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What (Not) to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You’ve heard it all before. You’ve probably said it to someone you know. You didn’t really have to think hard about what to say, and maybe it just sort of came out.

Having been pregnant three times now, I’ve definitely heard it… MANY times.

If one really takes a step back and thinks about what to say (or not to say) to a pregnant woman, considering she is probably hormonal, possibly sleep-deprived, sporting a good 20-50 pounds more than her normal weight, not fitting in her normal clothes, maybe not even fitting in her maternity clothes anymore, … Shall I go on?

You might think twice before you take the liberty of commentary towards the next bump you encounter, or mix it up with something a little different that they haven’t heard before. Pregnant ladies LOVE to laugh and coming up with a creative punchline could get this belly bouncing with laughter and joy.

What-not-to-say

 

1. “You’re having a _______. (boy/girl)”

50% = Probability of guessing the gender correctly. You’ll either be right or wrong. That’s amazing, right? I will admit, it still is fun to guess, and I’ve done it, too. Eventually, theoretical probability says that if you guess on enough pregnant bellies you’ll be right just about as many times as you’ll be wrong. It’s okay. Entire parties and baby showers (See Gender Reveal) are centered around this very statement and guess!

Gender Guess2. (…followed by) “Oh…” or “That’s great!” or “Well, I guess you just need to try again.” or “Were you hoping for that?” or “That’s okay, too.”

After guessing the gender and finding out if right or wrong, this often follows as a secondary comment. Some of these can come across as disappointment and people don’t seem to believe me when I tell them I really had no expectations for a gender or hopes to have one over the other. Really, a child is a blessing whether a boy or girl, and it’s okay not to have an opinion about what you should be expecting.

3. “Now you have to try for the girl!” (or boy, if it applies to you)

I’m pregnant with my third boy, and if I want to have a fourth child, it won’t be for the sake of having a girl. With my luck, that would mean being blessed with a fourth boy. It’s a lighthearted comment, sure, but if you really think about what it is implying, it might not be the nicest thing to say. Are my current children not enough that I would need another to fill some sort of void? Nope. We take our blessings and love them, and if a fourth child is in our future, it will be for other reasons.

4. “You’re HUGE!”

Do I need to explain this one? (hormonal… sleep-deprived… way above goal weight…)

Twins?5. “Are you sure it isn’t TWINS?”

I know friends who have also heard this one. Sure, it’s happened before that people go into the delivery room expecting one and leave with two, but it’s very unlikely with the amazing technology available to our OB-GYN practices these days. I trust that there is only one baby in this belly. He’s big and I’m big, so please be kind.

6. “You’re going to have your hands full!” or better yet “You’ve got your hands full!”

Once a day. Twice a day… sometimes more! I get this ALL THE TIME. It was funny in the first trimester as I ran around chasing my one- and two-year-old boys without a big baby bump protruding above my waistline, which I can’t find too well anymore. This many months in, I just sort of expect the comment and smile in agreement. But once again, think about a pregnant woman – hormonal, sleep-deprived, overweight, fashion-challenged, emotional, sensitive…

7. (on having my third boy) “I bet your husband is so proud!”

Would he be less proud if I was having a girl? It makes me want to prank a little and just see what kind of responses I would get by saying one gender first, and then switching it up.

8. (on having my third boy) “You’re going to have a football team!”

What about an orchestra? A boy scout troop? Half a Brady Bunch? A doctor, a lawyer, AND an engineer? A Larry, Curly, and Mo? A family band? A table full? A packed car? An anything other than a football team? I happen to hope that my kids don’t play football someday. I also realize that it’s not the most popular view for a family growing up in South Texas.  Perhaps the geographical location influences what people say, but it would be way more interesting for a pregnant mom to get a little variety in the commentary.

9. “Whoa!”

I’ve heard this a few times when someone doesn’t see my belly right away. It happened when I jokingly tried ordering an alcoholic beverage at a certain movie theater and the cashier couldn’t see my belly behind the counter. The “whoa” came when I took a step back after cancelling my drink order that he was gladly ready to accept.


week30Meanwhile, We LOVE to Hear:

1. “You’re glowing.”

2. “You’re all baby”

3. “I couldn’t tell you were pregnant from behind at all.”

4. “I can’t wait to help you by babysitting and staying up all night with the baby whenever you need it.”

(Ok, maybe I haven’t really heard this one, exactly. Although I have a wonderful, supportive husband who DOES help with this part. Thanks, love!)

5. “Congratulations!”

6. “I can’t wait to meet him (her)!”

7. “What a blessing!”

 

All being said, it is hard to resist talking about a belly to an expecting mom without a little fun and some giggles.

 

What about you?

What sort of comments did you hear over and over during pregnancy? Did you laugh it off? Did it hurt your feelings?

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