10 Things You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman

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By this point in my pregnancy, it’s no secret anymore. At 29 weeks, I have a very obvious belly and waddle more than I walk.

10 things you should never say to pregnant women

After hearing every silly comment in the book about being pregnant, I thought that a public service announcement was in order. I took to my friends on Twitter and Facebook, and asked for their help.

The Kennedy Adventures on Facebook

1. You’re Huge!
I got this comment from a patient the other day – I walked in the room to discharge her, and she says to me, “When are you due”. (cue theme from Jaws)

I said, “June”. She then turns to her family member and says, “She’s huge! You’re due in July, and you can’t even tell you are pregnant.”

Sigh.

I refrained from screaming at her, simply pointed behind me, and said, “There’s the door.”

2. Don’t you know what causes that?

I’m almost 40 years old. If I don’t know what causes babies by now, I’m in sad shape.

My response to this comment? “Why,yes, I do. And I’m very good at it. Just ask my husband.”

3. Are you sure there’s not twins in there?

As the mother of twins, this was no longer funny the second time I heard it. And for the record, there is only one baby in there. Yes, we’re sure.

4. Thank God I won’t be pregnant during the summer! How AWFUL!

My friend Leanne at Life Happens When reminded me of this comment, and variations thereof. Trust me, the first thing a pregnant woman does is calculate her due date. We will certainly know without a doubt the average temperatures and humidities in our area for our due month by the time the pregnancy test turns positive. And, in an ‘eat crow’ moment — I’ve been guilty of saying this to people. Whoops! There’s a dose for humility for me, since I’m due June 9th.

5. You shouldn’t be eating/drinking that!

When I cruise into work drinking a Monster drink every few weeks, I hear this one. Thankfully, no one has ever passed judgement on my sushi consumption. I seriously don’t think my caffeine intake is a problem – and if it is, Baby Kennedy will surely let me know. ;)

6. Any horror story about pregnancy/labor/delivery

The last thing a pregnant woman needs to hear are horrid stories about pregnancy or the world’s worst labor. Please keep those comments to yourself.

7. You’re having children late in life, aren’t you?

I heard this one at work, and I thought another nurse friend would fall out of her chair. I’m obviously not 21, but I don’t have one foot in the grave, either. Tactful conversation is an art.

8. I can’t believe you’re not finding out what this baby is! You’re crazy!

When I was pregnant with my boys, I made a promise to my husband that we would not find out the gender of our children. There’s a sense of heightened excitement to meet our baby, to learn all about him or her. Believe it or not, it’s fun!

As far as planning for the baby – gender specific things really can wait until after the baby arrives.

9. Haven’t you had that baby yet?

This seriously might be one of my all time ‘blow my stack’ comments. Obviously, if I’m walking around with a big ole belly, and no baby in sight, the answer is pretty clear. Babies come when they are ready.

10. So you’re done having kids, right?

Sigh. I get this one a lot, too, since this is baby #5. I tell people, “Have you seen my children? They’re beautiful. Why waste these genes?”

My children are a blessing – from the oldest down to the tiniest. I don’t have my sights set on a ginormous family, but if God blesses us with more children, I’ll just ask for much more grace!

What about you? Did your least favorite make the list? Be sure and share your story in the comment box!

This post will be linked to: Top Ten Tuesdays, Works for Me Wednesday, Wordful Wednesdays, Pour My Heart Out and The Mommy Club.

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Comments

  1. oops! I am sure I have said 1/2 those things! Not know more :)

  2. People just say dumb things, don’t they? ;)

    Yeah, #9 is the worst. Duh.

    • Oh, yeah. It’s the pits. I’ve read of people putting a message on the answering machine (remember those!) along the lines of – “Thanks for calling, and yes, she’s still pregnant!”

  3. Can I add a post-partum comment?

    “Hey! I just got my pre-pregnancy jeans on!”

    I saw this on facebook two weeks after that person delivered her baby, and three weeks after I had delivered mine. *phhffth!*

  4. I heard almost all of these. The worst was “I was never as big as you are even in my ninth month. Wow, you are really huge!”

