35 Things You Should NEVER Say To A Pregnant Woman (If You Value Your Life)
Okay, I’m going to be honest. I had a BLAST writing this post. I really felt this. After going through two pregnancies in less than 2 years, I understand why this is such a critical topic. I also relate to all you mamas out there going through your pregnancy journey while enduring all the crazy things people actually DO say! So let’s talk about what you should NEVER say to a pregnant woman if you value your life.
Alright, mamas! Get ready to send this post to all your friends and family so they can brush up on some pregnancy lingo! In fact, here’s a pin to share and send since a little help might be in order.
This post is written good-naturedly and with a lot of humor, but let’s take just a second and be super real, here.
There is a serious take-away in this post. While we’ll chuckle our way through this list, let’s realize that this is still a real list of things you should never say to a pregnant woman.
We all know that 99% of people mean well and never intend to make mama-to-be feel badly or put her in a tough spot, but sometimes, out of excitement, that’s exactly what we do!
If you know someone who is expecting, I’m going to include some nice things you might want to say instead.
And yes, you’re welcome, because in all honesty, I’ve probably just saved your life.
Things You Should Never Say To A Pregnant Woman After She Announces Her Pregnancy
1: “Are you happy/excited?“
Yes, she might be excited, but she might also be terrified, exhausted, overwhelmed and a bunch of other crazy emotions. The question seems obvious, but don’t put pressure on her to analyze her own emotions in 30 seconds. She can’t. She might puke.
Here’s what you can say instead: “Congratulations! I’m so excited for you!”
2: “Was it planned?“
Um… can you say awkward?
Don’t even go there. Being pregnant doesn’t mean mama’s privacy is automatically forfeit.
Here’s what you can say instead: “Congratulations!”
3: “Should you have announced so soon?“
Asking this question is basically like saying, “you were wrong to announce so soon.”
And that doesn’t really encourage mama-to-be in any way. Aside from that, when mama decides to announce is totally up to her.
Here’s what you can say instead: “I’m so happy to hear the news!”
Awkward Questions Other Things You Should Never Say To A Pregnant Woman
4: “So-and-so miscarried…“
This fear is never far from mama’s mind, especially during the first trimester. It is NEVER a good idea to share a sad story like this.
There’s no good substitute here. Just don’t even approach the subject. Give lots of hugs and encouragement.
5: “Was it easy getting pregnant?“
Yeah… this is a little weird. Just don’t ask.
Here’s what you can say instead: “Congratulations! I’m so happy for you!”
6: “I HATED being pregnant!“
That’s pretty discouraging. Nothing like spreading negativity.
Here’s what you can say instead: “You’re going to do great!“
7: “I LOVED being pregnant!“
While that is so awesome, this journey is about her. So instead of making her special news about you, you can say: “You’re going to be amazing!“
8: “Are you taking your prenatal vitamins?“
Honestly? That’s between mama-to-be and her doctor (trust me, her doctor is asking that at every. Single. Appointment).
There’s not really any reason to go there.
9: “Are you ready for kids?“
Um… kinda too late, right? If mama’s not feeling ready, your questioning certainly isn’t going to help any.
Here’s what you can say instead: “You’re going to make a wonderful mother.”
A little encouragement goes HUNDREDS of miles for a hormonal mama-to-be.
Unsolicited Advice You Should NEVER Give A Pregnant Woman
10: “Be sure to…”(Pregnancy Advice)
One of the not-so-fun things about pregnancy is that it feels like as soon as you announce it, everyone becomes a doctor or pregnancy expert.
Even some guys. (Yes, I had some fellas give me pregnancy advice, and it felt as cringy as it sounds.)
Here’s what you can say instead: “If you need anything, reach out! I’m always here for you.”
If mama is looking for advice, she will reach out and ask or research.
11: “Don’t ever… “(Pregnancy Advice)
This kind of pregnancy advice always seems to come with some scary warning of what will happen if you do whatever is being advised against.
Unless you’re mama’s OB, that kind of advice is a bit discouraging.
Here’s what you can say instead: “I’m always here if you need anything.”
Suspicious and Conspiratorial
12: “Just don’t let your doctor…” (Medical Advice)
I think some of my favorite not-so-favorite kinds of advice were the types that made doctors seem like they didn’t know anything or were crooks.
I don’t have an issue with doctors, so it sounded rather silly. Most mamas-to-be rely on their OB, midwife, or other healthcare provider. It doesn’t help in any way to criticize doctors or healthcare professionals.
