Come on people there is some common sense and just general etiquette that should be present in all our interactions in this world. Yet often rude comments are made to total strangers who are expected to sit there and take it.
Now sometimes people are genuinely ignorant, but most of the time these are things that have become “accepted rudeness” and society expects those being insulted (yes I said it) to be polite in return.
Well I’m here to tell you that as much as I love being pregnant, I don’t love the rude things and my hormones are NOT afraid to say something about it… so heads up, here are some of the ways total strangers (and sometimes friends and family) piss off pregnant women.
So get your act together and find something more helpful to be/do with your time ok?
Call her fat (or any variation of the word)
Yes, I know what “heafty” and “big boned” means, most of us do. And especially for those of us who carry a bit more weight naturally, we’ve heard it all before.
Here is the thing, you are showing your ignorance if you think a baby bump is fat… no, it’s another human being silly. So back up and celebrate the fact that this woman can grow and nurture a human for 10 months (yes 10 not 9).
A woman I worked with occasionally: “Oh, you’re pregnant? I thought you just got fat from eating too much.”Anna @ abrazoandcoze.com
Ladies if ANYONE calls you fat at any time in your life INCLUDING while you are pregnant, feel free to verbally clap back with something snarky… one day I used, “well at least there is lots of me to love, unlike you”
Start going on and on and on and on about YOUR pregnancy
Look I know pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life and we LOVE to bond through stories… chances are if she doesn’t know you or she hasn’t asked, she doesn’t want to know or doesn’t care.
On top of that many (though not all) want to think about something OTHER then pregnancy when they are pregnant… case in point, I’m pregnant and all I want to talk about is business unless I’m in a meeting about the pregnancy (ie seeing my Midwife), or writing for this site.
So to the random stranger who wants to shoot the whatever… BACK OFF. I’m too tired, achy and just plain cranky to be nice about your story. And having a baby bump doesn’t mean I want to hear about other baby bumps k?
Downplay her symptoms…
Yeah, morning sickness and some of the other symptoms are nowhere near fun. And you know what? Telling someone it’s not that bad because… (fill in what ever you think may sound logical). Is not going to go over well, and if it’s coming from another female chances are we will really hope that you experience the same symptom but worse!
So lets be clear, the changes a woman’s body has to go through during pregnancy mean there are side effects and symptoms that may not make sense to you but are very reall and not something she’s making up!
Share birth stories without being asked
In general, you should NEVER share a birth story that could potentially scare a pregnant woman. Seriously, when I was pregnant with our first all I kept thinking was “If you didn’t want me to have kids you should have freaked me out BEFORE I got pregnant!”, I would have done it anyway but would have skipped telling you about it or keeping in touch…
Every time I sat down at work, someone thought it was ok to tell me about their horrible birth experience or the horrible experience of someone else they knew. That was the last thing I needed to hear as I was already freaking out about my planned c-section.Keyona @ ProfessionalMomma.com
But even if you are like me and have a happy simple pain-free birth (you can read about my birth story if you want)… if you are not ASKED DON’T SHARE. I can’t tell you how creepy it was when total strangers came up to me and just dove right in to their birth story, or worse a story that they heard from someone else!
I very seriously contemplated smacking them with my copy of the book Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth every single time. And I even had to carry that book with me BECAUSE of crap like that. (Seriously if you are pregnant and hearing a lot of these grab a copy of Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth or pop over to my collection of positive birth stories for some much-needed encouragement)
Midwife, after my 2nd baby was born, in a scolding voice, “If you’d told us he was going to be that big, we’d have done a cesarean weeks ago!”… Um, how was I supposed to know, I didn’t want a c-section, and the fact I just managed without suggests I didn’t need one!Liz @ playspired.com
Tell her how to give birth
ummm, we were writing YOUR birth plan or mine? Just because you have given birth before doesn’t mean I want to do it the same way. Each woman is entitled to have her own idea of what an ideal birth looks like, and YES some of us get to deliver that way.
