Say what? The stupid stuff people say to pregnant women

by Jessica Martin-Weber

Women have been getting pregnant, having babies, and breastfeeding for a long time.  Since, well, the dawn of time.  One would think all the stupid comments about these facts of life would have been said enough already that everyone would understand to never say them again.  Yet, according to this thread with Leakies on Facebook, that is hardly the case.  Stupidity still predictably spews forth from the mouths of strangers, friends, coworkers, and family members alike onto nauseated, bloated mothers-to-be everywhere.  Here’s a collection of some of our favorite and in case you were wondering, this would be a list of what NOT to say to a pregnant woman.  Ever.  Particularly if you value your life.

Photo credit: Kelli Elizabeth Photography

Photo credit: Kelli Elizabeth Photography

 

Was it planned?

Seriously?  You are actually asking that question?

 

You can tell its a girl. Girls steal the mother’s beauty, from the moment they’re conceived!

What?!   That’s pretty much the same as walking up to a pregnant woman and telling them they are ugly but it’s ok, their baby girl will be pretty.  It’s also asking for a woman hopped up on hormones that fluctuate with every craving who is likely struggling to control her own bladder on a regular basis to try to control herself and refrain from tearing the speaker apart.  Literally. You can tell you’re an idiot, did some baby steal your brains?

 

Whoa, you look like you’re ready to burst.

Oh gee, like we haven’t heard that before.  You look like you’re ready to get slapped.  Whoa, looks like you didn’t get the memo on what stupid stuff not to say to a pregnant lady.

 

Are you sure there’s just one in there because you are huge!

Thank you because this morning I was feeling especially trim and comfortable.  Said no pregnant lady ever.  Is it my turn now?  Can I speculate freely on why you look the way you do?

 

If you’re nauseated and/or throwing up you should eat crackers and ginger.

NOOOOOOOOOOO way!  Really?  How did I not think of that?  How come nobody in the past 3 months has thought to share this information with me every single chance they could get?

 

You know what causes that, right?

Stop thinking this is clever.  It is not clever.  Nobody that has ever heard this has thought it was clever.  In fact, they’ve all had pretty much the opposite thought.  And I might even say I’m more familiar with the process of what causes that than you are.  The real question is do you know what causes angry pregnant women?  Stupid people making stupid comments they think are clever.  And saying this to my husband, the father-to-be, is just as stupid.

 

Still pregnant?  Are you ever going to have that baby?

Nope.  I just haven’t gotten around to giving birth because I’m so lazy.  I plan to cross my legs and keep it in there FOREVER because it is really just so comfortable.  Not going to have it just so I can annoy you and hear more rude and stupid things from insensitive people making unwanted comments on my pregnancy.

 

Oh you just look miserable!

Actually I feel okay, but glad to hear I look so awful. Thanks.  Going to go cry now.  That was mean.  You may not have meant it to be mean but it was mean.

 

Looks like you’re getting close!

Close to what?  Peeing my pants?  Puking on you?  Punching someone?  No, 3 months to go still but thanks for reminding me that I’m freakishly large and will barely be able to walk in 8 weeks.

 

I could tell it’s a girl/boy because your boobs/butt/cheeks are bigger.

That’s just… strange.  Creepy strange.  Creepy strange, crazy rude.  Please stop looking at me to compare how my body has changed.  And if you do notice something, don’t even think of mentioning it to me.  On what planet is it ok to say something like that?

 

You don’t look pregnant from behind. 

Well that’s because my uterus is in the front.

 

Sleep while you can, it’s going to be hard once the baby is here!

Oh yeah because it is so easy to sleep when there’s another person inhabiting your body, kicking your bladder, holding dance parties, and squishing your stomach so you have indigestion.  Doesn’t everybody know it’s not like you can bank your sleep anyway?

 

Are you allowed to eat that?  You should eat/shouldn’t eat XYZ (whatever it is you’re craving and can keep down).

Sorry, you’re not my health care provider and I’m my own boss.  Do NOT get in the way of a pregnant lady and her food.  It won’t end well for anyone.  Capiche?

 

Hopefully next time you’ll get your boy/girl.

Right because the whole reason we would have another child was to get one with a certain set of genitals.

 

I just love to touch big ol’ pregnant bellies!

Maybe the pregnant bellies don’t want to be touched.

 

You’re so tiny, you don’t even look pregnant.  You’re not starving that baby are you?  Beauty isn’t worth it, you want a healthy baby, right?

