Say what? The things people say to pregnant women . . .

Chad Riddersen

Posted on September 20 2012

I'm now almost 4 months pregnant.  It's hard to believe how quickly it's all happening.  The last time I was pregnant was 4 years ago, so I've surprisingly forgotten a lot.  I forgot how paralyzed I was with exhaustion during the first trimester.  I forgot how difficult it was to find something appetizing to eat.  I forgot how quickly I outgrow my regular clothes, and I forgot how disrespectful people can be, particularly, family members.  I've learned not to take these unsolicited comments personally, but they always make me pause.

Mark and I have decided not to find out the gender of the baby until he/she is born.  The other day my dear mother-in-law said, "Bring me your next ultrasound photo.  I can take a look and tell."  First, unless you're an ultrasound technician or a doctor, it's quite difficult to look at a print-out of an ultrasound and determine the gender of the baby.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the baby have to be in the right position at the right time to actually see the "goods"?  Second, both my husband and I have clearly stated that our wish is to keep the gender a surprise.  Why would one go out of one's way to ruin that surprise for us?

The other alarming comment I got was from my aunt.  I was at my cousin's bridal shower on Saturday evening, and my dear aunt says, "You must be having a boy.  You look so unattractive.  Your face just looks awful."  I just had to grin and bear it, so as not to cause a scene, but WOW.  Old wives tale or not, I'm pretty certain that the gender of the baby in one's womb has no bearing on how one's face looks.  Also, even if you truly believe this, have you no filter?  How about giving a pregnant lady a break?

I realize that this blog post has become a mini-vent session, but I just had to write these things down.  Have any other mothers or pregnant women out there experienced jaw-dropping comments like these or are my family members just outright rude?

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  • TaSh: July 02, 2015

    Oh goodness! I’m sorry they’re giving you a rough time. It can be difficult to hear such rude comments especially when you are at such a vulnerable stage in life. It’s like people feel like they now have the right to comment on our bodies now that we are pregnant. I have a journal full of awful things that have been said to me throughout two of my pregnancies.

    With my first, a man that my husband was working with laughed and said “You’re pregnant. Say goodbye to being thin, that will NEVER happen again.” At the time I was considered underweight by my doctor and wore a size 4 in maternity.
    With my second, doctor ordered bed rest gave me the motive and opportunity to put on extra weight. My grandmother told me that I must be carrying a girl, because I have never been so ugly before in my life. She said every time she looked at me, all she could think about was how ugly I looked.

  • Lia: July 02, 2015

    Wow. Those comments are out of control. My little sister is pregnant right now and if anyone said anything like that to her I’d have some MUCH ruder things to say to them.

  • Kimi: July 02, 2015

    Your family members are just outright rude….and you’re so nice, just grinning and bearing it! If it were my Aunt I would have replied, “Well it looks like that makes two of us then!” :)

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    Seriously, I hate when these comments are prefaced by the obligatory, “no offense.”

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    HAHAHAHA…simply incredible!

  • Caroline: July 02, 2015

    It was a surprise for us during both my pregnancies and I feel like people thought it was an open invitation to guess the gender by publicly telling me how I looked. yes both times I got your so huge you must be caring girls! Well I had two boys so not only were their guesses wrong but they were rude. Then there’s the good old mother in law. My cousins all had csections so she says to me “don’t worry dear you have wide child bearing hips you’ll be fine.” & “I’ll go talk to the doctor and find our the gender so we can shop and buy clothes” Really! You’re not alone, we are here to listen and vent a little 2 ;-) On a side note that’s another reason I love Lollacup because of the gender neutral colors :-)

  • Jane: July 02, 2015

    I was a work and 2 separate clients told me I must be having a girl because I was looking a little dull. I was 8 months pregnant! Of course I wasn’t looking my best! I loved it that after that, they proceeded to tell me they didn’t mean any offense…well, what did you mean then?!

