During my pregnancies, it never ceased to amaze me the rude and inappropriate things people would say to me. It's like somehow, once you are pregnant, all typical rules of civility go out the window. Suddenly, it's perfectly acceptible for people to call you fat or comment on your reproductive organs or sex history. Hello? Well, here are 10 things you should never say to a pregnant woman. And for you pregnant women, each one includes a snappy comeback to use on offenders.
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"Wow, you're huge!"
Hmm. Pregnant women just love hearing that. Really. About as much as you like hearing how big your butt is. It always amazed me how many people said this without blinking. If you ever said this to a non-pregnant woman, you'd be smacked upside the head. I'm not sure why people think it's OK to tell a pregnant woman she is big.
Snappy comeback: "Yeah, you're huge too. At least I'm pregnant. What's your excuse?"
"Should you be eating that?"
No, she probably shouldn't be eating that. So what? Is it poison? Is it pot brownies? No? Why remark on it, then? Being pregnant means growing another human being inside your body. It means that sometimes, your body wildly craves something questionably nutritious.
When a pregnant woman has been eating fresh veggies and yogurt for days, and someone questions her decision to nibble a slice of pizza, what happens next is really up to fate. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Snappy comeback: "Should you be so nosy?"
"Was your baby conceived naturally?"
What exactly does that mean? Aren't all babies natural? Unless you're talking to your best friend, this question is completely and utterly inappropriate. It also insinuates that there is some difference in a baby conceived without assistance and one that required extra effort on the part of the parents.
On top of that, it's a highly personal question about her and her husband's reproductive organs and sex life.
Snappy comeback: "No, it actually is an alien that was injected into my uterus. Quite unnatural, really."
"Are you sure you aren't having twins?"
See annoying comment number 1 above. This is a roundabout way of saying, "Wow! You're huge!" in a more passive aggressive way. If you were already talking about the pregnancy and she didn't mention the slightly noteworthy point that she has two (or three or four) babies in her, not one, then she either doesn't know or isn't. So don't ask. Because what pregnant women hear is, "Gee, you're big!"
Snappy comeback: "Oh, I didn't realize you are psychic. Can you also tell me the sex of the babies? And the day they will be born?"
"Oh! Can I feel your belly?"
The answer is no. Simple as that. If you're a stranger, it's actually, "Hello no!" Period. End of discussion. And if you're one of those especially rude people who grab random pregnant bellies, you are really playing with fire. Let's see, the woman is uncomfortable, size-challenged (let's not say big) and hormonal. Do you really want to grab her and see what happens?
In normal life, no one would dream of grabbing a stranger's belly. As with all of these examples, ask yourself if you would really treat a non-pregnant person the same way.
Snappy comeback: Don't say a word. Just grab his or her belly and jiggle. Hard.
"When are you due?"
This question seems innocent enough, but it falls under two categories, both with their own levels of annoyance. One, the person you ask might just not be pregnant. Unless you see a maternity shirt that says, "Baby on board," I wouldn't make any assumptions. (You do remember what they say about the word assume, right?").
Women who have just had a baby usually still look pregnant for even a couple weeks or so. I can assure you. You don't want to be the one to ask the moody, tired, hormone-plummeting post-partum woman when she is due. You could get hurt.
The second category of bad here is the actual pregnant woman who has been asked that question, oh, 5,271 times. Today. Is it really that important? Do you really need to know? She will probably volunteer that information anyway.
Snappy comeback: "When are YOU due?" (works best on women, obviously, who are not pregnant)
"If you think it's bad now, wait until the baby arrives"
This usually is applied to numerous issues, but primarily any pregnant woman's complaint over lack of sleep. Trust me. A pregnant woman who hasn't gotten a decent night's sleep in weeks due to Charlie horses, nauseau, heartburn, peeing like 20 times a night and any other assortment of pregnany symptoms will not want to hear it only gets worse.
The delivery is supposed to be the reprieve from the trials of pregnancy. Plus, it is just making light of how hard it is now.
Snappy comeback: "Well, I can just bring the baby to your house for a night and get a good night's sleep."
"Let me tell you my labor horror story!"
OK, no one ever says this first. They usually just launch right into it. This banned question is especially upsetting to first-time pregnant women. They are already freaked about just how scary labor really is. Don't add to the anxiety.
Snappy comeback: "Great story! Let me tell you about (choose one) my last bowel movement/the last time I had morning sickness/that strange feeling I get in my breasts."
"Are you ready for a baby?"
No. Who ever is? Most pregnant women are terrified and uncertain about the answer to that question, at least a little. Don't give a pregnant woman more to stress about. When the baby arrives, she will take one look at her child and know she is more than ready.
Snappy comeback: "Are you ready for a kick in the shin?"
"Wow, you look tired!"
Duh! She hasn't gotten a decent night's sleep since, well, conceiving. Of course she looks tired. It probably took every ounce of her energy to just get out of bed this morning. Then she probably threw up.
Pregnant women already feel big, ugly, have some of the oddest things happening to their body and, yes, are exhausted. It's so hard to feel pretty. Instead of pointing out how badly a pregnant woman looks, why not say how beautiful she is? That is one sure-fire way to lift a downtrodden pregnant woman's spirits.
Snappy comeback: "You look like crap too. What's your excuse?"