There are some things that should absolutely remain unsaid when speaking to a pregnant woman. Why would you ever ask someone, “Are you still with the father?” or “Are you going to keep it?” Yikes!
Here are some unbelievable comments said to pregnant women and what you should say instead.
“Was it planned?”
Does it really matter? Whether it was planned or not, she’s obviously sharing the news because she’s happy and excited not because she wants to answer to nosy people. Questioning her decision-making is unnecessary (and kind of rude).
What to say instead: “Congratulations, kids are great!”
“Did you take fertility drugs?”
Getting pregnant isn’t easy for everyone and the struggle with fertility is emotionally and financially exhausting. When a woman is pregnant at a certain age or is carrying multiples, be mindful of the delicate story that may be behind her joy; intrusive questions just rain on her parade.
What to say instead: “Do multiples run in your family?”
“You look like you’re ready to pop!”
The last thing a woman who is very pregnant wants to hear is how big she looks. She’s already frustrated and tired of being pregnant and reminding her of this isn’t good for anyone.
What to say instead: “How are you feeling?”
“Are you sure there aren’t twins in there?”
(What she’s thinking: What’s your excuse? I’m carrying a life!) Come on, women are self-conscious enough as it is and when she’s carrying an extra 20 or so pounds she’s extra sensitive about her looks (and everything else for that matter).
What to say instead: “Do you know what you are having?”
“Can I touch your belly?”
(What she’s thinking: I don’t even know you!) Unless you’re a close relative or friend, this is just awkward for her. Just because a woman is pregnant doesn’t make her belly community property.
What to say instead: “Wow, you look great! What a cute belly!”
“Have you picked a name yet?”
It seems harmless, but trust us, she doesn’t want to answer this question and subject herself (and her partner) to your opinions. It’s hard enough agreeing on a baby name as a couple and input from strangers just makes the process more difficult.
What to say instead: “Are you having fun picking a name?”
“Enjoy ____ now because once the baby comes, you can kiss it goodbye.”
Pregnancy is an emotional time for a woman especially if it’s her first. She’s very aware that her life is about to drastically change. She doesn’t need you to suggest that she’ll never enjoy sleep, skinny jeans or a minute alone ever again.
What to say instead: “Parenting is certainly full of ups and downs but it’s worth it!”
“You shouldn’t be eating/drinking that.”
(What she’s thinking: Thanks Dr. Stranger, but I’ll eat and drink whatever I please and if you get in the way, you may lose a finger.) Pregnant women are well aware of their new dietary recommendations and restrictions and if you don’t trust she’s making wise decisions, keep it to yourself.
What to say instead: “Boy, does that look delicious!”
“I never had morning sickness.”
All pregnancies are different, so bragging to a mother who is sick as a dog about your lack of pregnancy symptoms is downright insensitive.
What to say instead: “How have you been feeling? Any morning sickness?”
“I was sick my whole 9 months.”
On the flip side, a pregnant woman doesn’t want to be any more terrified than she already is. Keep the horror stories to yourself.
What to say instead: “Don’t worry, you will feel better soon enough!”
“I was ripped open from end to end.”
This falls into the horror story category. Like pregnancy, giving birth is different for every woman. And the fact is, most women don’t end up “ripped from end-to-end” — one bad experience shouldn’t set off panic in the mind of a new mother!
What to say instead: “I had a rough experience, but not all women go through what I did.”
“Get an epidural!”
Deciding how and where to give birth is extremely personal — it’s about what she wants, not what other people think she should want. Though hospital settings and epidurals are mainstream, not every mother chooses to go that route. Questioning her decision to do something you didn’t gives her zero credit for making an educated decision.
What to say instead: “I decided to get an epidural because…but everyone is different.”
You won’t even believe what inappropriate comments have been said to our readers!
“Are you still with the father?”
— Sherri Middaugh
— Rita Reynolds Stachowiak
“When I told my boss I was pregnant (with my first child), the first thing he said was: ‘Are you going to keep it?'”
— Dana Blackmon Carroll
“I was about 8 months pregnant when a co-worker said to me: ‘Wow, Can you even see your feet anymore?’ Thanks. And, no I couldn’t see them anymore. I was crushed.”
“Although I had been with my husband for nine years, my MIL had the nerve to ask if the baby was his.”
“My husband asked me if I wanted a scale for Christmas so I could keep track of my weight gain. Needless to say, he was not invited into the delivery room.”
—Diane Hunt Andrews
“I was 37 and pregnant with my last child when I was told: ‘Wow, it must be hard to be an old mom.’ I didn’t realize I was old!”
— Carly Frith
“We were having our weekly ultrasound and my doctor didn’t say anything about the baby’s heart or lungs…instead, she said: ‘And there are his balls.’ Really? Is that the medical term?”
— Kelsey Elizabeth Page
“I was working in a restaurant and attempting to seat some people, when they requested a table on the opposite side of the restaurant and said: ‘You look like you could use the exercise anyway…’”
— Sarah Lahey
“As a 44-year-old pregnant woman I often heard: ‘You know, the likelihood of Down’s syndrome goes up as you get older.’ Nice, huh?”
— Georgen Charnes
“When I told my MIL I would be opting for an epidural, she replied: ‘I hope the doctor doesn’t paralyze you, that would make taking care of a new born really difficult.’ Ugh, seriously?”
“When I was seven months pregnant someone asked me if I’d ever considered losing weight.”
“I already had a one-year-old at home and people asked me: ‘Are you sure you should be having another baby?’ The kicker? It was from my own family members!”
— Katharyne E. Hale
“I was telling a colleague that the Down’s syndrome test went well, and she pitched in with, ‘There can be other things that go wrong that they can’t test for!’”
“My OB was concerned that I was measuring very large as my due date was closing in and said: “I just want to make sure you’re not having a monster baby.”
“I had someone tell me that they couldn’t picture me as the mother of a girl. How do you even respond to that?”
— Amy Gentner