What Not To Say To Someone Who Is Pregnant

Pregnancy is full of joyous moments, but it can also be a difficult time for many. Whether you have a planned pregnancy or not, it is not always rainbows and butterflies. In fact, many women may not enjoy being pregnant at all, especially those who are suffering from things like nausea, acid reflux, and back pain (via Parents). And beyond the physical symptoms, pregnancy can also bring mood swings, anxiety, and disappointment over the things you can no longer do, eat, and wear. While it is extremely common to not love being pregnant, according to What to Expect, it can often make the woman feel bad about themselves or guilty for having those feelings.

On top of their own inner struggles, pregnant women also have to deal with a lot of comments from the outer world. For most, pregnancy is not something you can hide, and when you go out in public, you're likely to hear comments from family, friends, and even strangers. So, if you know someone who is pregnant, or come across someone who is, here are a few things not to say.

Think before you speak to a pregnant woman

When you see a pregnant woman you may be tempted to comment on things like their size or what they are eating. As a rule of thumb: don't. First and foremost, one of the worst things you can say to pregnant women is that they look big or small. According to Today's Parent, while you may feel like this is an innocent comment, telling a pregnant woman she looks big can lead her to feel self-conscious about her weight gain. On the flip side, saying she looks small can have her spiral into thinking her baby isn't growing well.

It's also a good idea to let a pregnant woman eat and drink what she pleases without commenting (via Healthline). There are a lot of myths out there when it comes to what you can and can't eat during pregnancy and a lot of it is up to personal preference. So, if you see a pregnant woman ordering an iced coffee at your local shop, resist the urge to comment on her caffeine intake.

Avoid asking about parenting preferences or inserting your own opinions

You may be curious to know whether or not your pregnant friend will be returning to work, or if you are a mother yourself, you may wonder if they plan to breastfeed or not. While seemingly innocent, these types of questions are off-limits, as advised by Healthline. A new mother may not feel confident in her decision about feeding or returning to work, and unless you are a close confidant, it's not really your business to inquire about these things.

Additionally, while your intentions may be pure, try to avoid inserting your own experience and parenting opinions into the conversation. According to Today's Parent, avoid telling any type of horror story that happened during your own pregnancy or birth. Instead, if you do want to give a bit of insight, only give details that are happy and funny, per Parade. And if you are an experienced parent, as much as you want to laugh about the situation, Healthline recommends not telling a pregnant woman how little sleep she will get after the baby is born or how hard it will be having two kids if she is pregnant with her second. While this may be true, it's not something she needs to hear at the moment.

What you should say to a pregnant woman

It may seem like a lot of things are off-limits when it comes to talking to a pregnant woman. So if you are worried about having lunch with your pregnant coworker or seeing your pregnant sister-in-law this weekend, here are a few tips about what you should say.

According to Parade, stick to sincere compliments that can boost her spirits. Saying things like "you look beautiful" can go a long way for a woman who is experiencing a lot of changes to her inner and outer self. If you do want to inquire about their journey, Life with My Littles recommends sticking to questions like "how far along are you" and "how are you feeling." Just because some questions can cause anxiety for pregnant women, doesn't mean you shouldn't engage with them. Pregnancy can be rough, but having people around them who show they care and work hard to lift them up can make all the difference.