Pregnancy is a joyful time filled with many exciting milestones and fun moments. But pregnancy can also bring its fair share of challenges. From morning sickness to back pain, pregnancy can be physically and emotionally taxing.
And when you add comments from a primarily well-meaning person in the grocery store or a rude coworker, it can be the tip of the iceberg some days.
While most people mean well, they may not always know what to say to a pregnant woman. In fact, certain comments can be downright hurtful or insensitive.
So, in this article, we’ll explore some of the things you should avoid saying to a pregnant woman to ensure that you don’t unintentionally cause any upset. These 27 things NOT to say to a pregnant woman might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many people say them!
(And if you’ve been pregnant before, I’d love to know a tally of how many of these phrases you’ve heard before!)
Let’s get started!
Things NOT To Say To A Pregnant Woman
1. “Are you sure you’re not having twins?”
2. “You look like you’re about to pop!”
3. “You’re so big!”
Obviously, no woman wants to hear about how big she’s gotten during pregnancy. (Or ever, really.) Commenting on how big a pregnant woman’s stomach has gotten only reminds her of how uncomfortable she is, how much longer she has to be uncomfortable, and how much her body has changed.
Instead of commenting on belly sizes, try asking a thoughtful question. Asking something genuine like “How are you feeling?” will get you farther than commenting on looks.
4. “You’re so small. Are you sure you’re pregnant?”
One might think telling a pregnant woman that she’s so tiny might be a nice compliment, but it’s not. I heard this so much throughout both of my pregnancies, and it gets frustrating.
Yes, some women show earlier or are more pronounced than others. But commenting on how small a woman’s pregnant belly is can only make her feel self-conscious or that her baby isn’t developing at the correct rate.
Plus, the pregnant woman who isn’t showing as much will still think her belly is huge because, to her, it is! So, as I said above, stick with steering clear from commenting on looks.
5. “You shouldn’t be eating that.”
Unless you are the pregnant woman’s doctor, don’t bother telling her what she shouldn’t eat. Most likely, she’s already asked her doctor what’s acceptable to eat. Plus, I’ll bet very few people will listen to what a stranger/acquaintance tells them to do.
6. “I ate (insert restricted food here) all the time when I was pregnant; you’ll be fine.”
On the other hand, don’t tell a pregnant woman what you ate during pregnancy 30 years ago and how your kids turned out perfectly fine. Again, she’s most likely following what her doctor has told her, and what you say isn’t going to do anything but annoy her.
7. “I bet you wanted a boy/girl.”
Making assumptions is never a smart thing to do. Plus, talking about wanting a boy or a girl does no good when you cannot choose what you’re having.
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8. “Are you really going to name your baby that?”
I don’t care what the baby’s name is. If someone is kind enough to tell you what they are naming their baby, smile and say how cute of a name it is. You never know if someone is using a family name, and you don’t want to accidentally make a pregnant woman cry.
9. “You’re going to have your hands full.”
If you see a pregnant woman who already has one, two, or more children, refrain from telling her she will have her hands full. Trust me, all moms know how much work having small children is. She doesn’t need a reminder that her life will be a little busier for a while.
10. “You won’t have any time for yourself anymore.”
Similarly, you don’t need to point out to pregnant women how they won’t have time to themselves anymore. Self-care is something that many moms struggle to keep up with, and they don’t need to feel worried about having time to themselves before their baby is even born.
11. “You’re still pregnant?”
12. “No baby yet?”
13. “You must be due any day now.”
Believe me, as the due date approaches, pregnant women often feel as if time is slowing down. When you’re uncomfortable and excited to meet your baby, the days seem to crawl by! So it can get irritating when you’re in the countdown to meet your baby, and everyone greets you with “No baby yet?!” or something similar.
14. “I had a really long and painful labor.” or “insert labor horror story here.”
This one is especially for first-time moms. Labor and delivery is terrifying on its own. First-time expecting moms don’t need to hear about every little thing that went wrong during your children’s births. It just adds more unnecessary stress.
15. “You look tired/pale/irritated.”
Like commenting on a pregnant woman’s belly size, skip making negative comments about her appearance. I’m not too fond of when people tell me I look tired or pale when I’m not even pregnant. It’s just rude!
16. “Have you picked a name yet?”
Don’t bother asking about baby names unless you are a very close and trusted friend or family member. Nobody wants to hear about how someone you dislike from your past has the same name.
17. “Enjoy your sleep now because you won’t be getting any soon.”
Here’s the thing about this one. It’s likely that the pregnant woman you’re talking to already isn’t sleeping well. Between nausea, joint and back pain, leg cramps, and a growing belly, getting a nice, peaceful rest can be challenging. Don’t remind her that her quality sleep is gone and won’t return for a while!
18. “Once you have the baby, you won’t want to return to work.”
This is one of the things you shouldn’t say to pregnant women for two reasons. First, some women genuinely don’t want to be stay-at-home moms; that’s OK! The second reason is that some women want to be stay-at-home moms and can’t afford to.
Either way, insisting that someone won’t want to return to work after having their baby can be offensive and sometimes even hurtful.
19. “Wow, you’re really hormonal.”
This is another obvious one. No woman wants to hear that they are hormonal. It’s typically a surefire way to make them irritated with you.
20. “You’re due date is at a terrible time.”
This is another one of those pointless things to say. Typically, people say this regarding a due date being around a holiday like Christmas or in the middle of Summer heat when it’s more uncomfortable out.
Obviously, you can’t choose your due date, and chances are the pregnant woman doesn’t think her due date is at a terrible time.
21. “You’re going to breastfeed, right?”
Questioning a pregnant lady about breastfeeding is another thing you shouldn’t do unless you are a close friend or family member. Many women consider breastfeeding and choosing whether they do or not to be private.
22. “You’re not going to have a natural birth? Why not?”
Again, this is another personal question. Unless you’re the woman’s doctor, keep this one to yourself. It’s likely that the pregnant woman has already put enough thought into her labor and delivery and doesn’t need another opinion.
23. “You don’t get a medal for skipping the epidural.”
Let’s say you do get into a conversation with a pregnant woman about labor and delivery, and she says she wants to try a natural birth. Forego making any comments about how skipping an epidural is pointless.
Plus, most women don’t choose natural births because they think it will get them praise. They do it because they believe it’s best for their body and their baby.
24. “You’re eating for two now.”
While you need to eat nutritious foods during pregnancy, it’s a silly wives’ tale that you must eat for two.
25. “Can I touch your belly?”
Asking to touch a pregnant belly is one of the biggest things not to say to pregnant women, especially if you don’t know the person! And while asking to touch a pregnant woman’s belly is better than just reaching out and doing so, it’s still a really awkward question to ask.
26. “Go home, eat some chicken noodle soup, and get some rest. Maybe your morning sickness will be gone tomorrow.”
This brilliant advice came from my former boss when I was in the midst of terrible first-trimester morning sickness. It seemed as though she had morning sickness confused with the common cold or flu.
But really, unless you are a mom who has dealt with morning sickness and actually has some great remedies to share, it might be best to refrain from suggesting morning sickness remedies. LINK
27. “Do you know if your baby will be born this week?”
This is another gem from my former boss. No, pregnant women typically don’t know when their baby will be born unless they have a scheduled c-section.
And there you have it: things you should NOT to say to a pregnant woman. If you are or have been pregnant, I hope you got some laughs and could relate to some of these!
And if you genuinely wonder what not to say to a pregnant woman, hats off to you for being proactive. The pregnant ladies around you will be thankful!
Before you go, check out these related articles:
- Pregnancy Essentials Every Expecting Mom Needs
- The Earliest Signs of Pregnancy to Look For
- How to Make the Best New Mom Care Package
- How To Host a Great Baby Shower on a Budget
- Essential Reasons to Be a Stay-At-Home Mom
What’s the weirdest thing someone has said to you during pregnancy? I would love to know in the comments below!