I’m still pretty new at the whole pregnancy bit, and strangers on the street have no idea I’m expecting. So thankfully I haven’t yet suffered most of these comments (or scored any subway seats)… That said, in working 1:1 with pregnant clients for several years, I have lent many a sympathetic ear to upset mommies-to-be as they bemoaned an annoying comment received while running errands or picking up a pre-schooler. Add pregnancy hormones to the mix, and mama’s not a happy camper.
So the next time you see a pregnant woman – friend or stranger – stop yourself before speaking your mind. If you must say something, try simply “you look radiant!” instead of these disheartening words:
1. Wow, are you due tomorrow?!
2. You must be having twins!
3. Haven’t you had that baby yet?
4. Oh look, you’re showing!
5. I could tell you’re having a girl – your face is all puffy and you’re filling out everywhere, not just in the belly.
6. Let me tell you about my harrowing birth experience in graphic detail…
7. Another boy? Are you going to keep trying for a girl?
8. After touching, patting and rubbing your belly, a relative stranger says: “Oh, do you mind?”
9. Really, you’re considering that name? I had a dog named that.
10. Pregnant again? Was it an accident?
Many of these comments are tempting, I know. They practically tumble out without warning! But do control yourself and extend the same etiquette to pregnant women that we expect ourselves: do not comment on her body; do not touch without permission; and do not assume a pregnant woman is fair game simply by virtue of her pregnancy. It’s a good time to put into practice something your mother probably taught you when you were a child: if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. A silent smile is golden… and so is offering up your seat on the subway.