What Not To Say To Pregnant Women

“How much weight have you gained?”

“It’s about time! We’ve been wondering when you’d have another kid!”

“Whoa….. you’re going to have wine? While pregnant?”

“Are you old enough to have a child?”

“You wouldn’t cut off your own eyelid, so why would you circumcise your son?”

“Your boobs are massive! Like… bigger than your stomach!”

“You’re naming your baby _____?? ….that’s……unique…..”

“Did you get pregnant on purpose?”

“Oh….another boy? Did you want a girl though?”

“Looks like you’re carrying 4 babies!”

“Haha I just can’t imagine you as a Mom!”

Yes. Those are all 100% real direct quotes that I was sent after polling my Instagram followers (@bicoastalbabyb) this week on the worst things people have said to them when they were pregnant.

Having been a pregnant woman and now perpetually around pregnant women, the crazy, inappropriate or just uncomfortable things people say to pregnant women is a common topic of conversation. Even if you have actually been a pregnant woman recently, it’s possible to fall into the trap and say something stupid (I am guilty of saying one of these last year to a pregnant woman). So without further ado, here is a list of things NOT to say to woman involving pregnancy – and what you can or should say instead.

To Women Of Childbearing Age Who You Don’t Think Are Pregnant Yet

When Are You Guys Going to Try/Going To Have A Kid/Going To Have Another Kid?

How do you know they aren’t trying? What if your friend has been trying for a year? Is going through IVF? Has had multiple miscarriages? Or maybe she doesn’t want kids and feels awkward that everyone keeps asking her and making her feel guilty that she doesn’t want what her friends want? Point is – if you don’t already know the circumstances, you aren’t close enough to ask. So don’t. I know of friends in both of these circumstances who are frequently hurt and annoyed when well meaning people ask them this constantly.

To Women You Think Are Pregnant

Are You Pregnant?

OH MY GOD NO! This is NEVER ok. Never ask someone if they’re pregnant. Telling them you think they’re pregnant, you hope they’re pregnant, winking at them, asking them coyly why they aren’t drinking, etc etc. It’s all the same thing. Be respectful. There are very real reasons why most women do not share their pregnancies in the first trimester. By asking them this, you are putting them in a terrible position – they can either lie to your face or be forced into telling you something they weren’t ready to share. When they’re ready to share with you, they will! Until them, ignore the fact that they’re drinking water at the party and keep your damn mouth shut.

To Women You Know Are Pregnant

I KNEW it!!

I realize this seems innocent enough, but it’s actually kind of a shitty thing to say. The woman has been keeping this secret (or so she thinks) for MONTHS – and trust me….those are long and painful months, only to be told the second she’s ready to reveal the big surprise that actually it wasn’t a secret at all and you actually knew. If that’s the case, please, just play dumb and congratulate her.

Whoa That Was Fast!/ANOTHER Kid?/It’s About Time!

There are so many scenarios with 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc kids that people like to comment on, and none of them are appropriate. It is not ok to insinuate that someone is having another child more quickly than you might choose to (this includes comments like “wow you’re going to have your hands full!”), insinuating that you can’t believe they’d have yet another kid, or, my least favorite, insinuation that you can’t believe it took them “that long” to have another. I heard from several Moms who struggled with secondary infertility and it drove them crazy when people gave them the “it’s about time!” speech when they were finally able to conceive. Remember that every family is different, and when and how they have their children is not open to commentary.

You’re About To Pop/You Must Be Due Any Day Now!

Oh no. Nooooo no no. See this is the one I accidentally said. It’s like you forget that everyone gains weight differently and carries the baby differently and you should never assume/guess how far along they are. I said to a casual acquaintance whose due date I was not familiar with “ohhh you’re so close!!” and she was….25 weeks. Not close at all. I was able to play it off but TRUST ME….no uncomfortable pregnant woman wants to be told that she looks ready to pop….and reminded that in fact she has months to grow larger. Unless you know the due date, air on the side of caution.

You’re Huge!/Is It Twins?/You’re Barely Showing!/You’re Tiny!

It’s insane that I need to say this, but I really really need to. NEVER mention a pregnant woman’s size. It wasn’t ok to tell her she looked big or small when she wasn’t pregnant, so why do you think it is now? It cuts both ways – I heard a lot from woman who got the standard “you look huge/how are you going to make it to 9 months/must be a big baby” etc, but also from woman who received equally offensive comments about how small they were! Including one Mom who had a very real medical issue with her placenta, and the constant reminder that she was small was incredibly hurtful. Just don’t go there. No woman, pregnant or not, wants to have their weight commented on, period.

Are You Scared For Labor/Are You Scared for (Fill In The Blank)/Scary Birth or Newborn Story Of Any Kind

If you want to know how I feel about Moms trying to scare each other, I have a whole article about it. (https://bicoastalbabyb.com/2018/07/27/dear-moms-please-stop-trying-to-scare-each-other/) But this pertains to anyone, not just Moms. Do not ask a pregnant woman if she is scared. Do not ask her if she is planning to breastfeed (I weirdly had several people ask me this). Do not start giving her your thoughts on c-sections v vaginal births, or epidurals, or sleep training, or circumcision (yes – people seem to love bringing that up too. Do not share scary birth stories. Do not tell them about someone you know who had something terrible happen to them related to pregnancy or babies.

Do Twins Run In Your Family or Did You Do IVF?

I don’t think I even need to explain this one. It’s none of your business and never ok to ask.

Ok So What CAN I Say?

Not sure what to say to a pregnant woman? Whether it’s a relative, a friend or a co-workers, the following are great options that will not offend her, and instead make her day:

To Women Friends Of Childbearing Age Who You Don’t Think Are Pregnant

Do not say anything related to pregnancy

To Women You Think Are Pregnant

Do not say anything related to pregnancy

To Women You Know Are Pregnant

“You’re glowing/you look great/pregnancy suits you!”

“How are you feeling?”

“When are you due?”….”Oh I was born in the summer too! Summer babies are the best!/Aww talk about a perfect Christmas gift!/Fun! Just in time to dress him/her up for Halloween! (you can literally think of something nice to say for a baby born ANY time of year).

Is (husband) or (older sibling/s) getting excited?

(Older sibling/s) will be SUCH a good big sister/big brother!

Are you planning to do a babymoon?

Did you/are you going to do anything fun for a gender reveal?

How is the nursery coming together/do you have a theme/color scheme?

Now my friends, go forth and be kind to the woman with the bellies. AND FOR GOD SAKES DO NOT RUB THEIR BELLIES!!

You could be sleeping through the night
next week.