    What is wrong with people? And my comments were almost exclusively from women who had been pregnant themselves. You’d think they’d have more tact.

    On the other hand, I had a lot of men tell me very sweetly how glowing and beautiful I was. :)

  5. Really? Only x weeks to go? is everything okay? you’re far smaller than I was at x weeks. (I know not everyone gets this but it’s honestly as bad as you’re huge!!!)
    Also ” what are you having?” erm… a baby? (although my husband usually answers with a totally straight face: “we’re hopinf for a penguin!”

    • No, you’re right — it’s as bad as the ‘you’re so ginormous’ ones. It makes you worry needlessly!

      Tee hee — I was irritable today, and came back with the “I hope it’s a baby!” comment. Penguin is pretty darn funny.

  6. The one that really cracks me up, (since I wear a veiling and people aren’t quite sure what that means) is: “Are you a nun?”

    Now mind I have three preschoolers following me and am pregnant!

    I’m always tempted to say ” Yes, but I’ve slipped up a few times.” but so far I’ve restrained myself.

    Pregnancy comments don’t really bother me, I kind of figure people are trying to think of something to say and that’s what comes out. On the other hand I can’t stand people feeling like they can touch my belly just ’cause I’m pregnant!…K

    • Oh, Kyndra! That makes me giggle. I can only imagine people’s faces. You have more restraint than me — if they caught me on a bad day, I’d let that one slip for sure.

      I don’t get too many belly touchers — when I do, at least I know them. Strangers might lose a hand.

  7. wow, my mouth dropped several times during this article. I can’t fathom some people.. What’s that famous saying.. oh yea.. think before you speak! lol
    sheesh
    Congrats on your pregnancy!!!! How exciting! =)

    -Samantha
    KreativeKaring.com

    • Thanks Samantha! I compiled this list from my own experience, as well as some of my friends. You know what they say …. truth is stranger than fiction!

      Thanks for coming by!

  8. #9 is the worst to me. DOES IT LOOK LIKE I’VE HAD THIS BABY???

    I am such a miserable pregnant woman that those comments just make me want to kill someone. So beware, people, if it happens again. AND YES I KNOW WHAT CAUSES IT. DO YOU?

    • tee hee — you’re making me laugh. I asked my husband the other day, and apparently, I’m whining more this pregnancy than I did with my twin pregnancy. Sigh. Apparently I am not aging well, or it’s DARN HARD running around after many small children while pregnant.

  9. What is it about being pregnant that makes people think we are fair game for their too personal comments and/or belly rubs? Eeew. Maybe they think we can’t run fast enough to get away…

  10. GREAT list, and I think I’ve heard them all. Your #2 is my favorite–I don’t think I’d have the guts to say that to someone, but oh, how I’d love to be there to hear you deliver that line!

  11. So, when I was pregnant last year, I was at a friend’s house and her 15 year old daughter comes in and says “wow! You’re huge!” Her mom reprimanded her a little and she said “well, she’s pregnant, it’s the only time I get to say she’s huge!”
    Umm…. okay. LOL Yeah…. all those comments get old fast.

    • They really do — people look at you with horror if you respond snarkily, but if they knew how many times you’d heard that same comment, they MIGHT understand how annoyed you are.

  12. Cute list, and they all get said at one point or another don’t they? I also got the “have you had your baby yet?” when yes, I had already had the baby. Granted it had only been one week and I still looked 6 months preggo, but still!

  13. A post right up my alley! Here are a couple from last week…

    cashier: “wow, looks like you’re due any day now” annoying comment in itself but even more-so when it follows your answer to her question of your due date (5 more weeks).

    neighbour: “wow she’s barely old enough to be a big sister!”
    Thanks I’m already nervous about having 2 kids and she will be almost 2 and a half which I think is a pretty common age gap…

    • Oh, boy. When I was pregnant with my twins, and still working as an ER nurse, one guy shrieked, “OH MY GOSH, YOU LOOK LIKE YOU’RE READY TO EXPLODE”. I said to him, “Well, I’m in the hospital, so I suppose it’s a good place to be. Now, why are you here?”

      Argh.

