I found out I was pregnant with my first baby in March 2021 and we had our gorgeous baby boy Leo that November. Overall I really enjoyed my pregnancy, apart from the morning sickness and the last month when every little thing became a struggle. But one thing which I didn’t enjoy about being pregnant, was the inappropriate comments and questions.
I found that being pregnant somehow made other people feel entitled to know personal things about me and my body. Friends, coworkers and even strangers would make comments and ask questions which were rude, offensive, upsetting and sometimes left me feeling worried.
From my experience, here are some things you should never say to a pregnant woman.
1. Your bump is so small
When I was 14 weeks pregnant, a coworker told me that my bump was tiny and that I didn’t even look pregnant. She said when she was pregnant (over 20 years ago) her bump was huge by this stage in the pregnancy. Looking back I can see how ridiculous it was to get worried about this comment. I was only 14 weeks and my baby was only the size of a peach. But this was my first pregnancy and this comment made me worried. It’s not okay to comment on a pregnant woman’s bump size, it will only make her feel worried or insecure. Just tell her she is glowing or something kind which will make her smile. Don’t start comparing bump sizes.
2. You look huge
It’s also not okay to tell a pregnant woman that she looks huge. I got this a lot at the end of my pregnancy and it got tiring real quick. Telling a pregnant woman she looks huge is not nice, she knows she is bigger and she may be feeling insecure.
Everyone is different and gains weight in different ways and the size of a woman’s bump is beyond her control. She’s probably already feeling insecure about being bigger or smaller than she thought she’d be, so keep your opinions to yourself.
3. Was it planned?
If a pregnant woman wants to share the details of how she got pregnant and whether or not it was planned, she will. Otherwise, it’s none of your business.
4. Do you want a boy or a girl?
My partner and I decided not to find out the sex of our baby. We wanted to keep it a surprise, we didn’t mind if we were having a boy or a girl so we waited for their arrival to find out. It was a wonderful decision and I loved not knowing, but I could have done without everyone asking me if I wanted a boy or a girl.
5. I hope you have a…
Along with not knowing what we were having, people would tell me what they wanted me to have. I would usually just joke back and say something like “I’ll try…” Rolling my eyes as I walk away. I never understood why other people had a preference when it came to the sex of my baby.
6. When I was pregnant…
I found it a joy to hear about other pregnant woman’s experiences, it was nice to hear about their pregnancy. I also found it fascinating how every pregnancy is completely different. But what I didn’t enjoy were the negative stories or when they would only talk about themselves.
7. From the shape of your bump, you must be having a…
Apparently, from the shape of my bump, I must have been having a girl… Until I reached the end of my pregnancy when my bump looked more like a boy. The problem I had with these comments, was the fact that people were judging the shape of my body. During the second trimester, I was told my bump looked spread out, which apparently meant I was having a girl. These comments just made me feel like I had put on weight in all the “wrong” places.
8. Are you coming back to work
I don’t have a problem with friends and family asking if I’m going back to work. I’ve asked my friends on maternity leave what their plans are. What I don’t like is my boss asking me this question when I’m twelve weeks pregnant and after I’ve just told him my news. If you do ask a woman this question, don’t judge her answer.
9. What names have you chosen
It was hard enough choosing a name that both I and my partner could agree on, so I certainly don’t need anyone else’s opinion on it.
10. You shouldn’t eat or drink that when you’re pregnant
You shouldn’t tell a pregnant woman what she shouldn’t be eating or drinking. If she fancies a takeaway and chocolate for breakfast then that’s up to her.
11. Get all the sleep you can now
Please stop saying this comment to pregnant women, it’s unbelievably annoying! Firstly, we can’t store sleep, we can’t sleep more now and use some of that sleep once the baby arrives. We’re also not sleeping that great while pregnant. With the constant need to pee, the struggle to get comfortable or even turn over, and don’t get me started on the party our baby is having in our belly at 3am. We could do without this comment in our lives.
12. Enjoy life now before the baby arrives
I didn’t get this comment whilst I was pregnant, but my partner heard this a lot. If someone thinks having a baby is going to prevent you from enjoying your life, then keep that opinion to yourself. Don’t express this negative thought to an expecting parent. My partner and I were both super excited to meet our baby and couldn’t wait for a new chapter in our lives to begin.
13. My labour was awful… Continues to tell a traumatic birth story
Unless asked, why would you share your traumatic birth story with a pregnant woman?
14. Any news? Have you had the baby yet?
This question got annoying real quick! Even when I was weeks away from my due date I was getting phone calls and messages from friends and family asking for news. As if we had forgotten to tell them that we had the baby. Please don’t message or call a pregnant woman daily for updates, she will provide updates when she’s ready and when there’s news to share.
15. You must be ready to pop
If you’re unsure how far along a woman is in her pregnancy, don’t ever say this.
There’s only one polite thing to say when someone tells you she is pregnant: Congratulations