10 Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

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I know I’m not always the easiest person to live with. I can be pretty strong-willed and stubborn for instance, and I like to do things my way.

Pregnancy hormones really mess up with your head. I have been on an emotional rollercoaster for the past few months: I alternated between feeling helpless and happy, confident and anxious.

Apparently it’s normal. I hope so, anyway.

But there are times when I’m pretty sure I was rightfully annoyed. Like I explained, I’ve had issue with the “pregnancy police” and I still can’t believe how inappropriate complete strangers can be.

So here are ten things not to say to a pregnant woman… unless you want to see my bitchy side!

I really don’t think you are supposed to… [insert innocuous activity here, such as walking, drinking tap water, standing, stretching, laying on your back or stomach, etc.]!

First of all, it’s my body—if it didn’t feel right, I wouldn’t do it.

Second, I’m pretty sure most—if not all—pregnant women are doing the best they can. That said, nine months is a long time and I think it’s simply not possible to always abide by the precautionary principle. Maybe drinking filtered water is better but it’s easier to drink tap water… and I’m pretty sure it’s okay to do so in Canada. Taking hot showers is not recommended but I’m sorry, if it’s freezing outside, I need to warm up. It’s better to always eat healthy, exercise, rest, sleep eight hours a night, never stress out, etc. but life happens. Pregnant women are not perfect, and they aren’t robots either. They feel guilty enough about all that they couldn’t do or didn’t do. Leave them alone. Seriously.  Especially if you have no idea what you are talking about—we don’t need random strangers to be the pregnancy police.

You think you are busy now? Wait until the baby is there!

Yes, I think I’m busy. I’m working full-time, I’m looking for more contracts because I don’t get any mat leave, I’m pregnant, and I’m getting ready for a kid. I think I can safely say I’m busy. When the baby will be here, I will be busy as well. Don’t you try to scare me. I will manage.

Kids are expensive, you know.

Wow, a financial planner! Are you offering me money?

While raising a child costs money, it’s like everything else: it depends how you do it. If you want the perfect nursery, if you buy all the stuff Babies “R” Us “helpfully” recommends and need round-the-clock care, yes, you will spend a lot of money. If you have helpful friends who can lend stuff, if you are willing to be flexible and shop around for bargains, it gets much more affordable.

Like planning a wedding, buying a house or other major life events, having a baby is doable on a small budget. But hey, if you want to spare a few hundreds…

Meh, the first one is nothing. Wait until your second or third!

I like kids and I’m happy to be having one… but seriously, right now, I just can’t bear the thought of being pregnant again. So please, let me finish one kid before I even start considering having another, alright? Right now, I’m just trying to survive.

So I was in labour, there was blood everywhere and oh my God the pain was unbearable…

I so do not want to hear your awful labour and birth story. I’d rather have dinner with Nickelback and listen to their entire discography than listening to you. That’s how badly I want you to shut up right now.

Are your in-laws going to be okay if it’s a girl?

Well, of course not. We will ship her to Mongolia and try for another one until we have a boy.

No, seriously, what are people thinking? I know my in-laws are Chinese, but they are also educated and smart people—and contrary to popular belief, Chinese don’t hate baby girls.

Whatever documentary you’ve seen on T.V. on gendercide doesn’t apply to the vast majority of Indians or Chinese families, much less to these communities in Canada.

Was it planned? Is the father around?

Does my French accent make me look like a slut?

Well, [insert random pregnant woman complaint, such as feeling huge, peeing all the time, etc.] is not going to get any better, you know!

Thank you for your encouragement, I really appreciate it. Now I really have something to look forward too.

Seriously, I don’t understand why people need to be so negative. All we need is a bit of support or a sympathetic ear—no one wants to know it’s going to get worst you sadistic person!

[Sententious tone] Babies are God’s will, you know.

Not in my book. They are the result of my partner and I having sex. You must have been praying during sex ed.

Oh trust me, your life is going to change [said very bitterly]!

Newsflash: life always changes. Meet someone, your life changes; move somewhere, your life changes; start a new career, your life changes.

That’s… well, that’s life. It would be boring otherwise, no?

Now I don’t see why people put such a negative spin on it—change is fun, and you adapt to it!

Any strange things people told you when you were pregnant? Would any of these comments annoy you?