  14. #8 just made me laugh. With my last pregnancy, I had a couple of friends who were SO anxious to know if it was a boy or girl…and didn’t want to wait nine months to find out. :-)

  15. I have had two children so far, both boys, and I know I want to have at least one more (hopefully a girl). But I am NOT looking forward to starting up with all of the comments again.

    I got a lot of these, but sometimes the opposite. For instance, I am only going-on-25 years old, so I got a lot of “Are you even old enough to have kids? You’re still a kid yourself.” …I’ve been married for 6 years to the same wonderful man, I think I’ve earned the right to have his children.
    “You’re so small, there’s no way you’re due in July.” …I am not staying pregnant longer than 40 weeks just so you can be satisfied with my size, thank you. And my child will be perfectly normal, don’t EVEN go there. ”
    “Oh, when are you due?” (With my newborn in his infant carrier beside me.) …Really?
    “Wow, that baby sure put the pounds on your waist, didn’t he? Oh and those stretch marks… you’ll never get rid of those. So sorry to hear that. I don’t have stretch marks, myself…” …[this is where I refrain from punching them, and simply walk away telling myself it isn’t worth it.]

    • Some of my favorite parts of being pregnant is when it is a secret — sure, we may feel like poop, but the general public doesn’t know we’re carrying a baby in our belly. I like it more when no one knows.

      “no way you’re due in July” – really? As if you wouldn’t know your own pregnancy. Argh!

      • I still get questions when I say how old my son is, he is almost 4 but people will question me as he is quite small. Like I wouldn’t remember when he was born!

  16. I got really big fast with a couple of my kids. I would be somewhere 6 months pregnant and people would tell me that I was to go home immediately because I was going to have the baby any day.

  17. People ain’t got no sense. If you think it’s bad when you’re pregnant, you should hear what they have to say when you’re in the middle of a miscarriage. I’m 7 weeks pregnant with #5. Lost #4 in January. Oh, and I’ll be 38 in April, so I feel you on the “advanced age” comments. My children’s former pediatrician made an inappropriate comment about my age…when I was 34. Like I said, people ain’t got no sense.

    • Why yes, you’re in the same camp as me. Having babies ‘late in life’ ;)

      Just had a birthday, so my youngest daughter is going around telling everyone how old I am. I think we need to have a talk about privacy. ;)

  18. I love this! I’m due in May and I’ve hating admitting that due date for awhile now because everyone passes judgement on my size. It’s a 4th baby conceived on an IUD! is sometimes what I want to shriek. Or have stenciled on a tshirt. how about: you’ll never make it. Really? Because I might just go to that due date so you’re really making me feel good. thanks for the empathy!

    • Oh, I heard “you’ll never make it” when I was pregnant with the boys. It would make me so mad — really? You’re wishing micro-preemies on me? Thanks. That was from my same brother in law who kept joking “I’ll bet there’s three in there! hahaha”. Grr!

  19. “so when are you going to have another one?”

    this was said to me 6 weeks after my emergency c-section at 29 weeks. my son was still in the nicu and i hadn’t even gotten to the point where i had figured out the nursery.

    it took a good 6 months before i stopped wanting to roundhouse-kick the people who said that to me.

  20. I love this! You look beautiful – and I love all the shots! :)

  21. Yea, people say the stupidest things! When I mentioned to my husband that I couldn’t see my feet anymore and my daughter had to help me with my shoes – he laughed and compared me to Fat Bastard! Now, if you have a sense of humor and have seen Austin Powers you know that it is because Fat Bastard made a joke about how he hasn’t seen his mojo in years because he is so fat…. well I was 9 months pregnant and the humor was completely lost on me!!

  22. Uuuuuuuuugh, people can be so rude to pregnant women. I went through it, too, and I only have one! I’m sorry you’re getting so many rude comments, but you and your children are beautiful.

  23. Agree!!! This is a great post. I will keep all of these in mind ;) Thanks for sharing.

  24. I’m currently 41 weeks pregnant with my 7th (my oldest just turned 10 a few months ago).

    My most hated comment is the question, “When are you due?” along with #9, and it’s variations, usually, “Why are you still here?” (um, because I OBVIOUSLY haven’t had the baby yet, are you blind?)

