There’s something about being pregnant that seems to make people forget their manners. Whether it’s telling you how you feel (usually ‘exhausted’ and disappointed it’s not a girl/boy, or passing judgement on your choice of name, it seems there’s no end to the ways unwitting strangers can put their foot in it.
You will inevitably be asked if you’re sure it’s not twins and ‘was it planned?’ as well as being told just how huge or tiny you are on a daily basis. It may drive you mad, but bite your tongue. Soon it will all be over and you can fade back into obscurity again.
More from iVillage.ca:
- 10 Pregnancy Questions You’re too Afraid to Ask
- 10 Natural Ways to Ease Yourself Through Pregnancy
- Surviving the Last Few Days of Pregnancy: an Essential Guide
- 22 Things We Wish Someone Had Told Us About Being Pregnant
- After Delivery: A Freakout-Free Guide to What Happens After Childbirth
People not giving up their seat
You’re hot, exhausted, your ankles are swollen beyond recognition and you overbalance every time the driver brakes. So yes, you would very much like a seat, thank you. But it seems it takes more than a pregnant woman to make some people give up theirs.
Some will shuffle uncomfortably and avoid meeting your glance while others keep their eyes firmly down, or even closed. Some just don’t want to cause offence, so let them know you’re pregnant and not just fat by wearing a baby on board badge or sticking out your bump as far as you can.
You spend the first 12 weeks just waiting for it to show, and proudly show it off to its best advantage throughout the second trimester. But by the last few weeks you’ll be staggering under its weight and heartily sick of it as you find yourself unable to sleep, bend down to put your shoes on or turn around in your local shop without knocking over the displays.
By the time your due date arrives you’ll feel like you’ve been pregnant forever, but enjoy it while it lasts – you’ll miss it when it’s gone.
What to eat during pregnancy may sound simple, but you’ll soon find that food becomes a constant source of irritation. At first you can’t keep anything down and even your favourite foods make you feel sick. Then you’re hungrier than you’ve ever been but aren’t allowed anything you fancy, or find it makes your heartburn worse.
And top of that you’re craving things that aren’t even food. It needn’t be too complicated. Eat little and often to keep your weight in check and your energy and blood sugar levels stable to help combat nausea and fatigue.
Your clothes not fitting
A little weight gain is to be expected during pregnancy, but even in the early days your ever changing shape means you’ll be forever hitching up trousers and tights, pulling down your shirt to cover your belly and trying to find something that fits for work.
However uncomfortable you are don’t waste money on maternity gear too early (you won’t be using those wool trousers in June). Stick to loose clothes in natural fibres which will let your skin breathe and just invest in a good bra, some flat shoes and a bump band to cover exposed flesh.
If there’s one person guaranteed to get on your nerves during pregnancy, it’s you! Raging hormones will have you delirious one minute, weeping the next or snapping irritably at everyone around you. Your life’s about to change forever, so throw in lack of sleep and financial worries it’s no wonder you’re on a short fuse.
Manage mood swings by eating a balanced diet, getting as much rest as possible and talking about how you feel. Regular exercise can also help, but if you’re constantly depressed talk to your GP.
You’re tired beyond belief and start planning your early night as soon as you open your eyes in the morning, so why are you lying awake in the small hours? Up to 80 per cent of women have trouble sleeping during pregnancy, with struggling to get comfortable, restless legs and a racing mind all conspiring to prevent a good night’s rest.
Try a soothing nighttime routine with a warm bath before bed, cut out caffeine and don’t drink too much in the evening. If all else fails don’t lie there fretting about how tired you’ll be the next day, get up for a while and try again later.
You thought you’d be the picture of health, but instead you’re plagued by itching, rashes and blemishes, not to mention stretchmarks. So where’s the ‘glow’? Many women find their skin is oilier or dryer than usual during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester.
And later, pigmentation changes can lead to moles or freckles looking darker than usual. Your skin will soon settle down once you’ve given birth. In the meantime, cleanse daily with fragrance-free products, drink plenty of water and moisturise regularly to help boost your circulation.
‘Congratulations! Do you know what you’re having?’ (er, yes, a baby), ‘have you thought of a name?’ To them, they’re just showing an interest. For you, it’s the umpteenth time you’ve trotted out the same answers that day, and if you have to tell anyone else your due date you’ll scream.
They’re just pleased for you, so try to see the funny side. Mum of two Millie says ‘I made a game of it by challenging myself to come up with a differently worded answer each time. I ended up giggling whenever I was asked.’
Being public property
Once you’re visibly pregnant normal rules about personal space go out of the window, and friends, workmates and strangers will make a beeline for your bump. iVillager Tracharris says 'I am getting bit fed up with being public property. They wouldn’t poke and prod me if I wasn’t pregnant, so why do it now?'
Some women don’t seem to mind, but for many it’s an unwelcome intrusion so if you don’t like it, say so. Tell them politely but firmly you’d rather they didn’t, or alternatively, give their own belly a rub and see how they like it.
Connect with iVillage.ca: