wasn’t pregnant, most likely, it’s not appropriate.
3. Never EVER ask a woman if she’s pregnant if she hasn’t told you directly or someone close to you. There’s not a place on the planet you could go far enough where a woman who’s is not pregnant will forgive or forget you. It’ll make her stare in the mirror for hours and possibly starve in the future to avoid comments about her not-so-pregnant belly.