A bump and the matter of public property

“Hello casual acquaintance. I hope you’re well? And may I say, you have an unusually large nose for a 29-year-old.”

No, that doesn’t go down well in social situations. So why is it appropriate to pass comment on the size of a near-stranger’s baby bump? 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about comments like ‘wow, I didn’t even notice you were pregnant’, or ‘your bump is neat’. Nobody minds hearing that. Or conversations about my body with my friends and colleagues I see every day and are (lucky for them) going through this with me. I’m talking about comparisons to other people (again that you hardly know or have never met) and their comparative bump sizes. 

Take these examples: 

What is said: 
“Wow, you’re only five months? So you are going to keep getting bigger for four more?”

What I hear: 
“Wow, you’re getting fat.”

What is said: 
“My friend is about a month ahead of you and you can’t even see a bump yet.”

What I hear: 
“You are using pregnancy as an excuse to turn into a human passenger ferry of Titanic proportions.”

What is said: 
“I thought your bump would be bigger by now.”

What I hear: 
“You’re not very good at growing a baby.”

What is said: 
“Some people just carry out front, don’t they?”

What I hear:
“Unlike you you fat, fat, fatty boom-boom.”

It’s quite scary seeing your body change so dramatically, and having other people passing judgement on it makes it that bit harder. Especially when you’re just about the most sensitive you’ve ever been. 

PS. The ‘size’ of my bump is completely dependent on the clothes I put on it. Some days I get offered a seat on the train and doors opened for me. Others I just get the regular old look-right-through-you-spit-on-your-shoe London commuter treatment. And hopefully my bump is the size it’s supposed to be. Women have been growing babies at different rates, sizes and speeds guided by nature for a while now. 

3 thoughts on “A bump and the matter of public property

  1. Women who walk, exercise, do house work such as vacuuming and mopping etc tend to have smaller bumps, compared to the ladies who spent their pregnancy on the rotating chair in the office and in front of the TV.

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