Molly Mathews

My name is Molly. I have been married for 5 years and have two children. A 10 year old step-son, a 2 year old daughter and I am currently 26 weeks pregnant with a boy! I live in the town I grew up in and have a large family that I see often. We all live close to each other right now and I hope it stays that way as we draw a lot of support from one another. I have been a nurse for 6 years, mostly in the emergency department, and I love my job. Since young childhood I dreamed of being a nurse and a mom and here I am both! I couldn't have imagined how difficult the journey would be but neither could I have fathomed the Joy that would come from both. Becoming a mom has made me into a better person in many ways and a bit of a crazy worry wart in other ways! Having support from other moms who have been there before or are there with you makes all the difference in the world!

kelly-mulder

What You Shouldn’t Say to a Pregnant Woman

Me a few weeks ago (at 14 weeks).

Here is the truth: pregnant women are hormonal, and it’s not our fault! With my first pregnancy I was reduced to tears when my sisters wanted to put salt in the rice. I yelled at them and then stormed off to cry. Thankfully I passed out mid crying and woke up a lot happier. I’ve heard a lot of stories of pregnant women being reduced to tears by something just as silly. So if salt in rice can make us cry -imagine what commenting on our bodies does!

“Wow, you’re huge!” Certainly doesn’t make ANYONE feel good about themselves. Any comment pertaining to how big a woman is really shouldn’t be let out of your mouth. Seriously! We know we look like a beached whale but that doesn’t mean we want to hear it.

So are you supposed to lie and tell me how thin I am? NO! If you tell me I’m so small for X months then I am going to be incredibly worried that my baby isn’t growing well enough. I’m going to think that I’m not doing a good job. I’m going to worry about the health of my baby (which I already worry about enough).

However, if you don’t comment on my pregnancy at all, I’m probably going to be mad, too. How can anyone ignore the ‘elephant in the room.’ I’ve already announced I’m pregnant, you haven’t seen me in months and yet you’re not going to ask me anything or say anything about it? Awkward!

So now that you’ve read all of this you probably feel like you’re going to be walking on eggshells around me or any pregnant woman you know. You’re still supposed to talk about it but you’re not supposed to talk about how big she is or how tiny she is. So what are you supposed to say?

In my opinion the two safest phrases you should memorize are: “How are you feeling?” and “Your baby bump is so cute.” The first is an open ended question that to a pregnant woman implies you are asking how the pregnancy is going. However, if she’s not in the mood to talk about her pregnancy with you she can answer vaguely or start a non-pregnancy related topic.

Some variation of “Your baby bump is so cute” is also acceptable. Realize that you may still be walking a tight line but you are much more likely to not upset a pregnant woman when you are referring specifically to her baby bump.

What’s the craziest thing anyone has ever said to you while pregnant? How did it make you feel? What recommendations do you have for people who talk to pregnant women?

Bookmark and Share
 

12 Comments on “What You Shouldn’t Say to a Pregnant Woman”

  • Sarah Moore April 27th, 2011 8:41 am

    Hi Kelly,
    You look great and so does your baby belly (:
    Did I do ok? Please don’t kill me, haha.

  • toni April 27th, 2011 7:19 pm

    I like the bump comment! Also something like…that baby is really growing is ok with me…it indicates that the baby is big… not me! I feel as though we were the same size at 14 weeks :) This makes me happy! You may live states away, but we are only 10 days apart :) I am hoping that we both babies are the same sex! I think that would just be too fun! Hope that is not to weird :)
    love you girl…and that bump :)

  • toni April 27th, 2011 7:24 pm

    ps- I have gotten the “Your Huge” comment from more people that I care to count! Grrrrr. While the bump is growing (as it should be) I am not huge….in fact I am FAR from it! And sorry about the smiley faces in the last comment! I think I put in to many!