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

26 Comments

  1. Irritating questions/comments while I was pregnant:
    Pregnancy # 1 – Are you hoping for a boy or a girl?
    Pregnancy # 2 – You must really be hoping for a girl this time.
    Pregnancy # 3 – You’re trying for a girl aren’t you?
    Each time I was hoping for a healthy baby and was blessed with three healthy boys!

    • Oh, I can imagine how annoying it must have been! My mother had two girls (me and my sister) before having my brother. She didn’t want to know the gender for any of us, but when she went for her ultrasound for my brother, the technician said “wow, you are going to be happy this time!”

      She was really pissed off 😆

  2. Ouch ! The one about your in-laws !
    Sometimes, ignorance (of others), clichés and prejudices can really hurt. I must say I would probably get mad at this comment. It’s so unappropriate, disrespectful and ignorant ! Grr !

    • I got this comment (not exactly said like that, but that was what it meant) several times. That and the “do you in-laws mind that you are a Westerner?”.

      People are weird, seriously. I don’t mind candid questions but stereotypes drive me nuts.

  3. That just shows how shallow people are. Everybody has something very smart to say while they actually have no clue what they are talking about. Noone’s just asking “how do you feel?” or “I’ve never been pregnant, how is it?” or maybe “Oh great, I’ve been pregnant before, now how is it for you?”
    Obviously I’ve never been pregnant, but I do understand how annoying it is to hear the same stereotypes over and over again.
    On the plus side, this will be over soon: once the cake is on the table, nobody cares for the oven anymore.
    Anyhow, you’re strong and no matter how annoying people can be sometimes, I believe you can handle it. Good luck!

    • I can’t wait for people to leave the “oven” alone 😆

      Thank you for you comment, you seem to have common sense–something some people don’t apparently come with. Even though they obviously never experience pregnancy (although they do witness mood swings and the changes!) I found some men were actually more sensitive than women when it comes to the matter. Once again, gender doesn’t mean much!

  4. Hahaha… love this list! There’s something about pregnancy and child-rearing that attracts bitter and ignorant comments. I’m guessing they come mostly from people who expected their own pregnancy/parenthood to be a wonderful time and they became disappointed when it didn’t turn out that way. Now everyone else has to pay for their shattered expectations! 😉

    Hang in there, I think you have a great attitude!

    • Thank you for your input–another guy full of common sense, I love that!

      I’m expecting a lot of baby police comments afterwards, and I’m bracing myself… for the next thirty years I guess?

  5. People sometimes don’t even notice how annoying they are with their out-of-place comments! Did they really ask you if your in-laws would be ok if you have a girl?!?!

  6. Tamara and I are very happy for you! Hopefully sometime soon we can get together. If there’s anything you need (advice- doh! That’s what this post was about! Jk!) just tell us.
    It’s gonna be great! Don’t mind other people. They’re usually full of shit (filtered water? What do you drink from a beaver dam?)

    My favorite comment is when people don’t realize I have 3 kids and go on about overpopulation blah blah…. I’m not Amish. We’re not having 20 you know! By the way, they’re replacing defective big mouth people like you with the dumb comments dammit! And yesssss… My kids like the smell of menthols! (Jk, I quit 8 years ago! I like to throw that in for effect)
    Look at it as an opportunity: pregnancy gives you certain “license” to not only be insulted but to insult! All the shit you can’t normally say in polite Canada- let er rip! It’s like a free pass to “STFU! I’m pregnant here!”
    Call us if you need anything.

    • Hi Rich,

      Thank you for sharing and thank you for offering your help! I’ll be sure to call soon so that we can meet up again but I’m sure you life (and Tamara’s!) are busy as well 🙂

      I remember you telling me funny stories of strangers explaining you what to do/not to do with kids so I know you experienced the baby and toddler police too. Strangers love to chime in here it seems!

  7. Loved this post!!! Made me smile big time. Boy, have I heard those comments! In my case, there would be another one that I would hear ad-nauseam every time Gaby got pregnant:

    “You know, your father is an identical twin… so are you prepared for that? They say it skips a generation”

    Who’s they?? And how would my wife’s eggs be aware of what my grandmother’s did so they would split as well??

    That’s why we stopped after four, you know. We didn’t want to risk it. 😛

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