Anyone who’s experienced a pregnancy can surely relate to this post and shares in my amazement of people’s word vomit.
Recently at a networking luncheon, at about 20 weeks pregnant, a former coworker who I hadn’t seen in months (and who is not a close friend) said to me, “Either you’re gaining a lot of weight or there’s a baby in there.”
Seriously. Who says that?
In 2009 during my first pregnancy, a friend of mine and fellow pregger shared the brilliant list below. Her friend compiled it during her pregnancy, and I regret I don’t know her name.
If you know what’s good for you, you will never utter any of the following to a pregnant gal.
10 Things NOT to say to a Pregnant woman
1) “Are you pregnant?”
Well, let me tell you this – if a woman is in the early stages of pregnancy, she probably is still feeling a little overwhelmed and aside from close friends and family members, she is most likely not ready to shout to the whole world that she has indeed been ‘knocked up’. When the time is right and she is ready to share the good news, trust me, she will tell you. On the other hand, if she is NOT pregnant and just gained a couple of pounds in the gut area… ehem, it is just plain RUDE to ask! Either way, just ZIP it, will ya? And no… asking her friends and family behind her back if she is pregnant is also not okay, because now, you just started a whole office gossip and speculation on a topic that she may not want to talk about just yet. If you are just bored off your a**, had nothing better to do, and might just explode if you don’t hear a gossip soon, I suggest you pick up a copy of the latest People’s magazine or the National Enquirer. Thank you.
2) “Wow, you’re getting bigger!”
This one rank in the number one ‘duh’ list. We are pregnant, there is another little person in there, growing inside us everyday… what do you think is going to happen? Of course, we are getting bigger – every single frigging day! And you think that we don’t know or notice? When we get dressed every morning and our wardrobe gets smaller and smaller because nothing else fits, we noticed. We don’t need you tell us that we are getting bigger. That is as much a compliment to a pregnant woman as telling someone who’s just gone through chemo that their hair is thinning.)
3) “At least you can eat for two now!”
No, moron. We can’t and shouldn’t be eating for two, even if you’ve never been pregnant, common sense should tell you that, and a doctor certainly will. While a pregnant woman should definitely eat nutritious food to provide enough nutrition for herself and her baby, pregnancy is hardly a license to be gluttonous and “eat all you can” at the buffet line. If anything, there are a lot of food are off-limits to a pregnant woman, and some of them, like sushi or sashimi, may just happen to be her favorites. To top it off, don’t forget that after the 9 months and the baby is born, we still have to lose all those excess weight and bounce back to our old self, just so no one will ask us Question 1.
4) “Everybody is having a baby! It’s so crazy!”
Yeah, did you NOT get the memo? We all plan this together – we all read in the astrology section that this year is a great year for having babies. Or maybe we were all at the same party one night and ended up in an orgy that got us all knocked up overnight. Having a baby is a very private and personal decision for each couple, and this comment is annoying because we can almost hear the next silent part (that you may just be muttering under your breath), “…Phew! Glad I’m not!”
5) “So-and-so is also pregnant! You should go talk to her!”
Sure, why not? In fact, let’s throw a national conference and get all pregos into one room so that they could ‘talk to each other’. Aside from the obvious timing and coincidence that two women are going to have babies at the same time, there are no other similarities in life situations there, and no, we don’t feel any more ‘bonded’ to each other because we are both pregnant. If two people are going to be best friends, they will be best friends regardless and if they are two very different people in the first place, pregnancy won’t change that and make them best friends overnight. In fact, even the pregnancy experiences for each woman is so different that doctors and books have warned expectant moms to ‘wear blinders and earplugs’ and be cautious about swapping notes with other pregnant women and hearing horror tales from other women who claimed to have “been there, done that.”
6) “You look so cute in your maternity clothes!”
This one is meant to be a compliment, but it is just annoying because most pregnant women don’t feel ‘cute’ in a maternity dress. They feel bloated and frankly, a little bit of a ‘whale’ as their stomach swells and nothing else fits. That’s why they are wearing maternity clothes, because nothing else fits. If you seriously think that moms’ jeans with elastic bands are ‘cute’, maybe you should consider buying a pair for yourself? If you are paying us a compliment, we prefer you just say, “You look great!” and stop at that, thank you.
7) “… do you mind if I ask you…”
STOP. Stop right there… if you have to preface it with “do you mind”, you obviously think that it might be an inappropriate question to ask. So don’t. Just zip it, okay? What are we supposed to say? Even if we do mind, you put us in an awkward situation, where we either politely say we don’t (when we had rather you not ask) or chance saying, yes, we do, and have that awkward silence afterwards.
8) “How far along are you?”
This is the Number 1 question that most pregnant women get asked – by EVERYBODY. The point is, I really don’t get it. Unless you are family and really close friends, (which if you are, I assume you will not need to ask because you would already know the answer) I really don’t get it as to why everyone else feels compelled to ask this question. For one, seriously, it’s not as if you are going to remember the answer a week from now, and secondly, what does it matter to you how far along we are? If what you’re really asking is when the baby will be born, then, just ask that. Most women will remember their due date better than having to do maths in their head every time someone ask them how far along they are.
9) “Can you believe that a baby’s going to come out of there? Sex will never be the same again!”
Believe it or not, most pregnant women have heard this stupid comment more than once from friends, strangers, men and women alike. If we are expecting our first child, we are terrified enough as it is, with the prospect of labor pain and the actual delivery, whether it is vaginal or C-section. We really don’t need you to tell us of how and where a baby came from. Maybe next, you can go ask a breast cancer patient whether they are afraid of dying and if sex will ever be the same again!)
10) “When I was pregnant, I gained 35 pounds and spent 24 hours in labor. It was the worst pain ever.”
Last but not least, most women who said this, probably just thought that they were sharing their life experiences and passing along the ‘wisdom’. But saying this to a first time expectant mom is almost malicious. It serves no purpose whatsoever, other than satisfying their own twisted thought that, ‘well, I went through it, now, it’s your turn”. Well, guess what? Just because you were bitter about your own labor experience doesn’t mean everyone will share a similar experience. Even if we do, we will not give you the satisfaction of knowing so. So, unless you have something positive to say, I suggest you hold your tongue or I might just bite it off myself!