16 Things You Should NEVER Say to a Pregnant Woman

I was inspired to write this post when I was 6 months pregnant. I was actually feeling pretty good about myself – I’d only gained about 12 lbs and it was pretty difficult to tell that I was pregnant unless I was wearing something tight. I’d sent a few bump pics to family members back home at their request and one of the responses that I got was “Oh my GOD, you’re HUGE! He’s going to be a BIG BOY!”

Now, if you haven’t been pregnant before you may not realize that growing a person inside of your stomach causes your hormones to RAGE. Plus you’re hungry all the time, you can’t sleep, you’re gassy, you have to pee every 10 minutes, and you’re getting fatter every day. Commenting on a pregnant woman’s weight is like playing a game of Russian Roulette – she might not mind at all or she might cut your tongue out with a rusty pair of scissors.

So heed the advice of a crazy, hormonal pregnant lady and avoid these 16 pregnancy-related comments and questions like the plague!

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16 Things You Should NEVER Say to a Pregnant Woman

1. “Oh my God you’re HUGE!”

Never Say This to a Pregnant Woman
Actual photo of me at 6 months pregnant on the day I was told that I was HUGE…

Think for a moment when in regular life it is ever appropriate to say to someone “oh my God, you’re HUGE!” Maybe if they are training to be a bodybuilder? Or a sumo wrestler? But even then you’d probably say something more along the lines of “you look so muscular” or “wow, you’re so strong!”

“You’re HUGE!” is quite possibly the rudest thing you could ever say to a pregnant person, and if you do and she responds with, “so are you!”, then you absolutely deserve it. A pregnant woman can exercise regularly and eat healthily and still gain a ton of weight – it’s largely beyond her control. And she probably feels huge enough as it is, without the insensitive commentary from you.

What to Say to a Pregnant Woman Instead:

“Oh my God, you look amazing!”


2. “You’re going to have a BIG girl/boy/baby!”

What to Say to a Pregnant Woman
Baby Nick was legitimately a BIG BABY

Unless you are my doctor or have x-ray vision, you have absolutely no idea what size my fetus currently measures or how large or small my baby will be when it’s born. And this is just another, slightly less offensive way of calling a pregnant woman fat.

Assuming that you can guess the size of a baby based on the size of a pregnant belly is like me telling you the size bowel movement you’re about to have. Not only is it impossible to tell with the naked eye, but it’s also none of your damn business.

What to Ask to a Pregnant Woman Instead:

“Has your doctor told you how the baby is measuring so far?”


3. “You’re about to burst/ready to pop!”

Things That You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman: You're About to Pop!
About to pop you in the nose more like…

This is just another inconsiderate way of saying “you are a gigantic fatty!” We are not balloons, we are not going to explode, but we may just stick our fork through your eyeball if you don’t mind your business.

What to Say to a Pregnant Woman Instead:

Actually maybe you should just say nothing at all. Silence is golden.


4. “Are you sure there’s only 1 in there?” OR “Are you sure you’re not having twins?”

“Yes. Are you sure YOU’RE not having twins?” No pregnant woman would actually say this to you in response because it would be so rude, but you would SO deserve it.


5. “When I was pregnant I was so much bigger/smaller than you!”

What Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman
You may have been smaller but I’ll bet my baby will be more awesome than yours…

That is fascinating! Tell me more! I am DYING to compare myself to you! Shall we get out the tape measure and really get to the bottom of the mystery of who is bigger than whom?

Different bodies gain weight in different ways and how much a woman does or doesn’t show is beyond her control. She’s likely already feeling insecure about being bigger or smaller than she thought she’d be at this stage, even without your colorful comparisons.

How to Compliment a Pregnant Woman:

“You’re absolutely glowing!”


6. “Enjoy ___ while you still can”

What to Ask a Pregnant Woman
Baby Wheatley is already adventuring!

Well isn’t this a depressing thing to say? You’re making it sound like this woman isn’t going to be able to handle having a baby while continuing to enjoy her life. That she is going to be giving up certain things in order to have a baby.

While this is possibly true for some people, most people feel that having a baby enriches their life. That they can continue to do the things that they love and that having a baby makes those things so much better.

Tell a Pregnant Woman this Instead:

“How fun that you’ll have a baby along for all of your adventures!”


7. “What is your birth plan?”

My birth plan is to push this baby, out, preferably before its due date, hopefully, while being doped up on pain killers and with as little damage to my vagina as possible. I’m going to try to remember to relax and to not murder my husband or my mother in the process.

Am I going to try for a natural birth? Hell no! Why would I when modern medicine allows me not to?

Am I going to have a c-section? I’d rather not be opened up like a cadaver so that my child can be cut out of my belly. But if the doctor says it’s necessary, I’m all for it.

Also, this is an A and B conversation between me, myself, and my doctor, so C your way out!


8. “You should really have a natural birth/water birth”

Things That You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman: You Should Have a Natural Birth
What’s the most natural way to exit this conversation?

