It’s wild how quickly co-workers, strangers, and even family forget that a pregnant person is still a person with feelings. While it’s understandable that you might have questions and be curious, some things can often veer from genuinely interested to mildly judgmental. Don’t get me wrong, most people aren’t deliberately rude, insensitive, or inappropriate, but to a woman riding the hormonal roller coaster of pregnancy, it’s easy to come off the wrong way.

Currently settling into my second trimester, I’ve already encountered some jaw-dropping statements, comments, and opinions. When my husband and I started sharing the baby news with our family and friends, the reactions ranged from excitement to what can only be described as verbal chaos.

Someone actually said, “Oh my goodness, congratulations! I knew you were pregnant. You have a fat neck now.” Talk about wanting to disappear on the spot. I managed an awkward smile and a nervous giggle but how else do you respond to that?

Just the other day, another gem was dropped on me. I posted a baby bump photo, and the response was, “Wow, you gettin’ fat!” This person didn’t know at the time that I was pregnant. I get that not everyone realizes it’s a baby bump. Social media isn’t everyone’s world. But who comments on anyone’s body like that?

“The Bump Is Truly Bumping!”

My bump is officially “bumping,” a fact I’m still getting used to. I mean, I wake up one day, and suddenly, I’ve got a belly the size of a beach ball, rolling out of bed like I’m on a mission. After someone complimented my bump, they went on to tell me how tired and uncomfortable I looked. Little did they know, in that moment I was feeling wide awake and fabulous in my sundress showcasing my bump. However, I did start to question my appearance.  

Since this is our first pregnancy, my husband and I decided to keep many details private, like the gender, due date, and where we’re delivering. Some people are really hung up on not knowing the baby’s gender. “How am I supposed to know what to buy?” one person asked. My husband calmly replied, “The registry.” I couldn’t help but feel proud in that moment. My person had my back!

We put a lot of thought and research into the registry and are kindly asking people to stick to it, sparing us the avalanche of clothes that realistically won’t be worn until the baby’s a toddler.

@itskaylamo

I've always said I wanted an intimate Gender Reveal and it was 100% worth it! What will baby be? #pregnant #mama #genderreveal #intimategenderreveal

♬ Rotina - Drew

These are just a few standout moments so far. And I’m sure there are more moments to come. Thankfully, platforms like TikTok unite expecting moms who share similar stories, offering comfort and camaraderie. From invasive questions like “Was it planned or a surprise?” comparison comments to the classic “Can I touch your belly?” accompanied by reaching hands.

There’s a whole list of things you should skip saying to an expecting mom.

  • "Wow, you look..."

    Whether they mean it or not, a bunch of the things people say about pregnant ladies seem to circle back to weight. Lots of women already feel a bit self-conscious about their appearance during pregnancy, so hearing constant reminders about how much they’ve changed isn’t exactly uplifting. Any comment, subtle or direct, that hints at weight gain can easily knock a woman’s confidence or even make her fret that something’s not right. Think classics like, “You’ve gotten so big/ small,” “Are you sure it’s not twins?” or “You look tired!” The only thing we want to hear is how great we look! The best things (and safest!) you can say to a pregnant woman are “You look beautiful,” and “Congratulations.”

    Young disgust female after trying piece of cake, healthy diet concept, pregnancy food.

    Oksana_Bondar/ Getty Images

  • "Were you trying for a baby?"

    The only one allowed to pop the question “Was this pregnancy planned?” is the woman’s provider. It’s a bit much if you ask that. By now, I’d hope I’ve mastered the whole birth control thing. Plus, I’m not keen on sharing whether this was all part of a master plan or a spontaneous turn of events. When I was hit with this question, I froze up for a second. Do I answer truthfully or do I make up some weird story? Either way, it made me feel SO incredibly uncomfortable. And to make it worse, this question did not come from a family member or a friend. Instead, maybe resist the temptation and stick to safer bets like “Congrats!” or “How thrilling!”

    Young beautiful brunette woman pregnant expecting baby over isolated pink background skeptic and nervous, frowning upset because of problem. Negative person.

    AaronAmat/ Getty Images

  • "Is it a boy or a girl?"

    Oh, the classic question that’s been quite the energy drain lately “Is it a boy or a girl?” Sometimes I just want to reply, “I’m really just hoping for a baby!” I get it that it’s the go-to question. And hey, I’m not saying you should never ask it. But some families are purposely keeping it a mystery, and after explaining it for the umpteenth time, it can get a bit old. Plus, for families dealing with more serious issues, like health concerns for the baby, the gender question isn’t exactly a top priority. A more on-point question might be, “Are you guys finding out the gender?” It shows you’re tuned in to the situation and gives mom-to-be the chance to share or simply say, “Nope!”

    Pregnant couple choosing gender of the baby, the child's name. The problem of choice for a husband and wife.

    Lacheev/ Getty Images

  • Comparing Pregnancies

    “When I was pregnant…” Hold up right there. It’s like I’m the sole astronaut on a mission to Pregnancy Planet, discovering uncharted terrain. Pass on the stories of your “little” weight gain or epic hemorrhoids. And don’t you dare drop the “I hope your birth goes better than mine” bomb, followed by a traumatic labor story. Please, spare the pregnant woman (especially a first-timer) the horror show. While we’re at it, let’s add “Oh, just wait.” Sure, keep attempting to warn pregnant women of the “impending doom” of raising a child.

    Here’s the deal, if she asks, spill the beans. If not, zip it. It’s that easy. Hold back on those unsolicited pregnancy tales. Bad stories might stir up worries she didn’t even know were possible. And trust me, she’s probably got enough on her plate already! Even the good stuff should stay on mute unless she asks. If she’s gearing up for a tricky delivery, hearing about your picture-perfect birth might be more pain than gain.

    Portrait of a pregnant woman with a threatening fist gesture on a blue background

    Andrey Zhuravlev/ Getty Images

  • Unsolicited Advice

    “You really shouldn’t eat/drink/wear/do that when you’re pregnant” or any unsolicited advice for that matter. Unless she asks, it is never a good idea to offer a pregnant woman parenting advice. You may not know the circumstances of that family and pregnancy. I’m working with a wonderful medical staff who I’m sure will let me know what I need and need not to do. This is right up there with “Sleep now because you will never sleep again.” Okay, I’ll keep that in mind when the baby is sleeping in their stroller while we’re perusing the grocery store. I’m sure to stop dead in my tracks and take a little “nappy nap.” Lastly, I can’t forget “Enjoy your life while you still can.” I’m sorry I had no idea that life suddenly stops “lifing” once the baby is here. In fact, I’ve been hearing this plenty now, before the baby’s arrival. Believe it or not, concerts and festivals are not only ADA-friendly but also pregnant folk-friendly. Obviously, know your limits and ask your doctor if you have any concerns but for the most part, fetus and I have already had many firsts together.

    Pregnant woman making time-out gesture isolated on white background as eight months pregnancy concept

    Thunderstock/ Getty Images

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