A rant

Okay people, you get to listen to me rant about the inappropriate things people have said to me recently. I know that none of you would even consider acting like this but I can't go off on them so I have to vent here.

I've mentioned a time or two that I keep getting comments on how small I look. I don't think even Craig realized the extent of this until last weekend when we went to the local home and garden show and three vendors in a row made comments.

I'm not really mad at the people themselves. For some reason, pregnant women must send out some sort of shock wave that temporarily kills the internal censors of those around them. That must be it, there really is no other explanation. So I don't really get offended on a personal level.

I am fully aware of the problems this country has with obesity. But there are two categories that get a free pass when it comes to weight gain - babies* and pregnant women. Pregnant women are supposed to gain weight, they are supposed to be "large" - they are growing another person inside of them for goodness sake! If a woman knows she is eating good food and not empty calories, she should not feel bad about gaining 30, 35 or even 40lbs.

So it is quite frustrating that I am told so often that I look "so good." Now I have no problem with people telling me I look good except that when they keep talking it because quite clear that what they mean by that is that I look "so small." We have finally gotten to the point where doctors (well, all except some really old school ones) are allowing women to gain the amount of weight they need to instead of trying to limit them to 15-20lbs, but if the comments I get are any indication, for some reasons society still equates good/healthy with tiny and it drives me crazy.

First off, you don't know how that woman feels about her weight. At this point, despite what people think, my weight gain is perfectly on track so I can let those types of comments roll of my back fairly well but early on in my pregnancy when I was trying (and failing) to gain weight, they were pretty discouraging. And I have a friend that is quite far along but still suffering from really bad h.g. She has lost almost 20lbs so far. Knowing her like I do, she is doing the best she can to eat well and I am fully confident that in a few months she will give birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl but the very last thing someone should say to her is that she looks small.

Also, it can be hard to allow yourself to gain so much weight during pregnancy, especially for women who have struggled with their weight in the past. Right about 7-8 months, one starts to think about what happens after the baby and it is tempting to want to stop gaining weight since you know in 6-8 weeks you will have to start shedding it again. But the baby's brain goes through a big growth spurt at that time so the very last thing she needs to do is limit her weight gain. So don't sabotage her by telling her how great her being small is!

I'm not suggesting that you go around telling pregnant women that they look nice and big. But most people converse on a weekly basis with dozens of people without ever commenting on their weight, why can't it be the same when you talk to someone who is pregnant? If you just have to comment on the fact that they are pregnant, you can always say something like "Congratulations!" or "How exciting!"

*You'd think society would give babies a break but no, not really. Statistically, by full term, most babies weight between 7.5 and 9.5 lbs but it seems like any baby over 8lbs is labeled "a big baby." And from hearing the moms at La Leche League talk, they often have to fend off bad advice from family members, friends, and even doctors over whether their baby is too big or too small. I'm glad I've gone to enough meetings to know that if your baby is exclusively breastfed and you aren't having real supply issues or medical issues, your baby is probably just the right size.


  1. I guess I've never really thought about those types of comments. I'll be keeping my ears open this time. ;)

    What I hate is just anyone thinking they can come up and touch my stomach. In what universe is it okay to touch a stranger in such an intimate way?!

    My babies so far have been 7 lb. 11oz., 7lb. 3oz, and 8 lb. 3 oz. All perfectly normal and healthy. And I gained about the same with each, so that's no indication of baby size. Can't wait to find out what our newest is like. :)

  2. People get weird about pregnant ladies. They just think the rules of common politeness are different, for some reason.

    Karen is right; the touching of pregnant women's stomachs is just the worst, the absolute worst. Did you see that time the Pioneer Woman posted a story about touching a stranger's belly and then it turned out the woman wasn't even pregnant? The theme of the post was how mortified PW was and--don't get me wrong, I like her, she seems like a nice lady--all I could think was "GOOD. YOU DESERVE TO BE MORTIFIED." Because she shouldn't have gone around touching a stranger's body, pregnant or not!

    Sorry, I guess this issue gets me riled up. One more thing, though: my pregnant co-worker (who's due any day now--heck, she might have had the baby this weekend) knows that she's having a boy. She says that sometimes people will ask (again, nosier than they would be about any other issue), and she'll tell them it's a boy, and they'll give off this vibe of extra congratulations--as if she's doing especially well by producing a son for her man. It's . . . kind of weird.

  3. I've been pretty lucky with the stomach thing. Only a few people have actually done that and they have all been friends that I already knew were big touchy-feely people so I was expecting it and not offended at all (LuBecca, etc). But it if was some stranger, I would probably slap them across the face.

    Also, the boy thing is weird. When I was walking on the track one day, a older man came up and asked if it is was boy. When I said we didn't know, he seemed disappointed but them perked up and replied as he walked off, "Well, Good luck on having that boy." Uhm, okay. I like boys and all but you're right, that's just weird. This isn't China.

  4. That "boy thing" is even worse when you have 3 girls. Think of the variations of, "Were you trying for a boy this time?"

    Um, no. We weren't trying for anything. (other than the fact that we understand children are the natural follow up to...well, you know)

    I love this baby: boy or girl, healthy or not, "whole" or not. I am this baby's mother and what kind of mother would I be if I didn't?! Getting off my soapbox now. ;)