Welcome to the wildest ride of your life (until you have kids): pregnancy. Every pregnant woman experiences their own unique journey that is fraught with a variety of new emotions, physical experiences and…ah yes, unsolicited commentary. We know this all too well. Now of course, some of this commentary might be well-intentioned, but that does not mean that it is easy to hear as a person working to create another life. So, for those wondering, here are a few things you should NEVER (ever, ever) say to a pregnant woman:
Tell a pregnant woman your traumatic birth story. We know that your story matters and deserves to be heard but all too often these stories end up deepening the existing anxieties of a pregnant woman. Please put yourself in her shoes and resist that urge.
Comment on what they are eating. Whether you think that woman is eating too little, too much, too healthy, or too fattening, it frankly is none of your business what she is putting into her body. We get it, it can be tough to ignore an outrageous pregnancy craving like dipping a pickle in coffee. But for the love of god, let her do her thing.
Exclaim how ‘big’ they are. The extreme changes that happen to our bodies while we are pregnant are already incredibly difficult to navigate. You have no idea how that woman is feeling in her new body and I can guarantee a “You’re huge!” is not going to make a positive impact.
Offer advice you weren’t asked (BOOM! IMAGINE!). It is mindblowing how many times pregnant people are approached with unsolicited advice. Strangers in Target? Check. Mother-in-law? Check. Friend you haven’t talked to in 5 years? Check. We beg of you…If they don’t ask, please don’t tell.
Pry on gender or name if they don’t share. These topics vary so much for every pregnant couple and odds are, they get asked at least one of the two by every other person they encounter. We know you have good intentions, but just let them be on this one.
Ask them if it was ‘an accident.’ Honestly, this one should be obvious: their pregnancy plans do not concern you. Please wish them a healthy and happy pregnancy.
Send them wild articles. Please take into account the hormones, anxiety, and discomfort that a pregnant person might be experiencing on a daily basis. Throw in a wild article about pregnancy or otherwise and you just might send her into a spiral. Positive vibes only please <3
Ask them if they plan on breastfeeding. People seem to love to get up on that soap box but…can you not?