Parenting, Pregnancy, Rants

10 Things You Should Never (Ever) Say To A Pregnant Woman (And What You Should Say Instead)

People seem to lose all tact and manners when it comes to pregnant women, and some of the comments made are borderline insane. I thought I should make a list of things you should never say to a pregnant woman, because etiquette.

Trust me, women are aware of just how pregnant they are – and they are not idiots… they know they are getting “fat”. They do not need you to point that fact out to them. They already have to deal with stretch marks, being uncomfortable, itchy skin, swollen boobs, pimples, hormonal changes and not knowing what to wear – not to mention growing a human being. I have a friend that is currently about 4 months pregnant, and I have already heard people tell her things like “remember, you are not really eating for two” and “just remember you have to lose all that weight afterwards!” – seriously people? How is it any of your business?
Neither of my pregnancies represented that beautiful, glowing woman on the cover of a magazine looking lovingly at her perfectly tanned, perfectly round baby bump – and it is not a reality for many women out there.

Are pregnant women being used as some sort of totem of self-hatred? Are people fascinated with their weight gain as a way of feeling better or worse about themselves? Is this what society has become?

When women transform into big, beautiful and hormonal beasts during pregnancy, we are all of a sudden open to public comments — and everyone wants in. Although we realize that we are giving our bodies for the creation of a new life and all that, it seems that the general public does not remember that there is still a real woman in there, behind the baby – a real woman with real feelings about her body.
After having two kids of my own and spending time with friends and colleagues during their pregnancies, I would like to believe I’ve finally gained some perspective and a thicker skin about the surprising and insensitive things that people sometimes say to pregnant women…

10 Things You Should Never Say To A Pregnant Woman, And What You Should Try Say Instead
In my bid to educate society and hopefully prevent even just one other mamma-to-be feel the way I was feeling during my own pregnancies, here are 10 things you should NEVER do or say to a pregnant woman:

1.”Was it planned?”
How it is translated :Do you have sex regularly? Were you using birth control? Do you have a basic understanding of the human reproductive system? Or were you just being irresponsible? I am being invasive and have no respect for your privacy.
What we really want to answer: Does it really matter whether someone was taking ovulation tests, having sexy time with their husband and then elevating their pelvis or whether they got drunk & screwed their boyfriend in the bathroom of a dodgy club? It really doesn’t at this point, and it’s none of your business.

What you should rather say: This is such an exciting time! Congratulations, you are going to be a great mom – and you look amazing!

2. “Are you sure there is just one baby in there?”
How it is translated: You are fat, holy shit you are fat. How did you get so fat? Fatty.)
What we really want to answer: I am sure that my gynecologist who has been a specialist in her field for the past 15 years can read an ultrasound properly, you idiot. Stop making me feel fat.

What you should rather say: Congratulations, you look amazing! How was your last ultrasound, isn’t your body amazing for growing a human being?

3. “Wow, you are getting HUGE.”
How it is translated: You are really, really fat. It’s not normal.
What we really want to answer: Thank you, I didn’t notice. I thought I was just pregnant.

What you should rather say: Your bump looks so cute, you really look amazing. I am so happy for you!

4. “You are having a baby? OR You are having a second child already? But you are so young…”
How it is translated: You child, you don’t know what you are doing. Your life is over, you are crazy for doing this. 
What we really want to answer: And you are so old. I know what I am doing – and it is none of your business.

What you should rather say: It is so much fun to have your kids at such a young age, congratulations! 

5. “You are calling him/her what? I don’t like that name, I think you should call him/her…”
How it is translated: You have bad taste. What a horrible name. You cannot even name a child properly – how are you going to raise a kid???
What we really want to say: Screw you. Insane person. Once again, none of your business, and you do not have to like the baby’s name because it IS NOT YOUR BABY. Nobody cares that a girl named Angela took your chocolate chip cookie in grade 2, so don’t lift up the tarp covering your mental baggage. No-one asked you… please keep your opinion to yourself.

What you should rather say: Just lie. Or smile. Or say “what an interesting choice” if you really cannot control yourself.

6. Unauthorized belly rubs!
How it is translated: I do not care about your personal space, you are now an object open to the public.
What we really want to say: When did this become okay?? Hands off the belly! Please respect my space and my body.

What you should rather say: I am so sorry, but I just cannot resist… may I please touch your belly?

7. “Should you really be eating that?”
How it is translated: You obviously do not have your child’s best interest at heart, and you don’t care.
What we really want to say: You are very…very brave…I will eat what I want.

What you should rather say: Nothing… it is really none of your business. Unless you are going to offer more food.

8. “Why are you having a C-section? You will miss out on the beautiful bonding experience of natural birth. You are taking the easy way out
How it is translated: Wow, you are going to be a terrible parent – you have not even started and you are already failing.
How we really want to respond: First of all, not all of us have a choice. My first baby was delivered via emergency C-section and therefore my doctor has decided that the safest way forward will be to deliver my second by C-section as well. Secondly, who are you to judge? There are multiple benefits to both C-sections as well as Natural birth…and once again, it has absolutely nothing to do with you whether I am going to have a stretched vagina or an ugly scar. Please mind your own business.

What you should rather say: You are going to do great, let us know if there is anything we can do for you when baby arrives!

9. “Sleep now because you won’t get any when the baby gets here.”
How it is translated: Your life is over.
What we really want to say: What the hell does this mean anyway? It’s not like you can bank sleep. It’s like saying “Don’t eat this year because an all-you-can-eat-buffet is opening up next March”. Plus, who says that the woman you’re saying this to is sleeping now? She may be a congested ball of heartburn, hemorrhoids and back pain so this kind of thing just adds insult to injury.

What you should rather say: I hope you are getting loads of rest, and that you are not in too much discomfort. It is going to be so exciting when you have your baby! It is such a blessing.


10. “You know eating for two is a myth, and you are going to have to lose all that weight afterwards right?”
Just STFU. Right now.

The next time you see a pregnant woman, unless you are going to tell her how beautiful she looks, or congratulate her, just rather keep quiet. She doesn’t need to hear what you think about her size, her looks, her baby’s name, etc. You may think you’re witty but I can guarantee she does not. It does not cost anything to be nice and supportive. She is doing the best she can, and unless she is shooting heroin or downing a bottle of wine, she is doing an amazing job.


What are some of the invasive, insensitive and downright stupid things people have said to you during pregnancy? 

4 thoughts on “10 Things You Should Never (Ever) Say To A Pregnant Woman (And What You Should Say Instead)

  1. This is me all the time!!!! I don’t know why people think I am a damn petting zoo or if they can ask those types of questions. the one I get regularly is why did you leave it so late? you know your child could have health problems because you waited until after 35???? still not their damn business – blegh

  2. WHen I announced at work that i was pregnant, a coworker, who I’m not super close with, asked me if it was planned. A Coworker!! The audacity of some people.

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