Now I’m a huge advocate for a natural birth, so this might come as a surprise when I say if you want a c-section DO IT! If you want pain meds DO IT! If you want all natural at home without any help then plan for that! Seriously it’s your birth lady, choose what is best for you!
Rub the belly
Ok, tell me, PLEASE when did my personal space suddenly become accessible to everyone?
I understand that for some this is a culture thing, but if you don’t know the person WHY would you just walk up and say “Congratulations” and start touching me? I mean if you did this and touched my boob it would be automatically sexual assault yes? So why does a couple of inches lower make it ok?
I’ve had this more then I care to admit, and it caused me all sorts of problems and not just as an abuse survivor… my body my rules, ergo no permission means no touch! EVER! And this goes for all those well-meaning family and friends too, ask first and respect it if she says no.
Even medical professionals didn’t understand this, I had to make one heck of a fuss before they got it that you had to warn me before there is contact. Seriously people, pregnant women are NOT PUBLIC PROPERTY, HANDS OFF.
Tell her she better sleep now…
Yeah, I get it, babies take a lot of work and they don’t sleep through the night right away… but lets get one thing straight right now. Sleeping more now doesn’t mean I’ll be more rested 2 weeks after baby arrives…
Sleep doesn’t work like that, and oversleeping can make you just as tired as not sleeping enough. And even then, if you are getting enough sleep in pregnancy it’s not like you can come back to it and “re-use” the sleep after kiddo shows up… just saying.
Telling her what she should or shouldn’t be doing
Ok, in some cases things people do are not safe, but if she has been doing it before the baby was conceived most likely she is fine continuing. There is no reason to criticize how she walks, talks, works out, drives or if she does chores or even continues to go to work.
Pregnancy is not a sickness, and while taking it easy helps with reducing the energy spent it does not guarantee a healthy pregnancy. Also, many of those “old wives tales” about things that cause an issue with labor or baby’s health don’t have a whole lot of evidence to back them up.
So unless you are Mamma’s doctor and there is medical evidence that what she is doing could hurt her or baby keep it to yourself.
My dad: “Should you be driving? All those bumpy roads will make your baby breech.” (It was all paved roads, mostly highway, at that.)Anna @ abrazoandcoze.com
Tell her she is lucky to not be chasing kids yet…
For starters some of us have kids already and yes we are pregnant and need to chase them. Heck some even enjoy chasing them. Second I want this kid, and I want to be chasing this kid… your preferences around parenting are not something anyone needs to have pushed on them… end of story.
Ask if she’s “had it yet”
Ummm. no still pregnant thanks. And thanks for the reminder that my body doesn’t work at the speed of your imagination. I know Liz at playspired.com gets what I mean when I say hearing “Haven’t you had it yet?” for the n’th time is seriously annoying.
Ask what she is having…
ummm a Baby, really? You need to know the sex of the baby? I know this sounds like a harmless question but some people get really caught up in wanting a boy or a girl and if they are not having that you just brought up all that confusion and possible pain by sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong.
And even if she doesn’t have a preference, you are walking down the path to the next fastest way to piss off a pregnant lady.
Assume you know what gender she is hoping for…
Yeah, just because I have a boy already doesn’t mean I need or want a girl to make my family “complete”. Or because I’m a woman I don’t need a daughter to feel like I’m female… come on people. Kids of all genders have all sorts of personalities. I want a baby, don’t care which genitals are attached!
While we are on the topic of gender, don’t comment on it in general…she is building a human, one is not more valuable then the other.
Tell her how to parent the kid
Again, if she hasn’t asked just shut up k? For the most part she should be taking the time to enjoy the pregnancy (if she can) and focusing on taking care of her self right now… parenting advice is not ok unless you are specifically asked to share.
As someone in the middle of pregnancy, I can attest to the fact that there is likely another focus happening right now… getting through pregnancy, sleeping, and the upcoming birth is likely more top of mind.
My mother-in-law to me while I was pregnant with my second baby. “Well, I hope you’re not going to breastfeed again. I don’t understand why you did that… it’s just not natural.” (yes, she seriously believes that breastfeeding is UNnatural!)Sasha @ Lifescarousel.com
Tell her how she should feed baby (breastfeed or formula)
If you haven’t figured this one out by now see all the above advice comments that just shouldn’t be made. Whether or not someone breastfeeds or formula feeds is their choice and can be greatly influenced by a tone of circumstances beyond their control.
