There’s a silent life-giving force on the loose in our public streets, playgrounds, and Costco stores that few people are talking about, but truly needs to be addressed. Extremely pregnant women are going out in public when they could “pop” at any moment. We’ve all seen them, women in their 8th or even 9th month of pregnancy, casually waddling through a Target store stocking up on diapers, knowing they could blow any second. I for one, think they should be stopped, and soon. Can you count the times you’ve seen a woman just give birth in your local grocery store? The same place you buy your family’s food. I stopped counting after I ran out of fingers
Why do they do it, you ask? What makes pregnant women take to the streets, putting everyone around them at risk if they should “pop” right next to the pop-tarts? Well first of all, pregnant women are drawn to delicious foods like pop-tarts.
But I think it mostly has to do with the high cost of medical care. In this country we have perfectly good hospitals for women to pop in, but some women refuse to check in at 35 weeks pregnant and stay there until they’ve lost all the baby weight, against medical advice and the wishes of the public not to be grossed out by having to see women that pregnant.
With today’s costly and confusing healthcare system, sure it’s tempting to try and give birth at a Chik-fil-a and let them clean up the mess. But at what cost to society?
Maybe you were going to put aside money for your baby’s college fund, but what 18-year-old can show her face in college knowing she was haphazardly popped out on the shampoo aisle of a Walmart? Pregnant ladies, let me implore you, don’t focus on the cost of a long medical stay to you and your family, instead think about the benefits to yourself and everyone around you who doesn’t want to look at you while you look so uncomfortably pregnant.
If it’s not frugality, some women are just blissfully unaware of how pregnant they are. It might be hard for expectant women to know when they have reached a certain level of “bigness,” because some early stages of pregnancy are perfectly acceptable, even beneficial, for public consumption. Women of a certain age are constantly asked if and when they plan to become pregnant, so when they do conceive, they probably think everyone wants to see that they are, indeed, fulfilling their biological imperative after all. This is true, the public needs to know when you become pregnant, how many weeks along you are, and whether it’s a boy or girl as soon as you know. They also need to see that you have a small, round “basketball stomach” around weeks 26-30 of your pregnancy. This makes everyone feel good, knowing that our society is healthy and thriving. But that’s all. Once a woman reaches “pop” proportions, the best thing for everyone is for her to remain at home or in a medical facility at all times. This is the reason for grocery delivery to your home.
Some may argue, “Is it really fair to expect pregnant women to stay home for weeks, just to keep people in the public from feeling they are at risk? This seems a little harsh toward pregnant women.”
Harsh toward pregnant women? This is mostly to benefit pregnant women. Do you know how rude people can be in public toward overly pregnant women? The staring, the pointing, the well-meaning but awkward comments such as, “Are you sure it’s not twins?” Women don’t need to deal with this kind of public treatment. But, obviously we can’t retrain all of society to just leave pregnant women alone, what kind of person passes a pregnant woman in public and just doesn’t say anything? The most straight-forward and safe solution for everyone is for pregnant women just to stay out of public view for a while. Think of it as a vacation, a retreat. I for one wish I had an excuse to just stay home, meditate, enjoy the quiet, and not deal with people for a few weeks. People pay lots of money to go to private spas and do that very thing.
You are probably thinking, “I want to help, but I’m just an ordinary citizen. How do I know if a woman is too pregnant, and that I should step in?” Good question, and bravo to you for being brave enough to get involved. Here is a handy acronym: P-O-P
- Proportion – Is the sheer size of her engorged belly making you uncomfortable? Trust your instincts.
- Obvious Struggle – Is watching her struggle to load her groceries into her car making you physically tired? Offer to help her load so she can get home even faster.
- Perspiration – Is she lingering in the frozen food aisle with the door to the ice cream open just to cool off? She should pick a flavor now and take it straight home.
And listen, I’m not saying all pregnant women are selfish and trying to put the people around them in danger. A developing pregnancy is a strange and gradual process, and some well-meaning women just don’t know when they’ve reached the too-far-along stage for being out in public. So, here’s where everyone can help. If you see an excessively pregnant woman out in public, ordering a drink at Starbucks, picking up a prescription at your pharmacy, and acting completely normal, she obviously doesn’t know how much danger she and everyone around her is in. So, the best thing to do is tell her. She probably doesn’t realize just how pregnant she looks to others, because she sees herself every day, so she’s lost perspective. But believe me, she will appreciate you stepping in and letting her know what you know: that she needs to call herself an Uber to take her to the hospital right away. Because, as far as you – an untrained, non-doctor – can tell, she’s about to pop.