You would think that in 2017, most people would know what not to say to a pregnant woman. As I near the end of my pregnancy, I’ve found that that is unfortunately not the case. If you are not sure about whether something is appropriate or not, don’t say it. Here are some things I would definitely not say: (Also, not all of these are things I’ve heard or experienced but are things other pregnant moms have shared about their experience!)
- Wow, you’ve gotten so big! (Alternative: Wow, you are huge!) Just because she is pregnant doesn’t mean she no longer has feelings. Would you like someone to comment about the weight you’ve gained? NO! Even though the new mom’s weight gain is a good thing, it shouldn’t be mentioned. Lots of women have body image issues and struggle with gaining weight during pregnancy. Don’t make her feel like she needs to watch her weight, this is not the time.
- When are you due? This seems very innocuous but she may have already given birth. (Or might not be pregnant at all…that could happen too.) It takes time to regain your pre-pregnancy body. Weight can fluctuate. Wait until someone tells you they are pregnant before you assume they are pregnant.
- Are you sure you don’t have twins in there? Um…yes I am but thanks for making me feel like a whale.
- I can’t believe you aren’t finding out the gender! It is so common now to find out the gender that most people are shocked if you say you aren’t finding out. Ultimately, the couple has probably thought of several reasons why they want to do that. And that is frankly how it has been done for MANY MANY years. So, just be excited for them. Let them know how fun and cool that sounds. But don’t judge or make them feel like it was a bad decision, it isn’t yours to make.
- You look like you are about to pop! I started getting this comment when I had over a month to go. I felt like I was about to pop, but also knew that I had a ways to go still. This type of comment wasn’t helpful when the seconds were already moving like molasses.
- You are so much bigger than me/my friend/my sister/this woman I saw one time… Every woman and every pregnancy is different. People carry their pregnancies differently too. Ultimately, pregnancy is a beautiful thing that should be celebrated. And making a mom to be feel like she is huge is not especially helpful.
- Oh, I know exactly how you feel! If you were pregnant before, then you can certainly be more sympathetic to how someone feels. But, ultimately, you don’t really know how they feel. My heartburn is not the same as my friend’s heartburn. Also, some people have really REALLY difficult pregnancies. Don’t assume that you know what the person has struggled with.
- You haven’t had that baby yet?! Trust me, I am more ready for this baby to come than you are. I can’t really make this baby come any faster, nor would someone want to depending on how far along they are.
- You are looking a little puffy. Swelling happens to a lot of pregnant women. Pointing out the unfortunate symptoms of pregnancy is just not helpful.
- You should hear how my delivery went! No, I don’t want to hear about it. Especially if it was horrific. People love sharing their stories but not everyone wants to hear them. Many moms to be are really anxious and possibly fearful of the birthing process. Fear and anxiety can cause a much more difficult delivery for the mom. Having your worst case scenario in her mind is just not helpful. If you are going to share about your experience, be sure you are sharing positive things to motivate and encourage!
Basically, it all boils down to this: If you wouldn’t say it to a normal person, don’t say it to a pregnant person. Keep things positive and encouraging. Celebrate the incredible thing that is pregnancy! How amazing is it that our body (well, only a woman’s body) can do this?!
What no-no’s would you add to this list?
P.S. Do you just LOVE my featured image? My amazing friend Natalie took our maternity photos. If you are in the Oklahoma City area, you should check her out: Priceless Photography by Natalie.