13 Things Not to Say to Pregnant Women
I’ve written about the things pale girls are sick of hearing, the things women with long hair are sick of hearing, the things redheads are sick of hearing and – oh, yeah – I’ve also written similar posts about Scottish people and bloggers.
You’d think there’d be nothing left for me to complain about by now, huh?
Seriously, though, do you even KNOW me? Because, if you do, you’ll know that I can ALWAYS find something to complain about – so, without further ado, here are some of the things pregnant women are sick of hearing: and, by “pregnant women,” I mostly mean, “this particular pregnant woman” – don’t say I didn’t warn you…
“Wow, look at you: you’re SO HUGE!”
To which I always want to reply, “Oh wow, lookit YOU! You’re SO RUDE!”
Seriously, though, folks, no one likes being described as “HUGE”, pregnant or not, and pregnancy really ISN’T just an excuse to start in with the personal comments. Or it shouldn’t be, anyway. Let’s face it, though, it mostly IS, isn’t it? Speaking of which…
“So, was it planned?”
Er, was this question planned, or did you just blurt out the first idiotic thing that came into your head?
To be fair, I haven’t actually had anyone ask this myself, but I know lots of people who DID have to field this particularly intrusive question when they were pregnant, along with equally insensitive ones like, “How long were you trying for?” Which is just WAY more information than most people are comfortable with, you know?
“You want to find out the baby’s sex? Awww, but I think it should be a surpriiiiise!”
Some people can be oddly judgemental about the decision to find out the baby’s sex early, and will want to make sure you know how superior they are for having waited until the birth. I mean, whatever makes you feel good, I guess?
“I think you’re having a girl, I just KNOW it! I just have a FEELING!”
When you’re pregnant, a lot of people will have a lot of “feelings” about what you’re having. (And, oddly enough, the ones who are MOST invested in playing this particular game of chance will generally be the ones who think you should wait for a “surprise”…) There’s no arguing with a “feeling”, so there’s absolutely nothing you can say to any of this – you just have to sit back, smile politely, and accept that complete strangers are claiming to have inside knowledge about the contents of your uterus. Because that’s not awkward… is it?
“Oh, you’re pregnant? Here, let me tell you aaaalll about my traumatic childbirth experience / miscarriage / other absolutely terrifying pregnancy factoid!”
Well, to be fair, it’s not like pregnant women have enough to worry about as it is, do they?
“Better sleep while you can, because you’ll never sleep again, once the baby is here!”
Wait: you’re telling me babies DON’T just sleep right through the night, like adults do?
“Just you wait!”
This one always follows some gleeful observation about how your life will effectively be over once you have a kid. I always want to respond to these comments by saying, “God, you’re right – I guess I’ll just have him adopted, then!” but I’m sure there’s a more tactful way to let those people know that, even if they’re right, well, there’s not really much you can do about it now, other than lie awake at night thinking about how you’ve apparently ruined your entire life…
“Can you feel him moving yet? How about now? Now? NOW?”
People started asking me if I could feel the baby moving yet as soon as they found out I was pregnant. I was 10 weeks at the time, so, er NO, I couldn’t feel him moving yet, and asking me again tomorrow – and every day after that – wasn’t going to make me change my answer. I got this question so often, and at such early stages of my pregnancy (i.e. long, long before most people would reasonably expect to feel movement) that it became a real source of anxiety to me that everyone seemed to expect me to be able to feel something that I just couldn’t feel. Please folks, for the love of God, don’t be the person who does this!
“Are you sure you should be doing/ eating/ wearing that?”
Policing pregnant women’s behaviour is a national pastime, apparently, as is treating them like small children, who can’t be trusted not to hurt themselves or their unborn child. It’s enough to drive a woman to drink. Oh no, wait…
“Are you planning to breastfeed?”
Um, I dunno: are you planning to mind your own business?
“Looking good, mummy!”
DO. NOT. CALL. ME. MUMMY.
Seriously: unless I gave birth to you, DO. NOT. CALL. ME. MUMMY.
“Well, you won’t be able to wear / do THAT soon!”
It’s mostly about shoes (Because your feet will double in size after birth, apparently), but I was also recently told that I won’t be able to have nice handbags any more, just a giant diaper bag. (My first response to this was to wonder why my husband can’t carry the diaper bag from time to time, but the conversation had already moved on to how often the baby will pee in my face, so I didn’t get the chance to ask…) In fact, I won’t be able to have ANY nice things AT ALL, because that baby will just ruin EVERYTHING, won’t he? Say, I wonder why people even HAVE babies?!
“Do you think he’ll have red hair? What if he has red hair? Won’t it be amazing if he has red hair?!”
OK, so this one really applies to me in particular, rather than “pregnant women” in general, but I realised pretty early in my pregnancy that wow, some people are REALLY invested in what colour of hair my baby is going to have, and that a lot of those people are going to be REALLY disappointed if he’s not “a ginger” … which he almost certainly won’t be. ( Both parents have to carry the “redhead” gene for that to even be a possibility, and it’s not very common in Greece, which is where Terry’s family are from).
It could still happen, I guess, but Terry and I honestly don’t care what colour the baby’s hair is, and I’m always a little bit surprised when people make the assumption that it must be THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER to us, or say that they’re “hoping it’s a redhead” or something, as if any other hair colour JUST WON’T BE AS GOOD. Seriously, people, it’s just hair – oh, and while we’re on the subject:
Have you ever been pregnant? What did you get sick of hearing?