10 Things You Should Never Say To A Pregnant Woman
I'm not done with this pregnancy rodeo 🐎 that's for sure, but the clock is tickin' and I'm getting close! Just 10-12 more weeks before my bundle arrives and I thought I'd share my thoughts on some "lovely things" I've personally heard and experienced and some I've learned from other mama friends. I mostly wanted to share this because once upon a time I too was ignorant, not informed and educated and well, let's just say now, now I know better!
Before I begin, let me start off by saying two things:
Most people are well meaning. They really are. They don't purposely say awful things.
Some people are uneducated, inexperienced and have zero clue what it's like to be pregnant because, well - they simply never have been, so if that is you - please know it's OKAY if you've said or done these things. I'm not here to torment you, but to simply shine a light on a "better way to be" because it matters.
Take this blog as a learning lesson on how to better behave and respond when it comes to communicating with a mama-to-be. Because trust me, the last thing you want to do is say something insensitive and simply wrong when you could've been that bright and loving person you know you are deep down. ❤️
Here are things you should NEVER say... and some better alternatives:
Wow, you're so tiny / big!! 🤔 We know! lol. We don't need you to highlight our growing bodies and scream it out loud for all to hear. Women's bodies for many are a sensitive topic naturally and especially during pregnancy. It's hard to not compare yourself to what you looked like before or to the next mama. Do yourself a favor and say something like this instead: "wow, congratulations!" "I'm so happy for you!" "You look incredible!" "How's pregnancy treating you??"
You look so tired! 😴 No shit Sherlock lol. Pregnancy isn't tiring - it's f'n exhausting some days, weeks and even months. Try carrying around a heavy watermelon glued to your belly, with groin aches, severe back aches, nausea, little to no sleep, raging hormones and throw in life/work responsibilities and trying to maintain some type of social life and do what you love that feels good. It's not impossible but it's hard some days. Be kind, especially to a mama-to-be! Instead you can say, "How are you feeling?" "I'd love to help out if I can, anything special I can do for you?" "Want to grab lunch? I'll pick you up, my treat!" or "I'd love to come over and bring snacks and watch a movie, are you up for a little company?" or "Let's go for a walk if you're up for it, fresh air is always helpful!"
You've gained a lot of weight! You've gotten fat! 🤭 Yes, only the ignorant will say this and it's usually because they have zero idea what it takes to carry a baby and maintain a healthy weight to create and sustain LIFE! Most who say this literally have no idea that babies can't survive without food, energy, protein, healthy fats, amniotic liquid to protect the baby, a placenta, a growing uterus that stretches up to 500 TIMES it's normal size and that given you don't have your period for 9 months, you also carry that weight in extra blood too as it prepares you for birth. It's okay, when you know better, hopefully - you do better. Instead you can say, "You are glowing!" "It's incredible what your body can do!" "I'd love to learn more about all the changes!" I personally love a curious person and would much rather educate someone who really does want to learn than have to entertain incredibly insensitive and rude comments.
Anything and Everything about... Miscarriage 🤫 It's one of the worst things you can mention to a pregnant woman. And no, I'm not avoiding the fact that it can be a very real and scary part of a woman's life and many women do painfully struggle with infertility, miscarriage, loss and stillbirth - but trust me - don't ever, ever, ever mention this to a pregnant woman if you truly care about her. Why? Because 1) it ruins any happiness she may be feeling and 2) it's already on our minds: all. the. damn. time, especially in that first trimester (the first 3 months). It's a terrifying reality we live with because we are already aware it's a possibility which is most common at the start, which is why most women don't mention pregnancy until we are more than sure we are "in the clear." Which brings me to my next point....
Don't Ever Ask a Woman if She is Pregnant - EVER! 🙄 I had so many people ask before I was ready to share and it put me in such a stressful situation. Even if a woman is starting to show a bump - do not freaking ask! If the information hasn't been shared by her and only her- it means it's not your information to know so go on your merry own way and focus on other things. And if she chooses not to drink alcohol or her regular cup of joe ☕️, let it go. Don't make a big deal or fuss out of it and call her out. It's insensitive and so wrong. Chances are that yes, she may be pregnant and yes, it may be a scary time for her but maybe it's way too soon to share the news so please be kind and avoid asking all together. Pregnancy is a difficult ride, especially emotionally which you will never ever understand until you are pregnant yourself so if you're not, trust me and just don't bother making yourself look like a fool by asking. Just don't. A doctor once said, "Don't ever ask if a woman is pregnant unless you see a baby coming out of her body. Got it?" lol, that always stuck with me.
