Things You Should NEVER Say to a Pregnant Woman

Pregnant

First of all, every single one of these phrases/questions was said to me at some point during my pregnancy. Many of them were said by strangers. Yep, strangers. As soon as your belly begins to poke out, it is as if someone suddenly passes out a license to every single person giving them the permission to say anything that comes to their mind.

You look HUGE!

True story. I was about 16 weeks pregnant and had just come from my ultrasound to find out we were having a little baby boy. My husband worked in the hospital where my doctor’s office was and so we usually went to the unit where he worked to show all of his coworkers ultrasound images. When we got up there of course most people were saying really sweet things about my appearance (although, I don’t know why people think that they must comment on a pregnant woman’s appearance–even if it is to compliment them). One of his coworkers said, “You barely even look pregnant!” and another one followed that up with, “What are you talking about?! She looks HUGE!” Yep. Happened.

You look so tired!

I was into my third trimester and of course feeling very big and uncomfortable. It was a Sunday morning and I had gotten up early to spend some time getting ready. I wore a really pretty maternity dress, had my hair curled, and all of my makeup on. I actually felt really good about myself. After church, my husband and I stopped at Walmart to get a few groceries. As we are walking down an aisle, out of nowhere, this older lady appears and says, “Hun, you just look so tired.” Geez. Thanks.

Are you really going to eat/drink that?

We had gone out for breakfast. The waitress came up to take our drink orders. When I ordered a Diet Coke she peered over her little notepad at me, glanced down at my belly and said, “Are you sure you should be drinking that?” Honestly, I am still so stunned I don’t really even have anything else to say about that one.

You will never sleep again/your life is over/insert any other phrase about how this precious child you have hoped and prayed for is going to ruin your life.

Out of all of these ridiculous things, this one probably bothered me the most. These phrases in some variation were said to me so many times. I think that people feel like they have to make some sort of comment to pregnant women. It’s like, they see a big preggo belly and immediately the word vomit just starts flowing. A pregnant woman can turn a perfectly kind person into a babbling rude idiot in a second. The reason these statements bother me so badly is because you never know what that woman has gone through to get pregnant. Maybe she has been trying for months or for years to get pregnant. For someone to comment with such negative energy is just super annoying and unnecessary.

Are you going to have an epidural? Breastfeed? Bottle feed? Circumcise? Cloth diaper? And a host of other completely invasive questions laced with judgmental tones that are none of their business.

Here is the thing — as pregnant women, we already feel tired, huge, uncomfortable, anxious, uncertain, etc. We don’t need strangers {OR friends/family} pointing all of this out. We all have that friend who always says stuff like “Oh my gosh you have a huge zit on your face!” Thanks Captain Obvious. Because I definitely didn’t look in the mirror this morning.

I think a lot of times people feel like they have break the silence. Or they think, “Oh there is a pregnant woman. I HAVE to say something…quickly…even if it is stupid…” Or, they don’t really see what they are saying as rude. So, if you feel like you just have to say something or you will burst — try following these tips:

1. If you feel like you MUST comment on their physical appearance — try a compliment like, “You are glowing” or “You look so beautiful!”

2. Offer to help — carry something, lift something, give your seat up, etc.

3. If you are a mom/parent, try to relate on the positive experiences of birthing/parenting.

4. Or you know, you could always just keep walking in Walmart without saying a word.

Do you have any horror stories of things people said to you while pregnant?

We would love to hear them in the comments!

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7 Responses to Things You Should NEVER Say to a Pregnant Woman

  1. Janie May 27, 2015 at 9:48 am #

    It really is amazing how pregnancy brings out the rude comments. I even once had a man in his fifties try to lecture me about the Starbucks I had in my hand while shopping (it was an apple cider), an even try to follow me around to keep talking after I walked away! People lose their minds around pregnant women!

    Because of my experience, I try to go out of my way to congratulate new moms, offering help, or just a kind smile. I know it may not be a big thing, but I feel like maybe it encourages them to know that someone is in their corner!

  2. Sarah
    Sarah May 27, 2015 at 9:52 am #

    Janie- I think it is great that you offer encouragement! I think a lot of times even moms don’t know what to day and so they say something like, “you will never sleep again” without realizing how negative and annoying that is!!

  3. Paige McDaniel May 27, 2015 at 9:57 am #

    I was about 5 or 6 months pregnant and was at Walmart getting candy for an upcoming work event. This older gentleman was in the same aisle as I was and was minding his own, so I thought. He proceeded to tell me I looked like I didn’t need any more candy. Had it been a different day I may have cried, but I laughed it off. I still can’t believe he felt inclined to say anything to me! He looked sweet so that was most definitely the last thing I expected him to say.

  4. Sarah
    Sarah May 27, 2015 at 10:20 am #

    OMG Paige… What is with these people haha!!

  5. Charissa May 27, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

    People absolutely lose their ever loving minds when they encounter a pregnant woman. By the end of my pregnancy I was on high alert and ready to rip off random people’s faces after hearing so much nonsense. “You are huge” “You look like you are going to pop” “Are you sure you aren’t having twins?” “Are you sure you aren’t further along?” I am very petite and didn’t put on very much weight at all. My all-time favorite was a discussion with a co-worker who I wasn’t close friends with questioning my returning to work and putting my child in day-care. She, who had no biological children of her own whose husband is retired while she works full time. She practically shamed me for returning to work and not being a stay at home Mom. “Oh no! Is there no one that can watch him?” Wowsers. Our modern society lacks common courtesy and politeness.

    • Sarah
      Sarah May 27, 2015 at 2:21 pm #

      Charissa– YES! I should have included the one about going back to work too. People would always ask me if I was planning to return to work and when I said, “yes” they would say something like, “oh I’m sorry…”

  6. Jenn July 31, 2015 at 10:10 pm #

    I work in a large office complex with a bank on the first floor. I saw a friend at the bank so I popped in to say hello. The teller said, “we all watch you walk by every morning and we say ‘she hasn’t had it yet’. We are taking bets on when you will have it”. Um lady. I have TWO AND A HALF MONTHS TO GO!

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