When you’re pregnant, your body magically becomes everyone else’s business. Strangers touch your belly, family tells you what you shouldn’t eat and do, and friends comment on your change in appearance.
Pregnant women have a lot to deal with: morning sickness, extreme swings in hormone levels, backaches, tiredness — the last thing we need is backhanded compliments or unsolicited advice.
Forgive me as I go off on bit of a rant, but I’ve been pregnant for the majority of the last two years, and I’ve heard and seen it all. Here is a list of some of the outrageous things people say and do to pregnant women.
Please note: pregnant women are still human. Don’t compare our bodies. My first due date fell close to two family members. We were constantly compared. Who was bigger, who was carrying out front, who had gained more weight. You wouldn’t compare non-pregnant women, at least not to their faces — same applies to pregnant women.
2. Get Some Sleep Now
Sleep and pregnancy are not friends. Try sleeping with little feet kicking inside your ribs. Pregnant women don’t need to be reminded they won’t have a full night’s sleep for the next 18 years.
3. Mean Comments
People can be plain ol’ rude to pregnant women. Already exhausted and uncomfortable, I don’t need someone to point out my skin is breaking out or I’m looking puffy. Trust me, I’ve noticed. I had one person tell me I must be having a girl because my face was getting fat. Thanks!
4. Scary Birth Stories
Everyone has a scary birth story. You don’t have to share them with someone who is expecting. There’s enough to worry about when you’re pregnant, we don’t need another horror story to keep us up at night. Guaranteed, we are already having trouble sleeping. Keep it positive.
5. Were you Trying?
Translation: is your baby an accident? I’m not telling you intimate details of my sex life. Maybe we were trying for years, or maybe it was an unplanned surprise; either way, I don’t feel like telling you my plans for my womb.
6. Second Guessing what I’m Eating
Unless I’m at the bar drinking tequila shots while eating raw fish, don’t criticize what I eat or drink. To the barista questioning if I want a decaf coffee instead of a latte. No, I ordered a coffee, because I was up all night with my baby, and I have been thinking about this sip of coffee all day. Don’t make me feel guilty about it. If my doctor says it is fine, it should be okay by you. Most pregnant women are very careful of what they put into their bodies and have spent hours researching what they should eat and drink.
7. Baby Names
Very few couples willingly reveal their baby’s name before they are born. Asking puts them in the awkward situation to make up an excuse why they can’t tell you. If they do reveal a name, do not bash or criticize that name no matter what.
8. My “Growth”
A pregnant woman is never deemed to be the “right size”; she’s either too big or too small. During my first pregnancy I was constantly told how small I looked or that I didn’t look pregnant. I know this seems like a nice thing to say, but in actual fact, I was measuring small and my doctor was concerned if my baby was growing properly. I didn’t need the constant reminder I was “small.”
On the flip side, this pregnancy, “how big I am“ is also something I don’t need to hear. Yes I know. I have been lugging around this watermelon under my shirt for the last nine months, and I don’t need to be reminded I look like a house.
9. Baby’s Sex
If you ask me if I’m having a girl or boy, I’m happy to tell you. But asking me whether I want a boy or girl is rude. I have no control if a baby boy or girl is growing inside me, so don’t ask me to pick one over the other. Truth is my main priority is to have a healthy baby, not if I should be buying blue or pink. Besides babies look great in neutrals.
Related: Top 10 Gifts For the Pregnant Mama
10. Adorable Comments
This is something I’m also guilty of. As soon as your baby bump appears people have the urge to tell you how cute and adorable you are. It’s as if you are a four year old girl wearing a pretty dress with a big bow. My waddle walk isn’t adorable, but a fact of nature. I’m not a child anymore. Stick to simply telling a pregnant woman she looks beautiful.
11. Invading Personal Space
Close family and friends are more than welcome to rub my baby bump. But the old lady in the grocery store line, hands off please.
The list of advice for new parents-to-be is endless. Will you breastfeed? Co-sleep? What is your birth plan? Unless you are going to be at my house to help raise my newborn, keep your opinions to yourself.