With my second I got a lot of shame for wanting to formula feed from the jump: “every baby is different, and you may be able to make more milk this time” (Nope). LOL,Beth @ TheDGAFMom.com
So you just went and planted your flag in field A and if she ends up in field B well now she can expect you to shame her for that on top of all the other unsoclicited advice you gave her earlier… thanks, Mom’s have enough on their plates these days with out your nose getting out of joint over something that is none of your business in the first place.
Comment on what she is eating or not eating…
Yeah, there is this little thing called cravings… our body has them when it needs something and it gives you a craving to tell you what it is. DON’T prevent her from eating something she craves. The only caveate is if it is something that would legit harm her like a battery or soap or something like that. But food… do not get between the pregnant lady and food.
While we are on the topic, not cool to tell her how she should be eating. Outside of cravings pregnant women can require an increase of calories to build this whole other human. I’m not saying we are “eating for 2” quite the opposite actually.
Statistically, we don’t need a huge amount of additional calories during pregnancy. However, everything we do takes more energy to do in the first place. So getting out of bed is more tiring, walking from the house to the car … simple stuff like that takes more energy and often time than before because we end up carrying around the baby all the time and the related weight.
So yeah, she could have just finished a 5 course meal and still be hungry.
Also not everyone has the same dietary needs or preferences. I can remember in my first pregnancy how one woman at work told me what I should be eating… I took one look at her and was tottaly dumbfounded that she thought I wanted to look like her while pregnant. Ummm NO I love my curves thanks!
Wake her up
Yeah, with a toddler in the house I don’t get a tone of sleep to start with… especially with a toddler that thinks 5am is a great time to start the weekend. (Thank GOD for awesome husbands who handle early mornings)
It can take hours to get comfortable enough to finally sleep, and then I’ll likely wake up to pee, and then I get to try and find that spot to sleep again. Add in tossing and turning every 30 minutes as baby wakes up to “stretch” or other wise excersize at all hours of the night, and a toddler that wants water, or snuggles because of a bad dream and you get the picture…
Sleep is precious, leave me alone! Unless you are my toddler coming to snuggle of course, cause my offspring are the only exception on this one.
Commenting on her moodiness/emotional changes
Yeah, you want to see a mood swing? Tell her how moody she has been or comment on her “emotional flexibility”. Moods can be very highly influenced by things like her hormones, or how often she is nauseous, how physically uncomfortable her body is becoming (baby’s size doesn’t matter so much here as the amount of physical pressure her body is under from carrying it), lack of sleep, lack of personal space, too many people getting too personal with the questions, hunger, and a whole host of other things. And that’s all assuming the baby is fine and healthy.
Spouse: “Are you actually angry, or is it just pregnancy hormones?” (It was completely hormones, but pointing it out was NOT helpful.)Anna @ abrazoandcoze.com
Assuming you know how far along she is based on…
I don’t care what criteria you are going by here, size of bump (see below) or when you last saw her, or what ever. There is very little chance that if you get this wrong that it will go well. And if you get it right that can be creepy too.
I was around 36-37 weeks pregnant and I took my dog to the dog park and some random guy I’ve never met said “whoa! You look like you should have given birth already! When are you due??” I was like actually, I’ve still got a few weeks…and he was like wow! I thought you were overdue!” I was so pissed I just walked away.Christina @ RaisingBiracialBabies.com
Commenting on the size of her bump
“are you having twins?” – flight attendant on our plane when I was 34 weeks prego (I wasn’t having twins. I was only pregnant with one baby).Beth @ TheDGAFMom.com
Yeah, can’t tell you how amazing it felt when I was 10 weeks pregnant and told I must be “ready to pop” because I was so huge. Also, the reverse is true too, I know a woman who fit into her pre-pregnancy clothing until 2 weeks before baby arrived (and yes it was a full term baby) and all she heard was that she “couldn’t be that far along” and “where are you hiding it?” like a baby can be tucked away somewhere when it’s inconvenient to be pregnant.
