I am an absolute master of saying the wrong thing in any situation! In case you’re like me, I thought I would share with you my favorite compliments as well as things you might want to avoid saying to a pregnant lady.
Things I loved to hear:
“You don’t even look pregnant from the back!”
“You’re all baby!” (in the context that said pregnant lady doesn’t look like she’s gained weight anywhere besides the belly)
Anything that made me feel pretty!
Thing I know some women love to hear but I wasn’t super keen on:
“You’re glowing!” (I know it’s meant as a compliment, but my crazy self always heard that as “Wow… you’re sweaty!” And I know no one means it that way, but I was always sweating uncontrollably when they said it to me.)
Things I would suggest avoiding:
Anything along the lines of “you’re so/really/too small!” or “you’re so/really/too large!” (I’ve found as a pregnant lady, that I’m already a little insecure about the way my body looks – especially in the beginning when I didn’t look super pregnant but more like I ate too many muffins that day – so calling it out in that way made me awkward like a teenager. Also, when you decide I’m too big or too small it makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong. No woman wants to feel like she’s doing wrong by her baby. Instead, go with one of the above, or just tell her she looks lovely.)
“Wow, you still haven’t had that baby yet!?” (No I haven’t, and what’s wrong with that!? Instead, ask again when she’s due – in a nice, supportive way, not a judgemental way – or ask how she’s feeling.)
“Are you ready?” (I personally didn’t know what this one meant but EVERYONE asked it! I wasn’t sure if they meant “have you set everything up for this baby?” or “I bet you can’t wait to get that thing out of your body!” It usually sounded like the latter, which was then awkward because I’m not one of those women in a lot of pain and wanting the escape. Also… I’m not one of those women who has anything set up… the nursery is still filled with unpacked boxes from our move. Again, with this one, I would recommend asking how she’s feeling or if you want to know about a nursery, ask about it.)
I noticed a specific trend on Facebook that I thought I would share. Whenever I post something on Facebook about being pregnant, I get two types of responses.
First for reference, this is the type of stuff I post on Facebook (and the frequency):
Now, the types of responses:
From people my own age, I get things like:
- “But you look great!” (from someone who saw me the day before)
- “Your baby is holding out for Arrested Development!”
- “That little bun just wants to fully bake!”
- “Where are pictures? We want to see how cute you look!”
- “My birthday is 3 days away, hold on for then, it’s a great birthday!”
I liked all of these!
From people in my parents’ generation, I get one of three things:
- I either get them trying to educate me on very basic things (“Due dates are only guesses, not guarantees!” No kidding…)
- Trying to give me tips on how to induce (which leads them all to fight with each other on my status about whether or not Mexican food works… considering I’ve had Mexican twice this week because I love it, I don’t think it works, but whatever. Also, I’m in no rush to induce myself yet. So they are offering advice I don’t need yet. When I have a Facebook post asking for induction ideas, I will welcome these comments.)
- Telling me all about their pregnancy like mine will somehow replicate it. If they want to share stories, that’s totally fine by me. I actually like hearing birth stories. I’m just not a huge fan of how theirs are coming across as “so you’ll be like this, too.” I feel like birth stories should be prefaced as “this is how it happened for me” not “this is how it happens for everyone.” Because really, everyone’s seem to be different! I don’t think I’m explaining it well, but I’ve gotten a lot of “I was late!” “I was late and miserable! I bet you are too!” “I cried every day I was late. And then my baby was huge and labor was terrible!” “You look like me.” (Umm…how so? We’re not related.)
I think there is this stereotype going around that pregnancy is miserable, so it’s ok to tell a woman how miserable she must be. I would instead recommending asking.
And really, the best thing you can say to a pregnant lady is an honest compliment.
Any other suggestions on nice things to say to pregnant ladies from anyone who is/has been pregnant? Do you think I got any of these wrong/you felt differently?