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10 Things NOT to Say to a Pregnant Woman

 I have now been pregnant three times in the span of eleven years. Each pregnancy brought with it different trials, and experiences. While all pregnancies have been different, there has been one constant through all three - people asking rude questions or making utterly stupid comments, which should never be spoken out loud to a pregnant woman. If you're one of those people who doesn't necessarily think before speaking, this is a great article to save! I'm going to share my top ten things NOT to say to a pregnant woman.

1. Was it a surprise?

Surprise or planned, this is information that is on a need-to-know basis. If the expectant mother (or parents) want to share their story, it's up to them to do so. Asking whether a baby was planned or not can be extremely hurtful (even when meant well), especially for parents who have struggled to conceive. 

2. Are you sure there's only one baby?

Man, alive... I have hated this question every pregnancy, and yes- I have been asked several times in all three pregnancies. If you're an anxiety sufferer like I am, the thought of raising multiples might send your worries through the roof, causing a big spike in your stress level. typically, if there's to be more than one baby, the news would have been shared when the pregnancy was announced.

3. Do you want a boy or a girl?

Does any mother really truly want one gender over the other? In all of my pregnancies, all I have ever wanted was a healthy baby. I hoped for one boy, and one girl, and got my wish. Baby # 3 will be a tie-breaker, but I'm not wishing for one over the other. As long as everyone is safe and happy as baby arrives, that's all that matters to me.

4. Do you have names picked out?

All parents start thinking about names as soon as they find out a new baby is coming. Sometimes parents have names picked out, and sometimes they don't. With both of my kiddos, my husband and I knew what we wanted their names to be, and as soon as we knew their genders, we felt comfortable sharing those names. With baby # 3, we have a boy's name chosen, but haven't settled on a girl's name yet. Names are so very important, and we take careful time to really ponder the name, the meaning, the originality or uniqueness, because that is important to us. For others, choosing names may be a bit of a sore subject. Maybe family members insist on the child being named after them. Maybe one partner or spouse loves a name, but the other detests it. Better to leave it alone, and let the parents share their chosen names when they're ready to do so.

5. Wow, you're huge!

Well, duh... every pregnant woman knows it and feels it in her bones, but she does NOT want to hear you say it to her face (or leave it on her social media). Just don't.

6. Enjoy __________ while you can.

It takes a strong woman to resist the urge to roll her eyes at anyone who says this. Even new moms-to-be don't want to hear this. Definitely don't say this to seasoned moms who have already survived raising tiny humans. They get it.

7. When I was pregnant _______________.

I get it... you mean well, and just want to share your experience in a relatable way. I'm even guilty of doing this. This mama's pregnancy is not about you- it's about her. Your past experience will likely not be anything like hers. Just let her talk, listen, smile and nod, and wish her well.

8. Breast is best.

Ouch. To any mom who doesn't plan on breastfeeding or has struggled with breastfeeding in the past, this can be a painful thing to hear. Look, I am an avid supporter of breastfeeding. I think that if you want to do it, and if you can physically do it, that is amazing. I had one baby who was a terrible breast-feeder, and another who was an absolute champ. I had two very different experiences, and wound up having to formula feed one, and exclusively breastfed the other. Not every mom wants to breastfeed. It's extremely physically and emotionally demanding. Not every mom has an easy time with breastfeeding, or has proper support. Not every baby is cooperative. Fed is best, period. No matter how a mother decides to nourish her baby, the only thing that matters is that you support her decision.

9. Are you going to have a natural birth?

Um- honestly, how is this anyone's business, other than the expectant parents and their doctor? Look, every mom to be has a plan in her head before birthing her baby. Some know they have a low pain threshold (like me), and know that they want an epidural, while others know that they want a drug-free birthing experience. I knew with my first baby that I wanted to hold off as long as I could before asking for drugs... and that lasted all about an hour into labor. Some moms don't have a choice, and need to have c-sections due to an emergency (eyes- lived through that experience), or because of a health concern (hello, c-sections 2 & soon-to-be 3). All births are beautiful, however a baby is born.

10. You look like you're ready to pop!

I once heard this from someone when I was only about six months pregnant. I'll let you make a wild guess as to how that made me feel. Let this be the one phrase you do not say to a pregnant women, ever.

Just for good measure... here's a bonus tip:

Do not ask a woman (pregnant or not) when she's due. You do not want to be the person who mistakingly asks a non-pregnant woman when she is due. Talk about putting your foot in your mouth!

I could go on and on, but I'll stop here for now. 

What would you add to the list? Has anyone ever said something to you (while pregnant) that you wish they hadn't?

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