  • Jessica Brown Jessica Brown April 27th, 2011 10:34 pm

    I know what you mean. When I had already gone past my due date blake and I were in Walmart and from the back you couldn’t tell I was pregnant. There was a man in the line next to us (both of us were at the checkout so the aisle wasn’t blocking his view of me) and when I turned to the side to put groceries in the cart the man jumped back from him basket and said “Wow you look like that baby is overdue!” Keep in mind this man was a total stranger to us… I fanned a small smile and I imagine this man wasn’t the smartest when it came to his wife’s pregnancy because as blake and I walked past them I could hear his wife scolding him and telling him you don’t say that kind of stuff to pregnant women lol

    I always liked hearing “You can’t even tell you’re pregnant from the back!” It made me feel like the love handles were non-existent! I also looooved hearing “How far along are you.. “”answer here”".. Wow really? You like you are taking great care of youself and keeping you and your baby healthy.” Alltime favorite right there :)

  • Kelly Mulder Kelly April 28th, 2011 7:49 am

    Sarah,

    I’ll take that as an acceptable answer. No killing needed. Well, for today at least! ha!

    Toni,

    I definitely agree that most comments referring to the baby growing are okay. Comments about me growing, are not, lol. I think by writing this post I’ve made Garrett oober paranoid about what he says to me. I think I’ve heard, “Your baby bump is so cute,” from him at least ten times today. I am very excited to find out the sex of our babies! That would be pretty cool for them to be the same! Any guesses as to what you’re having?

    Jessica,

    I love the “you don’t look pregnant from the back” comments! That was my main goal with my first pregnancy. I thought I had it accomplished until one of my sisters said, “When you stand you don’t look pregnant but as soon as you walk your waddle gives you away.” ugh!

    I think strangers need a class on what to say/what not to say to pregnant women. I’ve heard more horror stories involving strangers than family members! I’m glad that guys wife was there to give him an ear full. He deserved it!

    Thanks for commenting girls!
    :) Kelly

  • Carrie April 28th, 2011 8:39 am

    You’re radiant! And glowing! And you look AMAZING! And happy and healthy and full of life–two lives, to be exact!

  • Kelly Mulder Kelly Mulder April 29th, 2011 2:26 pm

    Hahaha, thanks Carrie! Layer it on! I think you’ve got it now :) . Those are all excellent things to say to a pregnant woman. Was my blog helpful? or did it just make you paranoid about how you talk to me now? lol

  • Heather May 2nd, 2011 11:07 pm

    I had a grocery store clerk ask me how dilated I was while I was trying to buy fruit at the U-Scan. So inappropriate! I even went to the U-Scan because I didn’t want to talk to anyone, but this employee was practically shouting at me from 10 feet away. She also asked me if I was having twins. She was the second person that day to ask me that too.

    A coworker asked me “How many times a day do you pee now?” I’d like to know when is it ever appropriate to ask someone this.

    Another thing that bugged me was when people would talk about my weight gain. Some people would come right out and ask how much weight I gained (to which I said I don’t know). Others said that I looked like I hadn’t gained much at all. While I get that this comment is generally meant to be complimentary, considering that I gained 40+ pounds, it made me feel awful. If I gained 40 pounds and people thought I hadn’t gained much, it basically implied that they remembered me as being fatter than I really was. I also hated the comment of “You’re all baby!” Again, I know that’s meant to be nice, but my weight wasn’t all baby. My face puffed up huge. I gained weight in my hips, thighs, arms, and legs. I was not “all baby”. After I had the baby, people would say “Oh you lost all of the baby weight!” I heard this so much when I was still 20 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight. Again, people seemed to think of me as being fatter than I really was. I want to know why when people think of me, they falsely remember me as being a big fat fatty, 20 pounds bigger than I really am?

    What was okay to talk about for me were things like “When are you due?” “Do you know if you are having a boy or a girl?” Simple things like that.

    Also, it was super nice when someone would think of something to say to me that didn’t have anything to do with the baby. I might have been pregnant, but I was still me with my own stuff going on. Ask me about how my weekend was for a change! Sadly, it’s still more or less the same. Now that I am a mom, people tend to only ask me about my baby in conversation. Again, ask me what I did over the weekend or if I’ve seen a movie or read a book recently. It’s the rare person who thinks of something to talk to me about that references that I am my own person who is interested in more than talking about my baby’s sleep patterns for the one thousand and sixth time. I love my baby and I love being a mom, but I also like being recognized as an individual too!

