Here’s What You Should (& Shouldn’t) Be Saying to Pregnant Women: A Public Service Announcement
Something else pregnancy brings? Advice and comments. Oiy.
Now, don’t get me wrong…I’m the type of person that loves to know everything about everything, so getting advice from experienced parents is helpful for me. I try to take it all in with a grain of salt, though, because we know everyone has an opinion; and, when it comes to parenting, those opinions can get intense.
However, comments and questions are another thing entirely.
Sometimes the comments you hear from people can start to weigh on you. Some are kind, but others are unthoughtful, awkward, and even cruel.
Here’s my own personal Public Service Announcement: what you should (and shouldn’t) be saying to pregnant women. (You’re welcome, in advance.)
Being pregnant, you’ve got very different (and very real) hormones coursing through your veins and your body looks far different than what it normally does.
For whatever reason, the world feels like this is a perfect opportunity to comment on your physical appearance. Crazy, right?!
What NOT to Say to Pregnant Women
Let’s start with the bad: what you should never say to a pregnant woman.
These are all comments and questions that, sadly, I’ve experienced personally. They are not OK in the least, but I often find that people say them when they don’t quite know what to say. (Spoiler alert: the rule “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” has literally never applied more than now.)
Another sad fact? Sorry boys, but these are comments and questions that I’ve heard primarily from men (because women just inherently know not to say these things to fellow women).
“Wow! Are you sure you’re not having twins?!”
First? Yes; yes I am 110% sure there is only one baby in there. (In fact, my husband has confirmed this multiple times with the ultrasound technician.)
Second, I’m sure this comment is intended to be goofy or funny, but all it really accomplishes is making a woman feel larger than she is (or should be). Always, always avoid making a woman (pregnant or not) feel larger than she is.
“Jeez, you look like you’re about to pop!”
Again, I’m not sure what this comment is trying to accomplish. Should I be saying “thank you”? Should I actually give birth on your shoes to prove that you were right?
Side note: this comment is especially wonderful when you have many more weeks to go.
“Are you sure you’re not about to go into labor right now? Should I get some towels?!”
Umm, if that’s what you feel like you need to?
No, I’m not spontaneously going into labor right this second. But, again, I will forcibly make my water break on your shoes if that makes you feel better, since I can totally do that. (Actually, doing that might make me feel better too.)
Nope. Not even a little OK.
Not appropriate to any human being…EVER.
“What’s that on your face?”
Are you referring to my melasma? Or my hormonal acne?
Either way, I tried really hard to cover it up with pregnancy safe makeup, but I can see now that that was a colossal waste of my time.
What to say instead
Try any of the comments below instead…or don’t say anything at all!
Think about being empathetic and never making a woman feel more uncomfortable than she needs to during a time in her life where she’s consistently uncomfortable.
What You SHOULD Say to Pregnant Women
Again, these are more actual comments that I’ve gotten from women, but I will say that I’ve also heard them from new Dads too! (Thanks, Dads, you’re the bomb.)
“Wow, you are ALL belly!”
Aww shucks, thank you. I planned it that way.
No, but really. This is all a pregnant woman wants to hear: that she’s only gained weight in her belly.
Another winner. This preggo may not feel like they’re “glowing,” but a positive comment is always going to be better than any sort of negative one. (So lie, if you must people, lie to make us feel better about ourselves.)
“When are you due?” or “How far along are you?”
Simple questions are always the way to go when it comes to conversing with a pregnant lady. This is a great way to avoid any insulting comments, avoid lying, and engage with the woman like a human, showing her that you care!
Positivity will always win
Let’s be honest, some women just do not wear their pregnancy well. They know it and you know it. But she is doing the most amazing thing her body can do: she is growing a human being.
Honor her for it.
Make her feel good about it.
Don’t call attention to her size or her flaws or anything else that’s going to inevitably make her feel like shit.
So here’s to all the preggos out there. Lots of love to you all.
Your body is doing something beautiful. You are beautiful. You are glowing. And you are all belly, girl.
I’m interested in some things you’ve heard or said (and learned a lesson from) in the comments below!