Pregnancy is unlike any other time in a woman's life, and as now-pregnant Lauren Conrad knows, it comes with its own rules.
The realty-TV-star-turned-lifestyle-blogger wants to make sure everyone else is aware of those rules, too, so she's published a list of the four most important things not to say around your pregnant pals.
Now, some of these not-to-dos might seem obvious, but trust us — and Conrad and every other woman who's ever had a baby on board — the currently-not-pregnant public really needs a reminder.
1. "When do you plan to start a family?"
This question usually kicks in before the baby-to-be has even been considered, but it's probably the most important one the list.
Say, for instance, your loved ones just said "I do" — that doesn't mean it's time to ask them about babies. First of all, it's an extremely personal decision, and as Conrad writes, "You also never know if someone may be privately struggling with fertility or has suffered through a recent miscarriage. In those cases, asking someone when they are going to have kids can be a major trigger question."
Her advice for the curious is simple: Wait for your friend or family member to bring up the subject first.
Our added advice? Even then, proceed with caution.
2. When are you due? (Wait ... are you due?)
Maybe this one belongs on a list called "things not to say to a woman you think is pregnant," but either way, Conrad's right. Our bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Don't know? Don't ask.
When faced with this sort of query in the past, TODAY's own Natalie Morales put it plainly: "We all know better than to ask that question."
Or at least we should!
3. "My! What a huuuuuuuuge baby bump you have."
While Conrad admits she's been "guilty of this one" herself, she now sees the error of her ways.
"Whether a woman is bigger than average or she’s not showing as much as she thought she would be, keep in mind that it can be a very sensitive subject," she warns.
And we think it never hurts to remember that commenting on the proportions of another person's body — pregnant or not — is always a "no," no matter what etiquette guideline you're using.
4. Don't let your hands do the talking, either!
For some of us, it's hard not to smile when we see a baby bump, and that's just fine. But for others, it's hard not to touch ... and that's a problem.
According to the former "Hills" star, no matter how close the relationship, "it doesn’t hurt to ask first before making a grab for the belly."
And if you don't have any relationship with the bump bearer, maybe just move along.
For even more advice about these four simple rules, check out Conrad's site.
But if what you really need now are a few suggestions about what you should say to a pregnant woman, it's easy. Try "congratulations" (as long as you know for sure) or "you look amazing," says TODAY Parenting Team contributor Jill Krause. If you want to get creative, TODAY anchor Sheinelle Jones suggests, “You don’t even look pregnant from the back!”