    All of my babies have been born between 42-44 weeks. If I tell people my due date and it was 2 weeks ago, they freak out. It gets really annoying really fast. A couple of weeks ago at church I had 5 women in a row walk up to me and ask me what my due date was. It’s really not anyone’s business what my exact due date is. They’re not satisfied with a “soon,” or “any day now”, or “In the next few weeks” response. They are VERY insistent, “But what’s your DUE date?” even after I’ve answered the above. I get tired of telling people over and over that I always go over (do they really need to know that I go over because I have a longer cycle and so therefore conceive at a later date than those with a shorter cycle? No. That’s pretty intimate knowledge.) I then get all sorts of comments even when I do explain, such as “I insist that my doctor induce me at 37 weeks every time” (um, yeah, that’s disturbing), or “How can they let you go over?”, or “They LET you go that long?”, or “Your baby is going to be HUGE” (my babies are usually in the 7 1/2 pound range).

    JUST LEAVE ME ALONE! I’ll have the baby when I’m ready to have the baby. Don’t ask when I’m due; the date has already passed. And I’m sure it won’t be until at least next week, or even 2 more weeks. I’m only 41 weeks :) And that’s really on a need-to-know basis :)

    • Bless your heart!!!! People need more to do, I’ve decided.
      The general public does not know that it’s a very tiny percentage of women who deliver on their due date.

      And, if you told them about your cycle, their eyes would just bug out …. because you KNOW everyone has a 28 day cycle. ;)

      37 weeks — phew. My twins were born at 37w, 5 days, and even though they were both over 6 lbs, they didn’t nurse as well as my girls who were born at 41 and 39 weeks. Babies come when they are ready — but you already know that!

      Prayers for a happy, healthy delivery!!

  25. Good list!
    Here’s my least favorite:
    When I was expecting my 2nd boy, people would ask if we were going to try again for a girl- like we should be disappointed with having two boys. Grrrr…

    • I ADORE my two boys … they bring an amazing amount of joy to my life. My girls are great, but boys are so different, and unique, and wonderful!!

      I get – “so, this is your tiebreaker?” because I have 2 boys and 2 girls.

  26. Oh but wait! It gets worse. Once number four is born you get categorically placed in loonyville with the likes of Angelina Jolie and Octomom!
    People have asked me if I planned#4, if I ever used birth control, and told me their children would have to visit them through the glass of the psych ward if they were in my shoes!
    Manners? Nope.

  27. I’m amazed that these comments are so universal. Why do people think they have the right to say these things? Love your responses, though.

    Stopping by from PYHO

  28. This list is so good it’s scary. The only thing I’d add: “HOW far along are you? I thought you’d say like 10 months. And you’re only 6? Wow!”

    • I get that kind of blindside comment with the “When are you due?” — I say “June”, and they say, “Ohhhhhhhh, I thought it would be sooner.”

      June is NOT that far away, folks. Only 10 weeks.

  29. We’re pregnant with #4 after having 3 boys. Not sure why this bothers me so much, but the comment I get the most is…”are trying for a girl?” I always want to answer with, “yes, we’re just going to have as many children as it takes till we get that girl.” I’ve also gotten the “your huge” already at 19 weeks.

  30. #8 is my favorite. We didn’t find out either. It was so cool and exciting. Anybody that says you need to find out to plan, is just using that as an excuse because they want to know. I found that we didn’t need specific boy or girl clothes right away because so many people buy you clothes right after having the baby. I wrote a post about not finding out here:

    http://www.suzyhomemaker.net/2011/10/boy-or-girl.html

    Now I will say that I do think there are reasons that someone would want to find out, besides impatience, I just think planning is not a valid reason.

    • You’re exactly right — some of the comments I’ve gotten in regards to that are, “But how are we supposed to plan?” Last I checked, this baby was coming home with me, so what difference does it make?

      I’m off to look at your post!

