When you’re pregnant, apparently it’s an open invitation for everyone and their mom to come touch your belly and give unwanted advice. I for one, hated being touched! It made me nauseous and I didn’t want random people all up in my personal space when all those hormones were flowing. Add in some totally inappropriate conversational topics and you officially have all of the toppings to a super uncomfortable pregnancy! Let’s talk about 7 things you should NEVER say to a pregnant woman, because it’s crazy what people get away with!
1. Negative Comments About Their Size
One thing you should never say to a pregnant woman is how big/small they are carrying. No woman needs a constant reminder of how huge her belly is. She sees it. And she also probably hears it multiple times a day. There are also women who carry very small. Consider this before you tell them how much they don’t look pregnant: their body is doing something totally amazing and extremely difficult and draining. I’m sure they don’t want to hear about how all of their hard work is going unnoticed (even though I’m sure you meant it as a compliment).
2. Negative Comments About Their Weight
This ties in somewhat with the size thing. So many women are already uncomfortable with how much weight has been added to their frame in order to grow a tiny human. Asking how much weight they have gained, or voicing how concerned you are about how much or how little they gained is really unnecessary. The reason we go to bi-weekly and weekly appointments is to make sure that everything is progressing smoothly and our babies are healthy. I guarantee you that any valid concerns you want to share have already been addressed by her doctor, and any other “concerns” will just cause needless worry. Your opinion in this area is really not warranted.
3. Asking if the Pregnancy was Planned
Basically, it’s none of your business. I don’t know what drives people to ask this question. Whether or not the pregnancy was planned, I am sure the mother of that unborn child feels equally excited, terrified, and unprepared. If you think about it, this is such a personal question: whether someone was trying to have a child or whether they were just having sex. In any other context it would be wildly inappropriate to ask a complete stranger those questions.
4. Saying Something Like “ANOTHER KID?!”
Something else you should never say to a pregnant woman: “another one?!” Some people dream of and plan for large families. Each baby should be met with excitement and love rather than fear-mongering. I feel like a lot of people project their fears onto others in this area — if they don’t see themselves being a parent of 5 it can definitely be hard to understand or relate to someone who would willingly do so. I definitely can’t understand that. I always wanted 2-3 children but some days I consider stopping now with just one! But that in no way makes it right for me to question someone else’s choice or project my parenting insecurities and rain on their parade.
5. You’re STILL Pregnant?!
This one is always annoying. Guess who is most aware of how long this pregnancy is lasting? THE PREGNANT WOMAN!! I know you are probably so excited to meet the baby, but nobody likes to be reminded of how unpleasant and prolonged the process is. Usually when a person hasn’t seen the pregnant woman in a while, this is the first thing they say. It’s like, “Why thank you, immediately after your comment I remembered every bad thing I have endured and how much longer I will have to endure it!” And then cue feelings of hormone-fueled resentment because “Oh, they think it’s taking long?!”
6. Anything Bad About the Gender
Please, keep your opinions to yourself on this one. Any baby is such a blessing, and moms are so hormonal that they already feel terrible about not getting the gender they were hoping for and being upset about it. Or, they were perfectly happy with the gender of their little bundle of joy and then you came along and decided to tell them how awful it will be. So not cool!
7. I Don’t Like the Name
One of the worst things you can say to a pregnant woman is that you dislike the name they chose for their little one. Choosing a name is a very difficult and meaningful process. If you don’t like the name, you can keep that to yourself. It isn’t your child. It is extremely rude to say something like that.
Opinions on the name choice are especially sucky because it is usually family who have this opinion and think they should get some kind of say in the process (I have no idea why). Imagine being a pregnant mom and choosing a name that you love and are so excited about, only to have the people closest to you tear you down and not share in the excitement. Ouch!
What to Say Instead
As this post is getting a lot of attention, I decided to add this in! I totally realize that the people making these comments are not ill-intentioned. I just feel that many people say hurtful things without really realizing how it will make a super-hormone-charged woman feel. There are plenty of great ways to celebrate in the pregnancy with your friend or a stranger. Try saying these things instead:
- You look great
- Your belly is so cute
- You are glowing
- I can’t wait to meet your little one
- How are you feeling?
- Do you need anything
- What is something you love (or love most) about being pregnant?
- How did you come up with the name?
- When are you due?
Just keep in mind that most of these comments are made multiple times a day to pregnant women. It may only be one comment from you, but the 1000th time she has heard the same comment so far. There are many ways to ask the same questions or get the same answers in a way that is considerate and polite. And please always ask before touching someone’s belly! That was my biggest pet peeve, because as I mentioned earlier, it actually made me feel sick and overly hot. Pregnancy is so different for everyone. It REALLY helps when others show that they understand that and aren’t comparing you to how they felt or what someone they know experienced and deciding you aren’t doing it right!
What About You?
What is the most outrageous thing that someone said or did to you while you were pregnant? Or what is something out there that you have heard someone else say to a pregnant woman? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below, or feel free to shoot me an email!