More than 80 percent of pregnant women have friends (or strangers!) touch their bellies without asking for permission. Grievances like this are all too common, so we thought we'd lay down a list of phrases that make our pregnant users cringe (they told us so). Chances are, you've already found some of these words slipping through your teeth before you knew what hit you. Well, you can't rewind, but check out our list and try to hold back next time — your pregnant buddies will be grateful.
FAUX PAS #1: “LET ME TOUCH YOUR BELLY!”
We’re all guilty of the belly rub… it’s hard to resist. But hold back unless you ask the mom first. Not only is it scary and weird for her when someone, whether it’s a stranger or even a relative, touches her bump, but a woman’s belly is private and she may not want you reaching for it.
What to say or do in response: As the hand moves in, cover your belly and jokingly say, “The little one’s bossy already, this baby likes personal space.”
FAUX PAS #2: “I WAS IN LABOR FOR 36 HOURS AND I TORE LIKE YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE!”
Imagine hearing your own mother-in-law describing in detail how she gave birth to your husband. Are you squirming yet? It’s only natural to want to share your own personal experiences and think that it may offer some helpful advice. But just because you were in labor for 36 hours doesn’t mean she wants to hear all the gory details. You’ll only scare her (and baby) with your stories.
What to say or do in response: You may gain some bits of useful advice from these war stories, but if the conversation gets too graphic, say in a mock grave voice, “You’ve seriously got to stop – I think my morning sickness is coming back.”
FAUX PAS #3: “WOW, YOU’RE HUGE! ARE YOU HAVING TWINS?”
First of all, pregnant or not, no one ever likes to be reminded of their weight gain. Whether you genuinely are wondering if she’s having twins or it’s your way of saying she’s going to have a big healthy baby, keep any comments related to weight gain to yourself. After all, we all know this could sound like an evil way of saying “Wow, you’re one big heifer.”
What to say or do in response: Think of it this way – who wants a peewee baby? So proudly rub your tummy and say, “Nope, not twins. I’m just carrying the next linebacker for the New York Giants.”
FAUX PAS #4: “OHHH, I KNEW A (INSERT NAME). HE WAS THE BIGGEST GEEK IN HIGH SCHOOL.”
Ouch. Whether it’s a high school geek or horrid ex-boyfriend, we can’t help but connect a name to someone in our past. But it’s best to keep your opinions to yourself, or better yet, not even ask what they’re planning on naming baby.
“This is a seemingly harmless question and is one of the most hotly debated topics for parents-to-be,” says Carley Roney, our editor in chief. “Naming a child is one of the most personal things for parents and it’s hard enough to decide on a name without a committee chiming in. Plus, parents may want to keep the name a secret in case someone ‘steals’ the name.”
What to say or do in response: If only you could say who his or her name reminds you of, right? So just grin and say, “Good thing all geeks grow up to be billionaires.”
FAUX PAS #5: “COME ON, ONE DRINK WON’T HURT.”
No one likes a pusher. If your friend who normally drinks more than her share of Sauvignon switches to sparkling water, take it as a sign and don’t order a round of martinis. Your “in the baby zone” friend will become tired of saying that she’s “not feeling well” and be less apt to come out next time.
What to say or do in response: Save yourself a response by ordering a soda water with lemon in it – it’ll look just like a cocktail. Or jokingly say, “No way, I don’t want baby ending up in AA by the time he or she's a toddler!”