Enjoy How People Treat You When You Are Pregnant, Strangers Will Never Be This Nice To You Again

I know there are a lot of women who complain about how annoying people can be when you are pregnant.  People tend to take a real interest in the health and well being of pregnant women – even ones they don’t know. But for each horror story you hear about an unwanted touch of the belly and unsolicited diet advice – there are many you don’t hear about how amazing the experience of being pregnant can be. The annoying stuff tends to stand out more, but the day-to-day interactions you have with people during your pregnancy can actually be pretty lovely.

1. More people smile at you.

164650609Don’t ask me why because I can’t explain it, but more people smile at you. It’s amazing. There was a woman in my neighborhood who I had been passing on my morning walk for years. Despite my repeated efforts to lock eyes – she never acknowledged my existence. Enter pregnant belly and that all changed. Smiles galore.

2. People act like you’re important.


Door holding is a touchy subject for me. I do it for everyone – male or female – at all times. Why? Because it’s common courtesy. It’s an action that says, Hey – I see you. You exist and because you exist, I’m not going to slam this door in your face. Somehow, people seem to magically agree that not holding the door for a pregnant woman is rude – but tend to be a little ambivalent when it comes to other members of society. It’s nice to be reminded how pleasant common courtesy is for a couple months.

3. Chivalry is not dead – if you are gestating a human.


The whole “you first” thing may seem archaic to some people, but don’t revoke my feminist membership for saying that I like it. Chivalry is nice. It’s also dead – we all know that. But not if you are gestating a human! It magically returns for those nine months as men are falling over themselves to open doors, offer seats, and almost outwardly thank the heavens that their bodies never have to do such a thing.

4. People feed you.


I know a lot of women complain of getting unsolicited diet advice when they are pregnant, but that never happened to me. People were constantly shoving food at me, making sure I wasn’t hungry and that I was hydrated and cared for. It’s the closest experience to being a toddler you will ever get again. People all of a sudden care if you are eating, when you are eating and whether you are getting enough. It’s nice.

5. People genuinely care about how you are feeling.


Being pregnant reminded me how important it is to express concern for my fellow humans – all of them . When you are pregnant, people start to notice when you look tired, flushed, out-of-it – it is really comforting. They don’t let you stand too long on the train and rush to help you if your hands are full. How much better would life in general be if everyone treated each other like this all the time?

I guess the biggest take away is – enjoy your pregnancy and the attention it brings. I know sometimes it can be annoying, but it happens to be one of the only times in your life when the general public agrees to recognize you as a human and treat you with the love and compassion they don’t usually just willy-nilly dole out to strangers.

Or maybe that’s just because I was pregnant in NYC.

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You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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  • MerlePerle

    Yeah, no. I have never had a more severe case of resting bitch face than when I was pregnant…no chivalry for the mean fat lady.

    • Maria Guido

      Resting bitch face -ahahahaha. I’m stealing that.

    • staferny

      Find the very informative infomercial on youtube, its by Broken People, I tried to post the link but it’s to early and I’m obviously not doing it right. I too suffer from bitchy resting face and it’s helpful to know there are millions of other women who suffer with me.

    • Jessica

      I was so prepared to be uncomfortable with all the strange belly rubs or advice, but I have a pretty severe rbf, & got zero touches. There were still nice conversations in elevators & in the store, but no bump touches.

  • Asia Woodley

    I was big as a barn (b/g twins 7/22/11) I hated every hour that I had to face the public. Either there was a reference to the enormity of my abdomen or immense desire strangers had to touch my belly. But yes, there were rays of generosity in those days as well. Many that my husband profited from too. Lucky, non gestational man that he was.

  • Rebecca R

    Yes, I love it. If my mother is not making me food, she’s buying it. My husband, normally the passenger, drives me everywhere. I’m not allowed to carry anything heavier than a bag of lettuce. Sigh, 5 more months, then reality.

  • Momma425

    I’m someone who has spent the vast majority of my life trying to find ways to blend in, go unnoticed, and not attract attention to myself. Any attention, even nice attention, zaps all the energy out of me and talking to people who I don’t know makes me very uncomfortable.
    Now that I’m not pregnant, I can go back to the, “Oh, I didn’t see you there” days, that I MUCH prefer. :)

  • JulesInFL

    THANK YOU! I’ve explained this exact phenomenon to a couple of friends. I was also in a big city while pregnant–a place where people usually just go about their business with blinders on. Once I started showing, BOOM. It was like living in the Midwest again. People held doors. Strangers on the street made eye contact and smiled. Saying it sounds strange, but it’s really nice to be the focus of positive attention ALL THE TIME!

