What’s inside: 102 real-life examples of things you never say to a pregnant woman. You won’t believe that people actually did!
Recently I saw a Facebook post from an old friend, in which she lamented that a stranger had told her she looked “as big as a house” …months before her due date. Another friend chimed in, recalling being asked a few weeks after giving birth to her twins “do you have any more kids in there? You still look so pregnant!”
I was flabbergasted that anyone would say something so rude to a new mom or mom-to-be. I guess I was fortunate during my pregnancy not to receive any offensive comments (to my face anyway!) However, it seemed like maybe I was the exception.
I decided to poll moms from both an online mom support group and a parenting blogger group, posing the question: “What is the craziest thing anyone said to you while you were pregnant?” The response I received was overwhelming: almost one hundred moms responded with outrageous comments and questions directed at everything from their weight to their sex life.
When you’re reading these comments, it’s ok to laugh. They are hilarious in their absurdity — you might not be able to help laughing. There were many times I laughed out loud in disbelief. Sometimes my mouth just hung agape. It’s ok to laugh, so long as you keep in mind that these are real women behind these stories. And that these quotes are just a snippet of what they heard on a regular basis. The worst of the worst, if you will. How many statements did they put up with, that “weren’t that bad?”
I’ve grouped them into categories to make for a more organized read. There is one section that is substantially larger than the others…see if you can guess what it is…
What was especially enlightening for me in reading through all of these responses was that I only received TWO that were positive. I didn’t specifically ask for negative comments, but that’s the overwhelming majority of what I received.
The one thing I hope that we can take away from this is the need to be more respectful of each other. I think we’ve all been guilty of commenting on a pregnant belly. However, what to you is simply innocent speculation about a due date could be terrifying to a mom who spent weeks in the NICU with a premature baby and is just praying to make it to full term this time. A joke about having twins could be devastating to the mom who was carrying twins, but lost one earlier in the pregnancy. You never know.
Listen. When talking to a pregnant woman, let her lead the conversation. If she doesn’t volunteer information about her weight, due date, sex of the baby, number of babies, etc. etc. …DON’T ASK!! Sometimes you just have to accept that it really is none of your business.
If there’s still any doubt, then you can refer to this list! All of these women are telling you…these are things you never say to a pregnant woman!!
102 Things You Never Say to a Pregnant Woman:
“You look like a pregnant goat.” From my sister of all people during my last pregnancy. – Amy (Planning Playtime)
“You are so cute you look just like a little baby elephant.” You know, because I was aiming for the whole elephant look. – Nadia (Fun with Mama)
“You look like you swallowed a basketball!” – Holly, Washington
“Oh WOW! You look like you’re about to POP!” – Brooke, Washington
“Are you sure there is only one baby in there?” – Holly, Washington
“Are they natural?” when learning I was pregnant with twins. – Ticia (Adventures in Mommydom)
“Are you sure there’s not two in there?” – Sarah, Georgia
“You’re so big! Are you sure there’s only ONE in there?!” My response: “No… I’m not sure. We haven’t had advancements in the world of science recently to be able to tell. It could be anything! I’m thinking its a giraffe…” – Lisa, New Jersey
30 weeks pregnant and a guy says: “There’s only one in there? You are huge!!” – Cindy, Montana
Once after I told someone it was twins they said, “Whoa, I’m glad it’s you and not me.” I said: “So am I!” – Jesse, Missouri
“Are you having twins? You sure you’re not having twins? Maybe the doctor messed up.” – Lorena, Connecticut
In an elevator I was asked “when are the twins due? You must be ready to pop!” I was only 5 months pregnant with my first child (note I did NOT say twins). I cried after they got off the elevator…I wasn’t even showing that much (or so I thought). – Neela, Ohio
I was on a beach in a bikini once, very pregnant with twins. A girl asked me if it was a boy or girl. (A polite way of saying “is it twins?’) A cheer went up behind us when I said it was one of each. They had obviously been discussing my enormous girth! – Orlena (Snotty Noses)
“Are you having twins?” – Sharde, Hawai’i
“There’s NO WAY you’re gonna make it to September!” – Sarah, Georgia
