When you are pregnant, there’s no escaping unsolicited advice. Friends, family, neighbors, and even strangers take the liberty of asking all kinds of questions and passing rather insensitive comments. People begin to intrude way too much, and you have to deal with it because it supposedly comes from a place of love and concern.
Pregnancy can be an overwhelming experience for any woman with the changing body and hormones. But the worst of it comes when one has to deal with people passing unsolicited comments when you’re close to your due date. So, to help bring awareness, we list down seven things that you should never ever say to a mom-to-be close to her due date.
“You Look So Tired/Sick/Miserable”
Not all women will have that glow during their pregnancy. Some women might look too tired and swollen…well, because they are. The morning sickness, backaches, and mood swings can make pregnancy challenging as it is, and the last thing they want is for someone to point it out to their face. If you’ve got nothing nice to say, lay off any negative comments. But if you want her to feel comfortable, offer her a treat or maybe compliment her on the outfit.
Classic Comments On How Big Or Small The Bump Looks
“Oh, my God, you’re so huge!” or “wow, you barely look pregnant!” are comments that can never be deemed appropriate to say to a pregnant woman. Obviously, nobody would like to hear how huge their belly is. It’s not a nice or positive thing to say to an expecting mother. Comments on how big her belly is can make mamas feel self-conscious about themselves and add to their insecurities when they are already juggling a lot of things towards the end of their pregnancy. Similarly, comments on how small the baby bump is could have a negative effect even if you had meant it as a compliment. It can make them worry if their baby is not developing at a healthy rate and cause them to obsess over their baby’s well-being and constantly seek confirmation from their doctor.
Instead of saying how big or small their bump is or making assumptions that she might be carrying twins, you could say how amazing it is that they are growing a life inside them, and there is a tiny human in that baby bump.
“Are You Going To Breastfeed?”
Breastfeeding is a personal choice and something that is not appropriate to ask any mom-to-be. Several women decide not to breastfeed for a variety of reasons. It could be because their health conditions don’t allow them to, or they find it too painful or stressful. Whatever the reason, it’s a choice the mother has to make, and this question can put unnecessary pressure on moms about their decision to breastfeed or not.
“You Look Like You’re About To Pop”
This is just another inconsiderate way of saying, “you have become so gigantic.” Pregnant women are not balloons that will burst or pop any minute now. They don’t want to hear how big they look that it seems like they are about to explode. If you have got nothing good to say, the best thing you can do is keep your mouth shut. Silence is golden.
“Enjoy While You Can”
Though well-intended at most times, this statement spreads the message that you won’t be able to have fun after becoming a parent. This advice is not just unhelpful but can lead to increased anxiety in women who are already overwhelmed about all the changes that parenting will bring about. Instead, tell them that a baby is only going to enrich their lives, and they can continue enjoying their lives even if it takes some compromising and adjusting in the beginning and spread the message of hope.
“Are You Planning To Get An Epidural?”
Another sensitive topic that should be off-limits because it is never appropriate to inquire about. Women are often judged whenever they decide to get an epidural as they are shamed for not being strong enough to endure a natural birth and supposedly taking “the easy way out.” But the truth is each pregnancy is different, and while some may be able to give birth in under 30 minutes after their labor begins, others can have a labor that lasts for 18 hours and be left with a fourth-degree tear in the end. People have varying levels of pain tolerance, and should a mom decide that she can’t take it anymore and opts for an epidural, she should, by all means, be able to do it without feeling judged.
“Let Me Tell You About This Traumatic Experience I Had…”
Wait, let me stop you right there. Did it ever help you when somebody shared their horrible childbirth experience of how they spent 19 hours in pain, pooped all over, and had a tear that cut open their rectum? Then why would you decide to share your traumatic experience knowing it wouldn’t ease their anxiety but will probably make it worse. So, unless a pregnant woman explicitly asks you to share your birth story with them, it’s best to keep it to yourself.
People are largely uninformed when it comes to what not to say to a pregnant woman. Even though you might be able to justify it by saying it was well-intentioned, it’s high time that people be aware of what they can and cannot say to a mom-to-be instead of saying something that could come across as judgemental or hurtful. If you know of a friend or loved one who is pregnant, the best thing to do is simply be there for them and offer your help and support however you can.