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?


About Author

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


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