  • Kelly Mulder Kelly Mulder May 4th, 2011 6:55 am

    Heather,

    i think you have officially become queen of awkward pregnancy moments. You might have more than anyone I know! I can’t believe the grocery store clerk asked you how dilated you were! Gross! Please tell me she was 1. a female 2. pregnant herself 3. due the same day and 4. was your best friend in life, lol. Maybe if all of those criteria were met it would have been okay to ask that question! But then again maybe not. That’s an incredibly personal question to ask!

    Your coworker was pretty funny too. Please tell me she was a girl? lol. I would love to hear how you responded to these people because, knowing you, I’m sure you had a great response! You’re always so witty and clever.

    I definitely agree with you about people lying to my face. I hated when people lied to my face. I knew it, and they knew it but they couldn’t seem to help themselves! I also agree that it’s nice to have someone ask how non-pregnancy things are going. In my case I didn’t have a job or awesome weekend activities going on, but I still would have welcomed questions about how Garrett was doing or if I had anything planned in the upcoming weeks.

    Thanks for commenting Heather! I always love reading what you write!
    Kelly

  • Erica R. July 16th, 2011 10:35 am

    Everyone I talk to tells me I’m really small for being 8 months and that it hardly looks like there’s any baby there. They tell me constantly to put more weight on when I’ve already gained nearly 30 lbs. It’s a little nerve-wracking. It’s nice to hear I look good and could get my figure back quickly, but having come off a miscarriage 18 months ago, I’m afraid something could go wrong at any point. I even fear a stillbirth despite my pregnancy being normal. I have a small abdominal hernia and ridiculously painful heartburn, but I was told it would go away. And I’m not on good terms with the father, someone who likes to point out when I’m being hormonal, irrational, and lacks understanding entirely. But I know people will say what they have to say and that I shouldn’t take it to heart. My doctor and I know that the baby is doing just fine and can’t wait for him to be here next month. :)

  • Kelly Mulder Kelly Mulder July 21st, 2011 12:49 pm

    Erica,

    I get the “oh you’re small for X months” comment too! It’s so annoying. I usually say something along the lines of, “Thanks, the baby is measuring perfectly.” I don’t know how tall you are, but I’m 5’9″ and my tall friends and I all show later than other women and ‘look smaller’ than other women even when our fundal height is perfect. I think it’s just because we have more cavity space for the baby to go than shorter, more petite people have.

    I’m sure if your doctor isn’t worried, it isn’t anything you should be worried about either. Though people certainly seem to have an easier time getting under my skin when I’m pregnant, so I totally understand where you’re coming from! You’re almost done! Your baby will be here in a month! I’m SO excited for you!

    Thanks for commenting on my blog!
    Kelly

  • eve November 20th, 2011 1:44 pm

    some lady asked me if i had eaten a watermelon seed during the summer. I just looked at her and said ur stupid lady!!! and then another one kept saying that I had drinked the wrong water. He practically told me like 8 times. I mean I wish i can wear a tshirt at work that say: If ur mouth dont have anything positive or good to tell me, dont waste ur saliva irritating me!! Its annoting when people just say stupid stuff to a pregnant woman.

Leave a Reply


four + = 13

Health News

Basics About Your Newborn’s Body

Even the best-prepared parents may be surprised by a few things that are quite normal in newborns!

Read More »

Recent Comments

  • Sharon Knosky on A Mouthful of Teeth
    Let him do it on his own. Maybe even in the bathroom while your daughter is brushing her...
  • Candi on Medieval Times with Baby
    This helps me a lot :) I won tickets to medieval times in Baltimore on Sunday (for my 5 year...
  • Molly Mathews on Violent Baby
    I would be happy to answer your question but would like to keep comments here on the blog....