Here’s what you can say instead: “You’re an intelligent woman. You’ll do wonderfully during your pregnancy.”
Hard to Answer
13: “Do you want a boy/girl?“
This question is SO hard.
Honestly, mama might actually have a preference, but she may not want to disclose it. Ultimately, she wants a healthy baby and if she doesn’t end have the gender she said she wanted, she might end up feeling guilty for ever saying anything.
The flipside is that she may not have a preference at all.
Either way, the question is kind of annoying.
Here’s what you can say instead: “I’m so excited with you! Boy or girl, your baby will be perfect!”
14: “Life is over when you have kids.“
I love this one. This is the epic peer response of all time.
Truthfully, mama has already considered what is going to change a million times over and has given up thinking about it because there’s no way to truly know what will change until baby arrives.
You just can’t truly know what you don’t yet know.
If you really feel that way, maybe don’t say anything other than: “Congratulations,” and leave it at that.
Things You Should Never Say To A Pregnant Woman During Mid-to-Late Pregnancy
15: “You look miserable! “(Or any other adjective)
I got this one. A lot. I guess I looked like a miserable pregnant person. What a lovely memory to carry with me.
No pregnant woman wants to hear someone else to tell her she actually looks like how she feels.
Sometimes I had people tell me I looked miserable when I actually DIDN’T feel miserable! So, what does that mean?
Pregnancy has times when it simply feels miserable. Mama most likely can see it on her own face when she looks in the mirror. Instead of having that lovely, unflattering fact pointed out, a little encouragement goes a long way.
You can encourage mama by saying: “You are doing such a great job. You’re incredible.”
No-no words on how a pregnant person looks:
Okay words to use:
Staring At the Belly Questions
16: “HOW far along are you?“
This is how this question translates to mama: “You look huge and ugly.”
And it feels 1000 times worse than how it sounds.
How about saying: “You are beautiful!”
She’s growing an entire human in 40 weeks. Mama is seriously beautiful.
17: “Are you having twins?“
Unless mama says it and you are 10,000% sure you heard correctly, DO. NOT. GO. THERE.
Asking (unsolicited) if a mama is having twins translates to: You look 2 times bigger than you should.
And it feel 100 times worse than it sounds.
Just tell her she looks beautiful.
I actually heard STRANGERS say this about me when I walked through the store during my third trimester.
People I didn’t know would openly say, “she is really pregnant.”
I’m not exactly sure what was implied but it didn’t translate well.
There’s not really a nice substitute for this one. If the word “wow” is about to escape your lips, take a sip of latte and swallow it on down.
Painfully Obvious Questions Things You Should Never Ask A Pregnant Woman
19: “No baby yet?“
No question spurred more sarcastic responses than this one.
When people asked me, “No baby yet?” I had to literally bite my tongue.
My belly is still quite “there,” in it’s largest form and I’m not holding a baby. So, no, there’s no baby yet.
20: “You look ready to POP!“
Please. Just don’t say it. The phrase is old as the hills, but the image it evokes is not a comforting one.
It CERTAINLY isn’t a confidence booster in any way, shape or form.
21: “You’re getting so BIG!“
Looking back, I realize that people probably meant that baby was really growing. However, making any sort of comment regarding the physical growth of baby and belly is just not a good idea.
The further in the pregnancy the statement is made, the more awful it feels.
Instead, trying something like: “You’re looking amazing, Mama!”
22: “How much weight have you gained?“
I love this one. What if mama looked at you and asked how much weight you’ve gained?
Now, take that jarring, unflattered feeling and multiply it times a million.
There is no reason on the planet to ask a pregnant woman how much weight she’s gained. Even doctors don’t ask. They have you step on a scale, document, and then move along.
23: “Can I touch your belly?“
Let me answer this question on behalf of any pregnant woman, anywhere.
Unless you are her mother, sister, best friend, the dad, and you already know without asking…
No. You may not touch her belly. Even though it is a baby and it’s an amazing thing, that is still mama’s skin and still mama’s body.
And it still feels weird.
24: “Are you going to make it to (due date)?”
I was openly asked this question, by a man, no less. It still weirds me out to think about it.
What is this question even implying? That baby is going to just fall out at some point before the due date? That mama is going to keel over?
It’s the weirdest question and it’s certainly not a compliment as it eludes to mama not looking all that great.
Instead, trying saying: “I can’t wait to meet baby! I’m so excited with you!”
