As every mum will be all too familiar with, most people see pregnancy as a free-for-all to ask invasive and often insulting questions and poke and prod at a woman’s stomach while under the impression that this is socially acceptable behaviour.
With this in mind, we’ve come up with a list of unacceptable questions to ask expectant mums that you can pass out to intrusive friends, relatives and work colleagues:
Are you sure you’re not having twins? Or equally, ‘your bump is tiny, are you sure you’re even pregnant?
Just no! As a general rule of thumb, steer clear of commenting about the size of an expectant mum’s bump. It’s not something she can control and comments about how big or small will only serve to make her feel inadequate or concerned that something might be wrong. If you feel you just can’t resist commenting on the bump, limit yourself to “It’s such a cute bump”. Only if you absolutely cannot restrain yourself.
Are you disappointed it’s not a girl?
People really seem to feel the need to ask this particular question when it’s the second or third baby and the mum already has two boys at home. Let’s make this clear, what expectant mums are really hoping for is a healthy baby and assembling their very own all girl band typically isn’t top of their list of priorities.
Was it planned?
Are you really winking at your friend/co-worker/neighbour you barely know and asking if the pregnancy was planned or just an accident? This is nobody’s business and unless she tells you otherwise, it’s always best to assume that the pregnancy was planned with military precision.
When’s the due date or how long have you left?
This might seem like an acceptable question but imagine how many times a day mums-to-be get asked this. Everyone from the postman to the hairdresser to people who randomly stop her on the street will want to know when the baby is due.
Can I touch the bump?
Unless you really get the green light on this one, try to avoid walking up to veritable strangers or work colleagues and asking can you rub their bump. They won’t thank you for it.
I can’t believe you’re still pregnant!
When the expectant mum’s due date has passed, believe us she won’t exactly be thrilled that she’s ‘still pregnant’. Offering her a much needed cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit will be much more appreciated and less likely to result in you incurring an injury.
I was back wearing my skinny jeans leaving the hospital
Really? Why anyone would feel the need to share this information with a heavily pregnant woman is beyond me! Having to look at glamorous celebrity mums drop their baby weight instantly is hard enough without having to compete with friends. Instead of making it into a competition, try being supportive!
Being pregnant is the easy bit, wait until you have kids!
How encouraging! As if first time expectant mums weren’t nervous enough, this statement will really make them grateful they don’t have to do the sleepless nights and seemingly endless feedings or worry about homework and exams....just yet!
Have you thought of any names? Oh, my mother used to have a dog with that name.
Chances are they had a special reason for liking that name and maybe your quip about it being a dog’s name or the name of your cheating ex-boyfriend may have turned them right off so keep your thoughts to yourself and just smile and simply say, “What a lovely name!”
Are you nervous about the birth? My labour consisted of 48 hours of agony.
If on by some miracle she wasn’t nervous before, then you can take it for granted that she is now. Never, ever, ever mention scary birth stories around a pregnant woman.