Pregnancy is a blessing and many people want to delight in those mamas-to-be and their ever-growing baby bumps. Unless you're saying "congratulations" (once you are 100% certain the woman is, indeed pregnant), you're best off refraining from getting too personal, unless invited in to chat candidly by said future mom.
We've all cringed while overhearing people say wildly inappropriate things to pregnant women, from comments on their ever-expanding girth to their newly animalistic appetites to predictions about the weight/gender/sex/future career of their baby. Asking "Are you having twins?" to a mom-to-be already horrified by her newly rotund body never helps and inquiring "Who's the father?" is not only rude, but presumptuous.
If ever you're tempted to chat up a pregnant woman, friend or stranger, here are 5 things you should never say to her, no matter your level of curiosity or good intentions. Just give a knowing smile and make room for her to waddle by.
1. "You're So Big!"
If you wouldn't declare the massive size of a non-pregnant person, why go for the jugular (or belly, in this case) of someone carrying another human being inside her? She knows she's gotten big, huge in some cases. That's how it works… the baby grows and therefore does the mother's body in order to accommodate it. And while some moms keep their weight gain to the belly area only, others pack on the pounds all over and aren't feeling or think they are looking their best. Sure, big can be beautiful, but how about saying she is, in fact, beautiful, rather than big?
2. "Can I Touch Your Belly?"
I don't know about you, but I've never had the desire or inclination to grope someone's belly amid friendly conversation. Just because a woman's belly is a new shape, it doesn't give you the OK to cop a feel or request to do so. It's awkward and invasive. Moms-to-be may feel badly saying no, so they allow people to touch their most prized possession leaving them feeling violated. Just like mom told you when you were little, "Look, but don't touch." Unless the mom-to-be asks if you want to feel her baby kick, lay off her mid-section. Perhaps if you play your cards right, you can hold the baby when it's finally born.
3. "Are You Planning to Breastfeed?"
Unless you're her ON/GYN or a bra salesperson, asking another woman about anything to do with her breasts is simply unacceptable. If you're so concerned with future meals, ask the woman herself what she's planning to eat for dinner that night. Maybe she plans to breastfeed but isn't sure she'll be able to. Perhaps she's all for bottle-feeding and doesn't want to hear anyone's opinions about "breast being best." It's her baby and how and what he or she consumes is the parent's choice. As long as her baby is well-fed and cared for, whether or not he or she latches on to this woman's nipple is none of your concern. Don't be a bothersome boob!
4. "Enjoy Your Freedom While You Still Have It."
Until mothers are handcuffed and jailed post-delivery, this woman will be as free as a bird after giving birth. Sure, her responsibilities will shift, but hopefully her decision to bring a child into the world was well-thought out and wanted. Some women wait all their lives to become mothers, so this "freedom" you're describing may not be all that interesting to her. And if she is worried about the changes the future will inevitably bring and being tied down, your comments certainly won't make her feel any better. Perhaps offer free babysitting services so she can have a date night with her honey once she's recovered from the birth.
5. "Was the Pregnancy Planned?"
Essentially, you're asking if she and her significant other forgot the birth control. Would you ask a random co-worker or the gal at the deli counter if her man slipped on a Trojan last night? Hopefully, no, so don't ask the pregnant women whether or not she intended to have sperm fertilize her egg. She became pregnant, planned or not, so let's take it from here. Plus, she may have been trying for years to conceive, so your question may hit a soft spot. Do you really want to make an already emotional mother-to-be cry? Assume the pregnancy is a happy state of affairs, whether or not it was planned. If you're still obsessed with planning, throw the soon-to-be-mom a baby shower. That's something she may actually appreciate.
Looking for a giggle? Popsugar has some funny things pregnant moms have heard. Belly laughs guaranteed!