25: “When I was pregnant, I still worked, cleaned my house and jogged 5 miles every day uphill!” (Or any other form of bragging)
Fewer things are more disheartening than being compared to another woman’s pregnancy experience. It doesn’t portray encouragement and care, that’s for sure!
Many times this leaves a pregnant mama feeling like she’s somehow been weighed and found wanting, especially if she’s hit some hardships that limit her.
Instead, just keep the pregnancy about her, and not you. It’s her time to shine.
26: “Get all the rest you can right now, because you won’t get any after baby comes!“
Another famous phrase, and it’s also packed with foreboding.
There’s nothing like scaring an exhausted mama-to-be to death by reminding her that her current, exhausted state is better than the exhausted state she’ll be in when baby comes.
Furthermore, she is so uncomfortable right now that the idea of it getting even worse is not exactly what she wants to hear. It probably won’t evoke the happiest, most gracious response from her.
Instead, you can offer: “Is there anything I can do to help you so you can get some rest?”
27: “Is the baby’s room ready?“
This one might not bother every mama-to-be, but getting the nursery ready is a pressure that doesn’t go away.
Chances are that if mama doesn’t bring it up on her own in excitement, she is probably stressing over it.
Instead, you can ask: “Would you like any help getting anything ready before baby arrives?”
28: “Do you have a name?“
If mama is talking about names and you can tell there’s one picked out and she’s waiting for the opportunity to tell you, this question isn’t all that intrusive.
If she doesn’t mention it, however, she may not want to announce the name yet.
Just wait for mama to give you the cues that she’s willing to talk about her baby’s name.
BUT–when it doubt, the question’s OUT.
29: “How many more kids do you want?“
Nothing like getting ahead of ourselves!
While this question really isn’t all that terrible, the timing is absolutely everything. During the third trimester, when mama is exhausted and just wants baby out is probably not the best time to ask.
She’s likely to tell you, “This is it! EVER!”
Likewise, any time before baby’s second birthday might be considered jumping the gun, too.
Things You Should Never Say To A Pregnant Woman About Labor and Childbirth
30: “Childbirth was the worst thing I’ve ever been through!“
Nothing like some horror stories to boost mama’s birthing confidence!
Here’s the deal: unless she specifically asks for your advice, offering up your birth story has a high chance of being totally unwelcome.
Especially if it wasn’t a good one.
31: “Are you going natural?“
A mama’s birth plan is her own medical business. She has a right to privacy, and asking for some medical information that she hasn’t given on her own is incredibly intrusive.
Mama most certainly has some birthing goals, but there is absolutely no guarantee that it can happen that way.
Childbirth is a giant gray zone. Asking about her method of birth when she hasn’t offered it adds a lot of unnecessary pressure.
Instead, you can offer up some encouragement like: “You’re going to do great!”
32: “Are you going to vaccinate?“
This is another intrusive question that is also controversial.
Here’s a hint: It’s NEVER a good idea to strike up a controversial topic with a hormonal pregnant woman.
If you decide to go there, you do so at your own risk.
33: “DON’T get the Epidural!“
You might have very sincere reasons for advising this, but honestly, there is no reason to go there.
This is mama’s decision to make when the time comes, and chances are she already has a strong preference one way or the other.
It’s entirely up to her.
34: “GET the Epidural!“
Translation: “Labor HURTS!”
Which mama already knows and you’re really not doing her any favors.
Instead, you might try just encouraging her. If mama reaches out for advice, she’s mentally and emotionally prepared for your honesty and your opinion. If not, then it’s a closed subject.
35: Are you going to nurse?
This is a private decision for mama to make. If you’ve nursed your babies, you understand what a commitment it is.
If you haven’t, there’s no way to truly understand what kind of commitment that entails.
Not only is this a super intrusive question, it may be one that mama isn’t even sure about herself.
Adding pressure is never a good idea. She’s under enough already.
Instead, encouragement like: “You’ll make a great mother,” will boost her confidence and might even help help her make the decision she feels is best for her and baby.
Consider Yourself Warned
I’ve shared 35 things you should never say to a pregnant woman, and I’ve explained why. Pregnancy is a beautiful time, but it doesn’t always feel beautiful.
The honest-to-goodness truth is that all those “you look…” kinds of remarks are things mama has already told herself. It’s not easy to just accept all the changes that take place in your body.
Add to that the hormones and exhaustion, there is PLENTY of space for encouragement, love and support.
To all you beautiful mamas-to-be, keep being amazing!Let's Be Friends! Follow me on Insta, Facebook and Pinterest!
Let's Be Friends! Follow me on Insta, Facebook and Pinterest!