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    Classic! I cannot believe your husband’s co-worker had the gall to say such things! Simply incredible what we deal with…

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    Your sister is lucky to have you by her side :)

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    I’m not sure if it’s a cultural thing, but I think older Asian women feel like they can say whatever the hell they want to whomever the hell they want…I guess that’s why I just take it. I LOVE your comeback though!

  • Erica: July 02, 2015

    Ha! I’m not pregnant, but I can definitely pipe in about the rude family member comments! (I know, you asked for pregnancy-related rude comments, but this post reminded me that us non-pregnant girls get the rude comments, too!) I told my uncle that I had a dentist appointment scheduled during my time in Korea to which he responded, “You should get a nose job, too.” Um, ok, because getting your teeth cleaned and getting a nose job are on the same level and now I know that you think I need a nose job. Awesome!

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    Thanks :)

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    wow…a simple, “I hope you have a great delivery,” would’ve been nice.

  • Erin: July 02, 2015

    I am 4 months along as well! The shock and awe has worn off for most who know us but when we first told people we were expecting we got the, “you know what causes that, right?” comment. Which I find awful. See we have 3 girls; 6, 4, and 14 months. So then we would get the, “it could be 4 girls.” comment. In a negative tone. I love every single one of my girls and wouldn’t change their gender for anything. Much to everyones surprise we are expecting twin… guessed it girls. So we get girl comments, pregnant again comments, and the ridiculous twin comments. Sometimes when I get snarky and people will say better you than me I say, “I agree!” I am sure women have been talking about rude comments all throughout history. I mean we think it is bad to hear the old wives tales. What about living during the times when the old wives were coming up with these tales? Eeek!

  • Caroline: July 02, 2015

    Yes it’s an Asian thing lol. I’m Asian and my family piss me off from time to time with tactless comments. But even non Asians said offensive things to me while I was pregnant without meaning to. I would just smile it off or ignore them and then pray my hormones don’t get the best of me lol.

  • Katie: July 02, 2015

    I am currently 34 weeks pregnant with our second child. We chose to leave the gender a surprise during both pregnancies. It always amazes my husband and I that other people are more distraught over the fact that we don’t know the sex than we are. Most people tell us they just had/have to find out so they can be “prepared”, like we aren’t prepared! Just because I don’t have a closet full of pink or blue doesn’t mean that we don’t have every essential a newborn needs. They are newborns who need to be in soft comfortable clothes and barely leave the house for 2 months! Then on top of that everyone feels the need to tell you what you are having due to your weight gain, how you are carrying, ect. I didn’t realized I asked what you thought I was having =)

  • Rita: July 02, 2015

    The best is when people feel the need to tell you, “you look like you are about to pop!!!” My personal favorite is when people told me around my 7th month that I looked like I could go at any time. Ummm, I only gained about 25lbs and I did not start out overweight. I felt huge as it was, I did not need the comments that would make me feel worse!! Seems like the sensitivity chip flys out the window when a pregnant woman is present.

  • Cecilia: July 02, 2015

    Never been pregnant myself but I’ve been able to watch all of my closest friends in their pregnancies and I cannot believe what people feel they have the right to say!! You are creating life and deserve nothing but the upmost respect. So that is what all of you lovely ladies have….my respect. :)

  • Jane: July 02, 2015

    No kidding…and I must have just been looking dull, since I ended up having a boy ;)

  • Sarah: July 02, 2015

    I’m always shocked at the gall of people—family, friends or even total strangers—and what they think is appropriate to say to a pregnant woman. I had strangers come up to me to tell me what sex they thought the baby was based on how wide my backside was! The worst, though, was at my baby shower, a dear friend of the family cornered me as soon as I arrived to tell me all the gory details of the birth of her first son, including the fact that both she and her son nearly died! Who on earth thinks stories like that are 1) appropriate at a baby shower and 2) absolutely necessary to tell to a first time mom, 8 months along in her pregnancy? I mean, REALLY.

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