Things NOT to say to a pregnant woman

Katherine - posted on 01/29/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )

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People just can't keep their mouths shut at the sight of a baby bump, and that's okay. You're proud of your bump and you deserve a little recognition, but let's face it: Some things are better left unsaid to a pregnant woman. (Sensitivity levels are often through the roof.)

Here, gathered from actual incidents that happened to either me or someone I know, are the 10 things a pregnant woman does not want to hear:

1. "Are you sure you're not carrying twins?" I know plenty of moms-to-be who've gotten this one after a sonogram has definitely confirmed that there's only one baby in there. I heard it at six months from a woman at the deli counter, and I was barely showing. Maybe she was trying to deter me from buying cold cuts (which I wasn't!).

2. "You're getting an epidural, right?" or some subtle attempt to influence your birth plan. Whether you've opted for a home birth or the hospital, there's always going to be someone to warn you against it. But hopefully where there's someone to deter you, there are five people to cheer you on.

3. "Watch out for the baby!" at the sight of a swinging door or a clumsy stranger. As if we are not aware of the giant protrusion with a heartbeat.

4. "Are you sure you can eat that?" I don't know how many times I had to explain that I could in fact drink coffee and eat a California roll. Sure, there are certain things we're advised not to eat, but trust us to know what they are, and don't shame us if we're being naughty!

5. "Have you thought of a name?" Maybe it's just me, but I think baby naming is a very personal thing and I didn't want anyone to influence my decision for fear that I'd hear something like, "Susan? I knew a Susan in elementary school. She wet her pants during gym class. Never lived it down. Don't name your kid Susan."

6. "How are you feeling?" on repeat. The question itself is harmless, but I recall being asked this by the same person in passing every single day during my pregnancy, and it was clearly out of politeness. Did she really want to hear about scary-looking boobs, hemorrhoids, and constipation? I'm guessing not.

7. "You're having a ... boy!" I don't know why people, especially older female strangers, feel the need to guess the sex of your baby. The old wives' tale that a woman who carries all the way around is having a girl is just that.

8. "When my wife was in the hospital, there was a woman next door who had a heart attack during labor!" or some other totally unhelpful horror story. Seriously, we have enough to worry about.

9. "Get plenty of sleep now ... because you won't sleep again for a long, long time." While the latter is true, I think people forget that it's very hard to sleep, as tired as you may be, during pregnancy, thanks to the increased weight, the recommendation that you sleep on your left side and a giant body pillow that creates a lovely dividing line between you and your husband.

10. "You blew up overnight!" It's one thing to hear this from your husband, who is qualified to evaluate the changing size of you belly on a day-to-day basis, but it's creepy to hear this from the UPS guy, for example, who is probably sizing up your ballooning boobs as well. Ew.

Surely, these aren't all the maddening things a pregnant woman has heard. What drives you nuts?

13 Comments

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[deleted account]

Gah i forgot about the " how are you going to handle 3" question. Drove me bananas. Lucky that came from people i didn't know very well.

Kate CP - posted on 01/29/2011

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"...I guess I just hated everyone being all "Isn't pregnancy wonderful?" because sometimes it isn't."

Amen, sister. :/

Lady Heather - posted on 01/29/2011

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When I was first pregnant I didn't want to really talk about it with anyone because it was all high risk and I almost lost the pregnancy twice. It was just not a good time. But I got super fat right away so everybody and their uncle wanted to talk to me.

I guess I just hated everyone being all "Isn't pregnancy wonderful?" because sometimes it isn't.

Kate CP - posted on 01/29/2011

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I hated hearing OVER AND OVER "Don't worry, he'll come soon enough" or some variation thereof. Yes, I *KNOW* he will be born eventually. I *KNOW* no woman is pregnant forever. However, that doesn't help when I'm in pain and sobbing because the little bugger has kept me in labor for a week. Shut up and let me cry. :P

Laura - posted on 01/29/2011

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See I get the other way around right now. "Oh you don't even look very big" Drives me nuts. I'm 5'9" have GD so I've been on a strict diet so my stomach is all baby. But I've gained 35pounds. You put a 35lb beachball right on your stomach and see how easy it is to reach your toes.

