Things Not to Say to Pregnant Women

I cannot believe some of the things I have been asked or told in the past couple of weeks as my “bump” has ballooned into Blue Whale material. A smattering:

* You look so… different!
(Gee, thanks. You look like an idiot but I have the sensitivity not to tell you. I wish you’d follow suit. )

* Are you sure you’re due in June?
(As one coworker said upon overhearing this: This is the equivalent of saying “God, you’re fat!”)

* Is the doctor certain there is only one baby in there?
(No. First, I am a pathological liar. Second, I thought I’d surprise everyone. There are 3 in here.)

* Wow. You are awfully big for 21 weeks, aren’t you?
(Because making me an accomplice to your ego assassination would make the whole thing so much more palatable, right?)

* You have changed so much. Not just the baby bump but… You know. You are just bigger.
(As a fellow female, tell me on what day of the week would you like to hear this said to you? I will make sure to have a billboard erected with your picture and those exact words right outside our offices every week on that day. I promise.)

I should mention that all of these comments were made by women. The only hurtful comment a male friend has made involved a reference to shopping at the local tent and awning store as a joke when my bump was still wee (but big on formerly little old me). And that friend issued a sincere and heartfelt apology and completely got it when I said the joke had hurt my feelings. He is forgiven and the comment no longer hurts.

The ones from other women in my life lately sting. And they are completely unhelpful. Even when overheard by others who chastise the speaker for being so thoughtless, these comments continue.

What is it about another woman’s pregnancy that gives some women a sense of entitlement to check their brains and compassion at the door and let hurtful, obnoxious and purely asinine remarks spew forth? Did someone place a “insult me, I feel as though my entire life is consumed with this high-risk pregnancy and my self-esteem is at an all-time low already. Go on, hit me with you best shot!” sign on my back?

For context, my bump is huge. My arms feel flabby. I’m retaining water and have a Prednisone moon face. I’ve gained as much weight by 21 weeks in this pregnancy as I had by mid-third trimester in the Miracle Toddler’s pregnancy (I’m thanking the Prednisone for some of that too). That said, I don’t know exactly where all of that weight is. I am still wearing size XS maternity pants. It is not as though I’ve transformed into The Thing. Though some days I feel that way.

On that happy note, I wish you all a good weekend. I plan to start my starvation diet tomorrow.


32 thoughts on “Things Not to Say to Pregnant Women

  1. Wow that’s pretty sad that women made those type of comments. Really have they not see a pregnant women before. Yes, they’re bodies change and I’m sure you look amazing and beautiful.. Wishing you a fantastic weekend and enjoy your cute bump!! FET has begun the games have begun. Quick question did you do acupuncture for this pregnancy I have never done it with all of my other failed cycles?

    • Yes I did acupuncture weekly in the months leading up to transfer and immediately before had after to encourage blood flow in uterus. I would recommend that. I did weekly through first trimester and now go every 2-3 weeks.

      • Thanks so much for letting me know. I will start my first one on Monday hope its not too late. Not sure what to expect. I will probably do a before and after session as well. Going to give it all I got!! 🙏

        • My TCMD specializes in immune and fertility so that is the reason why I have gone as I did in the pre-cycle and first trimester periods. I think the session immediately before and after transfer has been shown to increase success rate so I think those are the most important if you only want to do a few

  2. How insensitive! They are probably trying to be funny, but are just being jerks instead. I’m certain you look gorgeous in all your pregnant splendor! Screw them! I bet you most of them looked like hell pregnant…LOL! That’s why they are hating on you, because you probably look adorable and they can’t stand it!

    • Ha. You are so kind and charming! Usually I think the stuff might not bother me so much but I feel so out of control of everything in the pregnancy that these comments really sting because they’re coming from women who actually know that I have been suffering with immune issues and tons of medication make me feel miserable. It wouldn’t be so bad if you were complete strangers perhaps.

  3. Wow, people just suck sometimes. I hope these were not women who have been pregnant and had babies. Not that it would make any of this ok if that was the case. But I know you have a thick skin and you have lots of love and support from all of us! You are amazing and beautiful. (yes, I am saying that having never seen you before. I just KNOW that you are!)

  4. Lol. You made me spit some of my decaf out all over my keyboard. Hilarious recount ! One way to look at it, be grateful to not get the “other” convos… “when are you having another baby?” ” just relax, it will happen” etc

    To carry a baby is such a blessing and is so beautiful. I don’t care if I look like Orca! Plastic surgery after birth will always be an option ! Lol

    Just brush it off and “grow” gracefully 🙂

    I am sure you are just gorgeous !!

  5. Hugs. Those women definitely don’t understand that just because you’re pregnant does not mean it’s okay to speak freely about your size and I’m not sure how they can think you’re so big if you still fit in XS!

    • I think it’s the change that’s notable. I agree the change is dramatic but shut up about it already, right? Some of them are repeat offenders too. I have blocked many of their past comments from memory already. People are very insensitive when it comes to size. I remember feeling just as criticized when I ran long distance and people sometimes asked if I had an eating disorder. If we are outside a norm people feel entitled to say hurtful insensitive things. I find pregnancy ramps up that sense of entitlement. No one would touch a man’s beer belly but people touch women’s bumps all the time. So bizarre.