[A stranger] asked when I was due. Told her “about 2 more months to go.” Her response: “oh! I thought you were going to say next week! You’re huge!” Thanks, random stranger lady. – Sarah, Connecticut
One week before my due date [a] woman asks when I’m due. When I responded with “just a little over a week,” [she says] “oh, honey! You have at LEAST TWO weeks left! That baby hasn’t even dropped yet! Good luck!” I went into labor about 36 hours later. – Sarah, Connecticut
“Oh, you’re not ready [to go into labor] yet, your nose isn’t big enough.” – Jaime, Missouri
“Are you due any day now? You look like it.” – Melissa, Missouri
“How much longer?!” – Amy, Pennsylvania
In line at the grocery store: “Oh, that baby has dropped. I can tell. She’s coming any day now!” Me: “Haha, well I have three months until my due date, so I hope not!” Stranger: “Oh no. I’ve never been wrong. She’s coming any day. She’s dropped.” Me: “This is just how I look.” This went on for so long, with this woman insisting I might as well be in early labor. In my head, I’m wondering if this lady is even comprehending how much you don’t want your baby born 12 weeks early! Baby was born 13 weeks later. – Robyn, California
“How far along are you? I can tell you’re pregnant by your belly button.” [I was] not even out of my first trimester at this point.
I was commenting how big I feel already, and the response, “yeah I was just thinking you do look awful big already.” – Sarah Z.
“You can really see it in your face.” – Sarah, Georgia
My mother said to me, THREE DAYS after my baby was born, “we’ve got to work on that belly.” – Liz, Ontario, Canada
“Is that a beer gut, or is there a baby in there?” – Leslie, North Dakota
“Wait, you’re knocked up again? I thought you just packed on a few pounds.” – Amy, Pennsylvania
A lady at the beach when I was pregnant with my fourth of six [quietly, though I could hear it] said: “It’s always nice to sit by pregnant women on the beach…it makes us look tiny!” – Darla
[When I was] eight months pregnant I ran into neighbor at the grocery store: “Boy you sure are gettin’ fat!” He then proceeded to giggle. Who says that to a pregnant woman?! – Maura, Washington
Midwife: “Oh man, you aren’t gaining weight. You haven’t gained in weeks! That’s unusual for third trimester.” Me: “I promise I’m eating.” Midwife: “Well, obviously you’re eating the wrong foods because you’re so obese. I bet you drink soda every day don’t you!” Me: “Um…just water…and uh…didn’t this conversation start with me not gaining weight?” – Nikki, North Carolina
“Are you pregnant with a 12 pound baby?!?” I sat in my office a sobbed for the rest of the afternoon. – Christina, Florida
When I was 8 months pregnant I got all dressed up to go out to dinner, trying to look the cutest I had in months. When we arrived and were walking to our table, this man audibly gasps and raises his arm to point at me and says “Wow!!!” Needless to say, I didn’t want to eat dinner after that! – Tatum, Minnesota
Maybe 4 hours after labor I was in the nursery … and my nana (grandma) came in, poked my belly and said: “doesn’t it suck that the extra baby fat is still there?” – Mercedes C.
My mother-in-law [when I was] 30 weeks: “Your belly is really getting bigger!” My response: “That’s what happens when you have a baby.” [She also] told my 2 year old daughter: “Mommy can’t pick you up because she is too fat!” – Amy, Missouri
“Aw, your butt and thighs are getting bigger too.” – Michelle, Georgia
[I was] one week postpartum on Thanksgiving, [and] we hosted the dinner our house. We all went to find seats to eat (there was one seat that was more crammed), and my father-in-law says: “I’ll sit there, my ass is smaller than yours right now!” I didn’t feel like eating much after that! – Erika, Arkansas
“How much longer? 4 months?! You are huuuuge! Hey, John, come look at this lady’s belly! She’s huge and is barely half way there!” — at the paint counter of Lowes. That statement was made by a FEMALE employee. – Missy, Indiana
“You look so pregnant, especially in the face.” – Neela, Ohio
[I was] about four months or so postpartum [and] was checking out at grocery store [when] the bagger asked when I was due. After explaining I had my baby “a few months ago”, he felt the need to inform me that I needed to exercise more! – Marla, Florida
-“Wow, you have packed on some pounds since you switched jobs. Oh, you’re pregnant? 5 months? That explains the belly.” – Missy, Indiana
“You’re as big as a house!” Said to me at my 20 year reunion. – Amber, Washington
Someone asked me if I feel embarrassed of myself because all the other women in play group have already lost their baby weight. I didn’t know I was that bad. Then when I told her my weight she goes “oh wow I would have thought you were like thirty pounds heavier than that!” – Ruth D.
One of my directors at work asked me how far along I was. When I said 21 weeks, she replied (while looking at my belly), “Oh, is that all? I thought you were further along.” Gee, thanks for calling me fat!!! – Marla, Florida
“You look at least in your second trimester. I guess it’s true when they say the more children you have the bigger you get, be careful how much weight you gain.” [I was] 12 weeks into my 3rd pregnancy. – Amy L.
At a restaurant, one of the ladies seated [at the table] next to me asked me: “are you sure you can fit in there?” and giggled with her girlfriends. – Razi S.
My dad told me I was getting chunky. I was 8 weeks pregnant. – Kate, Connecticut
At my father’s funeral: “How much weight did you gain now?!” – Meaghan, Connecticut
A manager at a grocery store asked me if I was smuggling turkeys when I was 9 months pregnant. I was not amused. – Athena
I was singing for a worship team at a church I was attending and I was near the end. One of the girls on the team with me pulled me aside and said how I was getting too big for my maternity clothing and that I should be trying to get something I can tuck in because she was afraid my big belly was showing to those in the front row below us. – Sarah S.
I had lost 50 pounds about a year before I got pregnant. EVERYONE reminded me of how hard I worked to lose the weight and not to let pregnancy be my “excuse to gain excessively.” Really!?! Like I can’t remember sweating my face off or the old chub rub on my own. Ugh. Made me self conscious to give into cravings. So thankful for a great partner who reminded me of my glowing beauty everyday. – Heather, New Jersey
Our extremely chatty neighbor would try to talk me weekly and tell me how huge I’m getting and that surely I cannot get any bigger. He start telling me this when I was only 5 months pregnant. – Olga, WA
“At least you won’t get stretch marks since you’re already big.” – Nikki, North Carolina
At the doctor’s office: “Oh I see we are tipping the scales today!” – Neela, Ohio
An obese man said to me, “you sure are getting fat.” My reply was, “I’m 9 months pregnant, what’s your excuse?” **Mic drop** I’m so proud of that come back. – Athena
“You should get a TV.” I was pregnant with my 4th boy. – Catherine (Thinking Outside the Sandbox: Family)
[When] I told a lady we just found out we were pregnant with our fourth, … she said “oh honey you need to stop doing what your doing!” – Sarah, West Virginia
People always assume it’s my first. Then I say “no, it’s my fourth” and they are like “Oh my [gosh] why would you have four?!” Like that’s your business! – Mary H.
Stranger in the grocery store: “Well, we know what you’ve been up to!” My two year old responded with, “What?” We left quickly! – Erika (Pray Species)
My dad, upon hearing we were pregnant with number four, “Did you get inspired during the weekend you went away to the homeschool convention?” – Colleen (Raising Lifelong Learners)
[When I was] pregnant with baby #4, lots of people would say “don’t y’all have a tv” or “do y’all have cable” or “have you figured out what causes that?” and I would reply “yes, and we are obviously really good at it! Thanks for commenting on my sex life!” – Athena
I was in line at the grocery store and the woman behind me said she was a psychic. She told me the baby would be a blonde haired girl with curls who would love cookies. I laughed because my husband and I are both dark haired brunettes. My daughter has curly blonde hair and loves cookies. – Rebecca (Craft Create Calm)
I would get annoyed by just how people knew what I was having. Without a doubt. Oh your having a girl or boy because you a carrying this way etc. and they were so sure of themselves. I couldn’t wait to go to work to tell this one women how wrong she was! – Julie, Connecticut
The cashier at Dunkin Donuts told me I was definitely having a boy. When I told her I was having a girl, she told me I should get a second opinion from a new doctor because I was definitely having a boy. – Meghan (Playground Parkbench)
Hate to say this, because I love my father-in-law, but he was convinced I was having a boy because my pregnancy didn’t take away my beauty and I still “looked good.” Apparently when you have a girl the mom usually gets uglier. We had a girl – Kelly, Connecticut
“You must be having a girl because you carry low and your hips are wider.” (The person who told me this doesn’t know what I look like not pregnant so I never really understood how she could say my hips looked wider since she [didn’t] have anything to compare it to.) – Sharde, Hawaiʻi
Two days after giving birth: “Do you have another one in there?” – Kristin J.
Cashier: “When are you due?” Me: Five months ago. – Lila H.
Four days after I had my son my aunt told me: “Are you sure they didn’t leave one in there?” – Luz
“Can I touch it?” Asking to grab my belly. Umm no!? – Kelly S., Connecticut
I was working […] and an older male customer (who was a complete stranger) came in […] walked right up to me and rubbed my tummy without asking and said “I bet you’re anxious to see this little one!” ….. extremely awkward and extremely uncomfortable! He was a sweet old man but clearly didn’t know boundaries! – Natalie, Minnesota
A girl I went to high school with came up to me and asked me if she could touch my belly. I let her and was fine with it at first (being 8 months pregnant I got asked that a lot), but that belly “touch” turned into a 15 minute belly rub! Talk about awkward! – Nicole, Minnesota
At the end of my pregnancy I was so big and just miserable and it showed! So my grandmother would always say “you better get yourself together or that baby’s is gonna run back in the minute he sees you!” – Amber J.
“Yeah but you are pregnant girl… You NEED to take care of yourself!” I responded I’m pregnant not broken and I have to work. I was taking care of myself. – Amanda V.
“Are you sure you should be [eating, drinking, sleeping, etc] that? Are you thinking about your baby?” I exercised 30 min a day and ate all clean foods for the most part. I was just flabbergasted. You’re okay with me eating McDonalds but not okay with me eating salad? – Amanda V.
“I see that you’re expecting. I encourage you not to vaccinate your child.” (This was a total stranger). – Melissa, Missouri
[A stranger asked] me if I’ll be baptizing my baby. Like yea, I’m going to talk to you about the religion of my unborn child. – Jordan, Delaware
When I was pregnant with my first, a co-worker asked if I was planning to get an epidural. I said no, that I planned to have an unmedicated birth. Her response was, “You’re not a martyr. Take the drugs, trust me.” – Darcy (Life with Darcy & Brian)
My lamaze teacher [told] me I was wrong to get a medically necessary c-section, because natural birth is so much better. She wouldn’t listen to any statements about possibly having one of the twins die or my death, [and instead] just kept telling me I was wrong to have a C-section. A week later I was on bed rest because of complications, so I didn’t have to continue dealing with her. – Ticia (Adventures in Mommydom)
“You can’t feel that bad. Stop looking so ill! Obviously you’re not thinking positive enough thoughts?” (I was so sick I was puking up blood daily.) – Nikki, North Carolina
I was 8.5 months pregnant and shopping with my 3 year old. A gentleman stocking the shelves proceeded to start a conversation with me about how we MUST have our older daughter in the delivery room and have her engaged in the baby’s birth. Apparently, when his wife gave birth to their second, his mother-in-law and older child were on the delivery room, quite actively involved, and as the baby was born, the mother-in-law acted out the delivery with a baby doll to give the older sibling. According to him, it was beautiful, and amazing, and we really MUST do it that way since our older daughter looked so mature and articulate! Um, thank you sir, for your incredibly awkward unsolicited advice on the actual birth process of my child. I will continue shopping now and spend the rest of my day trying to clear that image from my brain! – Jana, Kansas
“Don’t hold that lady’s baby! You’ll trigger early labor!” I was only 4 months pregnant. Also I’m not sure it works like that. – Nikki, North Carolina
While in my third trimester a coworker told me that it would be nice if I smiled more often. We were in a sales meeting at the time and everyone looked at him with complete shock on their faces. The interesting part is I’m one of the happier people in the office. – Lydia, Connecticut
While I was almost 9 months pregnant I was told I should make sure I hurry up and have another because I’m getting old. I was 33 at the time. – Kelly-Lynne W.