Or "oh you shouldn't be doing that" when I was at work. I'm sorry I know my limitations don't tell me what to do.

My favorite was my father-in-law "How are you going to handle 3?" or "What are you going to do with 3 boys?"

Tara - posted on 01/29/2011

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The best was the "are you sure there's only one in there?"
My standard answer after child number 3 (I look huge when I'm pregnant because I"m only 5 feet tall and very little to begin with) became "No actually it's a litter of puppies"
And that was it.
Either they would laugh or not, I didn't care I just went back to doing whatever I was doing.
As well I hated being told by people "Oh you're so tiny, you'll never get that baby out" when in fact I birthed all my kids naturally.
There are many more, different ones from each different pregnancies and a lot of repeats.
Good Post.
:)

Stifler's - posted on 01/29/2011

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I get that too. I'm like yeah the pregnancy is going okay but I have heartburn and they're like "who's fault is that?"... and laugh about how I must be a sexual deviant because I'm pregnant... wtf.

Jodi - posted on 01/29/2011

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Ugh, the "How do you feel." drives me absolutely batty. Everyone who knew me had to ask that every single time I saw them!

The other one I hated was people who would ask what it's like to be pregnant, or how I was feeling or what not and if I ever said anything negative like "Pregnancy is amazing, but god damn these hemorrhoids!" some people would make a comment along the lines of I asked for it, or I wanted this or if I couldn't handle the consequences I shouldn't have gotten pregnant. And I'm not a complainer, I'm one of those people to paint my picture as absolute roses,b ut every once in a while, a lady's gotta let it out right?!

Last thing, my sister (who has never been pregnant, never wants to be pregnant or have kids and looks down on the whole mommy role) would constantly make beeping noises when I was around or quack while following 5 steps behind me (for the waddle). Not very nice.

Sammie - posted on 01/29/2011

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I'm 37 weeks and look like I swallowed a beach ball. I constantly get the "are you SURE it's not twins" or "you won't make it full term". I hate the people without kids who suddenly have a wealth of advice to give you on child rearing. And I cant stand the old "gee you've had a good feed" or being told I ate too much Christmas pudding jokes. I am so sensitive about my weight n hate people that think just cause a lady is pregnant it suddenly makes it okay to call her fat!! Lol

Stifler's - posted on 01/29/2011

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I have heard EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE. Especially number 2. Newsflash... Emerald hospital doesn't do them. I'll be right thanks love.

Other things I've heard include
"you'll come early.. blah blah blah"... no I won't...

Blah blah blah you'll get stretch marks... didn't get any except where my navel was pierced.

People discouraging me from breastfeeding because "it's too hard mate... this is the 21st century... in this day and age we shouldn't have to breastfeed/see people breastfeeding" ... wow thanks for making me feel bad about doing the normal thing.

Sarah - posted on 01/29/2011

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EVERYTIME I passed by this one co-worker at my job, he would loudly say "I've lost my watermelon! Have you seen it?!" Like everytime. It was funny at first & then it just became awkward.

I didn't really show all that much with my pregnancy (not until the end anyways) & I always had people asking me how far along I was. When I'd tell them they would say stuff like "Oh you're not very big." And one time I had a girl say "Are you sure you're 8 months?" Ummm last time I checked! It made me feel like people thought I was having an unhealthy baby or something.

Katherine - posted on 01/29/2011

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I got, "Your HUGE!, there's no way you'll make it!" Umm no, you're the one who won't make it.
You gained how much weight?!?

[deleted account]

Number 5 is the one that got to me because i to believe it is a very very personal thing to name your baby.
Other than that i never received any of those comments because i never showed. The only 2 questions i ever got were. 1) wow you have out on some weight.... Well dah shithead what do you expect at 35 weeks pregnant.
2) How long have you got left. ( by close firends who knew i was pregnant) Yeah you can't half tell i have had enough so lets reinforce that i still have ages left or i'm passed my due date.

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