Anyone who has become a parent can confirm that parenthood runs rampant with judgment and unsolicited advice.
Mothers during their pregnancy experience this, as well, as people may tell them what is and is not “appropriate” for after becoming a mother, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor HumanPortal was shocked when a nurse judged her for a genital piercing she had when she tried to ask about proper maintenance while pregnant.
But when she was told that she may have acted inappropriately, the Original Poster (OP) began to wonder if she was wrong to ask the nurse about it.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for having a ‘trashy’ piercing while pregnant?”
The OP planned to ask an on-call doctor about a new concern.
“I’m having my first baby soon and my OB-GYN is on vacation.”
“I tried to make sure I had all my questions asked before she went, but something came up this week and I figured I would just ask the on-call doctor.”
“When I got to the clinic for my checkup, the nurse came in and after the usual check-up, I asked if I could talk to the on-call doctor.”
“She said they were running behind and might not be able to see me today, so she asked me what the problem was and said she could help or determine if I really needed to talk to the doctor.”
“It’s also worth noting maybe I don’t remember ever talking with this nurse previously.”
The doctor unavailable, the OP asked the nurse about a particular piercing she had.
“I asked her what I should do about my CHP (clitoral hood piercing), which is an NSFW (not safe for work) area piercing I’ve had for 6+ years.”
“She looked at me blankly so I elaborated.”
“She then kind of rolled her eyes and told me that she wasn’t getting the on-call doc to ask about that.”
“She said I would need to figure out what to do with my body jewelry on my own.”
The nurse was done with this particular conversation.
“I told her I would really like to get the doctor’s take on it, so I was going to need her to ask or let me talk to the doctor.”
“She went on the computer for a minute and typed a bit and then said that I need to just take it out and that’s what the clinic protocol said.”
“I asked her if I could put a retainer in to keep it safe to replace it after birth.”
“She told me I should take the opportunity to ‘let go of trashy piercings and leave it out since I was becoming a mom.'”
“I was SHOCKED.”
Her friends had mixed feelings about what had happened.
“When I told my friends about it, most of them were shocked too.”
“However, another friend who is studying to be a nurse said it was rude of me to make her uncomfortable and would be wrong of me to report her or anything.”
“She added that it was not the nurse’s job to have to listen to unsolicited information about ‘kinky stuff’ and I was violating her consent in that conversation, which is something that happens too often to medical workers.”
“With that context, I started wondering if I was the a**hole.”
“Should I have called my piercer instead? Was I out of line asking her such a personal question and pressing for an answer when she clearly didn’t approve?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some didn’t agree with the OP’s friend about getting the nurse’s consent.
“She said, ‘it’s not her job to have to listen to unsolicited information about ‘kinky stuff’ and I was violating her consent in that conversation which is something that happens too often to medical workers.'”
“Umm. That’s not how any of this works. If you don’t want to hear about body parts, don’t work in the medical field?”
“NTA. Your question was totally reasonable. And she sucks for implying that a piercing is somehow ‘inappropriate’ for a mother to have.” – MindDeep2823
“No, you’re actually not allowed to talk about vaginas at the vagina doctor. It’s an unspoken tradition that I can’t believe you broke! (sarcastic comment)”
“You’re definitely NTA and that nurse was super unprofessional.” – Coffee-Historian-11
“Yeah, you shouldn’t have even told her you were pregnant. Now you’re forcing her, without her consent, to know you’ve had sex.” – NotMyNameActually
“What your friend said was f**ked up. Asking a medical professional about what to do in a medical situation is not a ‘violation of consent’ (the world’s biggest eye roll), and the nurse was shaming you. She was way too personal, and way too opinionated.” – nutmegisme
Others agreed and thought the whole situation reeked of unprofessionalism.
“I had a doctor with my first pregnancy take out an ‘inappropriate piercing’ because I couldn’t reach it by the time I realized it’d be an issue (first pregnancy), and my husband never had a piercing before, so it made him nervous to take it out himself.”
“She was a resident. She had to do a quick Google search, because she didn’t have piercings, but otherwise, she was….. I don’t know, this weird thing called ‘professional.'” – SometimesGlad1389
“I’m a nurse. This is definitely something you should ask questions about. I’m sorry that the nurse was so rude, and that your nursing student friend is so close-minded.”
“Just because it’s a piercing they don’t want, doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with it. That’s like someone telling me to let go of my ‘trashy nose ring.’ It’s a matter of opinion and isn’t an opinion you should express as a medical professional.”
“I agree that it isn’t something that I would get the on-call for, though. It isn’t really a pressing issue unless you’re about to give birth, so I’d just book an appointment and ask about it then.”
“If you’re unsure, you’ve had it for 6+ years, so it isn’t going to close overnight. You could always take it out for a couple of weeks until your next visit if you’d like.”
“Anyway, NTA.” – slightlyhandiquacked
“I studied as a nurse and the first thing I was taught was to always listen without judgment, which the nurse and the friend are clearly failing to do here. NTA, OP!” – lalaba27
“I teach med students how to do breast/pelvic exams and always say, ‘If you see any bite marks, bruising, or hickeys, don’t automatically assume abuse. Ask them if those marks were consensual in case it’s part of their lifestyle and you don’t need to be concerned about it.'”
“Why is not being an a**hole such a hard skill to learn for some people?” – deviateddragon
“OP’s nursing student friend is also being close-minded. What OP quoted her as saying was a whole lot of attitude and defensiveness for someone who wants to be a nurse.”
“I can’t think of an environment where a nurse can work that isn’t likely to cause this young woman issues if she is that uptight about what patients are going to say or show her.”
“NTA.” – farsical111
Some also took issue with what the nurse deemed as appropriate for mothers.
“Plus, being a mom doesn’t suddenly mean you stop being a sexual being. You were asking an entirely reasonable question about care of the tissue and general protocol.”
“As a nurse in an OB’s office, encountering a piercing on the clitoris or labia should be as unremarkable as encountering an ear-piercing by an ENT.” – JacketDapper944
“Don’t you know that a lot of the vagina doctors are male, so of course you’re not supposed to talk about vaginas? (sarcastic comment)”
“NTA and honestly, I would report her for what she said mainly because she gave you her personal opinion, not actual medical advice.”
“After she has all the schooling and certificates and all the other fun things to get her this job that she has to where she’s the final go-between patients and doctors, she lost her right to decide on if a patient needs to see a doctor or not based on her personal opinion.” – dark-_-thoughts
“NTA. My mother has a clitoral hood piercing. I went with her to get it. I was only 20. But it doesn’t make her any less motherly. The nurse was being highly unprofessional.” – AmazingQueue
“Also: She asked you to tell her. And then when she didn’t have the answer for you, you asked to speak with the Dr. She refused and continued on the situation.”
“If she didn’t want this conversation about ‘kinky stuff,’ she should have said, ‘Oh, d**n. Didn’t realize that’s what your question would be. I… am not comfortable answering that, I’ll leave a note for the Dr to call you when he has a chance…’ and then walked away.”
“Also: That ‘kinky s**t’ is just fine, even if you’re a mom. My husband and I recently decided to stop actively preventing pregnancy (not actively TRYING for a year… just gonna let things happen if they happen).”
“I got a Lateral Promotion at work today and decided I wanted to celebrate by, ‘having the adorable Piercer at the shop stab a needle thru a body part and leave behind a metal post or ring made of implant grade steel, titanium, or solid gold with something attached to it made of a similar metal and semi-precious stones, whose purpose is intended to be decorative.’ I sent that, word for word, to my Dad, lol (laughing out loud).”
“I am literally going to celebrate a promotion at work with a new piercing or 3 while somewhat actively attempting to expand our family. lol. You’re fine, darling.”
“Lastly: Yes, I would take it out during the birth, just because things can get caught on it, and rip it out, etc. Afterward, a retainer would be just fine to put in until things heal up a bit down there. But honestly, everything should be fine.” – KknhgnhInepa0cnB11
While the OP had mixed feelings after what her friend had to say, the subReddit actively questioned the nurse and the future-nurse-friend’s behavior.
Having a piercing doesn’t make someone any less or more a parent, and asking about how to treat it during pregnancy isn’t inappropriate; it’s being responsible.