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?

More Posts


  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    These comments are killing me! Although I hate that women have to deal with this, I feel a sense of camaraderie in that we’ve all endured these mini beat downs and come out on top!

  • hollie: July 02, 2015

    I am 34 weeks pregnant and my mom hates the name we picked out for our little guy. We chose to name him Zander Stephen. She has chosen to call him critter and tell me every day she hates the name! I am really getting sick of her telling me this. I have told her too bad on many occasions! I am so glad I live 6 hours away from her!

  • mdlc: July 02, 2015

    That’s unfortunate and it doesn’t stop with pregnant mothers. We adopted our baby boy and we received people asking us how much we paid for the adoption and why his mother “gave him up.” Sometimes, people feel like they know you better than they really do so they were either not taught the right way to interact by their parents or they are just rude and expect you to “live with it.”

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    Nat, what a story! I hope your supervisor had a wake-up call with this one. SO glad to hear your son is healthy. My daughter was in the NICU for 10 days and it was the scariest 10 days ever. Thanks for sharing such a personal story.

  • mkim: July 02, 2015

    I too got many rude comments during all three of my pregnancies. My first born is a boy and all my relatives and employees at my mother in law’s company were sure that it was going to be a boy because I got uglier. Then her best friend looked at my belly when I was three months along and said, “I looked smaller than that when I was 5 months preganant”. With my second and third pregnancies, both my mother and mother in law and my uncle at Christmas dinner asked if I was SURE it wasn’t twins. I told my uncle that I was having triplets.

  • Nat: July 02, 2015

    When I was pregnant with our first, my husband and I worked at the same company. One day our supervisor looked at me and told me that when our baby was born, “it’d” (like you, we didn’t want to know the sex) be covered in hair because my husband always had scruff. I so badly wanted to say something but didn’t because he was my supervisor and my husband would still have to deal with him after I left. A bit later in my pregnancy he asked how pregnant I was-7 1/2 months. He told me there was no way that I was 7 1/2 months pregnant because I didn’t look big enough to be “that” pregnant (I was all belly). A week or so later, my doctor ordered me off of work and 4 days after that I had our son, 5 1/2wks early. Besides a 3wk stay in the NICU, everything was fine but our son was covered in “peach fuzz” because of his early arrival and not being fully developed.
    Some people don’t realize what they are saying or just don’t care.
    Hugs to you!

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    Congratulations! I have 2 amazing girls too. I’m sure you have your hands full so thanks for taking the time to read/comment.

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    Caroline, I do feel that the hormones are getting to me…and that’s totally ok ;)

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    You are soooo right! What more preparation do we need than diapers, onesies, and blankets?

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    hahahaha…I’ve heard this one far too many times.

  • Aquabee: July 02, 2015

    I think you are well-justified in venting, but I also deeply respect your ‘grinning and bearing it’. I am quite certain that your Aunt said it without thought, and – family is family. Good on you, and best of luck with the little one.

  • Arthur: July 02, 2015

    There’s one in every family… my family’s chinese, so we have like 20 :)

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    Karen, thanks for commenting on my blog. I read this last night before going to bed and was completely blown away. It’s simply crazy the things we have to deal with during a quite challenging time in our lives.

  • Karen: July 02, 2015

    I was in a business meeting close to the end of my pregnancy and was explaining to a client who he could contact in my absense as I would be off work for the next year. He asked why (I thought it was pretty clear that I was 8.5 months pregnant) and I responded that i was due in two weeks and his response to me was “oh I thought maybe you were just fat”. Ya hard to believe I know!!!! Not only did I give him a piece of my mind and ended the meeting very quickly I also involved HR and Legal to follow up with him to let him know it is NOT ok to say that to anyone!!! I received an apologetic email from him the following day…

    I was a size 10 when I got pregnant and gained 30 pounds so in my mind I was healthy and felt great about my body. Now that I have a beautiful 8.5 month old baby girl and am back to my pre-pregnancy weight and feel great, I just laugh at the thought of anyone saying that to a pregnant woman!

    Love your Lollacups! Going to a place in Toronto this week to stock up for my little one and my nieces and nephews :)


  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    hahaha…“birthing hips” I know it wasn’t funny when you heard it, but it just blows me away.

  • Megan B.B.: July 02, 2015

    Love reading about the personal side of the business. It’s super refreshing. And yes, people do say random things to pregnant ladies. I once had an elderly lady tell me that my delivery was probably going to be a breeze, since I had “birthing hips.”
    I don’t know what that means, but she may/may not have been telling me my ass was big? :)

  • Karen: July 02, 2015

    I would have just said, well I’m just pregnant & my face & body will go back to normal after the baby arrives, but what’s ur excuse? Just got smacked with the ugly stick today? I swear family can b 1000x worse than friends &/or strangers. LOL

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    Mothers…can’t live with ’em or without ’em! Ha! On a more serious note, I think parents sometimes lose their filters completely. I remember fighting so much with my mom when my daughter was a newborn. She helped me tremendously but offered up SO much unsolicited advice that I was losing my mind…Hang in there!

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    Seriously??? I just read the most eye-opening article about adoption in Vogue magazine last night. After going through such a rigorous process, I’m sorry to hear you have to endure ridiculous comments and questions.

  • Christina: July 02, 2015

    No, it is not JUST a cultural thing. I know I am late to the party here, but I wanted to add my two cents. For what it’s worth, I am an American/Italian/Lebanese. I am married, 30 yrs old with a 9 month old son. I can not tell you how many RUDE comments I heard from family members while pregnant. My 2 grandmothers and occasionally my sister. The filter was certainly tossed aside and it became a free for all. My husband encouraged me to respond, but I believe it would have provoked more attitude, so I took it all with a smile. Sometimes giving myself permission to just walk away. What helps is knowing I don’t go home to them and I preserved relationships, showed dignity and loads of self control. My husband has oodles of respect for me in regard to how I handled those situations. Life isn’t perfect all the time, but our little family is happy. I absolutely love your story and family, best of luck with your wonderful business. I placed my order today, I’m excited to receive our first Lollacup soon. :)

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing