Things NOT to say to a pregnant person:
Let me start by saying, of course everyone is different! Maybe the person you are talking to isn’t offended by any of this, or maybe there is someone nodding their head in agreement to everything on this list. This is just a general guide from not only being pregnant myself, but also from learning from others what bothered them during their pregnancy. Let us being, dear students. Avoid saying any of the following:
"You are TINY for being pregnant!"
This might be meant as a compliment (??) or maybe it’s just a casual observation, but it could seem to imply she isn’t taking care of her body/her baby well enough. Let’s steer clear of that.
"Can I touch your belly?"
If this is not someone that you would normally touch or hug - say, a coworker for example, or god forbid a total stranger! - let’s just not, ok? She might be fine with it, but if she is not, it might be hard for her to say no.
"Wow, you're big! Are you sure you aren't having twins?"
Again implies she is doing something wrong with her body. Does anyone want to hear this? It's rarely said in a complimentary way, and the “is it twins” joke just isn’t a good one. She knows how many babies are in there, believe me.
Your / a friends horror story about birth, baby in the NICU, etc.
She has definitely thought about everything that could go wrong already, she doesn’t need more to think about.
"Are you planning on breastfeeding?"
Breastfeeding is a very personal choice, and can be a heated topic, on top of the fact that some people are just not comfortable talking about their breasts with, well, maybe anyone. It is best to let her bring this topic up. (But you know what? I have messed up and asked this. For me, I truly am just curious and want to offer my experience or advice if they want it. I am trying to be better and NOT ask, but please take this as a free pass to ask me about it if you want :)
"You look miserable!"
No one wants to hear they look like crap. Do I need to elaborate?
"What! You're still pregnant? You look ready to pop!"
Yep, still pregnant. That whole 9 months thing is pretty accurate...
"You shouldn't eat/drink that."
Oh dang, bless your soul if you have the guts to question a pregnant woman over her food or drink choices. Are you her doctor? No? Stay out of it. Some women are very strict, some aren’t. For example, I drank a black coffee everyday during pregnancy. Other women? Won’t touch caffeine. What they put in their body? Just as personal (and private!) of a choice as breastfeeding.
Comments on the name if they choose to share.
I KNOW. I KNOW. It is REALLY hard not to tell them about your ex in high school who had that name, or the mean neighbor, or really any opinion at all (even if you like it!). So much of this baby-having journey is justnot your business. (As a note, I’ve done this one too. Still think about it, still feel bad!)
"You better sleep / hang out with your friends/take that vacation now!"
If only it was possible to store sleep up so you could access it at a later date. Or transport back in time to hang with your friends when you weren’t worried if the babysitter would be able to get the baby to take the bottle, or without having to leave at 7 pm for bedtime. They know life will be different. They have had 9 months to think about it. Let’s not rub it in, or maybe, let’s talk about the awesome things that they will get to experience instead!
"Having a baby right now would be rough!"
If someone is having a baby during a worldwide pandemic, they will be experiencing something that no one else living right now has. They know that it is going to be different than the norm - face masks, limited (if any) visitors, having to be stricter than usual for visits and outings for the new baby - they don’t need the reminder.
I hope that you will take these tips and think about it the next time you run into a pregnant relative or friend. I know, they know, you know you don’t mean any harm, but lets just keep it positive, k?