7 Things Never to Say to a Pregnant Woman

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 –Me at 37 weeks–

(And yes, I have indeed heard all of these over the course of the last 8+ months):

1. “My daughter’s due at the same time as you, and she’s already gained THIRTY-TWO pounds this pregnancy!” (said incredulously, as if she’s never heard of any woman gaining such a massive amount of weight by the time she hits 8 months)

(To which I awkwardly reply): “Lucky her. I’ve gained almost 40.”

*silence*

Lesson Learned: Just don’t discuss weight (especially concerns about how much weight that the pregnant woman has gained). Unless you can improve the silence by saying that you gained 79.2 pounds with your first baby (not twins) and that you think I look cute as a button (and not just because I’m round), just don’t go there.

2. “Oh, I’m just so excited for you guys! You spent quite a long time trying, didn’t you?”

(To which I wryly smile and say): “Huh. I didn’t know two months was a long time…”

Lesson Learned: Just because someone has been married for awhile and doesn’t have kids doesn’t mean that they are having problems. Other lesson learned–I don’t have many issues with being forthright about issues that other people are usually more private about. So if you don’t wanna know, think before you comment.

3.  “I know you SAY you want a natural birth, but let met tell you…”

I’ve heard this one too many times to count. Unless unforeseeable circumstances (involving medical necessity) come up, I will be having this baby naturally if it kills me.

I’m considering designing t-shirts that say, “Positive birth stories only, please” and wearing it to any gathering of women (large or small), ESPECIALLY baby showers.

Lesson Learned: The birthing process is a personal decision, and you should be supportive of whatever direction the birthing mother is taking. I don’t judge women who are having (or have had) epidurals or C-sections, so why should they judge me?

4. Other Person: “Oh, you look so cute pregnant now.”
Me (half-joking): “Hey, what do you mean, NOW?”
Other Person: “Well, you’re not looking just fat and chunky anymore. You have the cute pregnant belly that’s obviously from baby and not from bloat.”

*awkward silence*

Lesson Learned: Pregnant women already feel fat and chunky enough without people pointing it out to us (even if it’s served up as some kind of backhanded compliment). I think being pregnant has made me like the Queen of Receiving Backhanded Compliments lately–it’s both amusing and completely aggravating at the same time.

5. “Well you just look miserable, don’t you?”

This is something I’ve never understood–with sick people or pregnant people or just plain tired/depressed/stressed-out people, what does it help for someone to point it out to you? This particular comment just baffled me particularly because it was said when I truly had been feeling GREAT that week and especially that day (and I’m actually still feeling pretty great on pretty much most days, thankyouverymuch).

Lesson Learned: Pregnant women like to hear they have “The Glow.” Just say that to them, even if they look like they’re retaining water, not sleeping at night, and/or acting hormonal in general. I’d take “The Glow” over “miserable and tired” any day.

6. “Whoa–you got like, REALLY pregnant all of a sudden. Guess there’s no hiding it anymore, eh? *wink, wink*”

What I want to say to this?

(putting on an innocent voice): “Oh, I thought there was only one degree of pregnant–you either are, or you aren’t. Guess I was wrong.”

Lesson Learned: Are you getting the picture yet? Anything mentioning the general weight or size of the belly or pregnant women in general is officially off-limits to everyone but the woman’s ob/gyn or midwife.

7. “So you’re still around, huh? When’s that baby coming already?”

True fact: the earlier you get this in the pregnancy, the more depressing it is. And I’m sure that the closer to the due date I get, the more annoying it will be.

Lesson Learned: Maybe you should just stop talking to me about the pregnancy. Or at least ask me about something else for a change. Maybe Matt and I should go forward with our plans to design t-shirts that say “More than just a belly” across the front with “Alternate topics of conversation” written across the back.

Oh, and to answer the Universal Question I seem to get every hour:

No, we don’t know what we’re naming the baby yet.

***Note: I really am okay with you asking about my pregnancy, especially because I know you mean well. Just preface everything with how great I’m magically still looking, and I’ll be perfectly content to spill everything you want to know 🙂

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