1. Are you sure you’re not having twins/triplets?
This. Is. The. WORST. It’s a not-so-subtle way of saying, “You look enormous.” Why would you ever tell a woman she looks big? What is the matter with you?
2. You look like you’re really ready to be done.
This is another way of saying, “Gosh, you look terrible.” It’s right up there with telling someone they look tired. Unless a person has just finished a marathon, diffused a bomb, or hosted a junior high slumber party, you shouldn’t tell them they look tired.
Same goes for telling a pregnant woman she looks ready to be done.
3. You are HUGE!
Someone actually said this to me when I was 20 weeks along AND seven pounds under the recommended weight gain at the time. I left the house wearing a cute maternity dress from a stylish friend and feeling uncharacteristically good. Cute. Confident, even.
Then someone stopped me and said, “Whoa. You are HUGE. Are you sure everything’s alright?” My husband found me crying in the car a few minutes later.
As Dwight Schrute from The Office once put it, “I ask myself, ‘Would an idiot do that?’ and if the answer is yes, I do not do that thing.”
4. You look farther along than five/six/seven/eight months. I’m sure you’ll go early.
Yes, I’m sure my doctor, who went to medical school, totally got the estimated due date wrong. Thanks for the help – I’ll make sure we revise the chart to reflect your completely off-the-wall opinion on how big my belly is. Kthxbye.
5. You’re carrying really ______ (low, high, wide, out front, etc.).
If you wouldn’t make a similar comment to a non-pregnant person, do not make this comment to a pregnant one. That’s it. Period. Full stop.
Would you ever go up to a random guy on the street and comment on the size or shape of any part of his body? No? Then don’t comment on a pregnant woman’s body. See #1. And #3. And #4…
6. I’m sure it’s a boy/girl.
This. Is. Annoying. Don’t do it. Just don’t.
I had a group of ladies clustered around me at a nail salon at one point telling me that I was “100% having a boy. You can paint the nursery now if you want.” Whatevs, nail salon ladies.
(Side note: don’t assume that someone who had two or three or four or more children of the same sex is disappointed. A lady actually assured me last week that “You can still try for your girl.” Um, what?)
7. You look like you’re ready to pop!
… you in the nose…
8. I hope you can get your figure back.
Wait – were you checking out my figure before pregnancy, Creepy McCreeperson? Because, EW.
Getting my figure back is none of your business. I am growing a human being. Regaining my previous waistline is not the at top of my agenda, and it should never be on yours.
9. When I had my baby, I was in labor for 57 hours and I wanted to die the whole time. I’m sure your labor will be better than that, though! Ha ha!
This is like telling a new cancer patient about how bad your chemo was. It’s like telling a kindergartener how badly you were bullied in first grade. It is, in short, UNHELPFUL.
Nobody looks forward to labor. It’s intense. It’s difficult. It’s painful. Moms-to-be know this. Do not add fodder to their imaginations by telling them how terrible yours was.
If you had a straightforward birth and can set her more at ease by sharing your story, by all means offer it. If you screamed for Jesus and wanted to die and tore so badly you actually became two people and had to be stitched back together with nineteen yards of sutures, keep this to yourself, because DUH.
10. Better sleep now!
Oh my word. Can a person bank sleep? No, they cannot. Newborns don’t sleep much? Are you serious?
This one made my husband want to punch people. And he’s not the punching type. Like, at all.
What to say to a pregnant woman:
Three simple words:
Works for postpartum women, too. Oh, and pretty much everyone else.
Courtney Ellis speaks and writes on motherhood, family, faith, and friendship. She’s a fast reader, a slow runner, a Presbyterian pastor, and a Swedish fish enthusiast. Find her at www.courtneybellis.com. If this post made you laugh, check out 10 Things Not to Say to a Postpartum Mom.