15 Things You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman

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It’s well known that hormones and casual conversation often clash, especially if you’re about to say any of the following to a pregnant woman. You might think you’re giving a compliment, but you could unintentionally cause offense. Pregnant women are extra sensitive, and rightfully so—they’re carrying a new human life for nine months! Here are 15 things you should never say to a pregnant woman.

“Sleep might be different once the baby arrives.”

Woman Sleeping
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Listen up, new moms-to-be: You WILL get sleep. It might not be as much as you’re used to, but you won’t suffer from a lack of it. Make time for sleep—sometimes chores can wait for a nap, and your baby might even enjoy sleeping! It’s totally okay to ask for help from family and friends. Let them take care of the baby or handle the chores while you get some much-needed rest.

“Enjoy this time before the baby comes!”

Woman Pregnant in Black and White Striped Shirt Standing Near Bare Tree
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These downer comments aren’t only about sleep. Whenever a pregnant person is having fun, relaxing, or simply enjoying life, it seems someone wants to spoil their happiness. People often interrupt pregnant individuals in public just to predict how their future baby will take away that joy. The reality is that if you prioritize something in your life, you can and will find ways to continue enjoying it—even with kids around.

“You look very pregnant!”

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While you might think you’re just making small talk in the grocery store checkout line, these comments can be annoying or even harmful, depending on who you’re talking to. The many changes that come with pregnancy can be very tough, especially for those who have struggled with body image or an eating disorder. So telling a pregnant person they look “big,” whether directly or indirectly, is unwelcome.

“You look so petite!”

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In our fat-phobic society, people often think they’re giving a compliment when they comment on how “small” a pregnant person looks. However, these comments can make moms-to-be anxious about their baby’s size and health. All they hear is, “Wow, is your baby okay?” They will start to worry and Googling for answers—which usually doesn’t end well.

“Do you think you might be having twins?”

Pregnant Woman Wearing White Skirt Holding Her Tummy
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This comment gets thrown around way too often, and guess what? It’s very rude and hurtful. It’s especially tough for a mom who’s not carrying twins, struggling with her changing body or has gained a few extra pounds. Women hear this way more than they should, and each time, they have to awkwardly laugh it off. You need to get that these remarks are not okay.

“Did you plan for this?”

pregnant near door
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It’s actually none of your business whether it was planned or not. When someone shares their news, they’re usually over the moon about it and just want you to join in their happiness. Asking that can be a bit nosy, you know? So let’s focus on celebrating with them and leave the planning details for them to share if they want to.

“Should you be eating or drinking that?”

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You really don’t need to comment on a pregnant person’s body shape or size, and the same goes for what they eat and drink. Whether they’re sipping a caffeinated vanilla latte or munching on a salmon avocado roll—it’s not for us to judge. Some folks feel the urge to criticize what a pregnant person eats, maybe because they think it’s not healthy enough. But what someone chooses to eat is totally up to them, not you.

“You’ve got your hands full!”

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Pregnant women often hear this when they’re out running errands with their other kids or juggling a lot. While people might mean well, it can make moms feel like they’re not handling everything smoothly. When you’re already feeling self-conscious or anxious—the last thing you need is someone pointing out how busy you are. Comments like ‘You sure have your hands full!’ can feel like adding insult to injury.

“Are you feeling excited?”

Pregnant Woman Holding Tummy
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This is another comment that’s often meant to be supportive but can end up making things worse. Any remark that assumes a mom-to-be should feel a certain way about her pregnancy doesn’t recognize all the emotions she might actually be going through. Many pregnant people feel joy and happiness, but they can also feel discomfort, overwhelmed, or sadness—sometimes all at once. 

“Have you considered getting an epidural?”

Pregnant Woman
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This is another topic that’s often part of birth stories but deserves its own spotlight. Choosing how to give birth is deeply personal for every soon-to-be parent. It’s about what she wants, and she deserves the freedom to make that choice without others’ opinions. Avoid questioning her decision or making her feel guilty for choosing her preferred route.

“My friend did yoga throughout her pregnancy and gained only 25 lbs.”

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Pregnant women don’t want to hear about your tough birth stories, and they don’t want to hear about super moms who had it all easy—no weight gain, quick births, or minimal pain. Even if you know someone with an amazing experience, unless she asks for it, it’s best to keep those stories to yourself. Hearing them can cause anxiety and stress for a pregnant woman. 

“Have you thought about bringing a child into this world?”

Pregnant Woman
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Could you be any more insensitive? If you have strong feelings about overpopulation, the environment, violence, or anything else, that’s totally okay, but maybe save those thoughts for another time. She’s already pregnant and has considered everything carefully. Now is not the time to share your concerns. Let’s support her without adding any guilt or doubt. 

“Are you planning to have more children?”

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Asking this can be rude because you may not know if the person has struggled with fertility issues before or if they can have another baby. Plus, it’s really not your business if they want more children. If you’re curious, a gentler way to ask could be, “Would you like more children?” It comes across as more considerate and less abrupt.

“Are you hoping for a boy or a girl?”

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While it’s natural to wonder what it would be like to have a son after having two girls, what a pregnant woman truly hopes for, above all, is a healthy baby. Asking about gender preferences can be very insensitive, especially to a mother who has experienced pregnancy loss and simply wants a healthy child more than anything else.

“Has the baby arrived yet?”

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After week 38, consider taking a break from social media. There’s always that one aunt or relative who asks daily if the baby has arrived—and then comes the unsolicited advice on how to induce labor. Whether it’s spicy curry, long walks, crab walks, yoga, or raspberry leaf tea, babies come when they’re ready, not because of something you eat or do.