10 Things You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman
On a recent trip to Sydney I bumped into a friend that I hadn’t seen since very late in my second pregnancy.
“OMG! Look at you!” she exclaimed, mouth gaping. “How did you lose all that weight?”
I laughed politely, a little lost for words and a teensy bit offended. There is no real answer to that question.
Clearly I gave birth. It did actually come out in the end. She did know I was pregnant, didn’t she? Or did she think I had accidentally swallowed a watermelon and it expanded, giving me extreme fluid retention? Okay, so there are a few responses. But of course, they sprang to mind at around 3am the following day.
Yes, I was big during my pregnancy. Enormous, in fact. I was not one of those cute pregnant girls, getting around in their skinny jeans with “the glow”. I’m more of the waddle to the fridge and eat for two variety. I know this. Apparently so did everyone else, because this comment was not a one off.
The minute your bump starts to protrude – or you begin the dreaded morning rush to the bathroom sink, whichever comes first – everyone (including random strangers at the bus stop) will take the liberty of asking you some pretty hairy questions. Upon reflection of some of the most colourful (aka annoying) statements my bump and I have fielded, I’ve compiled the below list of ten things that you should never say to a pregnant woman. But probably will.
Ten Things You Should NEVER Say to a Pregnant Woman. (No, not ever):
Are you worried the weight won’t come off? Because it took so long for you to lose it the last time.
Hmmm… I wasn’t actually. That is, until someone asked me this. Then I went on a rampage of post-baby photos and see that there may have been a smidgen of truth to this. Thank you for pointing out those baby thighs I’d somehow wiped from memory. I’ll now be acutely aware of the cellulite on the backs of my thighs that I can’t actually twist around to see, can’t exercise to get rid of, but now know exists. Great.
OMG you’re only five months? My wife / sister / bff is already seven months and she’s nowhere near your size!
Had I not just stuffed a chocolate éclair into my mouth, what I would have replied was “Yes, I believe you also mentioned that at the end of my first trimester. Thank you for your concern.”
Are you sure there’s not two in there? It looks like two. You didn’t eat tomatoes did you? You know what they say – two tomatoes, two babies!
I have no idea whether tomatoes increase your chances of a multiple birth. What I do know is that your husband will not find this as amusing as you do. He’s likely to empty the fridge of its entire contents, sweat profusely and demand you throw up the pasta you’ve just eaten for dinner. Should this happen, look him in the eye and tell him straight-faced that come to think of it you do remember reading that Octomom craved tomato soup. Trust me – it will be worth it just for the look on his face.
You’re calling it what?! Poor child. That child will never learn to spell his name.
I was rendered speechless by this comment (yes, me). Thankfully I didn’t need to say much because right about then a wave of nausea swept over me and this outspoken nurse ended up with my breakfast all over her shoes. She wore those Homey Ped types, popular with nurses because of the millions of tiny holes for aeration. Probably not the type you’d most like to be wearing should someone lose their cornflakes on you. Incidentally, my son’s name means ‘philosopher’. Philosophise that, lady. Oh, and he learnt to spell his name without a hitch.
Did you see that 22 pound baby on the news last night?
No one of child bearing age needs to see this man-baby. In fact, unless this kid climbed down a beanstalk, I do NOT want to hear about it. And if you so happen to be pregnant – or there is even the remote possibility that you may become pregnant in the next ten years, neither do you. Period.
I know this girl whose third labour lasted FIVE days. They could hear her screaming two blocks from the hospital. The baby had a really big head. Like huge. And you do look pretty big for six months.
Ahhh yes, about that. I really should have apologised to the neighbours for all the screaming. That was just my husband responding to the previous comment about the tomatoes. No cause for alarm.
You’re going back to work when? So soon? When I have kids, I’m not going to pay other people to look after my own children. In fact I think that’s so damaging to blah blah blah…
Breathe deeply, put down the stapler and give her a hug. In about two years, this very same person will have children of her own. You will read on Facebook that some annoying, obnoxious old lady had the audacity to stop her and make comments about her parenting techniques. Right in the middle of Coles. Imagine.
I knew someone called (insert your chosen name) once. Hated her. She was such a (insert a word you wouldn’t repeat in front of your mother).
Unless the name you’ve chosen IS actually your mother’s, in which case you should tell your mother immediately. Wait until your mother is really riled up – give her an hour or so to stew on it, before giving her said offender’s phone number. He won’t make that mistake again.
Does your Doctor know that’s the second coffee you’ve had today? Really? Wow. I’d assumed you’d have given up caffeine.
Take a moment to look around you. Unless you are living in the foothills of the Himalayas, chances are we pregnant ladies have doctors with whom we discuss these things. Chances are, the one coffee we consume per day – in lieu of the soft cheeses, alcohol, ice cream, sliced ham, salami, sleep and everything else we give up – is not going to turn an otherwise normal, healthy baby into a 22 pound man-baby. Or twins for that matter.
So do you have varicose veins yet? You look like you’d be the type to get varicose veins.
I’m not sure what the “type” is for varicose veins – or if there is one, for that matter. There is, however, a “type” of person who asks this “type” of question. They’re the gory ones. They’ll also ask if you’ve heard of the EpiNo; if you’ve seen the size of the Epidural needle; and if you’re taking a mirror in to the delivery room with you. No, no and no! Plug your ears, belt out the chorus to your favourite tune and walk away from this person. Fast.
So there you have it: my list of things NOT to say to that poor unsuspecting pregnant lady you pass each morning on your way to the bus stop. If you feel the need to tell her exactly how many centimetres wider she is than the average bump, place a large sock in your mouth and keep walking. Or whistle. Whistling is good.
Natasha Wilson is a mother of two gorgeous children, an avid crafter and self-confessed hoarder. Author of the craft blog and online store, www.craftylittlegreyfox.com, Natasha features simple projects with gorgeous results – designed for little crafters and their mums to make.