Hell no I’m not! Why would I endure the agony of natural birth when I can get an epidural and actually enjoy it a bit? Well, as much as you can enjoy giving birth. And if you promise not to judge me for not having a water birth, I’ll promise not to judge you for bathing in water that you probably also pooped in.

Instead, Say this to a Pregnant Woman:

“However you choose to have your baby, you are going to freaking kick ass!”


9. “Are you going to have an epidural?”

Things to Never Ask a Pregnant Woman
Just say “yes” to drugs

This is a very sensitive issue to most women and it really shouldn’t be. The reason that it is so sensitive is that other people can be incredibly judgemental and can make you feel like a failure. Like you weren’t strong enough to have a natural birth, or like you didn’t try hard enough.

But the fact is that all people have varying levels of pain tolerance. And every birth is different.

Have you heard of a fourth-degree tear during childbirth? It’s when your precious newborn baby tears right through to your rectum. So basically your entire bottom half is torn wide open. Now imagine if that happened to you and you didn’t have any kind of pain management other than trying to control your breathing and think happy thoughts. Doubt you’d fair well. So back off the epidural curiosity and quit being so judgy.

What to Say to a Pregnant Woman Instead:

“I hope your pregnancy and birth go smoothly!”


10. “When I had a baby this horribly traumatic experience…”

Look, if you’re going to try to scare me out of having a baby, you’re a little too late.

Childbirth sounds horrifying, but I’m taking an “ignorance is bliss” approach and hoping that it’s not nearly as bad as everyone makes it out to be. And hearing about how you were in labor for 150 hours and then you pooped all over the doctor is NOT going to help to ease my anxiety. It’s going to make it worse and you know that so stop it!

How to Offer Advice to a Pregnant Woman:

“I know you’re probably overwhelmed by unwanted advice but if you ever want someone to talk to, I’m here for you.”


11. “Are you going to breastfeed?”

Things That You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman: You Are you Going to Breastfeed?
The only thing that’s certain is that I’m going to sneak some of my breast milk into your coffee…

“I’m not sure. When was the last time you masturbated?” Oh THAT question is too personal?

Breastfeeding is a very personal topic and one that isn’t appropriate to inquire about. Some women have a really difficult time breastfeeding for a variety of reasons. Some women try for a while but find it too painful, stressful, or difficult. And still others would rather that their body not be a buffet meal 20 times a day.

Whatever choice they choose will be best for baby AND momma and it’s still none of your business.


12. “You look exhausted?”

Thanks!

This one isn’t just for pregnant women – don’t say this to anyone, ever.


13. “Were you trying?”

What Not to Ask A Pregnant Woman
Are YOU trying to make this awkward?

How awkward would it be if you asked this question and the response you got was “no, it was a total accident, we don’t want this baby at all”? What do you think a pregnant woman will say to this question? Even if she wasn’t trying, I doubt she’ll share that personal info with you. So don’t even bother.


14. “You’re pregnant, you shouldn’t drink/eat that”

Are you a medical health practitioner or have you done studies to determine the effects of various substances on unborn fetuses? No? I didn’t think so.

Medical research changes constantly and there are many different opinions when it comes to what you can and cannot eat and drink while pregnant. It also varies by country/region. For instance. toxoplasmosis is a big concern in Europe and women are advised against eating raw vegetables at restaurants. But in the US we rarely hear about this disease.

And in Vietnam, the only warning that I got from my doctor was to avoid raw meat. Doctors in the US tend to be more stringent in their warnings about food and drinks to stay away from but the percentage of it causing a problem is actually very low. And women ARE allowed to consume up to 200 milligrams of caffeine per day, contrary to past opinions.

Beyond the actual health concerns from medical professionals, it’s up to the pregnant woman to decide what she feels comfortable consuming. Maybe she wants to have a glass of wine in the evening (many doctors believe there are few risks of consuming alcohol in moderation while pregnant) or indulge in a cup of coffee. And if she does it is NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS. Trust that she has done her own research and unless her food choices are affecting YOU in some way, stay out of it. Her body, her baby, her choice.


15. “Can I touch your belly?”

Things That You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman: Can I touch your belly?
That would be a hard pass

Only if I can touch yours first… weirdo.


16. “Are you excited?”

Seriously, what is the point of this question? She’s going to be waddling around with the equivalent of a watermelon in her belly while dodging advice, comments, and unwanted stomach touching from people like you, and then finally pushing a human being through a very small hole. Her excitement may be a bit overshadowed by her fear, anxiety, discomfort, and annoyance.

No doubt she’ll be excited when that baby finally makes its appearance so you don’t even need to worry about asking!

What to Say to a Pregnant Woman Instead:

“I’m SO excited for you!”

Have you been guilty of saying one of these to someone? It’s never too late to apologize!


Expecting a baby? Congratulations! Check out our favorite pregnancy books!


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