  31. I really hate #9. Especially when one is overdue. Gee thanks like I never noticed I was still pregnant. :)
    LOVE LOVE your response to number 10. Why waste these genes! Love it. Wish I thought of it. :)

  32. Sounds like you handle it pretty well! Your children are beautiful! Hope you make it through this pregnancy without blowing your stack :) Found you through WFMW

  33. I got “don’t you know what causes that” a lot. B/c I had my three all in a row, in less than 3.5 years. And then when people heard my third was another boy, I got “are you going to try for a girl?” Um, NO. Let me have this baby. Believe it or not, we had another baby b/c we wanted a baby, not because we wanted a girl. Ugh.

  34. lol. Ye!

  35. #6 is the reason I say little around pregnant women, because even eight year later, I’m not able to have a cheery “when I was pregnant” conversation – but I realize that my story isn’t the normal, so I have made a point not to be the woman who walks around scaring pregnant women.

    • THANK YOU! I heard a handful of stories while I was pregnant with my twins, about people who had lost one of their twins in utero. Seriously? Who in the world thinks that’s a good idea? If you came in and were diagnosed with cancer, you’d be appalled if I told you all the people I knew who died. Eeek!

  36. Yep, mine made the list. LOL. I am sure I heard at least half of those! Definitely agree on the don’t share horror stories! I was already a nervous wreck with mine!

  37. This is a great list….and I’m so sorry you’re being subjected to some of these! I always thought it was funny when I was pregnant that the rude or thoughtless comments seemed to come from women who had kids. I don’t know if some people feel that the commonality of motherhood gives license them to say whatever they want or maybe people just forget what it’s like to wear the pregnancy shoes.
    Glad I found you on here! I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes smoothly.

  38. We never found out the baby’s gender and it drove people mad! Complete strangers were beyond irritated that we were going to be surprised. I wanted to throat punch them!

  39. I’ve been guilty of hearing and saying some of those things *cone of shame*.

    However, #10 is the kicker…I can say I’ve never said, but I have heard it – especially during my 3rd pregnancy…our 3rd girl. It was either “are you done” or “are you trying for a boy”.,,

    Anyway, love your take on it w/beautiful kids and great genes! I’ll have to remember that if there’s ever a #4.

    Glad Angie and Amanda featured you this week for WW.

  40. I used to get all those comments too. Why possesses people to think they can comment on anyone’s weight – let alone a pregnant woman. sheesh I love your comebacks though!

    following from PYHO

  41. I can relate to that last one, for sure. Although, after the 7th child they just stopped asking me that. “So you are done having kids, right?” just got OLD by that time, I guess. Now they ask, “So when’s the next one coming?” Now everyone just assumes that there will be another ;)

  42. Ha, i got all of these too. I also have a girl and twin boys, but i was much bigger with my first, the girl. If one more person told me how huge i was i swear i wouldda punched them. Just what every woman wants to hear, pregnant or not. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy, just pop in some ear plugs and smile and nod.

    Stopping by from PYHO.

  43. I must admit I have said a few of the things on your list, but I never tell people horror stories. I always remind them that each pregnancy is different. More often than not I merely tell pregnant women that they look beautiful. As much as I loved being pregnant, I do recall those days that I didn’t feel too pretty.

    • I would hug you …. I told folks there should only be 2 things you should ever say to a PG woman.
      1 – You look beautiful!
      2- How can I help you!

      Mimi, you are a wise woman!

  44. I love your response to #2! I was always bothered by #5. Yes, I was going to have a coke with my lunch, I wasn’t concerned about it. I was awake in the middle of most nights for an hour or two while my baby had a dance party. If the shocked co-worker wanted to do my job and let me take a nap, that would have been fine, too.

    • Oh, I know. I drink coffee every day now, too, and I hear folks fuss about it. I didn’t drink it while I was PG, because it gave me wicked heartburn.

      :)

      Thanks for visiting!

  45. After having had very big twins, I am in that category of people where the comment of “”are you pregnant again” is so not on. Becasue no, I am not preganant. I just have twin skin.

    You look beautiful btw!

  46. Rachel Brinks says:

    I have to disagree with #1 – I mean, obviously, it depends on the woman, but my dream was always to stick WAY out when pregnant, so I consider “You’re huge!” the absolute best compliment. :) Maybe that’s just me.