While shopping for hand soap, a lady told me to be sure not to wash my punani (slang in Hawaii for vagina) with the handsoap I was buying because it’s bad for [the] baby. – Sharde, Hawai’i
From my 55 year old aunt: “You and your Husband need to get busy! Sex works!” In reference to my 40 week belly pic where I was still carrying high. – Melissa, Germany
I got hit on by a random guy even though I was wearing my wedding rings. “You need a daddy for that baby?” – Paula, Texas
I was shopping with my mom to get my babie’s furniture and some lady told me: “So sad that baby has to grow up without a daddy.” Mind you I was wearing my wedding rings. – Holly, Idaho
When a family friend learned we were having our 3rd boy and he said, “Oh that’s too bad.” – Shannon (Joy in the Works)
When I found out I was having a boy, a female acquaintance said, “Oh, you’re meant to be the moms of boys.” Basically, she was referring to the fact that I’m not a girly girl. What on earth does that have to do with raising a daughter? – Jennifer (The Jenny Evolution)
“Oh you’re on bed rest? Everyone I know who went on bed rest had their baby die.” Different variations of this happened a lot. If I had a dollar for every dead baby story people told me, my kid would have college paid for.
My co-worker’s 9 year old son said “happy birthday.” For lack of a better way to say something along the lines of ” have an easy birth…” – Menucha (Moms & Crafters)
After having a miscarriage, I was able to get pregnant again. I work at a retirement center and I didn’t even know the residents there knew about my miscarriage. About half way into my next pregnancy, one of the residents said, “you want to keep this one?” – Michelle (Trust Me, I’m a Mom)
“Is your baby going to live?” I still have no idea why I was asked this. We had no issues during my pregnancy that would warrant that question. – Lauren, Pennsylvania
A coworker I dislike came up to me, stuck out his gut close to my baby bump, and said “look at my baby.” – Kate S.
I had an awkward encounter at the gym with a man who wouldn’t stop telling me how much he loves baby bumps! I wasn’t sure if I should feel flattered or creeped out! – Nicole
“You look so small, is your baby ok?” – Alyson, New Jersey
After I had my first and went back to work, I was told “wow, you’ve lost a ton of weight since I saw you last!” My response was “having a baby will do that!” – Keran, Vermont
I was 9 months pregnant and I ran into someone I knew — she asked me if I had the baby yet. – Sabrina, Massachusetts
A coworker saw me eating a chicken biscuit after days of not being able to keep food down and said, “Wow. You must really hate your baby.” – Nikki, North Carolina
When discussing my upcoming maternity leave for my 3rd child with my boss’s boss, he kept referring to it as a vacation and talking about all the free time I was going to have! – Sarah (Me Plus 3 TODAY)
“Can I bum a cigarette?” – Jasara, Washington
It was the day before my due date and I was huge. I was walking into work and they asked if I had a cigarette. – Abbie, Kentucky
I lifted weights and ran at the gym until I was 8 months pregnant. Everyday someone would come up to me and tell me I shouldn’t workout while I was pregnant. Then one day this REALLY old man said “Don’t listen to those people honey, back in my day women were 9 months pregnant out harvesting the fields and churning butter.” I also had people at the gym say “Your husband is a lucky man” or “that baby is gonna come out with bulging muscles” – Michelle, California
I worked out 4-5 days a week until 8.5 months. Every single time someone would compliment me. I had a trainer, so I never got any of the “be careful” comments. I got a lot of women saying how much they admired it because they couldn’t do it, and it made me really proud and happy! I’ve never been incredibly fit and I was in the best shape of my life just before getting pregnant. – Robyn H.
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