First of all, I want to say that I hope I never sound preachy or know-it-all (and if I do, please tell me in a nice way). I have seen so many blogs and social media posts lately with people telling others how to be a better parent or spouse or person or whatever, and it comes off as a little snooty to me. This is just where I am raw and real and honest and I hope that is transparent.
Also, this is not an all-inclusive list, but just the things I have heard that were most baffling to me. Obviously I’ve only been pregnant three times and I am only one person, so these are just my experiences. Hope you enjoy
Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman:
1. “Oh, so you’re just ‘barely’/brand new pregnant.”: Last time I checked, you’re just as pregnant at four weeks as you are at four months. You’re either pregnant or you’re not. There’s not a pregnancy test that tells you you’re “kinda” pregnant… So if a woman confides in you early on in her pregnancy, elated about her news, and you choose to belittle her or the pregnancy in this way it can be really offensive. Even scary.
When I was pregnant with Presley I wasn’t knowledgeable about the risk of miscarriage. No one told me I should wait and tell the world after x amount of weeks. All I knew was that I was madly in love with my husband and God had blessed us with a baby in the womb… So when someone heard the news and asked me how far along I was and I replied 4 weeks, she said something along the lines of “Well it’s still so early, anything can happen.” So then I spent the entire rest of my pregnancy being worried something would happen, and instead of being excited I was scared. There is POWER in words, people.
Even this time I told a friend early on- even though we waited to tell “the world”- and she made a comment about it being “still brand new”, almost as if it didn’t count. When a woman is excited enough about something to share it with you, be happy for her and let your lips bring forth joy for her. She has enough to worry about on her own.
2. “You must not have much longer!”: If you don’t know that the mom has 1 week to go, please do not say this. Moms grow at different speeds and a girl who looks big to you might still have months left! I popped out a LOT recently and I went from hearing “Wow, you look great!” to “Wow, you must be due really soon!” in about a week. I swear at church on Sunday people were looking at me like I have six heads.
Moral of the story, no matter how much a woman has grown during her pregnancy, find something nice to compliment her on every time you see her. She needs it.
3. “You must be having a ______ because you are carrying so ______.”: This usually doesn’t end well. During my first pregnancy a woman at church came up behind me and said I was obviously having a girl because I had gotten SO WIDE.
She said that. To my face.
And now every time I see her or hear her name, that’s all I think about.
As it turns out, my girls do make me go wide. I was wide with Presley and have gotten wide with this baby girl. With Elikai I grew straight out and was all belly. Does that mean I need to walk up to a woman who has expanded horizontally during her pregnancy and tell her all about it? Um, no.
4. “Should you really be eating/drinking that?!”: I would venture to say that 95% of women in America know that it’s better to drink water and eat veggies all throughout pregnancy. But sometimes a girl needs a cup (or three) of coffee or a big fat burger and some pie. Chances are she is either highly self-conscious about eating these things to begin with or is dealing with insane food aversions and spends her days trying to find something to eat that won’t make her hurl.
Instead of criticizing her, why not offer to treat her to something special?
Like I said, this list isn’t all inclusive and it leaves a lot out. BUT if you avoid saying these four things to any pregnant woman I promise you will be much better off.
Ultimately it’s always better to find something complimentary, no matter what you may be thinking. If you can’t find anything to say nice about her body, say something about her hair or her eyes or shoes. Or ANYTHING. Tell her she’s beautiful, or that she’s going to be a great mom, or that she’s “glowing.”
Pregnancy is the most exquisite gift- one that I feel SO blessed to have experienced three times in five years. Let’s all remember not to rob a woman of such an incredible time with our thoughtless words.
And in case you were wondering, I still have 5+ weeks to go, so don’t tell me how big I am, k?
What’s the worst thing someone has said to you while you were preggo? Or what is something you said you wish you could take back? Let’s discuss!