Thanks.  Thanks a lot.  The implication that you think I’m abusing my child for vanity’s sake is beyond rude.

 

Do you know what you’re having?

Well, we thought maybe a puppy but they chew things and you have to house train them so we’re hoping for a hamster.  We get it, you’re curious about the sex of our baby but really, it’s time to find a different way to ask this question or, even better, just wait to see if we want you to know because if we do, we’ll volunteer that bit of information if we even know it ourselves.

 

You’re planning to have a c-section/vaginal/unmedicated birth?  Oh that’s crazy and here’s why you’ll change your mind on that.

I’m sorry, did I give the impression that I give a crap what you think about how I will be having my baby?  Because I don’t.

 

How far dilated are you?

The state of my cervix is not up for discussion, thanks.

 

Oh you plan to breastfeed?  Most women can’t keep up with what their baby needs, it will completely drain you so be sure to get some formula and bottles.

It’s a miracle anybody survived before there was formula.  Formula can be a helpful option for feeding a baby when needed but I’m not going into this assuming something is wrong.

 

Having babies ruins women’s bodies.

Being pregnant ruins women’s patience and saying misogynistic, insulting comments to a pregnant woman could very well end up ruining your face.

 

Oh you’re pregnant and going to give birth!  Here’s my/my friend’s nightmare of a pregnancy and birth story to make you feel so confident and excited for your own!

I bet you tell your children all the scary things that can happen at night just before they go to bed too, don’t you?

 

There are more but these were our favorites.  As in favorites to never, ever hear again to any pregnant woman anywhere.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. I saw it made the list, but…

    A coworker once told me, “you’re definitely having a girl. My face got SO FAT when I had my girl.” It was like a record scratched among the group. I wasn’t the embarrassed one – the rude commenter was.

    • Good, they should have felt like sliding under a desk until everyone left. So rude! ~Jessica

    • Oh my! Sounds like when I was working one day and a girl I was acquainted with came up and asked what I was having. I told her a boy, and she said ‘you can tell it’s a boy because you’ve gained so much weight in your face!’ ………. She had 4 boys, mind you. I wanted to fire back but I was like… ‘Thaaaanks, I’m swollen from the rash I get during pregnancy some, too.’ and then she had the nerve to say ‘Didn’t you have that with your first, though? A girl. And you didn’t look that way then’. Oh geez, lady, shut it! lol. Funny I am prob 50 lbs lighter than her to begin with anyway so not sure why she noticed SO much.

  2. When I was about 7.5 months along, a complete stranger shouted at me from across the mall, “OH MY GAWD, YOU ARE HUGE!”
    I did actually reply my thanks for her reminding me how huge I am, but I sincerely doubt she felt bad. Because a person who would say anything like that at anyone, ever, is clearly incapable of human feeling.

  3. I actually had a woman ask me if there were two babies in there with my first pregnancy. In fact, there was one enormous baby and one enormous fibroid tumor (it weighed 1.5 lbs, and my daughter at birth weighed almost 9.5 lbs. I was huge!) Fortunately, I was in a good mood that day and just laughed it off. My husband was less understanding, though…

  4. We were planning to use a birthing centre, so we got a lot of “but so much could go wrong!” or “oh, I could never do that. I’d be too afraid for the baby”. I wanted to say “WHAT? You mean that sometimes things go wrong?! I never thought about it before…” What pregnant woman hasn’t already imagined every possible catastrophe? Oh well.

  5. Georgia T says:

    My husband and I have five daughters. Hubby’s response to “You know what causes that, right?” was awesome:

    “Nah, I don’t think it does. Cuz if it did we’d have waaaay more.”

  6. I had a coworker tell me I was definitely having a boy because of how I was carrying. This was after we had found out it was a girl, and I told her so. She told me, “No, it’s a boy.” I’m sorry, were you there for the ultrasound? I don’t remember you being in the room. I also had the women I work with tell me my butt was getting wider, or something to that effect. People also told me my entire pregnancy that I was tiny, that they couldn’t believe I was as far along as I was. I worked as a chef, so I stood on my feet literally all day and certainly didn’t feel tiny.

  7. My favorite (or i should say, least favorite) is “Having babies ruins women’s bodies.”. I will never have a response quite as beautiful or better said than this post. Worth a read, leakies. It’s a beautiful reminder and inspiration to us all:

    http://weseekjoy.blogspot.com/2013/12/babies-ruin-bodies.html?m=1

  8. I delivered a micro preemie 3 motha early and weighing 1lb 4oz. After finally returning to work, I had a coworker tell me that I was LUCKY I didn’t get very big, cause I didnt get stretch marks!

