What NOT To Say To A Pregnant Woman

Ten weeks postpartum and I’m finally getting around to writing all the blog posts I’ve been brainstorming for the past few months. I made mention in my previous post about having lists of ideas for posts and that those lists actually became overwhelming. And this is still true! I can’t tell you how many times I started writing posts, deleted whatever rambles I had typed up, then started all over again.

It’s a wild thing; the combination of my anxiety and sleep deprivation. I’m overly sensitive and truth be told – running on fumes. For the first few weeks, it was even worse. My postpartum anxiety was SO BAD and my nights (and days) were filled with tears. I’ll definitely get more into all of that in a future blog post (I’m going to take my time with that one because it’s still a sensitive subject for me) – but what I will say is I’m feeling much better, for the most part. I’m getting a bit more sleep when RJ sleeps, and I’m attempting to find a way to get accustomed to my new norm…even though the new norm is taking place during a global pandemic and we’re self isolating at home. But THAT’S a whole ‘notha story.

One of the blog posts I’ve been meaning to write is a doozy. When I was pregnant, more times than I can remember I was hit with some shocking and sometimes downright offensive comments. I’m part of a Facebook group with all ladies who were due in February 2020 and we went through the journey of pregnancy together (and are now tacl=kling parenthood together) and I made a post one day about the things NOT to say to a pregnant woman and boy oh boy – did it ever hit a nerve!

So many ladies chimed in with their own equally offensive experiences and I was shocked! I swear, sometimes it’s like as soon as someone is pregnant – people’s filters go out the window and the things that come out of their mouths are ridiculous.

Can you believe that when I was about 6.5 – 7 months pregnant, someone who worked in the same office building as me who I am on only a semi first name basis (they know mine, I can never remember theirs) actually said to me, ‘You’re definitely going to be induced because look how big you already are!’ Oh, and to boot – this person was a man. Yeah – no filter.

So when I mentioned this topic in the group, the gals all gave their opinions on things NOT to say to a pregnant woman and I thought I’d share some of those with you, and share why they’re offensive so this can actually be a lesson for some!

Wow – you’re really big for X-months! / You don’t look pregnant at all! / I was so much bigger than you when I was pregnant! / You sure there’s only one in there??

Ok, I would think this one would be a given, but nonetheless – here we are. I’m just gonna say this – NEVER comment on another person’s body shape/size/anything…ever. Period. When you’re pregnant your body is going through a major change and seeing those changes in the mirror, as miraculous as they are, can be really hard on some. We don’t need a reminder of them.

What you should say: You look great, can I get you anything?

It’s going to be so much worse when the baby is here! / You better get some sleep now, you won’t when the baby arrives! 

Ok, we all know life changes after a baby is born, but instilling an irrational fear into an already stressed out, overly hormonal pregnant woman isn’t good for anyone. Not to mention, pregnancy insomnia is a real thing and sleep doesn’t always come to pregnant women. I know I suffered from it and I didn’t need the daily reminder I got from every Tom, Dick, and Susie about how I would sleep even less when the baby got her. I KNOW, KAREN – THAT’S JUST ONE OF THE REASONS I CAN’T SLEEP NOW – I’M STRESSED TF OUT! By dismissing one’s feelings and brushing them off as not worthy of attention, because in your opinion it’s just going to get worse, you make one feel as though those feelings don’t matter…and that’s not fair.

What you should say: Is there anything I can do to help you feel more rested?

Your life is over once you have a baby! / Prepare to not have a life for the next 18 years! / Life as you know it is over!

Well, duh – of course life is changing…but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing! Having a baby can be a wonderful addition to one’s life and can bring so much more happiness than stress. It’s not all doom and gloom, and scaring a new parent into thinking otherwise is not very nice! Life isn’t over – you’re just starting a new chapter!

What you should say: You’re about to embark on such an exciting new journey!

Are you going to have a vaginal birth? / You should have a c-section, your baby is going to be huge!

Again, I can’t believe this needs to be said, but please don’t comment on someone’s body size, ever…pregnant or not. Just – don’t. Coming up with your birth plan, as detailed or not as it is, is a personal experience that doesn’t need to be shared with everyone. It’s not your business how someone decides to bring their child into the world. If they choose to share those intimate details with you – it should be on their terms.

What you should say: I hope you have a smooth delivery, however you envision it. 

Were you trying to conceive? I didn’t know you were planning to have a(nother) child!

Seriously? I’m not even going to explain WHY these are offensive. This one should be pretty obvious.

What you should say: Congrats!

I know, or at least I choose to believe, that these things aren’t said intentionally to hurt someone. It’s just that sometimes you don’t realize the impact that your words may have on someone. Words can hurt, especially when emotions (and hormones!) are running high!

There are so many more I could add, but I’m just going to end this post off by asking you to think before you speak. Oh, and I now have another post in the works: Things Not To Say To New Parents. Because those comments have already started. Ha!