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10 Things Husbands Should Never Say to Their Pregnant Wives

By KateTietje |

This weekend got me thinking.  See, I, like most pregnant women, get ideas in my head…and food cravings…and interrupting my thoughts and plans will lead to major trouble.  My husband, trying to be helpful, cleaned out the fridge.  Only he threw away the leftover salsa (that had only been in there for four days…not two weeks, as he thought) that I was planning to eat for lunch.  I was extremely unhappy and threatened not to eat any lunch if I couldn’t have what I wanted (this baffled him…”Can’t you just go buy more?”).  Luckily it was in a sealed in container and had only just been thrown away, so I got it out, washed it off, poured it in another bowl, and went about my lunch.

Crazy, right?

But this little situation led me to think about all the things that husbands really shouldn’t say to their pregnant wives….

1. “Just eat it.  Why are you so picky about food?”

Umm, sorry, if she has morning sickness — or is like any pregnant woman really — she has particular things she wants to eat…and particular things she can’t stand.  There’s a good chance that if you bully her into eating something she really does not want, that she will throw up on your shoes.  Just don’t.  Nor should you try to tease her with food she finds disgusting (which you can eat, but not in her presence) because you will end up with the same result.

2. “Eh, you don’t really look pregnant yet.  You just look like you let yourself go a little.”

Do I even need to explain why you shouldn’t say that?

3. “Umm, your butt is getting bigger…is there a baby in there too?”

Again, that should be self explanatory!

4. “Come on, all this” (morning sickness, fatigue, etc.) “is just in your head.  The baby is tiny, it can’t really do all this to you.”

Oh, yes, it can.  Her hormones are raging and there is nothing she can do about it, she feels out of control of her body.  And yes, exhausted and sick.  Do not suggest it is “all in her head” if you want to live.

5. “Why do we need to go to a birthing class?  Doesn’t it just come naturally?  Or, aren’t you going to get the drugs anyway?”

Belittling the need to prepare for labor — however she wants to end up, naturally or with drugs — is not smart.  It is huge to her, and especially if it’s her first, she needs to read books, take a class, or do whatever to learn what she can.  And she needs you to support her, not tell her it’s unnecessary.

6. “Oh, I feel sick and tired too…I know how you feel!”

On the other end (from the clueless husband), there’s the overinvolved husband.  There’s actually a syndrome called “couvade,” where men experience sympathetic pregnancy symptoms, including nausea, fatigue, and even weight gain.  But, sorry, dude!  You’re not pregnant, and you don’t know what it’s like.  Right now she doesn’t need you to whine or try to feel the same (she has her girlfriends for that), she needs you to step up and help her.

7. “What do you mean you can’t take out the trash/do the nasty dishes/clean the cat box/lift the heavy laundry?  You’re pregnant, not disabled.”

Oh, boy.  Pregnancy does bring on some different circumstances.  Pregnant women shouldn’t clean out the cat box (risk of toxoplasmosis) or carry heavy things.  They also may struggle with dishes or trash because the smell makes them sick.  They can’t help these things.  They are not disabled, but nor are they totally “themselves,” either.  Just help out a little more and keep your mouth shut!  (Good preparation for when the baby comes and you kind of have to do more!)

8. “Do these pillows have to be in our bed?”

If you want her to sleep, and be anything close to human in the morning…yes, they do.  They are the only way to support her pregnant and unwieldy body and still get comfortable enough to sleep.  Some women even resort to sleeping in a recliner in the final months of pregnancy.  (Don’t complain about that, either, because it is only temporary, and if she’s doing it, it’s because she can’t sleep any other way.)

9. “We are not naming our son after your father, end of story.”

Ooh…if she has her heart set on it, you’re in big trouble.  If you really don’t like the idea, suggest other names and talk with her calmly.  But don’t issue her ultimatums (of any kind) about baby names.  She feels that she really “knows” this baby and has a pretty strong investment in choosing a name!

10. While in labor, “Come on, it doesn’t hurt that bad, does it??”

You will probably get smacked if you say this.  Yes, it does hurt, it is very intense, and you will never experience anything like it.  Though if you want to try, she could kick you in the nuts pretty hard about every 5 minutes for several hours.  No?  Then don’t say it.  Try out “You’re amazing, honey, I love you!”

What’s on your “never say to a pregnant woman” list?

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Related links on Babble:

12 Things You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman

10 Reasons Why Men (Should) Love Pregnant Women

10 Tips for New Dads

More on Babble

About KateTietje



Kate Tietje is a food blogger who focuses on natural food and cooking. In addition to Modern Alternative Mama, she has contributed her writing to the Parenting and Pregnancy channels on Babble.

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23 thoughts on “10 Things Husbands Should Never Say to Their Pregnant Wives

  1. rachael giglio says:

    I agree with all but #5- classes are a waste of time! I can’t even imagine a man insensitive enough to say even one of the things on this list though! I guess I’m lucky I’ve got a great guy :)

  2. melissa says:

    so far all six of my pregnancies have been accompanied with months of nausea and fatigue followed by months with painful varices that make walking difficult. Unfortunately, the sympathy/helpfulness generally wears off after the first couple of weeks. Yes, I really am disabled right now. No, I can’t even imagine doing a load of laundry/taking out the garbage/going grocery shopping. Yes, making dinner really does make me vomit. My husband does keep his comments to himself, thankfully! And I’ve had friends gracious enough in the past to help with a few meals here and there. But most people have no idea of how incapacitating pregnancy can be for some women, and empathy runs thin.

  3. Anon A. Mouse says:

    I disagree heavily with number 9. Sure the mom has been connected to this child for 9+months but that does not give her the right or privilege to name the child without the discussion and agreement of her partner.

  4. KateTietje says:


    Not that women should have the ONLY say…but men shouldn’t, either!! They should discuss a baby’s name together with no ultimatums on either side.

  5. Sara says:

    I must be lucky… I’ve never heard any of these from my hubby!

  6. Kikiriki says:

    Oh my goodness number 10 made me laugh. If a man is dumb enough to say it, he deserves to get kicked in the nuts repeatedly.

  7. Green Eyes says:

    One I heard from my husband when I was about 10 weeks and developing a little bump to prove it. “That belly bump isn’t the baby, it’s just the leftovers from the last one.” He may have been at least a little right… but that didn’t stop me from wanting to throw things athim.

  8. Angela says:

    Recent conversation in my house, while I was showing him the mechanics of the nursing tank top:
    Him: Wow, I haven’t seen your breasts in a little while. Your nipples really ARE getting bigger!
    Me: Thanks. It’s so the baby can see them.
    Him: From where? SPACE?

    Exhibit Z of what not to say.

  9. carrie palomino says:

    1) when 1 was 6 months pregnant my husband ask me if the car was leaning because it was me or the tire was flat. umm yes i did smack him.

    2) i was in labor early stages it was around 2 am and my husband asked if i could keep the moaning down as he was trying to sleep… men they should all just be shot

  10. yvonne says:

    The best is when your husband askes “have you gone to the gym yet?” While your fat butt is laying on the couch eating another bowl of cinnamon toast crunch. I just wanted to scream “I know I’m fat , but just remember you’re the one who knocked me up I’m growing a human what have you done today?

  11. Isabel says:

    when I was 5 months pregnant (and feeling miserably sick) my husband once said to me this: “so, after the delivery, we can wait the 40 days of postpartum and then very quicky, we could try to have another baby”. “Divorce” was on my vocabulary since then, for a couple of months.

  12. Darshelle says:

    The quicker you have the baby the quicker you can lose the weight.

  13. Amy says:

    I’d add comments about mood swings and sensitivity. Hubs is so awful about joking about how hormonal I am. I tell him it is NOT FUNNY because I don’t like feeling like I’m swinging on a pendulum all day and all night, and I don’t like what it does to the dynamic of the house, because lets face it, I’m pretty much the emotional rock around here.

