5 Things a Pregnant Woman Never Wants to Hear

Read the most common phrases that our pregnant readers never want to hear again.
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Updated August 13, 2020
illustrated pregnant woman with her hands up in anger
Image: Ponomariova Maria

Moms-to-be won’t be shocked to learn that more than 80 percent of pregnant women have friends (or strangers!) touch their bellies without asking for permission. Not okay. Even worse are some of the things unthinking people actually say out loud. They mostly mean well, but people tend to lose perspective when they’re not growing a human inside them. Our pregnant readers shared some of the common phrases that make them cringe. Any of these sound familiar? Not to worry—we’ve offered a few tips on what to say in response.

Faux Pas #1: “Hello in There!” (As They Caress Your Belly)

We get it—the belly rub is hard to resist. (It’s just so big and beautiful!) But no one should be touching you without asking first. It’s scary and weird, but people seem to forget that your bump is still part of your body.
What to say or do in response: As the hand moves in, cover your belly and jokingly say, “The little one’s bossy already, and this baby likes personal space.”

Faux Pas #2: “I Was in Labor for 36 Hours and Tore Like You Wouldn’t Believe!"

Someone’s horror birth story isn’t what you want to hear when you’re mentally preparing for your own childbirth experience. It’s only natural for others to want to share their personal experiences, thinking it may offer some helpful advice. But just because they were in labor for 36 hours doesn’t mean you want to hear all the gory details (or that the same will happen to you).

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 got to stop, I think my morning sickness is coming back.”

Faux Pas #3: “Wow, You’re Huge! Are You Having Twins?”

Pregnant or not, no one ever likes to be reminded of their weight gain. Regardless of whether you’re expecting multiples or not, everyone can keep their weight-related comments to themselves, thank you very much.

What to say or do in response: Proudly rub your tummy and say, “Nope, not twins. I’m just carrying the next linebacker for the New York Giants.”

Faux Pas #4: “Oh, I Knew a (Insert Baby Name). He Was a Weirdo.”

It’s exciting to learn what people are planning to name their babies, and people can’t help but connect a name to someone in their past, whether it was a high school geek or horrid ex-boyfriend. But deciding on a baby name is hard enough without a committee chiming in and associating the monkier with someone else.

What to say or do in response: If only you could say who that person’s reminds you of, right? Instead, consider offering up some quick insight into why you chose the name in the first place (“actually, we’re naming the baby after my grandfather”).

Faux Pas #5: “Oh Come On, One Drink Won’t Hurt.”

No one likes a pusher, and you’re bound to get tired of explaining you’re pregnant and not drinking (or that you’re “not feeling well” if you’re still keeping the news under wraps).

What to say or do in response: Don’t hesitate to push right back—this is not a time for peer pressure. Or save yourself the headache by ordering a soda water with lemon in it–it’ll look just like a cocktail.

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