Modern Pregnancy Etiquette Rules Will Make Moms Laugh

pregnantYou know what there's not enough of these days? Etiquette. Gone are the days when every home knew the name Emily Post and referred to her for the right thing to do ... instead of just doing whatever the hell they felt like. One area in which America could use some serious etiquette education these days is pregnancy; or rather how to interact with a pregnant woman. You'd think it would be simple, but somehow over the years, people have forgotten their manners when it comes to matters of the womb.

Even though Emily passed in 1960, her family has kept up her tradition of trying to impart good behavior on the masses -- even if no one is listening. Great-granddaughter Anna Post recently wrote a piece for Reuters that outlines some proper pregnancy etiquette, which is great, but will likely give pregnant women a good laugh when they compare it to how people really behave around a pregnant woman. For example:


On Sharing the News

Ms. Post's etiquette says:

If you deduce someone is expecting, either from an extra glow or a declined glass of wine, show respect by allowing her to tell you in her own time. When she breaks the news, it's okay to share the insight you had then.

More from The Stir: Must See: 9 Months of Pregnancy in 90 Seconds (VIDEO)

What really happens:

The minute you get married people start staring at your stomach, asking, guessing, and raising eyebrows when you gain so much as an extra pound.

On The Bump

Ms. Post's etiquette says:

Some women enjoy the occasional belly rub or pat from close friends and family and see it as part of sharing the joy of expecting a baby. Others don't. Never pat a pregnant woman's belly without first asking or being invited to do so.  It's not okay to walk up to a non-pregnant stranger and touch their belly, and the same goes for a woman who is pregnant. 

What really happens:

Pregnant bellies are like magnets for the hands of others -- particularly those of older women in grocery stores for some reason. No matter how much body language you try to exert, there will be belly grabbers just waiting to get their hands on yours.

On Mistakenly Assuming Someone is Pregnant

Ms. Post's etiquette says:

Sometimes excitement is misplaced rather than mis-expressed. Be quite sure a woman is pregnant before assuming and asking when she is due. If she says, "I'm not pregnant," there is no graceful exit beyond, "I beg your pardon." Then drop the subject-there is nothing else that can be said to make it better.

What happens in real life:

You may get punched.

On Giving Up One's Seat to a Pregnant Woman

Ms. Post's etiquette says:

All but the lousiest of people will hop right up for a pregnant woman; and if they don't, you can be sure the person next to them will.

More from The Stir: 10 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Having Kids

What happens in real life:

Pregnant women seem to find themselves surrounded by a lot of lousy people.

What are the worst pregnancy etiquette violations you've encountered?


Image via sundaykofax/Flickr

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