10 Things NOT to Say to a Pregnant Woman

Recently I wrote a post about Tips for Visiting New Moms. It was inspired by a friend who just had her second baby. When I showed it to her, she jokingly said I should also write a post about things you shouldn’t say to someone who’s pregnant. I actually thought that was a fabulous idea! More so because I was recently guilty about having asked #6 to an acquaintance and I’ve been kicking myself about it ever since.

For my research on this, I enlisted the help of the awesome moms from the Tri Cities Moms Group and boy, some of the things people say to pregnant women is unbelievable. Well, here is the list. Are you guilty of any of them?

10 things not to say to a pregnant woman

10 Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

1. Food Choices. Don’t tell a pregnant woman what she should or shouldn’t eat. When someone is pregnant, they’ve all done the food research and asked their doctors. So if they are eating something, they are aware and it’s their choice. A pregnant woman doesn’t need anyone, especially a stranger, questioning why she is drinking coffee or eating sushi.

2. Are you going to have more kids? Slow down…She’s still carrying a baby in her stomach and you’re already asking about the next one? Let her get through this one before she starts thinking about another. And maybe she doesn’t even want to tell you. It is a pretty personal question.

3. Touching a pregnant belly. This may be alright with some moms-to-be and not others, so just to be safe, ask before you start touching someone’s pregnant tummy. You wouldn’t do it if they weren’t pregnant so ask for permission first. It’s the polite thing to do.

4. Asking if she’s having twins. If there are twins in there, you’re safe. But if it’s not twins, you’re opening a whole can of worms and making this poor  mom question her weight gain, the size of her tummy, her baby and if everything’s okay. So just don’t ask, it’s not nice.

5. Recounting your labour story. A pregnant woman definitely doesn’t need to hear your birthing story about how painful the contractions were, how long the labour was and how difficult the recovery was. They’re going to go through it eventually, no need to scare them.

6. Was it planned? Is that really any of our business? Whether they planned the baby or it was a surprise, all that matters is that a baby is coming soon. Just be happy for the mom-to-be and ask her how she’s feeling.

7. Are you going to be breastfeeding? Another really personal question, especially from a stranger. It’s a mother’s right to decide what she thinks is best for her and her child so don’t go pushing your opinions and beliefs on to others.

8. It’s about time. Wow, that’s a pretty judgy thing to say. You don’t know why they waited to have children. Maybe it was a personal decision. Maybe they were having trouble conceiving. Maybe they were even having marital problems. Whatever the reason, it’s not our place to make that statement.

9. Are you sure you have the right due date? Of course she’s sure. She’s been to countless doctor’s appointments and done tests. By saying that you’re just telling her she’s too big and trust me, no pregnant woman wants to hear that. Believe me, it’s a pretty tough job creating a life inside your body, no need to make her feel more uncomfortable and self-conscious.

10. Enjoy your sleep now, because it’ll never be the same again. Really? How are you supposed to do that? You’re pregnant. Firstly you’re only supposed to sleep on one side, you have pillows supporting every part of your body and you have a life inside of you moving around. How can you enjoy sleep like that? And yes, with a newborn you have to wake up a lot but eventually you will enjoy your sleep again.

Can you add to this list? What are some of the unbelievable things that people said to you while you or someone you knew was pregnant?


39 thoughts on “10 Things NOT to Say to a Pregnant Woman

  1. You think this is bad…..try being a cancer patient or caregiver….some of the stupidest things on God’s green planet are said….fully can empathize with you here!

  2. hahaha this cracked me up. I swear all of these were done to me when I was pregnant with my daugther. She’s 18 months old now and it’s still very fresh of the most ANNOYING one on there…that is touching and rubbing of the belly. I used to have a t-shirt I would wear that said “if you didn’t put it there, you don’t get to touch”. My husband kept saying the next woman who came up and just rubbed my belly without permission I should put my hands up and rub her boobs and ask how she likes it. LOL

  3. A colleague of mine told me that I looked so much healthier when pregnant. Thanks . . . I think? 😉

  4. These are some great points. Some
    Women go through rough times to
    Have a baby and the question ” oh is it your first one” might not
    Be appropriate.

  5. My kids are a bit older however I remember those kinds of statements just got me PO’ed. One thing that was nervy was a family friend was sitting beside me during a dinner occasion and when I was pregnant with my daughter, she was kicking and I announced it. Instead of that family friend asking if she could feel it, she just put her hand right on my stomach out of no where. I thought that was nervy.

  6. Well done Salma! You really hit the nail on the head. Over the past 9 months I have been asked all of the above. This post was perfect and so funny!! Thank you!!!!!

  7. I’m guilty of 5 – only when asked though! It may have been almost 22 years ago now, but I think my labour mentally scarred me for life lol
    I slapped someone for touching my belly. No, no and no again. Don’t do it without asking – it’s creepy.

  8. Very funny – I have been guilty of “touching the belly” but only of close friends – would never invade a strangers privacy like that. No, wait there was that one time when…. Damn it!!! lol 🙂

  9. Love it Salma!!!!!!! Thanks for including food choices. I am still a bit peeved about the coffee.



  10. This is my first pregnancy and honestly, I wish most people would just let me be (strangers, not family/friends).
    I’ve always been smaller and when people see that I’m pregnant and ask how far along I am I get told I don’t look “that pregnant”.
    And then there’s the comments about how I should raise my kid.
    As for family, they are always trying to get me to eat and drink. I eat all day, I drink a ton of water and am always running to the bathroom , I think I’m doing pretty good haha.

  11. Great list! I remember dealing with some of these. The hardest for me was the pressure of eating more at meal times. I tend to eat smaller portions several times a day instead of three large meals. Each pregnancy is different and what works in one pregnancy may not work in the next.

  12. People always tried to shove extra food on me and it was soooooo annoying!

    Honestly, I think I’ve had each one on this list asked/done to me. Haha! Although I didn’t really mind the labour stories. It was calming to me to hear what could happen and to know that everything turned out well.

    One thing to add to your list, we announced our pregnancy at 10 weeks and people said to me, “Oh so you’re almost at the point of safety.” I know miscarriage is a possibility, but I really don’t feel like I need to be reminded of that.

  13. I’m smiling Salma b/c I think I’ve heard 8 out of 10 of these now (and some other doozies). It’s interesting how a pregnant woman or being a mom makes people forget *boundaries*… I’m not sure why it happens lol. It’s ironic b/c you go through very hormonal / tired periods where all you need is niceness and support – I don’t think some people understand how sensitive it all makes you.

    On good days I just ignore or address it – on bad days – sometimes I am not as excited to hang out with family and friends. But – I’ve got to say some people are absolutely amazing and careful about what they say – I really appreciate that 🙂

  14. I had someone (a Nurse-coworker, mind you) ask if “it was an accident?” REALLY?!?!?! Some people really need a filter!

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