10 Things You Should NEVER Say To A Pregnant Woman
Gender Prediction Kit
My husband and I just welcomed our third baby to our family.
In sharing the news with our friends and family, I was quickly reminded of all the joys (and not so joyous) parts of expecting a new little life.
One of the largest downfalls, is being subjected to folks who lack an inner monaloge, and choose to blurt out to you whatever they are thinking about your size, shape, due date, number of children, space between children, etc... These comments would be considered completely rude in any other situation, however, for some reason when you are with child, it brings out some of the most tactless comments people have to offer.
If you know someone who is pregnant, see someone who is pregnant, or are just looking for some tidbits to store in your data base of "don't dos," here are a few tips of things you should generally NEVER say to an expectant mother....
- Oh, another baby? Did you plan that?
** Ummm... even if we didn't, do you think that is your business? Did you plan to sound like an idiot when asking me that? How about you tell me about your sex life, and then I will feel comfortable sharing mine with you!!
- I have a friend who had (a miscarriage/stillborn/premature labor) or who's baby has (insert horrible disease/complication). Do you ever worry about that stuff?
** Are you KIDDING me? Almost every expecting mother I know is worried during their pregnancy about SOMETHING. Having two miscarriages myself, I know all too well the pain of a lost child, and the worry that follows it about EVERY SINGLE THING. Women do NOT need to be reminded of the millions of things that can go wrong when they are expecting. Do them a favor, and save your horror stories for another time.
- Are you supposed to be eating/drinking/doing that?
** No alcohol, no heavy lifting, no paint fumes, no sushi, no cat litter box, no cold deli meat, no smoking, no stomach sleeping, no medications, no swimming with dolphins, no caffeine, no pesticides, no soft cheeses, no high mercury fish, no hot tubs.... The list of things that pregnant women "shouldn't" be doing can seem endless. It can be frustrating enough to try to keep track of it on your own, let alone have others who seem to think it's their business to keep track of it for you.
- Look, you have (insert a pregnancy related ailment here)!
** Swollen feet, constipation, nausea/vomiting, hemorrhoids, brittle hair, back pain, food aversions, heartburn, leg cramps, puffy hands/face, breakouts, varicose veins, stretch marks, bleeding gums, bloody nose, skin dryness, sun sensitivity, weird rashes, etc... Again, there are a million "fun" things that can happen to you when you are expecting. It is embarrassing, annoying, and often times infuriating to have others point them out to you!!
- Oh? You are naming him/her that? Are you sure?
** Sharing the name of your baby should be such a wonderful and magical time. Often times, however, friends and family will feel as if they should get some sort of say in the name of your baby. Some of my worst "pregnancy memories" were sharing the list of names we were thinking of, finding out what people really thought of them, and then ending up using one of those names once our baby arrived!! Trust me, Mothers WILL NOT FORGET who trashed their baby names, so be wary to knock any name on the list!!!
- Maybe you really are having twins?
** Okay. This comment has to be one of the worst. Most pregnant women already feel HUGE. They are typically self conscious about it, or at the least, very aware of their size. Comments about how big the belly is (even in jest), can be so hurtful. (Remember, pregnant Mamas are typically a bit hypersensitive too!!) Keep it like Disney's Bambi, and "if you ain't got something nice to say, then don't say nuthin' at all."
- Get all the sleep you can now.
** Oh, I heard this soooooo many times with all my pregnancies. First of all, it's really a silly thing to say. It's not like you can stock pile sleep to use at a later date. Secondly, you already know (or have been warned by books, doctors, websites, etc.), or remember, how exhausted you will be,... so you don't really need to hear it over and over. Third, typically you are so uncomfortable that the comment is fairly unrealistic (no matter how wishful it is).
- He/she will come when they are ready.
** Really? You mean, my kid won't go to college in my uterus? Seriously? OF COURSE the baby is going to eventually come out. I mean, if it doesn't, the doctor will actually force it out. Pregnant mother's already know this. But listen here,... when we are like 735 million weeks pregnant, we just pretty much want to VENT and RANT about how much we WANT the baby to come out. And we don't really want you to tell us they will come when they are ready... we just want some sympathy!!
- Your definitely having a (girl/boy) because (insert stereotype here).
** Girls are carried down low, boys are carried out front, girls suck away your beauty, boys make your hair shiny, girls make you fat everywhere, boys give you strong nails... Let's face it, there are a ton of old wives tales about how to predict what gender baby you are having. And some of them are unflattering. I promise, no one wants to hear that they must be having a boy because their skin is so broken out. Or that it has to be a girl because their butt got so big. If we aren't finding out the gender, then, guess what? We WANT to be surprised. So, keep your guesses (and theories) to yourself!!
- Labor hurts SO bad, are you nervous?
** Oh yes, the dreaded reminders about labor. Or if it is your first baby, the WARNINGS about labor. News flash: very few people get pregnant because they WANT to experience the magical joy of their body feeling like it's being ripped in half. So, no need to scare the pants off of them before that time comes, or REMIND them of the painful journey in which their bodies will soon embark on. They will experience it soon enough.
Overall, I think the best rule of thumb when talking to an expecting mother is to remember to use both TACT and SENSITIVITY. More simply, just don't say anything that you wouldn't say to a person who is not expecting, and you should be just fine. :)