This is an oldie but a goodie. It’s also a helpful reminder for us all.
[Adapted from a post originally published here April 19, 2016.]
Why do people say rude things to pregnant women? It’d be comical if it wasn’t so annoying.
A couple of years ago, Jessica Turner wrote an article in the Huffington Post entitled “Pregnancy is not an Invitation to Comment on my Body.” Yes. YES. For today’s blog post, I’m adding my own spin.
Top 10 Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman
10. Are you sure you’re not having twins/triplets?
This. Is. The. WORST. Why do people say this?! It’s a not-so-subtle way of saying, “You look enormous.” When should you tell a woman she looks big? Never.
Take it from comedian Brian Regan.
9. You look like you’re really ready to be done.
This is another way of saying, “Gosh, you look terrible.” It’s right up there with telling someone they look tired. Unless a person has just finished a marathon, diffused a bomb, or survived a junior high lock-in, you shouldn’t tell them they look tired.
Same goes for telling a pregnant woman she looks ready to be done.
8. You are HUGE!
Someone actually said this to me when I was 20 weeks along AND seven pounds under the recommended weight gain with Baby #2. (Don’t worry – I caught up on the weight, and then some!) I left the house wearing a really cute maternity hand-me-down dress from a stylish friend and feeling uncharacteristically good. Cute. Confident, even.
Then someone stopped me and said, “Whoa. You are HUGE. Are you sure everything’s alright?” Daryl found me crying in the car a few minutes later.
Who says that? WHO?!
DO NOT TELL A WOMAN SHE LOOKS HUGE EVER. EVEREVEREVEREVEREVER. This public service announcement has been brought to you by pregnant women everywhere. And all those who have ever been pregnant or ever will be.
As Dwight Schrute from The Office once put it, “I ask myself, ‘Would an idiot do that?’ and if the answer is yes, I do not do that thing.”
7. You look farther along than five/six/seven/eight months. I’m sure you’ll go early.
Yes, I’m sure my doctor, who went to medical school, and my ultrasound technician, who is specially trained in measuring and dating an unborn baby, totally got the estimated due date wrong.
Thanks for the help – I’ll make sure we revise my medical chart to reflect your completely off-the-wall unsolicited opinion on how big my belly is. Kthxbye.
6. You’re carrying really ______ (low, high, wide, out front, etc.).
If you wouldn’t make a similar comment to a non-pregnant person, do not make this comment to a pregnant one. That’s it. Period. Full stop.
Would you ever go up to a random guy on the street and comment on the size or shape of any part of his body? No? Then don’t comment on a pregnant woman’s body. See #10. And #8. And #7…
5. I’m sure it’s a boy/girl.
This comment is usually unsolicited and given to a pregnant woman who’s declined finding out her baby’s sex. People love to speculate based on the size and shape of a bump.
This. Is. Annoying. Don’t do it. Just don’t.
Worse is when a mom has found out the baby’s sex, and people still do this.
“Who says it’s a girl?”
“Uh… the ultrasound. And, you know, my doctor…”
“Well, we’ll see…”
No. Just no.
(Side note: don’t assume that someone who had two or three or four or more children of the same sex is disappointed. A lady actually assured me two weeks after giving birth to my second son that “You’re young. You can still try for your girl.” Um, what? I love having two sons! My second son was a joy, not a let down in the least.)
4. You look like you’re ready to pop!
Getting ready to pop you in the nose is what I’m getting ready to do…
3. I hope you can get your figure back.
Wait – were you checking out my figure before pregnancy, Creepy McCreeperson? Because, EW.
Getting my figure back is none of your business. I am growing a human being. That’s a superpower. I will later feed that human being from this same body. Regaining my previous waistline is not the at top of my agenda right now, and it should never be on yours.
2. When I had my baby, I was in labor for 57 hours and I wanted to die the whole time. I’m sure your labor will be better than that, though! Ha ha!
This is like telling a new cancer patient about how bad your chemo was. It’s like telling a kindergartener how badly you were bullied in first grade. It’s like telling the next skydiver out of the plane that previous one’s parachute didn’t open. It is, in short, UNHELPFUL.
Nobody looks forward to labor. It’s intense. It’s difficult. Moms-to-be know this. Do not add fodder to their imaginations by telling them how terrible yours was.
If you had an straightforward birth and can set the mom-to-be more at ease by sharing your story, by all means offer it. If you screamed for Jesus and wanted to die and tore so badly you actually became two people and had to be stitched back together with nineteen yards of sutures, keep this to yourself, because DUH.
1. Better sleep now!
Oh my word. Can a person bank sleep? No, they cannot. This is not a funny joke. This is quite possibly the most annoying thing you can say to a pregnant woman. Newborns don’t sleep much? Are you serious?
This one made my husband want to punch people. And he’s not the punching type. Like, at all.
What to say to a pregnant woman about her appearance:
Three simple words:
Works for postpartum women, too. And pretty much everyone else.
For more fun, check out 10 Things Not to Say to a Postpartum Mom.
What would you add to the list?