    • You have a better outlook than I do/did, Rachel, and maybe I need to look at it like that more. I do remember with my oldest daughter how I couldn’t WAIT to be showing.

      :)

  47. Mom to boys says:

    I am large chested, so I often hear that I am so small or barely look pregnant after I just told them when my baby is due. I am measuring right on track. It’s just when you stack a couple of cantaloupes on a watermelon, the watermelon doesn’t look as big. I don’t let it bother me though.

    The other thing that can get to me sometimes is a variation on number 10. This is my third boy, and many seem to ask if I am trying for a girl. We already planned on 4 or 5, and I would have loved a girl someday, but I love my sons for the blessings they are. In many cultures, moms to boys are revered, but I actually had someone tell me to my face, “I always pity moms of boys.” Really? You pity me for having three healthy children that I am honored to raise??? Some people can’t even have children, and you pity me because I can’t paint their nails???

    • Isn’t it so sad, the things we hear? I adore being the mother of boys, but I worry so much about them in a culture that downplays their value, and portrays them as idiots. Argh.

      Cantaloupes and watermelons …. I’m right there with you, girl!

      Thanks for coming by!

  48. I don’t even bring up a woman’s pregnant state unless she mentions it first, unless we’re good friends/family and I know I can say certain things (though this list is still off limits!). One thing I have to say, though, is I think it’s super annoying when people refer to pregnant women as “prego” or “preggers”. She’s pregNANT. That is a blessing, not something to be ashamed of, thus no need for cutesy euphemisms.

    Also, as someone newly married and trying to conceive, I get the question “So when are you going to have a baby?”, and anything I do/feel that might be an indication of pregnancy, people glom onto. “Oh, you’re nauseous this morning? PREGNANT!” “You just ate a peanut butter and pickle sandwich (which I’ve loved since age 3)? You’re obviously pregnant!” And so on. It’s just a constant reminder that we haven’t been successful yet. Have some respect, people!

    • I think it all goes back to that old adage, “If you can’t say something nice ….. don’t say anything at all!”

      You’re right about the euphemisms …. boy, they are annoying!

      Thanks for dropping in!

      • Danielle Peterson says:

        The one I keep getting is “KNOCKED UP.” I have actually responded with a very curt, “say that again and I will knock your face up.” I did happen to smile while saying it, though. :)

  49. My cousin got this one from her HUSBAND (at 7 and 1/2 mos):

    Jess: I feel like a whale…
    Steve: Don’t worry honey, I’ll protect you from the harpoons.
    Jess: >_<

    • Oh, now ….. I’ll admit, I giggled when I read this. I should be ashamed of myself.

      I’m sure she hit him!

      Wonder if they’ve seen the Jim Gaffigan skit about whales …..

      Thanks for making me laugh, Caroline!

  50. I was feeling particularly cute one day, wearing some designer maternity jeans, about 30 weeks pregnant. My youngest brother, 18 at the time, took a look at me and innocently asked, “Is your butt supposed to get bigger when you’re pregnant”?

    And scene.

    • Aren’t little brothers just full of spit and vinegar!

      I’m glad you could laugh about it!

      Thanks so much for stopping by! We will have to get together so you can give me a style critique. I’m in that weird age — too old for juniors, not old enough for ‘woman” section. Argh! Add the fact that I am petite to the mix, and stylish clothes are a hard topic round here. ;)

  51. Elizabeth says:

    I had a lady at Home Depot ask my due date (two months to go at the time with one precious little girl) and drop her jaw with an exclaimed, “you’re huge!’ then turn to her male co-worker and say “so-and-so isn’t that huge and she’s due before the end of the month. Twins? Are they sure about the due date? Hmm…it must be a boy.” To my appreciation, the male co-worker hit her against the shoulder and scolded her for the comments. The most difficult one was when my husband’s boss asked when I was due (7 months AFTER my delivery). Yes, I still had a little mommy tummy on me, but I didn’t think it was that obvious…I’m overweight but am tall and tend to carry it pretty well. His wife lectured him all the way home and had him send me chocolates and flowers to apologize.

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