Whether you’ve been pregnant or not, you probably have an idea of what it’s like in your head – morning sickness, swollen feet, and unusual food cravings. But there’s another key player many people aren’t aware of: the terrible, inappropriate and quite frankly, rude, things that people say to pregnant women.
Don’t be one of those people: here are some things NOT to say to a pregnant woman.
Things not to say to a pregnant woman, and why you shouldn’t
1. “You must be ready to pop!”
Firstly: no. Commenting on someone else’s body is inappropriate generally, but especially if that person is a stranger. Bodies are private, not public, and the fact that someone has a visible baby bump doesn’t change that: it’s still none of your business.
Secondly, pregnant bellies vary immensely in size between women, so you simply cannot know how far along someone i s in their pregnancy. Implying that they look 8 months pregnant, when in truth they’re only 5, only causes women to feel self-conscious and worry that her baby isn’t the right size. Leave it to the doctors to estimate the due date!
2. “Sleep now because soon you’ll never sleep again!” / “Say goodbye to time with your friends!”
Public service announcement: First-time mothers have already thought about what raising a baby will be like. They’re not clueless. They’ve talked to their friends who have babies (maybe you!). They’ve talked to their own parents. They’ve read books and articles. They know they won’t be sleeping in for a few years, and they know they’ve got their work cut out for them.
Rubbing it in with this kind of schadenfreude won’t do anything but annoy them. Go with something supportive or sympathetic instead.
3. “Did I tell you about my friend’s traumatic birth/horrendous pregnancy/full-term morning sickness?”
If someone is about to hop on a plane, you probably wouldn’t tell them about a terrifying plane crash. The same goes for pregnancy: she doesn’t want or need to hear about how it can go so incredibly wrong. There is enough fear around childbirth to go around without your help – she’s heard about them, so focus on the positives instead.
4. “Three boys!? You must be devastated not to have a girl!”
If the widespread backlash against gender reveal parties and heteronormative ideas hasn’t convinced you yet, just think of it this way: the parents-to-be probably don’t care. They are just excited for a new family member and want them to be healthy. Keep your gender stereotypes to yourself and celebrate their baby with them.
5. “A due date so close to Christmas/New Year/your birthday could get complicated!”
Getting pregnant is not an exact science, so the parents-to-be really don’t have enough control over it to avoid coinciding with other celebratory dates. Also, the due date, nor the date of Christmas, their birthdays, or New Year’s Day, is not lost on them, so don’t add to their stress unnecessarily.
There are too many things not to say to a pregnant woman to list here, so if in doubt, use this rule of thumb: treat them like you’d treat any other stranger, don’t comment on their body, and assume they already know what you’re about to say.
If you’ve said one of the above, consider making up for it with a gift. We have a few in mind: check out our range of baby gifts and hampers here.