People say some really stupid things to pregnant women. I’ve been very lucky so far and have gotten a lot of compliments (big thank yous to the girl in Old Navy who told me I was “the cutest pregnant girl she’s seen” and the girls that worked at Stony Point that stopped me and my friend Sarah to tell us we looked adorable!) However, yesterday I was on the receiving end of a very stupid comment. Thus, this post.
Things you should never say to a pregnant woman:
1. “You probably shouldn’t eat/drink that” – If I have a sip of my husbands wine, eat a gallon of ice cream, or eat a piece of sushi, keep your opinion to yourself. Everyone’s different, everyone’s doctor is different, and everyone gets different medical advice. I feel like I come across as someone who takes good care of herself, would attend the required check ups for my pregnancy, and would pay attention to whatever my doctor says. If my doctor says it’s okay to have a bite of sushi from a reputable restaurant, then I’m not going to hold myself back, and I certainly don’t need you offering me your advice. That might have been how you did things – didn’t eat soft cheeses/lunch meat/sushi/fish in general/and entire gallon of ice cream/drink alcohol/etc. does not mean I’m following the same rules as you did. It’s best to keep these opinions to yourself. And NEVER say “you’ll end up looking like…” – this is just never good, I don’t care what the ending of that sentence happens to be. Bite your tongue and move along.
2. “You look tired/miserable/sleepy/ready to pop” – Just. Don’t. I know I look like one or all of these things on any given day. Don’t call me out on it.
3. “Let me tell you my labor story” – This one comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, but unless I ask (and I am really curious about labor stories so 9 times out of 10, I will ask…as long as its a friend) I don’t want to know. I’m very sorry you were in labor for 36 hours before they had to do a c-section because your baby was 12 pounds with line-backer shoulders, but I don’t need to hear it. Or that your water broke and 20 minutes and 1 push later, your little one was here. Everyone’s story is different, and unless I ask, I’m not in the mood to hear about it.
4. “But you’re still so small” – Every pregnant chick carries differently, some show way early, some barely show at all. You might think that telling a pregnant lady that she isn’t that big would be a compliment, but it’s quite the opposite (so I’m told…). Apparently, it basically gives the same feeling of “you must not being doing what you are supposed to/nourishing your body/eating healthy” or are somehow failing your growing baby.
5. “Are you going to breastfeed?” – Unless you are a close friend or family member, this one is off limits. First of all, I don’t want you thinking about my boobs. Second, I don’t want to share, because if you are asking, it probably means you have an opinion on what I should be doing, and frankly, I don’t want to hear it. I’ll do what is best for me and my baby and I really don’t need to explain that to a stranger.
6. “You’re carrying low/high/wide/all over/etc.” – If you have to comment on my body, just tell me I look great and move on. Telling me I’m carrying a certain way (which I probably already know because baby is either on my bladder, in my ribs, or is spread eagle in there) will only get you into trouble. Maybe you had a boy and carried really low, but guess what? I’m having a girl and carrying really low. It’s just how it works. And yes, I’m sure (well you know…almost) that it’s a girl.
7. “Did you hear about that 15 pound baby??” or whatever news story – I chatted about this with friends, co-workers, and family, and mainly I brought it up, but if I don’t know you and you see me walking around Target all pregnant, you don’t need to tell me about the 15 pound baby. Of course I heard about the 15 pound baby, everyone did, because that shit is ridiculous and I so feel for that mom, but just tell me I look pretty and move on, k?
8. “Enjoy your sleep/showers/you time now” – This one goes under what not to say because it’s already understood. Everyone woman knows that once she gets pregnant, sleep will likely become elusive, as will ample time for showers and ‘me’ time, so we just don’t need the reminder. I get that there is an unspoken understanding amongst women who’ve had babies, but telling me to do something will just annoy me.
9. “Any day now, huh?” – Never, ever assume a woman is due ‘any day now’ based on what her belly looks like. Some pregnant women look 10 months pregnant when they are only 6 months pregnant. It’s how bodies work. They are all different and everyone shows differently. A lady said this one to me last night in the grocery store and I told her “nope, two months to go” and the look of shock on her face was plenty. Then she followed up with number 10.
And NEVER. NEVER EVER. NEVER EVER EVER. Say the following to a pregnant lady. Ever. Did I make myself clear?
10. “Are you having twins?” – OH MY GOD. Please. For the sake of all that is happy and bright in this world. NEVER EVER ask a pregnant lady if she is having twins. I don’t care if her tummy is dragging the ground because it is so big, seriously, don’t do it. If you MUST know, simply ask when she is due, or what she is having, NEVER assume it’s twins. It makes us feel like shit and confirms that we do actually look as large as we feel. (and yes, a lady asked me this last night in the grocery store and I was appalled…)
*disclaimer – these don’t apply to everyone in every situation, but are a general set of rules one should abide by to not get beaten up/glared at/or have deal with a hormonal crying pregnant woman. Some of these don’t necessarily apply to family and friends – judge each situation carefully and move forward from there. But sweet Jesus don’t ask if it’s twins. Ever.
Should any of the above statements pop into your noggin when talking to a pregnant lady, bite your tongue, take a step back, and ACTUALLY say one of the following things:
Things you should say to a pregnant woman (if you have to say something):
1. “You look great!” – Again, compliments are the JAM (especially because a significant portion of the time, we don’t feel like we look great)
2. “That outfit/dress/shirt/haircut/necklace/whatever looks great on you!” – Even if we look like doo doo, now is not the time to point it out, because we probably already know, so point out what DOES look good (and seriously, there’s always at least 1 thing, there has to be. If not, LIE.)
3. “Here, take my seat!” – I’ve been offered seats many places we have been lately, people are very kind and know a pregnant lady’s feet/back/body hurt. It never hurts to be polite and offer up your spot. I usually don’t take it (unless I desperately need to sit), but am very grateful for the offer.
4. “Do you know what your having?” – This one doesn’t bother me – we know we are having a girl and I have no qualms about telling folks that there’s a lady in there. I know some people get annoyed by this question, especially if they are Team Green (i.e. not finding out) and after asking the question, the asker says “oh I think you’re having a ___” apparently that falls in the ‘not to say’ category, but we’re getting there.
And your never fail option:
5. “Congratulations!” – this one is so easy, simple, we’ll get what you’re throwing at us, and is just plain kind. This is your never fail option.
I think my follow up post to this will be something along the lines of “How a pregnant chick should respond to any of the things that fall under the ‘what not to say’ category.” but that will take some market research 🙂
Did I miss anything? Please comment and let me know what ridiculous and/or awesome things you’ve heard!