Things People Say When You’re Pregnant..

One of the things that has most surprised me about pregnancy: the absolutely outrageous things that people say to you. Totally and utterly insensitive, unthinking and – quite often – bizarre. Now I have to hold my hands up and say that I, too, have said some of the things below – and I’m not even sure that I won’t say them again, so this is not supposed to embarrass or shame anyone. I think it may be just that when faced with a pregnant person we say stupid stuff: all you can see is the bump, the human attached does not exist, and so you resort to either clichéd sayings or things that pop into your head. And I’ll admit that when you’re pregnant you are about five million times more sensitive and every comment seems like some kind of witch’s curse or insult or bad omen..


1) “Are you sure you’re not having twins?” Where do I even start with this one? Every time someone has said this I have been so tempted to say, “I’ve had ten antenatal appointments and four scans: how in God’s name would I NOT KNOW IF I WAS HAVING TWINS? You bell-end.” (Ha. Imagine if I now had surprise twins. That would be cringe, wouldn’t it?)

2) “But you’re so big?” This one happens all the time. It makes me want to smack my face with my own hand. Why would it surprise anyone that you were big? There’s a bloody baby in there! It’s simply the most ridiculous thing to say.

3) “But it looks so…small?” Often you get this and also the previous comment ON THE SAME DAY. Because everyone’s an expert when it comes to the size of your baby bump. Comments on baby bump sizing can quite frequently be followed up with some kind of highly insensitive personal experience story about how their own bump measured small and the baby had a serious illness, or their bump measured large and it turned out they had gestational diabetes and almost died in childbirth and lost eighty-five pints of blood and had to call a priest to have Last Rites. (The “personal experience” horror story genre is a whole other post, I think.)

4) “That’s definitely a boy” or “that’s definitely a girl“. Is it? IS IT?!!!!!!!! I don’t know why this one even irritates me that much, because in a way it’s nice that people are involved and want to guess. I think it’s possibly the wording; the know-it-all smugness and the certainty of the tone. (Sensitive, much? I warned you!)

5) Any sentence starting with “you just wait until…” For example, “you think you’re tired at twelve weeks? Ha! You just wait until you’re thirty weeks, then you’ll know all about it!” or “you think your back aches at thirty four weeks? You just wait until thirty nine weeks, love!” or, “you think you’re tired now? You just wait for the next sixteen years of your nightmarish, regretful existence.” There are many reasons I hate the “you just wait” opener; the pessimism, the almost joyful ill-wishing, but mostly the fact that I can’t stand constant moaners. There are those in life who get on with stuff – I have many friends who are knackered with kids, who get up at 5am every morning and have done for the past six years, but who do so with a sense of joie de vivre, because why have kids if you’re just going to harp on about how crap it all is? – and there are those who like to wear every single inconvenience like some kind of battle scar. Half the time, when they start a sentence with “you just wait until…”, what they are really saying is “there’s no way that your experience could be half as bad as my own.” O, me miserum. Of course their are those who truly do have a terrible time – in pregnancy, in birth, in life in general – but haven’t you noticed that they generally tend to be the quiet ones? Silent sufferers? I could be wrong…

OTHER MOST ANNOYING THINGS PEOPLE SAY WHEN YOU’RE PREGNANT (with thanks to Twitter followers for contributions!):

Wow! Aren’t you small/large/pale/puffy? Is everything OK?”

Aren’t you scared about the labour? I would be so scared about the labour…

Let me give you some advice…

I could tell you were pregnant before you even turned around.”

Was it planned?”

Ooh, I don’t envy you giving birth…I bet he’ll be a whopper!

You look like you’re about to burst!

Susan tore so much that she now has to wear a colostomy bag.”

You need to eat more than that – you’re eating for two now.” (This one also deserves its own post. Total myth. You are not eating for two, unless you want to emerge on the other side with about seven stone to lose and clogged up arteries.)

I planned for a natural birth as well, but JUST YOU WAIT UNTIL YOU FEEL THE PAIN!

And then we have the things that people say that don’t seem to just be idiotic blunders; perhaps they are. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. But – seriously? Here goes:


“I made it to twenty weeks too, but don’t think you’re out of the danger zone. I won’t even tell you what happened to me.”

“Do you think this one will stick around?” (Said to person with previous multiple miscarriages.)

“How did your screening go? Everything OK? Because, you know, at your age…” (Said to person in early forties.)

“Look. What will be will be. If you lose it before twelve weeks, it’s just nature’s way of doing natural selection.” (Said – completely unprompted – to eight-week pregnant person who had previously not even considered the possibility that she might lose her baby. She didn’t lose her baby, by the way.)

Please do add your own contributions in the comments below – I need to do a whole other discussion on “things people say when you have no kids” because a few people mentioned that on Twitter. I think that those comments are the most soul-destroying and upsetting, especially when you are trying and/or struggling to conceive, or perhaps have failed in your attempts and are trying to come to terms with it. Again, I’m under no illusion that people generally mean well – it’s just age-old cliché and an inability to think of something to say that takes over your brain…

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