    But he still finds some sort of solace in joking about my sensitivity and hormonal mood swings. . . and I’m like, “STOP IT ALREADY!”

    Can I get an Amen on this one, ladies? :)

  14. MichiganMama says:

    My boss is in his late 50′s, married, but no kids. When I gave him a doctors note stating that I can’t lift over 25lbs and no climbing or other strenuous work (I had climed a 6 foot fence earlier that week to inspect some storm drains, opps!) he laughed and made a joke about pioneer women driving horse-and-buggies and ploughing fields and basically implied that I should be able to do those things too. I’m glad I have the doctors note, because though he was just kidding, I really don’t think he gets it. Thank god my husband has been so great.

  15. Janice says:

    If my husband said any of the things you mentioned I would seriously consider NOT having another child with him. Who says those things? I pity the women who have such insentsitve, immature husbands. Makes you wonder what kind of fathers those husbands will be! Thank goodness men (and women) mature and learn to be supportive of each other! This piece made me think of a bunch of 20-somethings mouthing off without thinking; typical, but tragic!

  16. fame says:

    i still do anyways cuz i like it okkk is my wife not ur

  17. Anna says:

    Men just don’t get it. They should keep their traps shut and help, not talk out of their asses. If any man said “Oh come on, it doesn’t hurt THAT bad, does it?”, I’d defiantly kick them in the balls and ask them if that hurt THAT bad. I just has my first baby and yes men, it really does hurt that bad. Especially the back cramps. The back cramps hurt so damn much that you can actually see my back muscles twitching with each wave of pain. As far as food? I could not stand the smell or taste of garlic bread, which used to be my favorite, whenever it was cooked. I almost always threw up a little just from the smell alone. When I ate it (because I didn’t want to be “picky”) I lost my whole dinner. I could not help it. Women can’t help it no more than a Tsumani can help it. And don’t even get me started on “It’s all in your head”. If it were in our heads, all the women in the world throughout history and now would not be complaining about the same symptoms. It’s biological you assholes! And yes, I do need all of these pillows. You don’t have a water melon to support in your abdominal cavity you jerk! Your guts and bladder are not being pushed to the sides, out, and downwards. You can’t sleep on your back, you can’t sleep on your belly, only on your sides. That gets painful for the hips and ribs.

  18. Lasttimearound says:

    my DH is awful about #1 & #4 & #7….and just doesn’t realize that he’s making all the pain and agony worse by belittling me. I’m not asking for empathy. I’d take a little sympathy or even silence to get through this pregnancy.

  19. Jeni Dodge says:

    My husband is damn lucky he never said any of these things to me!

  20. Keri says:

    A man should never comment on what a women eats or how much of it that she eats anytime while she is pregnant! We already feel huge, even if the numbers on the scale havent really moved all that much. We are growing a human inside of us, which takes a ton of energy. Im all for trying to eat healthy and maintain a healthy pregnancy weight, but if I want to eat an entire pint of cookies and cream ice cream at 9:00 at night once a month, I better not hear one word about it!

  21. Annie says:

    I’ve gotten no respect from my husband. He doesn’t sleep with me I get no loving at all.He’ll make himself dinner and won’t make me anything. When I was due he called the fire department, and told them some fat a**ed woman is having a kid at our address. He left before they got here and I haven’t seen him since. He did take time to clean out our saving and checking accounts, quit his job, abandond his car and we found a bag with all his personal info from his wallet. And a note: FREE AT LAST hope you and your kid have a good life.

  22. laura says:

    my husband constantly complains “im tired” i cant stand it!

  23. Chelsea says:

    My husband was massaging my scalp I was 12 weeks, I have really curly hair, his first comment why does your hair feel old?? Then that’s when that water works came on, after a couple weeks of morning sickness he said man up it’s not that bad

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