    I was dumbfounded! Little did she know I would have taken a million stretch marks to have not gone through what we did!

  9. I love when you tell someone youre waiting to be surprised on the sex of the baby and they think it’s rude or stupid of you to wait. Or better yet plot to come to the doctors with you so they can find out. Yea that really happened. I can’t believe people are so inconsiderate of the mother and fathers wishes these days. Let us have something to be happy and excited over sheesh it’s our first baby and we want a surprise damn it and we don’t care if we get a shit load of yellow. News flash half of what we get will get returned anyway because you didn’t follow directions and get us organic or cotton instead of toxic and plastic. Rant over. :)

  10. When I was pregnant with my first, everyone would ask when I was due and then be SHOCKED I wasn’t due for a few months. I got a million comments like, “Are you having twins? Are you SURE?! You should have them double check.” I even got a few, “Well, my neighbor’s cousin’s aunt thought she was having only one baby, but she had surprise twins! I bet you’re in for a surprise!” I’m 5 foot tall. There was no where for my belly to go but out. Of course I had a big belly. Unfortunately, I worked at a doctor’s office and could tell any of the patients to take their “friendly” comments and shove them where the sun doesn’t shine.

    With my next pregnancy, I actually did have twins. The comments got even stranger starting at about 4 months along. It always started with asking when I was due or a “friendly” comment about how I must be ready to go into labor any minute. When I said when I was actually due, people literally stared at me slack jawed, gasped and stuttered, and even one person said something like, “No f*ckin’ way. You sh*ttin’ me.” In front of my older kid, too. Classy. When I told people I was actually having twins to explain my prematurely large size, they actually asked, “Are you sure it’s not triplets? Quadruplets? My neighbor’s best friend’s cousin’s aunt thought she was having twins, but ended up with surprise triplets!” ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGG I just couldn’t escape that stupid question.

  11. The day after my due date some “friends” said, “Wow you don’t look nine months pregnant.” So I just usually look that fat?

  12. I would have loved it if someone told me I didn’t look pregnant from behind. Unfortunately, my rear end and thighs don’t like to let my belly have all the fun.

  13. Stephanie B says:

    When I was about 7-8 months pregnant I was at work fixing to leave but I was speaking to a coworker and my manager came from the opposite direction of which I was facing and when I turned around she said “wow you really are pregnant” I was like nope I just stuffed a ball in my shirt to see what people would say. I laughed and she walked away.

  14. Hahaha I’m 40 weeks tomorrow and very aware of my hugeness. This was a good laugh!! Maybe if I read this again during labor I can laugh the baby out ;-) The cashier guy at Trader Joe’s asked me some fun questions the other week. 1) As he’s looking between my quiet 3.5 yo in the cart and my belly: “So do you think you’ll be able to handle two?” Ohmygosh! I hadn’t thought about it, but now that you ask, I change my mind! Maybe I should ask for a refund and put this baby back where he came from! 2) “Did you always know you wanted to be a mom? Because I always knew I didn’t want to be a dad.” That’s wonderful. I hope that’s your opening line at the bars I’m sure you’re frequenting.

  15. I had a guy come around me to touch my belly. And it took everything in my power not to head lock that man. And I did NOT politely dismiss it. Even his wife told him not to mess with me. During my pregnancy I just blankly stared at stupid questions and as I got closer to my due date I told them they were stupid. I still have friends so I guess I wasn’t that much out of line. I regret getting an epidural because I was in transition but I got a great nap out of it! :-)

  16. The question that has suprised me the most so far during my pregnancy has been,
    ” what gender do you prefer?”
    My constant response to this has been well I don’t know my babies gender but I prefer the baby I have growing inside of me thanks : )

    I also particularly appreciate all those who come up and tell me how I should feel and what I will go through….. My understanding is that every pregnancy is unique!

    • I know!!!! we have two girls. Everyone has continued to tell me how they wish I finally have a boy!!!! Even shouting boy at my belly!!! Really people am I going to give it back if it is a girl!!!!!

  17. Deanna Polidora says:

    My favorite was when I was at my brother’s house for a birthday party and his mother-in-law came in and said “oh look at the little fatty”….Ummmm really, is that at all appropriate to say to a pregnant lady? My husband literally had to hold me down from getting in her face.

  18. 1- I work retail and when I was about 4 months along I had a customer yell at me fo r being so tired. When I tried to explain that I just wasn’t handling pregnancy well, she started yelling at me for “blaming pregnany”. She continued by telling me how much energy she had with her twins. Frankly I’m glad you had such a great pregnancy, GET OUT OF MY FACE!

    2- I was about 8 months along when my boyfriend came home and said, “Oh, you’re wearing a dress, do none of your pants fit any more.” I could have killed him.

    3- I only weigh 130 still took a year for people to stop asking me if I’m pregnant. One b#*$& actually argued with me that I was obviosly pregnant because I looked so pregnant. Sadly the stupidity doesn’t stop after pregnancy.

  19. Okay, I understand the whole “do you know what you’re having?” question, but how is there a better way of asking that (other than phrasing it properly and asking if they know whether the baby is a boy or a girl)? I mean, a lot of people find out their baby’s gender, and some people (like my husband and I) prefer to be surprised. I don’t see the harm in asking that question of a friend…it honestly never occurred to me to consider that a rude question. I never thought it was rude when people asked me that question during my pregnancies.

  20. Near the end of my pregnancy, I got a message from a friend of mine: “So when are you going to have the baby?” Oh, thanks. Like I was completely planning for my baby to come on a certain day!

  21. Jennifer D says:

    When we announced our first pregnancy, my in-laws asked “Are you sure?” What the heck kind of response is that? I was ready to get back.in the car and leave.

  22. I remember when i was in my last weeks of being pregnant and my husbands friends would constantly ask if the baby ”came out”. No you idiot,if my had already come out you would have known!

  23. Carla Ladd says:

    I own a dog grooming/training business and several clients asked with every pregnancy (3) if I was taking maternity leave. Really? Really?!! My tongue was bleeding by the end from biting it. No. I am really hoping this kid comes on a Friday evening so I can at least have the weekend before coming back to give your smelly ass dog a bath. With our first (9 yrs) I was working alone and sent out multiple newsletters/postcards reminding everyone of my upcoming maternity leave, as well as a message on my business voice mail stating the reason for my absence and the date I would be returning and had so.many.calls from people needing fluffy groomed. They always responded to my return call explaining why I can’t groom them next Monday with “What?! I didn’t even know you were pregnant!! Well, I guess we’ll have to find someone else to groom Kujo next week then.” Umm, sorry you didn’t notice the HUGE turkey I stuffed in my shirt (he was 10.1lbs and I gained like 50 lbs), and sorry you obviously throw all my shit in the garbage…… The awesome clients that thoughtfully gifted us with adorable gender appropriate baby clothes with dogs on them, ask how my kids are doing by name and enjoy seeing them come to work with me on occasion are a joy and make up for the self absorbed idiots.

  24. Things that are generally safe to say to a pregnant woman:

    1. Would you like some of this delicious chocolate?
    2. How can I help you?
    3. Why don’t you go relax. I’ll make dinner and clean up.
    4. You are going to be a great mom.
    5. Hang in there–this is all going to be worth it!
    6. Would you like some more chocolate?

  25. Stephanie says:

    The absolute worst thing that ever happened to me was a couple of days ago when I went to the Starbucks that I always go into before work. I’ve been going there for years and I’m friends with the managers and baristas, and since I’ve become pregnant I’ve switched my orders to hot chocolates. A couple days ago I went in and ordered one and the barista and I were chatting about how I was just starting to feel the baby kick a little (I’m five months along but I’ve always been very petite so I do look bigger than 4 months, I’m scared to get full sized!) and some random woman came up to me and started yelling about what an awful mother I was because I was in Starbucks getting a drink, and when I said I was getting a hot chocolate with no coffee in it she changed her mantra and started saying even the smell of coffee was killing my baby! I actually started crying, with everyone in the store looking at us, and she started going off again about how I was crying because I knew I was killing my baby. I didn’t know what to do or say, I was so taken aback and I’ve had a really weepy pregnancy so far- literally everything makes me cry. Luckily the store manager overheard and came roaring out of the back room to my defense, telling her that she didn’t know what she was talking about and how if he ever heard her being so rude and inconsiderate to another customer he would ban her from the store. She left in a hurry and then some other woman paid for my order, which was really nice of her. The experience still makes me extremely depressed- how can people be so downright awful?

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