It will forever astound me what people will say to someone expecting a baby. I feel like there is some type of public entitlement that happens when you find out someone is building a human from scratch. It's bananas and it really should stop. Here are some gems I've heard.
1. “You look so big/small.”
Remember when you were a teenager and you didn’t want to be unique in any way? Well, pregnancy is the same and nobody wants to be told they look huge or teeny because it just scares them. Anything different from other pregnant women = weird = giant freak baby or creepy peanut baby.
2. “Haven’t you had that baby yet?”
If that woman’s pregnancy seems long to you, I can almost guarantee that it feels like about 30 years to her. Pregnant women asked this question should be legally exempt from murder convictions. (You can also send them to haveyouhadthatbabyyet.com)
3. “You look tired. You must be having a girl because they steal your beauty.”
Someone actually said this to my friend. So really what you’re saying is “you look like shit”. Thanks. I think the response to this should be “And you must be upside down because all I see is an asshole talking”. (I just made that up.)
4. “So, do your nipples look weird? Mine went all crazy.”
Pardon? Unless this pregnant woman is someone who would tell you about her anal leakage or an odd growth on her armpit, then don’t ask this kind of stuff and don’t share this kind of crap with anybody. Ever.
5. “Sleep now because you won’t get any when the baby gets here.”
What the hell does this mean anyway? It’s not like you can bank sleep. It’s like saying “Don’t eat this year because an all-you-can-eat-buffet is opening up next March”. Plus, who says that the woman you’re saying this to is sleeping now? She may be a congested ball of heartburn, hemorrhoids, and back pain so this kind of thing just adds insult to injury.
6. ”I hate that name.”
Really? Oh okay, then they won’t name it that. Nobody cares that a girl named Angela took your oatmeal raisin cookie in grade two so don’t lift up the tarp covering your mental baggage. On a similar note, if they want to name their kid Adolph or Kleenex just nod and say “nice” – that will be the least of that kid’s problems anyway.
7. “Were you hoping for a girl/boy instead?”
It’s not really anyone’s business and if she ain’t sharin’, don’t ask. If you’re asked this you should answer that you were actually hoping for a puppy that could fart rainbows and then just walk away.
8. “Was this an accident?”
A woman’s reply to this should always be “yes, I tripped and fell on a dick.” It’s a nice, clean, confusing retort for someone who is rude enough to ask this kind of question.
9. “Did you use fertility drugs?”
I don’t want to get all misty here, but all babies are miracles, and by asking a question like that you’re somehow implying that babies that were conceived with ‘help’ are different from babies that weren’t. Plus, it's nobody's business. Not cool, so don’t ask.
10. “Should you be eating that?”
This whole website is about people embellishing myths and half-truths to scare the crap out of pregnant people. So unless she’s about to snack on dog shit accidentally, don’t say anything and let the poor girl eat.
Finally, there are three things you always say to pregnant women:
Feel free to rotate and sprinkle them throughout your conversations.
1. “You look fantastic.”
Even if she is a sweaty, wheezing Jabba the Hut with swollen ankles and a maternity top that no longer covers her belly, tell her she looks fantastic. She is making a person, and that’s pretty fantastic.
2. “That’s amazing.”
If she tells you she’s going to give birth squatting in a Mr. Turtle pool surrounded by chanting Tibetan squirrels, you say, “that sounds amazing”. Every pregnant woman makes about 200 declarations of what she is and isn’t going to do and about four stick. Don’t ruin her moments.
3. “I hear you.”
When she starts crying because the pizza shows up wrong, or she panics because she used regular detergent to wash the baby’s onesies so she’ll be a horrible mother, or simply because she dropkicked the creepy guy at work who asked her if she's doing perineal massage while eating the last donut. This is when it’s a good idea to pull out “I hear you” or "that sucks. I'm sorry".
A sidecar of “you look fantastic” couldn’t hurt either.
Our next recos: Other Things Not To Say To A New Mom
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