What not to say to a woman with a High Risk Pregnancy

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High-risk pregnancies are hard to spot from a distance.  Women with high-risk pregnancies don’t walk around with a sign on their tummies advertising how much of a struggle the pregnancy is.  Often high-risk pregnancies look a lot like regular pregnancies.

Up close,  a high-risk pregnancy might be easier to identify, it might look like an overly worried mother, a woman who is fastidious about diet and what she can eat, a high-risk pregnancy might look like a woman who is now too tired to hang out or a lady who can’t stop talking about her new baby.  You would never know what someone is going through just by looking at them.

Often high-risk pregnancies look a lot like regular pregnancies.  Up close, a high-risk pregnancy might be easier to identify, it might look like an overly worried mother, a woman who is fastidious about diet and what she can eat, a high-risk pregnancy might look like a woman who is now too tired to hang out or a lady who can’t stop talking about her new baby.  You would never know what someone is going through just by looking at them.

You will never know what someone is going through just by looking at them.

There is no doubt in my mind that a woman with a high-risk pregnancy knows a hell of a lot more about pregnancy than you do.   When you look at a pregnant lady, assume you know absolutely nothing about her and her experience.  So with that in mind, let us all learn the lesson; assume nothing.

Here are a few things you should never say to a woman with a high-risk pregnancy.  Better yet, don’t say this to any pregnant lady.

Just try to relax

Not only does it not help the person to relax, but it also trivializes their stress and worry.  Think about what you are asking, ‘just try and relax’ implies that you think they are choosing their worry.

Instead of simply dismissing the stress of a high-risk pregnancy by distracting your friend, ask her to talk about her worries.

Tell her you understand how stressful it is; that she is justified to worry; and that you don’t think she is over reacting.  Tell you that you hear her concerns and think they are valid…Then try to help her relax.  

Actually, do something relaxing with her, don’t just order her to relax and then leave.

If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be

Saying ‘if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be’ is just another way of saying you might not deserve to have a baby; another way of saying, no one cares if you have a baby or not, and no one cares if that baby dies.  Which is pretty freaking hard to hear as a woman expecting a child.

This is pretty freaking hard to hear as a woman expecting a child.

I know how you feel, pregnancy is such a worry, I remember when we were having our last baby and we couldn’t get in to see the natural therapy hypnobirthing class for three months!  It was so stressful!

There are worries, and then there are worries.  Short term stress during pregnancy is not the same as living with constant fear.  Try not to compare experiences.  Instead, listen ask questions.  If you absolutely must share your stories, make sure you are sharing a separate pregnancy story, not a comparative pregnancy story – They are very different things.

Pregnancy is so beautiful

Maybe it was for you, but for many women, it is a job.  It is an achievement of

It is an achievement of organization, business meeting, reports, tests and worrying.  It can be very beautiful at times, for some people – but for others it is agony.  Many women with High-Risk Pregnancies just want their babies out as soon as possible – and for the pregnancy to be over!

Have you thought of doing X Y or Z?  It really helped my friend…

If a treatment is a viable option for a woman with a high-risk pregnancy, trust me, she has thought about it (and so has all of her medical team).

High-risk pregnancies come with an overload of information that can be hard for women to digest.  Don’t go throwing your own uninformed opinion into the mix, it will only stress her out.

Are you sure the doctors aren’t being too cautious, so many women are labeled high risk these days?

Fuck off!

Saying or doing nothing

This is by far the worst crime of all.  Saying and doing nothing should be considered a crime.  

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