There are a lot of shocking things that happen when you have a baby. For me, though, the biggest surprises weren’t swollen ankles, stretch marks or leaving the hospital in giant mesh underwear. It was the changes in everyone around me — particularly strangers.
Both during pregnancy and right after giving birth, it was like the entire world had lost its social decency filter. I truly didn’t (and still don’t) understand why a random stranger in the mall needed to know if I had a vaginal birth.
And it wasn’t until my friends started having kids that I realized the extent of this phenomenon: Pregnant women and new moms are fair game for unsolicited advice, comments and personal questioning anywhere, any time. Want to ask about my private parts? I guess that’s acceptable now. Want to comment on my body? Sure, why not? Interested in my post-birth sex life? Ummm, OK.
Following is a sampling of very-real and way-too-personal things that people said to my friends and me while we were either very pregnant or mothers of infants. It’s a miracle no one got hurt.