Meghan: How To Cope When Everyone Has An Opinion About Your Pregnancy |

Meghan: How To Cope When Everyone Has An Opinion About Your Pregnancy

No, it’s not ok for them to say, ‘Ooh, your bump’s small!’

Posted on

16 January 2019

Meghan Markle

All Credits: PA

Hinting at an April birth, and suggesting she wanted it to be a surprise if she was having a boy or a girl, any pregnant woman can attest that inside Meghan was probably thinking: ‘Stop asking!’ We’re assuming, of course. But questions like these are just the tip of the pregnancy opinion iceberg.

Gemma McCrae is a life and business coach as well as a mum. She says: “The only time someone should comment is if they’re a qualified professional – doctor or midwife – if you’re about to eat something dangerous such as shell fish, or if you’ve expressly asked them.”

Here’s what else mums-to-be often face, and how to deal with it…

People Touching Your Bump

Remember that time someone rubbed your tummy before you were pregnant? No? Course you don’t. Because it doesn’t happen. But once you’re with child, suddenly your abdomen is a patting and stroking free-for-all. McCrae says: “I had this happen to me loads. You can’t do much if someone is going touch you without your permission because they tend to just do it . I used to pull away and say I was ticklish.”

Julia Bueno is a member of counselling directory which helps people connect with therapists around the UK. She says: “I’ve spoken to so many women this has happened to. You could put your hand in front of your bump, conveying ‘back off.’”

Whether You Should Touch Your Own Bump

The opposite is when you dare – dare! – to cradle your own bump. Don’t stop, do what suits you and feels right, that’s all there is to say on this one.

Comments On The Size Of It

There is no other circumstance in the world when it would be deemed socially acceptable to say someone was growing in size. Ah, well, except when the baby is born and then it’s, ‘Ooh, they’re getting big/chunky, aren’t they?!’ But when you’re pregnant, people seem unable not to discuss your belly – size and shape. From, ‘Only six months? Wow, your bump is big!’ to, ‘You’re carrying low, aren’t you?’, everyone wants to chat about it.

You could retaliate with some mildly passive-aggressive humour. Think, ‘Well, my boobs have gone up three cup sizes too!’ or ‘Yes, it’s really pressing on my bladder, is there a loo round here?’ But on a more serious note, this is time to call out anyone who is essentially body shaming you and your unborn child.

“They might think it’s flattering to say, ‘Aren’t you neat and small,’ but that might land badly if they’re worried about the health of their baby,” says Bueno. “That’s something I hear a lot – women worried who might have an extra scan on the back of a comment like that.”

Challenging Your Eating, Drinking and Social Habits

Challenging Your Eating, Drinking and Social Habits

Going out is still ok when you’re pregnant! (Dan Charity/PA)

‘Ooh, are you allowed fizz when you’re pregnant now then?’ – It’s likely women like Meghan heard that one over Christmas. Along with ‘Eating for two!’ when you’re about to chow down on a sausage roll. Or someone being ‘impressed’ you’re having a night out.

You’re allowed to be blunt, Bueno says: “The private/public realm is merged – there’s something about feeling entitled to say, ‘Back off, this isn’t your business’.”

Another classic is the gym: If you are exercising when pregnant, you will likely get some stares. Resist the urge to pretend you’ve gone into labour and try to enjoy the class as long as the teacher knows you’re pregnant.

“I’m sure people mean well,” says Bueno. “Some women I talk to struggle with whether they’re being unreasonable and whether they’re being over sensitive, but I’d say no you’re not, it’s your body and nobody should judge it – you’re not suddenly public property.” Working out an appropriate way of saying, ‘I’d rather not talk about it,’ will help, she adds.

Debating Your Due Date

Harry and Meghan

Harry and Meghan are the only ones who truly know when her baby might arrive (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Hands up, we were excited when we heard Meghan revealed the baby is likely to arrive in April. A spring baby! How exciting! But when people start making judgements about your life and how it’ll pan out because of your due date, it’s a step too far. For example: ‘A December baby? You don’t want it on the 25th, do you?’ (Actually, you don’t mind, this baby is precious to you). Or, ‘You’re going to give birth in July? Wow, it’s going to be hot you know, don’t envy you!’

“What can really hurt one woman can not bother another. But changing the subject works – or if someone is being judgy, why not be more assertive? You’re entitled to. You might want to say, ‘I think I’m the best judge of my body’,” says Bueno. Either that or just smile, regally, a la Meghan, and don’t say a word.