Watch Your Mouth: 5 Things to Never Say to a Pregnant Lady
Being pregnant opens you up to a world of advice and commentary you never asked for and very much do not want. One would think people would treat you with kid gloves during the time of your life when your hormones are raging into new territory, but it doesn’t work that way.
Instead, it’s a free for all, where nothing from comments on your body to your second-guessing doctor’s orders is off limits. No doubt, many of these unwanted tidbits come from well-meaning friends and family members, but the motive of others is questionable at best.
I’ve taken the liberty to compile a few of the best comments I’ve received from the peanut gallery thus far, along with detailed explanations of why these statements are not okay. If you’re planning to speak to a pregnant lady in the near future — or ever — here’s five things you just do not say.
1. You’re showing wide.
I’m a very health-conscious person. I follow a balanced diet and exercise most days of the week. Obviously, I’ve known from the start the baby bump is coming — and of course, it’s a blessing — but every woman adjusts to these changes differently. Some can’t wait to start showing, while others need a little more time to accept their changing body. I’m sure you guessed it, I fall into the latter half.
At 18 weeks, I’ve just started to noticeably show a tiny bit. Before that, the only person who could see my minuscule bump was my husband — only when I lifted my shirt up to expose bare skin.
Rewind to a couple weeks ago. We were at dinner with friends and one loudly announced across the table that I was “showing wide.” I looked at this person in disbelief and confusedly declared I wasn’t showing yet — even if I looked like I ate Godzilla, any normal person would take this a cue to stop. Not only did this this gem refuse to back down, they took it a step further by claiming I’d been showing for weeks.
There’s nothing kind about making a pregnant lady feel self-conscious in her own skin.
2. Did a milestone birthday inspire you to get pregnant?
When my husband and I shared our baby news with most family and friends, they were genuinely thrilled — or at least were kind enough to feign excitement. Sure, it was a shock to most people, as we’ve been married nearly six years and aren’t the kind of people that ask to hold your baby, if you get my drift.
One friend didn’t take the news very well. Following a series of odd text messages, this person proceeded to ask me if I had a milestone birthday that roused me to get pregnant. When I said no, I was asked if my husband pressured me into it. Huh?!
My husband and I have always planned to have kids. Some people vocalize these plans, others don’t. When asked, we told friends the truth, but otherwise, it was just something we didn’t feel the need to share.
Moral of the story — your pregnant friend does not owe you an explanation of why she and her husband decided to have a baby.
3. You won’t have time for your pet after the baby is born.
The thing in life my husband and I are probably most known for is the deep love we have for our little dog. We adopted our 12-pound Chihuahua mix more than four years ago, and instantly become helicopter parents to this dog.
Truth be told, our lives revolve around this little animal, and we love every second of it. She’s in the car or on the airplane every time we travel, eats the finest gourmet dog food, and even gets presents from my parents — her grandparents. Yes, we’re batshit crazy, and oh so proud of it.
Obviously, our little dog will have to share our attention when the baby is born, but to say we’ll forget about her just makes you look stupid. When people have a second kid, they don’t push the first to the side. Yes, I’m proudly declaring the dog our firstborn, and don’t you dare argue with me.
4. Any statement pushing breastfeeding.
Parents get to decide how to feed their newborn, but for some reason, other people commonly believe this is their choice. I’m not breastfeeding our baby — nope, I don’t owe you an explanation — but when people ask, and I share our formula plans, they tell me I’m wrong. I’m certainly not going to tell you how to feed your kid, so don’t tell me how to feed mine.
Beyond those who straight up ask, others just dive in assuming I’m breastfeeding. I’m getting unsolicited advice I don’t want — sometimes from men, which eww — and that’s both irritating and weird.
5. You shouldn’t be doing ____ (despite getting the okay from your doctor).
Since the day I took my six home pregnancy tests — yes, six — I’ve been doing everything I can to incubate a healthy baby. This started years ago with choosing a top-rated doctor, who is also affiliated with the best hospital in the region.
Choosing an outstanding doctor means I don’t have to second-guess his advice. So, when he told me I can eat high-end sushi and continue my standard exercise routine, I did a little jig and followed suit. Unbeknownst to me, innocently sharing this update has sparked backlash.
Yes Barb, you’re horrified with my actions, because when you get pregnant, you plan to swear off exercise and follow a diet exclusively consisting of cake and chicken nuggets. You do you, and please stop telling me about, because I don’t care.
In a nutshell, my doctor spent more than a decade earning the privilege of telling me what to do — and not to do — during pregnancy. I trust him, not you.
I’m only four months pregnant, so expect several sequels to this helpful guide before I give birth in the spring.