An oldie but a goodie: "If you don't have anything kind to say, don't say anything at all." (A variety of even harsh truths can be said in kindness.)
This applies to those who have a daily changing body due to making a whole new soul for our world. Pregnancy is such a ride. And I'd like to say - if you cannot comment on my body in kindness, please don't say anything. Truly. "When did bellies become up for commentary, baby or no baby?" - asked a friend this morning.
To boil it down, your options are: "You look beautiful!" OR "_________" (That's a warm smile + silence).
Unhelpful things that have been said to me and current pregnant friends:
"I thought black was supposed to be slimming! But look at you!!! Wow."
"I bet you can't wait to be done with pregnancy." (as they look me up and down...since when has that EVER been socially acceptable? Apparently when you are with child...you may be given a once over at any moment without shame by another party - and a man at that on this one)
"You are really getting big!"
"I can see it's hit your face..." (What has? The gift of new life? What is "it"?)
Amazing things that have been said to me and current pregnant friends:
"Hi, Skinny!" (She knows I am NOT that...nor am I currently going for that look....but who cares? I felt like it just then)
"Your backside is looking awesome." (Yes, my butt. Wow. That one was amazing to hear....because I have wondered if the baby is actually growing in there)
"I don't mean to be creepy, but I only saw you from behind...then you turned to the side and I was completely shocked to see you were pregnant!" -Sales lady recently
"You're legs still look better than mine...and you are pregnant!"
I choose kindness today. To myself, my body, my friends, to strangers and especially mothers. May we give one another a break, may we search out beauty even in the dark corners of our lives....may we be kind.