With pregnancy comes many changes; your belly grows bigger, you need to toilet pretty much all the time, everything aches, you feel exhausted and you possibly start craving the weirdest food combos.
But one of the most annoying change is probably how friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers start to act around you. So, in a bid to put an end to all the offensive comments, deeply inappropriate questions and near-constant invasions of personal space, The Hills’ Lauren Conrad has penned an essay on the subject of pregnancy etiquette.
“I may only be in my second trimester, but I’ve already noticed quite a few etiquette missteps when it comes to how people behave around someone who is expecting,” she says in her essay, which she has shared on her blog.
The Hills star goes on to list a series of rules – the first of which is ‘never asks a couple when they are going to have kids’.
“Keep in mind that the decision to have children (both if and when), is an extremely personal one. And any questioning, pressure, or even hinting about it usually just makes the couple uncomfortable,” writes Conrad, before reminding readers that you “never know if someone may be privately struggling with fertility or has suffered through a recent miscarriage”.
Another important rule, according to Conrad, is to refrain from commenting on the size of someone’s baby bump – a sin which she admits that she herself has been guilty of in the past.
“Women carry their pregnancy in all different ways, and can be self-conscious about it,” she said. “Whether a woman’s bigger than average or she’s not showing as much as she thought she would be, keep in mind that it can be a very sensitive subject.”
On that note, Conrad adds, never ask a woman when she’s due unless you’re 100% certain that she is actually expecting.
Most importantly of all, however, she begs people to stop touching pregnant women’s bellies without asking for their consent first.
“This one might seem like a no-brainer, but [it] happens way more often than you would think,” explains Conrad. “Even if you are a close friend or family member, it doesn’t hurt to ask first before making a grab for the belly.
“No matter what your relationship to the mama-to-be is, keep in mind that it’s much more pleasant to have someone politely ask if it is OK before groping your midsection.”
She’s not the first celebrity to speak out against unwanted touching; Ellie Kemper, aka the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, told Today’s Willie Geist that she is “not a very touchy-feeling, comfortable person.”
Unsurprisingly, this aspect of her personality didn’t change overnight when she found herself pregnant with her first child.
“I don’t know what goes through a person’s mind, a stranger’s mind, no less, when they think, ‘Oh yes, your stomach is now something that belongs to me and I can touch it.’
“I’m like, ‘Ugh. There’s a space violation.’ But also they were just touching my digestion, there was nothing quite there [early on in my pregnancy], just a pea, nothing to fawn over.”
Images: Instagram / Rex pictures