Ottawa Doula Services
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Blog discussing pregnancy, birth & parenting in Ottawa. 

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parenting with an ottawa touch.

6 things not to say to a pregnant woman and what to do instead!

I was recently talking to other mothers and the topic of rude comments during pregnancy came up, some were funny, some were rude and some were downright awful. There are a few that came up over and over again:

  1. It doesn't matter if you think her bump is tiny or huge, it isn't appropriate to comment on it! The size of her bump does not indicate how big the baby will be, nor is it something she can control. The size of her bump may be a cause of anxiety or be a cause of insecurity. She is likely already getting lots of comments, she doesn’t need your comment on it too, especially if you are going to ask if there are multiple babies in there.

  2. "Was your baby planned?" Is never ok to ask. If she wants to tell you that the baby was a surprise, she will! This comment is just rude. Not all babies are planned, sometimes life has other plans for you. A baby doesn’t need to be planned to be loved.

  3. Comments on how big her family is probably won't go over well! Regardless of what number baby it is, she probably doesn't want to hear your thoughts on how many children she should have. How many children someone has doesn’t necessarily mean that they are of a certain faith or that they do not use birth control. How many children someone has is a personal decision, some want one and some want 6, unless this is your partner it is none of you concern.  

  4. Telling her about how horrible your birth was! I am truly sorry if you feel it was the worst thing you ever went through but telling her how bad it was won't do anything but cause added stress when it really isn't needed. Every pregnancy and every birth is different!

  5. Giving her your unsolicited opinion about her birth choices. Is she having a home birth and you think the only safe place is the hospital? Is she planning a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and you were told "once a cesarean, always a cesarean”? Is she planning on having all the pain medication right away and you thing a “drug-free” birth is the only good option? If she isn’t asking your advice, she probably doesn’t want it.

  6. Just like the size of her bump, her age isn’t something you should be commenting on. “Wow, you look too young to be a mom” one younger mother was told but if happens on both ends of the spectrum!  A mom-to-be who was on the higher end of average was asked "Aren't you embarrassed to be pregnant at your age?"

All these things can be hurtful, even if they aren’t meant that way.
Instead, tell her how great she looks, even if she isn’t feeling too hot being told she looks good will likely make her smile.
Ask her how she’s doing, without giving advice! Sometimes she just wants to be heard and feel like people really care how she’s doing.
Offer to help! Does she have another child at home and could use someone to help by babysitting while she goes to her appointments? Maybe she could use someone to help her prepare some freezer meals for after the baby arrives? Your offer to help won’t go unnoticed!
Tell her how great of a mom she will be. After all, all any mom wants is to be the best possible mom she can be!
Have you had similar experiences like the examples listed above? If so, tell us about it!