Pregnancy: a joyous time filled with excitement, wonderment and awkward comments from strangers and acquaintances. Today, I’ll be sharing five things that you should never say to a pregnant woman in an effort to help you avoid the tricky pitfalls of talking to women gestating small humans.
1)”I’d be afraid to get pregnant.”
We are all have our own fears– from clowns to Nicholas Cage to spiders. But tell me: would you go up to someone COVERED in spiders and say, “Dude, I would be so scared to be you right now!” See, not a productive thing to say in this situation. Maybe try, “Can I help you in some way? It appears that you are covered in spiders. ” Telling a pregnant woman that you are afraid to get pregnant brings up all the scary possibilities that we pregnant women are very aware of. Thanks for reminding us… While pregnancy might be a distant abstraction for you, it is our reality right now. Please don’t freak us out anymore than we need to be.
2) “You shouldn’t eat that.”
Unless you are this woman’s doctor, don’t tell some stranger standing at line at the deli counter what she can or cannot eat. There is a lot of conflicting information out in the universe about what is and isn’t okay to consumer during pregnancy. Opinions will vary from doctor to doctor, and baby book to baby book. Every pregnant woman has to make her own decisions about what is and isn’t right for her baby and body.
3) “You are so big! I bet you won’t make it to your due date!” or “You are so small. Are you still pregnant?”
Only a jerk tells a woman, “Wow, you are just so fat!” So why say this when a woman is pregnant? Commenting that a woman is huge or that it is “really going to be hard to lose all that baby weight” is just plain rude. On the same token, telling a woman that she is “so small” for her stage of pregnancy is equally insensitive. Some women– especially first time moms– carry their babies in a more compact way. Telling a woman she is so small for how far along she is in her pregnancy can bring up fears for her about her baby’s health. Even though her doctor is telling her the baby is growing well, when random people say how small her belly is, it throws a shade of worry on her. Bottom line: if you want to comment on a woman’s bump, just tell her how great she looks pregnant.
4) “So, you two are married, right?”
At a wedding I attended while pregnant, someone actually asked my husband and me this. What does it matter if I’m married to my baby-daddy or not? This is 2017, not Puritanical Colonial New England.
5)”Started saving for college yet?”
I was on a walk with another pregnant friend of mine the other day and a man cleaning his yard yelled at us from across the street: “Started saving for college yet?” Wait, what? Do I even know you, dude? Are you volunteering to be my financial adviser or (better yet) contribute to baby’s college fund? If the answer is no, then try to contain your uncontrollable need to get a better understanding of my financial situation.
If you can believe it, people have said all of these things to me during my pregnancy. It’s safe to say I’ve perfected the art of the art of the laughing awkwardly and slowly backing away. Don’t make people want to do this around you: use this list as a tool to sail smoothly through for your next conversation with a pregnant lady. If you are currently with child or have been in the past, has anyone ever said anything completely ridiculous or intrusive to you during your nine month adventure? Let me know in the comments below.