Throughout my entire pregnancy I've been surprised at things people feel it's OK to say to you. I can only hope I have not been guilty of saying these things in the past (and here is a very public apology if I have!)
In no particular order, here are 10 things never to say to a pregnant woman!
- Wow, You Barely Look Pregnant!
I know when people say this they mean well. In reality the pregnant woman will feel like she's an inadequate baby-grower. In all likelihood hearing comments like this will make her worry that her baby isn't growing well and trigger neurotic/hormonal calls to her OBGYN.
- Wow, You're Huge! You'll Never Make Your Due Date/Are You Sure There Is Only One Baby In There?
On the flip side, saying she looks huge won't make her feel good either. Best bet, stay away from her weight all together. If you want to say something, how about the good old fashioned "You look great!"
- Enjoy the Quiet/Your Alone Time Now
I'm going to venture to say anyone who has willingly gotten pregnant, and is excited to meet their bundle of joy, understands things are going to change in a major way. We know it's going to be loud. We know we will be giving up some alone time, especially in the beginning. But when a woman is near or past her due date comments like this are not constructive. In fact, they may make said pregnant woman feel a bit stabby. I may be speaking from experience.
- It Gets Worse/You Think It's Bad Now...Just Wait
Throughout a pregnancy, if you ask a woman how she's doing/feeling she may be one of those completely honest women who lay it all out there. Some examples: I haven't slept in weeks, I'm so tired! My heartburn is out of control! I can't roll over/get up off the couch. Sure maybe she says these things when she's only 30 weeks pregnant and understands, yes, they will get worse. But you are asking how she is feeling now and those feelings are very, very real. Saying they are going to get worse, also not constructive or in any way helpful.
- How Does <Enter Husband/Boyfriend/Partner's Name Here> Feel About This?
Seriously? I'm going to venture to say if a pregnant woman excited about the pregnancy, in a majority of cases her significant other is going to be excited too. And...if he/she is not, is it REALLY any of your business?
- I Didn't Know You Were Trying
This is one of my favorites....while some women may be open with telling family, close friends or strangers on the street they are trying to get pregnant there are others who keep this info quiet. There may be many reasons, including she's tried in the past and had difficulties and doesn't know if it will ever become a reality. Or maybe she wasn't trying but it happened anyway. This goes back to the, it's really not any of your business and there is no way for the pregnant woman to respond that isn't completely awkward. A simple "congratulations" would be a better option.
- Are You Disappointed It's A Boy/Girl?
Seriously? Why would anyone ever say this to a pregnant woman? I had a really hard time with people who couldn't accept that I am VERY happy I'm having a boy. I would have also been happy with having a girl. What I want? A healthy, happy baby. There is no disappointment here. And again, MYOB - if I was disappointed would I really want to tell you that?
- When Are You Having Another One? You Can't Only Have One..That's Selfish
Seriously? Let her have this one first. And if she only wants to have one, that is between her and her husband/boyfriend/partner. You saying its selfish is not going to change her mind. Also, what if said pregnant woman cannot have another one? You never know ones situation.
- Any of Your Negative Pregnancy/Birth/Newborn Baby Stories
I'm sorry you puked the entire 9 months of your pregnancy. I'm sorry your child's birth was a traumatizing experience for you. I'm sorry you ripped from one end to another. I'm sorry your epidural didn't go as planned. I'm sorry your baby didn't sleep for 9 months. Instead of telling her all the things that went wrong or were hard for you, why don't you try and support the pregnant mom and tell her all the things that went right! The one caveat is if she asks if you have experienced any of these things. That's different, she may want advice and need your support. There is no reason to come right out and offer these things, however.
- You're Going To Breastfeed, Right?
I'm not going to touch the mommy-wars here. Look, a woman's choice on how she feeds her baby is one of two things 1) Her choice and her choice only (along with her husband/boyfriend/partner) 2) Not a choice at all. Maybe it's not a possibility for her. Leave it be. If her baby is fed, and healthy, it is none of your concern how she does it.
What about you? What things have people said to you while you were pregnant that rubbed you the wrong way?