  • TwentiSomething Mom

    While walking down the stairs after I got off the train while pregnant there was a little old lady in front of me with a cane and she was walking very slow. Since the people behind me couldn’t see her because I was so big and pregnant and all, they started to get angry and tried to push past me (I elbowed, because I didn’t want them to knock the little lady down) and one guy said “It would be me to get stuck behind a fucking pregnant lady!”

    • Gangle

      What a wanker! I hate people like that. Why is where he needs to get more important than anybody else? Even if it was you who was waddling slowly because you have an extra person parasiting in your body, people can only move as fast as they can go. If that is the fastest you can move, then that is it. In this case, that little old lady was probably moving at the fastest speed that she could safely move at, and it was probably lucky you were there or people would have been shoving HER. Sheesh, where did manners go?

  • Robotic Arms Dealer

    With all these benefits, now I wanna be preggers too!

  • Meg

    I am currently pregnant and I am finding all this new concern for my well being incredibly annoying. I have always been a private person and I usually keep things to myself, especially things that are health related. I am tired of everyone and anyone asking me how I’m doing, what pregnancy symptoms I’m having. I feel like it is none of their business but I can’t think of a way to say so without looking like a bitch. The only people I am enjoying conversations with right now is my mom and my husband. I have been avoiding my best friend because she is creeping me out a little, making me think she is living vicariously through my pregnancy. (Yes she even told me this).

    • Jell

      I can see how that would be really discomforting. Especially the bit about your friend wanting to live vicariously through your pregnancy. I see a little of that in my own family now that the women of my generation are having children. The whole “our baby” mentality really freaks me out. Totally natural to be excited for a new addition to the family but it goes too far when people make someone’s pregnancy about themselves and their own feelings. Those are always the people who will be the first to question your parenting choices.

  • Gangle

    I am pregnant and finally starting to show. Last night at my life drawing class all the other artists were asking me if it was too hot/cold/hungry/tired and did I need the heat up/down etc. I had to remind them that I am not the naked person in the room (who is usually the person, in our classes anyway, who gets to control the temperature etc because of the not wearing any clothes bit) and I can regulate my heat by either adding or subtracting layers of clothing.

  • helloshannon

    i am 32 weeks in my 2nd pregnancy and these things stop. now i feel like people dive out of the way and i get “you are still here?” looks at my office all the time. hello people i have 2 months left!!! i get comments on my “waddle” and daily assesments by co-workers if i look fatter than the day before. ugh. PS- that picture of pancakes makes it so i NEED pancakes. oh husband!!!!

    • practicallyperfectineveryway

      I’ve never been pregnant but I can’t imagine comments about your weight magically become more fun when you’re pregnant. None of their business.

  • Kelly

    It must be nice. I look younger than I am so I was treated like absolute shit when I was pregnant by people who thought I was an unwed teenage mom.

    • Muggle

      This is what I’m afraid of. Every single time I’ve gone out to do things for my wedding, they’ll assume the bride is… anyone but me, because apparently I look 13. I got strange looks when I moved to my town and had to register to vote again, because I don’t even look old enough to have a learner’s permit, let alone vote. I’m not looking forward to having kids.

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      People thought I was a teen mom too! 5’2″ and a baby face over here. I was really bummed when I had to finally remove my wedding ring from my swollen finger. I thought it was at least a clue I was not a kid. No treated me poorly, though, thankfully. I was just questioned about my age a lot suddenly.

    • Reba

      Most people don’t know I’m pregnant yet, but I am 26 with the face of a 16 year old. My mom went through it too and had people ask her to join a teenage mothers group at some church. I hope no one tries to do that to me!

  • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

    I did enjoy that you could just kind of waltz confidently across a busy parking lot and the cars would stop. Normally I didn’t like being treated like a “delicate flower” except for that. And there was one time, when I was about 10 million months pregnant and just ready to be over it already when I was picking up a case of soda for my husband and as I picked it up, it broke. Soda cans went everywhere all over the aisle. And a sweet lady stopped and helped the “poor pregnant dear.” And I was waaaay too exhausted by the idea of bending over that many times to protest.

  • Lala

    I very much enjoyed this aspect of pregnancy. Only downside is toward end of pregnancy when you are a little tired of answering same questions but it was nice to get the attention.

    One wierd thing though I felt people were nicer for my first pregnancy than my second (strangers I’m referring to). If I was out and about with my toddler people were less willing to help compared to just me around. My toddler is pretty cute and not a tantrum thrower. But just an interesting observation

  • guest

    If you have a really cute baby I’ve found you can extend some of this an additional ~5 months or so.

  • Muggle

    #4 would actually make me want to punch something/someone. I’ve always been short and thin, so when people worry about what I’m eating or if I’m eating, it’s been concern-trolling for my “anorexia.” Rude.

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