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11 Things to NEVER say to a Pregnant Woman
January 16, 2018
There seems to be a stock of questions and statements people tend to make when they spot an expectant woman. Many folks lose their politeness filter and venture dangerously into the realms of nosiness and occasionally downright offensiveness!
Please don’t misunderstand me, many women are happy enough to discuss their pregnancy and people taking an interest are just trying to be nice, but let us take the lead and decide what information we are happy to share. To help you avoid some of the pregnancy chit-chat pitfalls, here are a few things you should NEVER say to a pregnant woman:
“Wow, you look like you are about to pop!”
Referring to a woman’s size isn’t ok. EVER! Just because someone’s pregnant, it doesn’t give you the go head to make statements like “wow, you’re getting huge” and “are you sure they haven’t got your due date wrong?” Try this instead – “wow, you look fantastic.”
“Can I touch your baby bump?”
No, just no. Near strangers placing their hands on your growing bump isn’t acceptable for most people, so please don’t place us in the awkward position of having to say no. If the baby’s kicking and I want you to have a feel, I’ll ask you. Try this instead – “you look great, what a gorgeous baby bump!”
“Was it planned?”
Whether it was or wasn’t, it’s honestly none of your business. Getting pregnant can be a difficult and emotional time for some couples, so avoid any intrusive questions altogether. Try this instead – “Congratulations!”
“Have you chosen a name yet?”
Choosing a name and agreeing with your partner on whether it will be an Arthur or an Albie is a hard enough task, without friends and family imposing their opinions and suggestions on you. Plus, it’s a secret, and we don’t want to tell you!
“I think you’re having a boy/girl!”
Unless you have X-ray vision you don’t know what I’m having and the shape of my bump, what I look like from behind or what I had for breakfast is absolutely no indication, so save your guesswork for the office sweepstake. Try this instead – “You must be so excited to meet your little one.”
“My pregnancy/birth was horrendous!”
The last, and I mean the last thing women want to hear about when they are pregnant, is how bad your pregnancy or labour was for you. Avoid sharing your battle scars or offloading your traumatic experiences, save it for another time, like when our child is eighteen.
“Are you sure you’re not having twins?”
You say “are you sure you’re not expecting twins”, we hear “wowser, you look fat!”. Scans and monitoring during pregnancy are thankfully so advanced, little surprises like this one are highly unlikely. Try this instead – “wow, you look great.”
“Your baby bump is so small!”
Everyone carries differently and while you may think this is a compliment to say someone has a cute little baby bump it may, in fact, fuel her anxiety over the size of her growing baby. Try this instead – “I hope you are feeling as well as you look during your pregnancy.”
“You really shouldn’t be drinking/eating that”
We know we shouldn’t be tucking into that second cake or that chocolate bar, but like any sleep deprived and knackered adult, sometimes you just need it. We are fully versed in the what to eat and what not to eats. Try this instead – say nothing!
“Are you planning on breastfeeding or bottle feeding your baby?”
This is a surprisingly common question I learnt. It’s no one’s business and asking only adds to the already huge amount of pressure and guilt women feel about feeding their baby.
“Do you want a boy or a girl?” or “I bet you’re desperate for a girl/boy this time?”
Assuming someone wants a girl because they like the colour pink or already have a boy so must want a girl right? Wrong? You have no idea, and we don’t care either way as long as they are healthy and happy.
Sometimes saying nothing is better than inadvertently coming out with an insensitive comment. Steer clear of our ‘what not to say’ list and remember a simple “congratulations” or a compliment about how great the expectant mum looks go a long way!