When are you due???! 😒 I've asked this plenty of times before when I didn't know any better and now I can't help but internally roll my eyes every time I'm asked. I know it's a natural question and people are curious but instead of asking that, try "How far along are you?" I'll explain why. Due dates are not accurate at all. Only 2-5% of women actually give birth on their due dates. Sure, on average we all have about 9 months to carry a baby before they get too big, we get too uncomfortable and have little to zero space left for them to stretch out and grow when we can officially "evict" them. ✌🏼 But, it puts pressure on women to provide you with an exact date which generally doesn't match. Full term is generally about 40 weeks pregnant and some babies need more time, up to 1-2 weeks more. Generally after 42 weeks it becomes harder for babies and mamas so naturally they will need to be born soon within that timeframe, but it gets overly annoying to have to provide someone with a fake date. I prefer to say, "I'm in my third trimester and baby will come when baby is ready! Stay tuned." If you're a pregnant mama, feel free to use that line too and don't feel pressure if your baby comes before then or needs a little more baking time in your oven. Like I said, baby will let me know once baby is ready to come and nope, I have zero intention on inducing or planning a c-section just to have baby come on my terms. I don't believe in forcing a birth to happen on my timeline just for my own vain reasons. I will allow my body and baby to show me the way... when it's time! And yes, I'm aware that if a medical emergency were to come about, I'd be open to whatever was necessary to ensure both of us were healthy and okay! 😅
Have fun now, your life will be over after! lol 👎🏻 It's funny that I've only heard this from people who have actually never even had kids, so how would they know?! 😆 I only highly value when truly engaged parents give heartfelt advice but when it comes from someone who literally has zero experience, you've gotta laugh it off. Sure, I'm not ignorant to the fact that bringing a baby into the world is A LOT OF WORK and RESPONSIBILITY, and yes, of course my life would change - forever, how could it not?! But I also believe in prioritizing my relationship with my husband and those who love and truly show up to support me fully. I know not everyone can afford a birth and postpartum doula, house cleaner or nanny to help, but I think it's important to find a rhythm and do what you can with what you have to keep your individual life intact, and continue to do what you love. For me, that will be continuing to write this blog, to record interview podcasts that light me up and to continue coaching and helping women which fuels me so much... and now added to the mix, loving my sweet baby and raising this child in the very best way we (dad and I) possibly can. So yes, having support, asking for help from trusted individuals and showing up for ourselves will be vital, but I intend to do that, and have fun while being a mama!
I know there will many challenges with parenthood we will face, but not only am I excited, I'm ready for them. I've always wanted to be a mama so here I am living life on my terms and fulfilling my dreams. Nothing in the world beats that.
8. All Unsolicited Advice 🤚🏼
Like I said, I know most people mean well, but if it's advice you heard from your mom's, sister's, co-worker's, cousins' neighbor - save it lol. During my pregnancy I politely listened to all advice, but only absorbed what resonated most with me, and 100% of that feedback came from mamas who had been pregnant, labored, delivered, and lovingly raised their own babies. It's impossible to take someone's feedback if they themselves haven't experienced it themselves and that's 100% the truth. It's like someone telling you that the "peach margarita is fantastic!"... yet they've never had a sip or even tried a peach! Hah! Like, really? How would or could you ever know? Imagination doesn't count when it comes to real life, pregnancy, birth and motherhood - only real life experience does. So go with your gut and if someone is pushy with advice, politely say, "I'll consider that." or "I appreciate it, but I'll do it my way" or, "Thanks, but I prefer to figure it out on my own." After all, it's your right as a new mom to be granted the opportunity to raise your baby - YOUR WAY and on YOUR TERMS - not the way "it's been done" or "the way it worked for your mom, mother-in-law, aunt or grandma." Sure, they may have special wisdom to pass along, but it's up to you to keep what works for you today, and leave the rest behind! ✨
9. When are you having another baby?! 🤯
Seriously? I'm still pregnant with my first... can a girl enjoy this one first and see how it goes?! I know I've asked this before with parents who had 1 child because curiosity is normal - I know. I get it. We all want to know what's going on in other's lives. Here's the truth - I DON'T KNOW. MAYBE. MAYBE NOT. 🤷🏻♀️ Given that I haven't experienced true motherhood, and only pregnancy, it's hard to say. I could say I'd love to have 2-4 kids and a picket fence and a golden retriever and parrots but reality is different. What I do know is that I plan to fully immerse myself into mama-hood, see what it's all about, enjoy the good days and try to make sense of the not-so-great-days. Maybe one kiddo will feel wonderful and fulfilling and maybe one day Vito and I will decide to expand our family, but, as of now, the answer is - only time will tell! So, if you're curious to know if a pregnant woman is wanting more kiddos... lol well, continue being curious and find a better question to ask! :)
10. Aren't you scared about giving birth? 🤦🏻♀️
I've asked this a ton in the past (prior to pregnancy) and now that I'm pregnant it's such an immature question to ask, but I do believe that "no question is a stupid question if you are genuinely curious to learn." I've been asked this so many times that it can be annoying and bothersome depending on my pregnancy mood lol. Of course the unknown is scary especially as a first time mama-to-be! It's only natural to be uneasy about all the "what if's". So, here are some waay better questions to ask instead: "Are you so excited to meet your baby?", "Have you thought of a birth plan?" or "So curious, what kind of birth are you considering : a home or hospital birth? I have no idea what you recommend is best and would love your input." or "What kind of preparations can you do to have the kind of birth you've dreamed of? I'd love to know!"
So, there you have it. There are many many more I could've added here, but these are the most common. So, what are your thoughts? Do you think you'll reconsider your questions for better ones now? And if you're a mama, which ones have you had to suffer with finding answers for? Hah! Leave me a comment below or head on back to my IG @violet_ventures and leave a comment there. I'd love to hear from you!
With all my mama-to-be love, belly curves and gumption,
#pregnancyquestions #pregnancydiary #pregnancylife #mamatobe #mamalove #learnbetterdobetter #bekind #bebrave #saywhatyouneedtosay #believeinyourself #believeinyourbody #mothernature #labor #birth #delivery #hospitalbirth #homebirth #birthdoula #postpartumdoula #nanny #babysitter #housecleaner #massuese #preparingforbirth #hospitalbag #supportpartner #children #morebabies #takeyourtime #podcastsforwomen #podcastsformamas #bloggerlife #venturelove #venturelovepodcast