In the past 10 years, I’ve gone through 3 pregnancies. During each pregnancy, I experienced all of the classic symptoms – morning sickness, swelling, fatigue, cravings, backaches, the list goes on and on. I remember feeling overwhelmed by the lack of control over my changing body. I was also surprised at how many people took these changes as a free for all to say whatever they wanted and offered unsolicited comments that made me feel awkward and many times downright offended. Most of the time, people mean well and are just trying to be friendly, but those “friendly” comments can quickly take a wrong turn into the land of Ah Heyell No and What the Ffffff……
So if you have a pregnant mama in your life or most especially if you are a complete stranger, please take note. These are 5 things you should never ever ever say to a pregnant woman.
- You look tired! – Well thank you, Captain Obvious. Its either from being up all night sick, peeing the night away, or lack of sleep from failing to find a comfortable position that will accommodate growing a tiny human! All of those are unpleasant side effects of pregnancy, so thank you for stating the obvious and sparking a conversation about said side effects and for letting me know that I look just like I feel. AND what if I was actually having a good day and was feeling well-rested? Saying that I look tired when I’m actually not, is just a covert way of saying I look like crap. Not exactly what someone who is already going through so many changes wants to hear. So when in doubt, just plead the fifth. Rest assured, that you have the right to remain silent.
- Are you having twins? – Grrrrrrrr….this one’s a classic. My knee-jerk reaction in my mind was always thinking “no, are you?” While I came close many times to blurting that out, I instead had to awkwardly laugh and semi-politely explain that I am not having twins, I guess I just look big. I obviously had a growing belly and while it’s a beautiful thing to be pregnant, the increase in size and weight can be a difficult change for a woman especially when she has spent most of her grown life watching her waistline. So to not only point out that I look pregnant, but to emphasize that I look VERY pregnant made me want to scream. And some mama’s will do just that. Not all women are able to maintain their ladylike etiquette when met with such intrusive commentary. So speak at your own risk, or simply refrain from this undercover insult altogether.
- You shouldn’t be eating that… – Ummmm…come again? Since when did you become my nutritionist? Unless you are my doctor I politely ask that you mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy. For the most part, I ate healthy and was always on top of my pre-natal vitamins. However, there were many moments of necessary splurges, cravings, and treats deserving of someone who is sometimes on the brink of insanity from not only dealing with the effects of pregnancy, but putting up with comments such as this one. And FYI, telling someone they shouldn’t be eating something only makes them want to keep eating it…and more of it….right in front of you….with a smile on their face….as you watch in shock. So there.
- You look like you’r ready to pop! – Welp, this one’s a doozy. Every time I heard this gem, it made me want to say, “the only thing ready to pop is your face on my fist”. No worries, I never actually said such a terrible thing, it was just a comforting thought. Thank you for your not-so-subtle observation, but it could be a variety of things such as swelling, a sudden growth spurt, or even clothing that make me look like I could burst at any second. None of which are reasons to express your concern over me suddenly “popping”.
- Can I touch your belly? – The truth of the matter is that some women don’t mind it, but many MANY do. Unless you are a very close family member or good friend, this is pretty much a no-no. STRANGERS, this one applies mostly to you. Although it may be tempting for you to rub a woman’s round belly as if she were buddha, it is best to keep your hands and germs to yourself. It feels intrusive and awkward and unnecessary. So GOTB, please. Get Off The Bellllaaaaay!
Some honorable mentions for unsolicited remarks about a woman’s growing body are the following: Wow, your boobs look big. You sure are packing on the pounds. Look at the big belly poking out. Wow, you’re feet are so swollen. Really the list could go on and on, but hopefully you get the picture.
Instead of any of these unwanted observations, I’m going to drop a major truth bomb. I will now reveal 3 simple things that work magical healing powers for pregnant women all over the world. These 3 comments will not only magically turn a pregnant woman’s hard day into a great one, you may also be so lucky as to see her smile. I hope you take these pearls of wisdom and always use them for good. Here goes…drumroll please….if you are ever in a situation when you really feel the need to make any of the aforementioned comments, simply substitute them with these 3 magnificent phrases: “Congratulations!” “You are glowing!” “You look great!” That’s it! Simple, yet very effective.
Many of the comments are really not intended to be harmful and come from people feeling the sheer joy of baby coming into the world soon. Pregnancy is just a tricky, interesting, and weird journey, so this is just a reminder to make a mama’s journey a little easier by being careful with your words.
Any other things to avoid saying during pregnancy? Tell me in your comments!