  6. I have a really close friend at work who is pregnant. And one thing I said to her about considering her timing of announcing (leaving aside the safe zone issues she understands from hanging with me for three years), is that somehow, pregnancy leaves you with a lack of agency over your own body. Suddenly people touch you, they make comments to you. They take note of what you eat and what you drink and feel entitled to remark on it. They somehow feel entitled to invade your personal space, both physical and emotional, and make obnoxious comments while they’re doing it. My friend is black, and already has to contend with people wanting to touch her hair, or her tattoos, and goes bonkers when people invade her space. We’ve come up with a plan to hide her behind a giant potted plant for the next 7 months. Ok, that was just a little sarcasm.

  7. No starvation diets!! Do your best to ignore moronic comments (SERIOUSLY?? WOMEN??) and take good care of yourself. I also gained A LOT more weight this time around, I am trying to attribute it mostly to the swelling below my hips, but it’s brutal. In a few months, none of this will matter and you will have your snuggly baby in your arms.

  8. Oh boy can I relate. Except my most recent “WTH” comment was from my own WIFE! I was changing into my pajamas and she said, “Wow–those are some dark stretch marks!” Um. Thanks, babe. She’s lucky there was nothing throw-able within reach.

  9. I’ve decided a lot of people are just stupid! I’m generalizing here, but I attribute it to most fertile women just being oblivious to the downside of pregnancy – the missed the struggle of getting pregnant, or staying pregnant and most miss the struggle of a high risk pregnancy. Somehow by missing the struggle, they also missed the lesson in compassion and in thinking before they speak. It’s just a theory.
    Yes, babies change your body, and given the drugs and your immune system your body may be changing more then others, but honestly, I have no doubt that you are beautiful!

    • Thank you. It’s true. Privilege and adversity have many life lessons to offer those they touch. I consider myself a privileged survivor of adversity and I suppose I should have more compassion for those who know only privilege, really… Or not. I’ve got better stuff to do I think!

  10. People are jerks. What is it about pregnancy that makes people think it’s OK to comment on things that are NOT ok in any other context. I know you’re teasing about the starvation diet but please don’t feel like you need to restrict or even watch your food as long as you’re eating healthy (which I’m sure you are). It’s probably all related to the immune issues and all the meds. And if not, then who cares! It’s all temporary anyway. Once baby A is here you can lose all the weight you need to. Once you can drop the meds it will probably take care of itself. In the meantime, tell your body that you love her and appreciate her ability to carry baby A in spite of all the challenges. When you look in the mirror tell yourself that you are strong and capable and beautiful no matter what. Start seeing and feeling the positive through the fear and anxiety and yuckiness that I know you’re dealing with. Stop feeling broken and flawed. Stop it, and infuse your mind and body with love instead. All that love you have for baby A, for the MT and the LP, feel it for yourself too as we feel it for you.

  11. I’m sure it’s the prednisone–it’s the devil, but a necessary evil that is whooping your immune system’s a$$ so it doesn’t mess with your baby. And all that really matters is that you and the baby are ok.
    These fools have no perspective. Their comments are shallow and inconsequential. But yeah, if they had an ounce of class they wouldn’t say anything but “you are glowing”.
    I don’t know if this is helpful, but I’ll remind you to keep your protein up (to maintain your lean muscle mass, as prednisone is catabolic) and to be selective about the carbs and salt, to help keep swelling down. You are SO busy I can imagine it’s hard to keep up with everything and daily self-care, and personally I find I need gentle reminders.
    Finally, let me remind you that you are handling everything life throws your way with strength and grace, and *that* is beautiful.
    And here’s a Dr. Seuss quote:
    …Because the people that mind don’t matter, and the people that matter don’t mind.
    ❤ XOXO

    • From the bottom of my heart: thank you *so* much. I actually crave protein like crazy and don’t eat much carbs on the whole as I have been on a paleo/anti-inflammatory diet for months now. But reminders never hurt! Much love and gratitude to you.

  12. Whhhhyyyyyyy are people so stupid?

    Take the diarrhea of the mouth from whence it comes – an asshole – and bask in the glory light of your situation as much as you can.

  13. People are such fucking dim wits! I tell you what, I’m outspoken and blunt while not pregnant and I’ve decided to continue that through this pregnancy. I’ll be the hitch preggo answering sarcastically to their idiotic questions or assumptions to teach them a lesson. Or I’ll be worse and say so thing to them to make it clearer. I’m sorry you’ve had such dumb and hurtful comments. Xo

    • I am often quite outspoken myself but many of these comments come from staff and other lawyers in my workplace so I think I’m better served by diplomacy though I did say at one point “however big you think I look I feel twice as large myself, thanks”. I got a new one yesterday as luck would have it – “can you still see your feet? You’re all belly!” That one wasn’t so bad or maybe I feel that way since it came from someone who knows I feel huge and sympathizes even if she jumped the silly comment bandwagon. 😉

  14. These are the days I am grateful to work with only men. Yes, they can be dimwits too, but shocking less insensitive. Try not to let it get to you. Send them love even though you want to punch them out. ❤

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