Ever heard the phrase that it takes 10 compliments to overcome the sting of 1 insult? For pregnant women, I think it should be double that. When you are visibly pregnant, it is a rare thing to be able to leave the house without unwanted, sometimes insulting comments. Surprisingly, women (who have been pregnant before) usually are the ones making said comments. I always struggled with my response, sticking with a slow “thank you” that sounded more like a question than a statement.
Here is my top 5 list of “compliments” to avoid telling a pregnant woman:
1. “You don’t look pregnant at all. Are you sure there is a baby in there?”
Goal: Okay, most likely, you are attempting to make me feel skinny.
Reality: You just sent me on a Google Images search frenzy so that I can compare my bump (or lack thereof) to other women, making sure something isn’t wrong with my baby.
2. “You’re huge!” (Yes, someone actually emphatically used the word huge with me.)
Goal: I am at a loss on this one. Maybe you were trying to tell me I’m doing a good job growing a baby?
Reality: Is it ever good to comment on how large someone is? This should never be acceptable. No one likes being told they are “huge, big, or large”.
3. “Wow, are you sure it isn’t twins?”
Goal: Again, I have no idea. Maybe genuine concern that I should see another doctor?
Reality: I get it. I. am. Big. Because of the 8 other comments of similar concern, I asked. The ultrasound tech and doctors have said that it is one on multiple occasions, thanks.
4. “When are you due? Oh, June. You are going to be miserable being that pregnant in the summer.”
Goal: Spreading your dislike for summer to a random stranger.
Reality: I forgot I should have run this by you for approval. What was your name again?
5. “You look like you are ready to pop any day now! Oh, REALLY? You are only 4 MONTHS along? Are you sure?”
Goal: Encouragement that the end is in sight and you soon get to hold your baby.
Reality: Again, thanks for the reminder of my size. Trust me, I am sure. I am the one that is pregnant.
I think it is a beautiful thing that pregnancy opens up so many conversations with strangers, providing a random opportunity to encourage someone. You should compliment! But, please, do it like you would with any other woman who isn’t pregnant (skip the size comments).
My favorite thing someone said to me was from the checkout lady at Petco. I ungracefully waddled up to her counter. She gave me a warm smile, exclaiming “You are absolutely glowing! You look beautiful.” That made my day and
maybe just made up for the other, not so complimentary statements I got breathlessly waddling around the store.