Just like women in general, baby bumps come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. And it has nothing to do with your opinion of what it “should” look like.
My aunt said to me this time around (3rd pregnancy) ‘oh my, you were never THIS big with your other two, were you?’Jenni @ RootsOfTruth.ca
Thanks, Auntie :joy:
Commenting on her body in general
Seriously this is not a good time to make comments on a woman’s body, it’s growing another human for crying out loud! Even when a woman isn’t pregnant there is never a time when you should be making a comment on her body. Just stop!
I was told that I don’t have childbearing hips. What the hell does that even mean? I’ve had 4 children, all naturally just for the record!Dela @ BrownSkinMama.com
Tell her that her body is screwed
Seriously!?!?!?! Pregnancy is a normal, natural thing that happens in life. And while yes changes happen that doesn’t mean that all the changes are damaging or permanent.
While I agree that some times things just go wrong for whatever reason, and you could experience a lasting issue in function. There are usually ways to handle most of the changes both while they are happening and after.
Also, not everyone sees the same things as damage, for instance, I LOVE my stretchmarks, yet I’m constantly bombarded with images and people telling me I shouldn’t because you know how I look physically is more important to society then how I feel in my own skin.
And some of us don’t really connect with our bodies until pregnancy. I felt very outside my body until I found out I was carrying my first, then I couldn’t help but love it, stretch marks, saggy skin, and all.
Ask about future kids
Let me finish incubating this one k? Honestly, my family planning is something I discuss with my husband… really he and I are the only two people that should be weighing in on or asking questions about this topic.
Some people only want one kid, one and done is perfectly fine. Heck some times the baby they are pregnant with was not planned and she could just be trying to wrap her head around the fact that she is pregnant anyway. So don’t go and freak her out about another one when she isn’t quite there on this one.
I also don’t want to hear you complaining that someone pregnant is having “yet another kid”. How many kids happen in each family is up to the Mom and Dad, your opinion is not needed now or ever on the number of kids a family should or shouldn’t have.
My sister’s friend told me that I didn’t need another kid like I needed another hole in my head! I only have 4 kids. This was our 4th child. I never felt so insulted or mad at the same time.Robin @ DomesticEngineerMom.com
Asking if it was planned
Really? This goes with asking anything about family planning, not only are you asking about someone’s plans for the future but you are effectively stating you don’t think this Mamma is capable of managing her own fertility.
Was it planned?!’ I mean, really? Whose business is that? It’s basically asking me about my sex life!Sheena @ LaptopsAndNapTimes.com
Don’t tell her she is lucky.
In all serioussness there are too many times when people compare a situation whith out knowing all the details.
Don’t tell someone she’s lucky to be having one baby instead of multiples. What if she has lost one or more?
Don’t tell someone they are lucky they’re NOT pregnant… they could be fighting infertility and dying to have a family.
Don’t tell someone they are lucky they don’t have other kids. This could be the first time they have been able to conceive after years of infertility.
Don’t tell her that “everything will be ok”, not only is it patronizing but not all pregnancies end in the birth of a healthy baby… you can’t predict the future.
Don’t tell her anything that could cause her to question her abilities or courage in the face of handling this very big life change!
Do tell her…
How lucky/blessed they are to be involved in the amazing miracle of creating another human being, giving life, or becomeing a mother.
How she’s a trooper to hang in there through all she is doing for the sake of this child.
That her fears are valid and you are here to support her through it (only if you can support her)
Tell her that this child is lucky to have her.
Tell her she is an AWESOME mother.
Tell her that pregnancy, labor & delivery, and parenthood are the best things that ever happened to you – because the journey can be truly amazing.
But most importantly tell her that she is an AMAZING WOMAN, and you are proud of her and support her choices along this path.
All parents feel pressure these days to be a “certain way” whatever that is, and especially Mothers. This can be a hard and challenging time in anyone life and we could all use a little more support and reassurance that we can do this.