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5 Things You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman

Some people simply don't know how to talk to pregnant women. Soon-to-be moms are sick of hearing "You're not due til December?! You're huge!!" Here are the top five topics you should never discuss with a pregnant woman or mom-to-be.
pregnant woman sitting in window
Updated: May 30, 2023

Dear everyone,

On behalf of all pregnant women currently walking the face of the earth, I’d like to take a moment to share with you some of the most common things we hear while pregnant that should never, ever be said to us.

We get that our pregnancy acts like a magnet for strangers — one that pulls you toward us, urging you to touch our bellies and share your opinions with us. Sometimes the attention is fine. It’s nice to be told you’re beautiful when you’re feeling heavy and tired and completely out of breath.

More: I Hated Being Pregnant and That's Perfectly Okay

However, the comments we receive are usually quite different. In fact, as soon as you start showing, opinions from friends, family, and worse, the general public, will start to come fast and furious. If you’re not sure whether the way you talk to pregnant women is appropriate, here are five things to never say to a soon-to-be mom.

Commenting on Her Physical Appearance

Pretty much anything that starts with “you look” and doesn’t end with “incredible” tops the list for one of the statements to avoid in a conversation with a pregnant woman.

It’s difficult to know how she will internalize what you say. You might mean nothing behind saying, “You look like you’re ready to be done with this,” but what she may hear instead is “You look huge and tired.”

Going a step further, commenting on how large or small a pregnant women looks is a complete faux pas. First, you don’t know how hard they may be struggling to gain weight. Second, we all feel humongous anyway. You aren’t the first person to bring this to our attention, and these changes in our bodies can be very overwhelming, without you needing to point them out to us.

More: Telling the World About Your Pregnancy

Asking “Are You Sure…?”

If a pregnant woman tells you she’s carrying one baby or that her due date is two months in the future, don’t feel the need to double check to make sure she’s not confused.

She isn’t.

These types of comments are really just a sly way of saying someone looks very large without coming right out and mentioning that. Take her for her word, and honestly, if you’re still in doubt, remind yourself that her doctor — you know, the one who specializes in obstetrics — is smart enough to be sure of whatever you’re questioning.

pregnant belly in pink dress

Asking “When Are You Due?”

Before I begin, I want to point out that asking a woman when she is due isn’t completely wrong, so long as she’s already confirmed her pregnancy with you. However, if you aren’t already talking about how she’s with child, don’t make any comments about a potential pregnancy.

As someone who’s been asked when they were due shortly after she delivered (and also years before her first pregnancy!), it’s extremely disheartening to be forced to answer this.

Even pregnant people are sick and tired of maneuvering through this conversation, especially with strangers, because it’s bound to be followed by comments such as “Oh, I’m sure you won’t make it until then,” or “That seems so far from now. You must be dying to get this over with.” Trust me, most pregnant women are either counting down the moments until they get to meet their new bundle of joy or savoring every moment of their pregnancy until it’s over.

Saying, “Are You Going to Try for a Boy or Girl?”

We can’t pick and choose whether we create a boy or a girl with our bodies. That’s not a new development in conception or pregnancy. By asking this, what you’re really wondering is a person’s preference. So why do so many people continue to question parents about their future baby’s sex?

Often, this comment comes after learning that the parent is having another boy if they already have one (or another girl!). Here’s a newsflash: parents might be happy to continue having children of the same sex. They may feel overjoyed to bring home a little sister for their current daughter or have a team of future football players in their homes. Or, maybe they do feel disappointed, but that’s certainly none of your business.

If someone volunteers information about the sex of their unborn baby to you, the best way to answer is just by saying, “That’s wonderful. Congrats!” End of conversation.

Are you pregnant and due soon? Check out our Baby on the Way! Pinterest board for everything you need to know about preparing for life with a new baby

Sharing Any Labor Stories

Unless specifically asked the details of your labor, don’t share the nitty gritty with a pregnant woman. We all have different experiences, and you don’t know whether the story you’re about to share will comfort or scare the person who’s currently pregnant.

At my baby shower two women (who didn’t know each other) both told me about how they had the easiest labor and delivery. At my son’s baseball game other mothers shared the terrifying tales about their emergency life-or-death delivery situations. I didn’t know whether or not to be terrified or get my hopes up!

All pregnant women are anxious about what labor will be like. Even now, with my second c-section scheduled, I’m feeling nervous about what to expect. However, I know it will be a completely different experience than my 37-hour labor-turned-emergency c-section. When the topic of labor comes up, it’s best to just comfort your pregnant friend and remind her that every women has different experiences and every baby is unique in their own way.

Conversations with pregnant women may be fun for you, but make sure anything you say is well-thought out so that you don’t hurt someone’s feelings or cause anxieties that weren’t there before. And remember, when in doubt of what to say, go with, “You look so beautiful!”

Check out Chelsea Peretti's epic Twitter rant of what she was tired of hearing as an expectant mother.

Erin Ollila

About Erin

Erin helps small business owners boost their confidence and attract the right audience for them… Read more

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