Things NOT to say to your pregnant friend.
Updated: Jan 8
Unsolicited advice is just one of those things in life that is guaranteed, ESPECIALLY during pregnancy. For some reason when people see your pregnant belly, all manners go out the window. Friends, family, and even perfect strangers feel compelled to comment on your size, your skin, your parenting choices, your birth choices, and tend to ask some deeply personal questions! Let's all take a minute to read what NOT to say when someone you know is expecting.
1. "You are SO big! Are you sure it's not twins?!"
... Seriously NOT a compliment. Telling someone how big they've gotten stopped being an exciting compliment at 6. It is rude and really unnecessary. During pregnancy your body changes drastically and they are likely already feeling a little unsure about those changes, so the last thing they want is negative comments.
2. "Oh you're gonna want that epidural!"
Let's not start this person's journey into parenting with scare tactics. Labor is very much a mental game, and bringing down someone else's choices with fear is something I've never understood. Yes, labor and childbirth is painful, but it's not so horrific that we need to blatantly and intentionally scare the daylights out of people. Instead, we need to be building our friends and family up and encourage them to believe in themselves instead of projecting horror stories on them. Telling them that they don't get a trophy for having an unmedicated birth doesn't help either.
3. "You're not supposed to have caffeine!"
If you value your life I would just stay away from this one completely. While yes, caffeine intake should be limited during pregnancy, about 250 MG per day is considered safe. Mind your business and let this conversation stay between your friend (or the stranger you yell this at in Starbucks) and their medical provider.
4. "That's not safe, you're gonna hurt/kill your baby."
I wish that this one was a joke because how gross is it to tell someone that?! Unfortunately it's actually pretty common. Weather someone chooses to have a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), a home birth, opt out of a medication or procedure, or any other choice that you don't agree with, it is NEVER your place to say that. Unless you are the other parent of the baby, you get zero say. Support them the best you can, and avoid the topic.
5. "Exercise will make your labor easy!"
This one isn't a hard no across the board like the others, but it can set your friend up for a rude surprise. Exercise is GREAT for pregnancy, and it definitely can have a positive impact on your labor, but that doesn't mean that it will make it any easier. Every body is different, every labor is different, and every birth experience is different. Just because you exercise regularly doesn't mean that your labor will be "easy". On the flip side of it, just because you don't/can't exercise regularly doesn't mean that your labor will be hard. No one can predict how anyone's labor will be, so just say "I have some great exercises you can try!" if they are interested but don't guarantee their labor will be shorter or easier.
I've gotten my fair share of comments like these, and none of them were welcomed or helpful, no matter how they were intended or who they came from. Let's all take a lesson from Thumper's dad and remember that if you don't have anything nice to say, then not to say anything at all.
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