MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Pregnancy is a physical and emotional experience for moms. It’s also one that brings all kinds of comments from those around them. So, what’s appropriate, (and what’s not!) to say to a pregnant woman? Good Question.
“When are you due? You’re huge.”
“Oh, I really thought you liked Italian food.”
“You look like you’re growing a Prius inside of you.”
Ask almost any pregnant woman and they can give you examples of inappropriate comments during their pregnancy. In fact, it’s one of the biggest things maternal mental health therapist Lisa Cross hears from moms-to-be.
“They’re already typically having body image issues with pregnancy and the adjustments going on within their bodies,” Cross said. “It makes them feel shamed, like they’re out of control.”
Every pregnant woman handles the comments differently, just as every woman’s body changes differently during their pregnancy.
“It’s one of those things I just smile and nod,” Bridget Bork of Fridley said. “The best thing to do is lie about your due date so they’ll stop asking you.”
Cross says she tells most of her patients the comments generally come from a good place.
“Ultimately as humans we’re mesmerized and amazed by the creation of a life,” she said. “Our brain is unfiltered in that moment because it’s an emotional moment, so we tend to forget the boundaries.”
Some women recommend avoiding talking to them about their bodies or shape, offering unsolicited advice on personal topics and simply thinking about what you say before you say it.
“If you wouldn’t say it to her when she’s not pregnant, don’t say it when she is pregnant,” Cross said. “If you would not tell an unpregnant woman she’s huge, you should not tell a pregnant woman she’s huge.”
Perhaps, a smile will work or a simple – “You look great, I’m excited for you.”