If you have ever been pregnant, you have had the pleasure of experiencing one of the most interesting tests of human behavior out there. What am I talking about? Oh, just the fact that people generally tend to misplace all sense of tact, respect, sensitivity and in some cases, completely lose any filter between the brain and mouth. Shockingly, not all misplaced or rude comments come from people who don’t know better, but also from women who have been pregnant and DO know better, yet for some reason, it still comes out. It’s like verbal diarrhea, there is no stopping the crap from coming out of their mouth.
The best part to hearing these offensive, stupid and rude comments? How are you supposed to respond to them? How long can you possibly be expected to smile politely and laugh things off before it turns into a pregnant rage and/or cry-fest?Do most people not realize that pregnant woman have feelings, too? I’m not jaded enough to think that most of the comments are meant to be hurtful or rude, but why don’t people think before they speak? Sure, some reactions to these may have something to do with overactive hormones, but let me tell you, there is only so many times someone can hear about how big they have gotten, before they are ready to Hulk-Smash everyone. I don’t go around pointing out your regular weight gain, even when it’s increasingly obvious that maybe you should lay off the McDonals and Starbucks, so what is it about my pregnant state that gives you the license to say anything you want to me? Everyone is entitled to their opinion, fine, but why do you feel the need to dump everything you think/feel/experienced on me?
At this point, I am getting frustrated with the comments and exclamations about my size. It’s tiresome to have to explain that, no I am not due any day, yes there is only one baby, and I’m not sure how much bigger I can get. As the days go by, it’s harder and harder not to come back with sarcastic remarks or flat our bitchy-ness. Knowing I am not alone in receiving these kinds of comments, I turned to friends and family to compile a list of things you should never say to a pregnant woman.
- “Are you sure there’s just one in there?”
- … usually followed by “maybe there is another one hiding and they missed it!”
- “Wow, you gained a lot of weight that baby is going to be so healthy…”
- “Do you really need maternity clothes? come on, you aren’t going to get THAT fat.”
- “Are you allowed to drive?”
- “How much weight have you gained?”
- “You’re really eating a hot dog? Those are so bad for you!” (sub in cheese, lunch meat, seafood, sushi etc)
- “I bet you’re ready for that epidural, aren’t you!?”
- “no epidural? Come on, don’t be a hero.”
- “yeah, you say you don’t want an epidural. You’re gonna want an epidural. Trust me.”
- “How are you feeling?”
- “You’re glowing!” meaning “you’re a fat sweaty mess.”
- “I like the old fashioned maternity clothes better… These clothes that are so tight on the belly are so indiscreet.”
- “You look like you’re going to pop.”
- “Do you have heartburn… Oh, I had…”
- “DON’T YOU JUST LOVE BEING PREGNANT?!”
- “You’re carrying high/low/out/big. You’re having a boy/girl.”
- “What happened to your boobs?!”
- “Get all the sleep you can!”
- “Wow, your feet/hands/face/nose/whatever is really swollen!”
- “Are you seriously walking like that? Or is that just a pregnant thing?”
- “Wow, I guess you’re taking advantage of that ‘eating for two’ concept!”
- “Are you sure you want to cut your hair this way? I don’t want you to regret it tomorrow, what with your hormones and all.”
- “IS THE BABY KICKING? LET ME FEEL IT!” *hands grab onto your belly, without any consent given.*
- “I can’t believe you’ll be pregnant over the summer/winter. HOW MISERABLE.”
- “Do you have pickle cravings?”
- “Are you sure you aren’t further along than you think?”
- “How are you going to make it that far?”
- “Should you be out walking? I’d stay close to the hospital if I were you!”
- “You are totally going to go into labor early.”
- “You’re having a c-section, right?!”
- “Why are you having a c-section?!”
- “Are you going to breastfeed?”
- “If you think you are tired now…”
- “Wow six months, really? you look like you are due any day now!”
- “You’re having a baby? Wow, I’m not ready for my life to be over like that!”
- “That looks really uncomfortable.”
- “You must have a ton of stretch marks!”
- “So I guess you’ll be disappointed if its another girl? Just think, if you have a boy you’ll have a million dollar family!”
- “Was this a planned pregnancy?”
Do you see where I am going here? Filter-less! You may be reading these and be shocked that anyone would say any one of those to another person, but rest assured, they have. I have come to the conclusion that people just feel the need to say something, anything to acknowledge the state of a pregnant woman. So why does it usually come out in the form of something insensitive?
Let me tell you this: My body is currently growing another human being. My body is doing things on it’s own that most people can barely wrap their heads around. My uterus is growing to almost 20+ times it’s regular size, my internal organs are moving to accommodate that. The level of blood in my body has literally doubled. My breasts have tripled in size, already, in preparation to feed another human being. My hip and pelvic bones are shifting, in preparation for birth. In short, my body is working it’s ass off to create this beautiful, perfect, wonderful little human, and you feel the need to point out how big/uncomfortable/tired I look?! I like to think I can go through pregnancy with as much grace and positivity as possible, but some people just make it hard.
All I am asking, is that before you offer your opinion or advice to a pregnant woman, stop and think. My rule of thumb is this: unless there is a baby’s head hanging out of my neither regions, or I bring up the pregnancy first, smile, tell me I look great and wish me all the best.