Things that you should NOT say to a pregnant woman

By Sarah Bessey

I am currently expecting my third child. While I was pregnant with my second, I jotted down this list. When I began to dig out my maternity clothes for a third round, I found this list tucked in there and had a laugh. Then a cry. Then a crazy sort of laugh-cry thing. Because it’s all true.

So welcome to the (Not-So)-Famous-As-Yet-Unfinished-Yes-People-Really-Said-These-Things-To-Me-List

Things That Should NOT Be Said to Pregnant Women

1. Are you having twins? (Unless one is, in fact, having twins. And this is a known, well-publicized fact.)

2. Are you overdue?

3. Are you bigger than you should be?

4. Are you giving birth to a three-year-old? Like, maybe it’ll ride out on a tricycle!

5. I can finally tell you’re pregnant from behind now.

6. You must be much bigger than normal. Is this normal?

7. I told that girl in Human Resources that you’re not 9 months pregnant. You just look like it. Cause you’re really only 6 months. But you LOOK SO MUCH BIGGER.

8. Why would you want to be pregnant in the summer?

9. Don’t you know what causes that?

10. Is it normal to be that big?

11. Not much longer I bet! (Particularly heinous if one is not yet at least 40 weeks pregnant.)

12. Wow. Just wow. (Equally appalling? Mouth hanging open and dazed look.)

13. Again?

14. Already?

15. I bet you explode before the baby arrives. You can’t keep growing. You look like you’re going to explode.

16. Isn’t your husband huge? What was his head circumference at birth?

Now this is where it gets fun (because misery loves company): What were the worst things that people said to you when you were pregnant?

Sarah blogs at Emerging Mummy.

40 Responses to Things that you should NOT say to a pregnant woman
  1. Stephanie
    October 22, 2010 | 8:14 am

    Oh gosh, funny how my memory forgets. I think the worst is AFTER you have the baby but still have the belly and are asked when the baby is due… and you’re like, just had her.

    And also the whole guessing if it’s a boy or girl “because you’re carrying so big” or “you’re all in the behind” or “all in the face” and it’s like Shut up already! 🙂


  2. melissa aka equidae
    October 22, 2010 | 9:36 am

    if anyone passed such a comment i would not ahve kept my cool! me and growing is a very sensitive issue LOL

  3. […] Things that you should NOT say to a pregnant woman […]

  4. harriet Fancott
    October 22, 2010 | 12:20 pm

    That’s hilarious. Reminds me of when I saw my friend, pregnant with her second, about 7 months along, who I had not seen in months, and I just stood there mouth agape and exclaimed, “Oh my god, you’re enormous!” Felt like the world’s biggest tool. It just flew out of my mouth and I couldn’t grab the words back. And there wasn’t much I could do after to undo it.

  5. Natalie
    October 22, 2010 | 12:30 pm

    “You’re so much bigger this pregnancy! Are you sure it’s just one baby?”

    “Do you just feel so so so so FULL?”

    “You STILL haven’t had the baby?!”

    I went 2 weeks past my estimated due date with #2, and I seriously began to dread seeing anyone because of the gems they would inevitably come up with!

  6. Sarah R
    October 22, 2010 | 12:50 pm

    I have no idea why people lose their brains when they see a pregnant woman. Someone told me that if I gained any more weight, the floor would cave out from under me (I had gained 20 lbs at the time). Why can’t people just be happy for you and say “Wow you are so beautiful!”

  7. Anitra
    October 22, 2010 | 12:55 pm

    I think I blocked out the things people said from my first pregnancy.

    I never get the “you’re so big” comments; I guess I should be grateful, since I grew up hearing them all through childhood. My large frame allows me to carry “small”. So instead, I hear things like “When are you due? Really? That soon?” (Not soon enough for me!)

    Even “Wow, you look fantastic!” has begun to wear on me. I don’t FEEL fantastic. I feel like I’m being beaten up from the inside, when I’m not puking or having heartburn. And when I’m barely able to take time to brush my hair in the morning, I have a hard time understanding how I could possibly look better now than I do without a baby bump.

  8. Renee
    October 22, 2010 | 1:30 pm

    A man told me I looked like I was about to pop. I laughed and said, “I hope not. I still have 8 weeks to go.” My goal is to always complement pregnant women no matter what I really think! Ha!

  9. edj
    October 24, 2010 | 12:52 am

    I actually had twins. From month 3 to month 7, everyone said things like “You’ll never make it!” and “Not much longer now!” and “You’re huge.” From month 7 onwards, I got comments like, “You’re really not that big for twins.” Very strange.
    When pg with my first (a singleton), I had some African friends, recently arrived and still learning American culture. They were always telling me how enormous I was! It was a compliment to them. I knew that, but it still upset me greatly.

  10. Mary
    October 25, 2010 | 1:21 pm

    A friend of the family came up to me after church today to say that he had “thought I’d been putting on quite a lot of weight and only just realized that it seemed to be quite localized”. He asked whether congratulations were in order.

  11. Mary
    October 25, 2010 | 1:23 pm

    Erm – copied the above off my blog – the “today” doesn’t apply (I’m not currently pregnant either!). The comment was made at the beginning of January 2009, and I had Elizabeth at 38 weeks less than two months later.

  12. Alison
    October 27, 2010 | 1:58 pm

    Hilarious! Here are some I loved:

    (While at the pumpkin orchard and 9 months preg.) Hey Lady, you’ll have to take that pumpkin out of your shirt. Ha, ha, ha, ha…

    (Preg. with twins)
    Oh my gosh, you are due when? OH, it’s twins, then in that case you don’t look that big afterall.

    Are you STILL here?

    You are bigger EVERY TIME I SEE YOU!

    WHOA! You’re getting big there! Are you gonna make it?

    Oh, I just feel so sorry for you when I look at you…but you look really good considering!

    And my friend got this:
    “Ohhh..I can see your nose is getting bigger!” (B/c sometimes women’s noses get bigger when preg.)

  13. Val Garner
    October 27, 2010 | 8:15 pm

    How about this one?

    How far OVERDUE are you (when you’re only 7 months along!!!)? Grrr.

  14. Danielle
    October 31, 2010 | 5:10 pm

    yeah, its interesting that when you’re pregnant, people seem to lose all subtlety or manners…

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