Top 5 Things Not To Say to a Pregnant Woman

At 38 weeks (i.e. I’m ready to go whenever the baby is ready), I’m pretty used to comments about my pregnancy. As an athletic instructor and wife to a professional athlete/coach there is a certain amount of physical scrutiny that I’m used to experiencing. Still, there’s nothing like having a complete stranger feel that it’s perfectly acceptable to strike up a random conversation with you regarding your body. 
(two of my fabulous pure barre ladies at my baby shower…they’re always so polite about the bump!)
To that end…here are my Top 5 Things Never To Say To a Pregnant Woman:

1. “Oh, wow! You’re pregnant!” 
This should be a given. If we don’t tell you we’re pregnant, we probably don’t want to talk about it. We’re just trying to get our groceries/do our job/survive to Week 40 in peace. Trust me: if it’s visible, we are very, very aware of just how pregnant we are. And if we’re not with child…how awkward for you.
2. “When are you due/When is it happening?” Followed by “Oh…the worst is yet to come.”
The next time I see you in line at the Taco Bell, I’m going to say the same thing, home fry.
I happen to be on the smaller side, so I constantly get “Oh, but you’re so small!” I laugh it off, but in the same way that saying “you’re not having twins?!” is offensive, telling someone that they’re small could feed into a whole other set of neuroses questions they’re asking themselves. I was terrified for months that I wasn’t eating enough, or that the baby wasn’t developing the way she should (despite what the doctor said)…all because I was told on a daily basis that I was too small for my stage in the pregnancy. Don’t do that to someone!
4. “Is this your first? You won’t stay so small with your second.”
This feeds (ha!) off of the above, but sweet goodness…don’t tell someone what their body is going to do the next time they have a baby! First of all, you don’t know that there will be a second child in their future. Second (and more importantly), you have NO clue how their body will react again to being pregnant. Don’t put your personal experience (and that extra bearclaw you ate in the breakroom) on someone else.
5. “Don’t worry…that baby weight will come right off while you’re breastfeeding. You should definitely be back to a normal size by mid-August.”
I opened my mouth in shock (and to say something that I would’ve needed to repent for later) the first time someone said this to me. Thankfully, Mom’s advice to count to 10 before letting words fly out of my mouth came in handy and I turned my look of shock into a smile, said “I appreciate the advice,” and walked away before I could unleash an unholy verbal assault on a 65-year-old woman who probably meant well. Don’t ever tell a woman if she’s gained weight, when it will/should come off, or HOW SHE SHOULD CHOOSE TO FEED HER CHILD. 
So…Why do any of these things matter? Well, because in the same way that you’d be offended if I told you your muffin top was getting a little obvious in those jeans, I’m offended when you look at my body and make assumptions or observations about it. Anyone would be. When a woman’s hormones are going crazy, she’s anxious about bringing life into the world, she probably hasn’t slept well in weeks, she cannot fit into ANYTHING cute anymore, and there’s a tiny hand repeatedly sucker punching her bladder making her have to pee every 20 minutes…hearing how you think her body looks is even more upsetting.
When you see a pregnant woman…do us (and yourself) a favor and take Mom’s advice. Count to 10, walk away, and if you must comment…call a friend to say “I just saw the cutest pregnant lady at the grocery store…”


Lindsay Sweeting was in the world of Marketing and Publicity in her previous life. These days you're more likely to see her running after her toddler than running a meeting, but she does her best to find time to create new recipes, come up with fun activities for her daughter, and write about the craziness that is life in the Sweeting house.

No comments:

Post a Comment