“Do you really think you ought to be eating that?” This is just one of many things never to say to a pregnant woman. While you might not mean any harm, the statement might easily be misinterpreted – even if you’re joking. Here are 19 more ways to avoid offending the pregnant women in your life, plus alternative statements she’s likely to take as complimentary.
Instead of: “You’re awfully moody.”
Try: “Is there anything I can help you with?”
Instead of: “Wow, you’re really sweating!”
Try: “You’re really glowing!”
Instead of: “You’re looking a lot bigger! It’s hard to believe you still have three months left to go!”
Try: “Only three months to go! You’re looking good!”
Instead of: “You have to pee again?!”
Try: “I’ll be right here when you come back. Want me to hold your bag for you?”
Instead of: Are you planning to eat the placenta?
Try: Nothing. Like questions about breastfeeding, pumping breast milk, and bathroom habits, this is a very private matter.
Instead of: “My cousin / sister / friend only gained 15 pounds when she was pregnant.”
Try: Nothing. Women are generally very sensitive about weight gain during pregnancy – even though that weight is essential, going into everything from added blood volume to the uterus itself,
Instead of: “Are you expecting twins?” or “Are you sure there’s only one baby in there? You’re huge!”
Try: “Pregnancy looks great on you!”
Instead of: “So, did you plan this pregnancy?”
Try: “Isn’t it amazing what your body can do?”
Instead of: “Are you planning to have more kids after this one?”
Try: “I bet you’ll be a wonderful mom! Are you excited?”
Instead of: “You’re planning a natural birth, aren’t you?”
Try: Nothing. Like other questions about the body and the birthing process, this one is pretty much reserved for health care professionals, who are likely to ask about preferences rather than making assumptions.
Instead of: “You look like you’re ready to pop! When are you due?”
Instead of: “Can I touch your belly?”
Try: Just don’t ask – unless you’re a close relative. Even then, tummy rubs might be very awkward.
Instead of: “You know that diet soda / coffee / cake / pizza is harmful for your baby, right?”
Try: “That looks like it tastes delicious!”
Instead of: “How do you plan to lose the pregnancy weight?”
Try: “How are you?”
Instead of: “You’re hungry again?!”
Try: “What would you like to eat? Can I get you something?”
Instead of: “Why are you crying?”
Try: “Here, let me get you a box of Kleenexes.”
Instead of: “Gosh, your ankles are really swollen!”
Try: “Here, put your feet up. Can I get you anything?”
Instead of: “Enjoy your alone time, because it’s over once the baby arrives.”
Try: “You’re going to be a great mom.”
Instead of: “Bet you can’t wait to fit into your normal clothes again!”
Try: “That’s an adorable top!”
Want to gain an even deeper understanding of what pregnant women go through? Click here to learn about how her body works, how her baby is growing, and how she feels. Pregnant women everywhere will thank you!