Mother's Day

a couple in an article about what not to say to a pregnant person on mothers day
Marko Geber/DigitalVision/Getty Images
12 Things Not To Say To A Pregnant Person On Mother’s Day

Or any day, really.

by Kristina Johnson and Tiffany Eve Lawrence
Originally Published: 

Mother’s Day is about one thing, and one thing only: celebrating moms and all they do for their kids. That includes pregnant moms, too, because the work of raising children begins with those 40 long weeks it takes to grow them. Moms-to-be absolutely deserve to be a part of any special festivities, games, and activites on the big day, but keep in mind that there are definitely some things not to say to a pregnant woman on Mother's Day — unless you want to earn yourself a permanent place on someone’s bad side.

First, let it be known that pregnant people do not need to deal with others debating whether they “count as moms” yet on Mother’s Day if they’re pregnant. So, if opinions on their official status as a mother arise, that conversation should be immediately shut down. The last thing they need is to be body-shamed or hear insensitive comments, and there are some things you should just never say to any pregnant person, period, no matter what day it is. They can come across as flat-out rude and seriously offensive (even if they may seem harmless enough on the surface), and those comments they dread hearing are even more important to avoid on a day that's supposed to be all about celebrating moms. Hey, it never hurts to be kind, especially to someone who’s doing all the work of creating another human being.

If any of these comments or questions arise around a pregnant mom, just remember to keep mum (pun intended), and it’ll be a happy Mother’s Day indeed. Here’s what not to say to a pregnant woman on Mother’s Day — or any other day.


“You’re not a mom yet.”


Says who? A pregnant person is absolutely entitled to celebrate Mother’s Day just like any other mom. No one who remembers the aches, pains, and non-stop trips to the bathroom during pregnancy could begrudge an expectant mom the opportunity to be feted, and neither should anyone else. So, do you say “happy Mother's Day” to a pregnant woman? Since they’re already putting their body to work, yes, you can wish the expectant mom a very happy first Mother’s Day, and leave it at that.


"Was I supposed to get you a gift?”

A pregnant mom may not have a little one in their arms just yet, but they’re still doing plenty of hard work. Lugging a growing baby bump around is exhausting, especially if they’re constantly feeling nauseous. They absolutely deserve a gift and a little bit of pampering — on Mother’s Day, and every day, really. Even if it’s something as simple as a handwritten note, or a drink from their favorite coffee place, a little gesture can mean so much.


"Sleep now."

This falls into the “Don't Say This Around Any Pregnant Person Ever” category, because no one needs a reminder that they'll soon be a sleep-deprived zombie 99% of the time. Especially not when they're trying to enjoy a stress-free, peaceful Mother's Day. It’s not a competition — don’t try to belittle their current struggles. Plus, many pregnant people aren’t getting the best sleep anyway, so there’s no need to rub salt in the wound.


“You look huge.”

Just don't say this in any circumstance. Don't comment on whether they look too tiny, either. In fact, just don’t comment on a pregnant person’s body. Don’t comment on anyone’s body, but pregnancy can feel like a particularly “on display” moment and frankly, that stinks. If you want to check on your friend, maybe just try the classic “how are you feeling?”


“Are you having twins?”

Willie B. Thomas/DigitalVision/Getty Images

This seems to be everyone's default joke when they see a pregnant person’s belly, despite it not really being amusing at all. It’s not nice to say on any day of the year, but on Mother’s Day? Bad taste. Again, there's just no need to try and make them feel self-conscious about their size or their body. In reality, people with body issues can struggle with pregnancy, so maybe just avoid the topic entirely.


“You're still pregnant?”

If you think it seems like they’ve been pregnant forever, just imagine how they feel. I'm pretty confident almost all moms-to-be can tell you exactly how much longer they have left, especially if they're having a tough time of it. There’s no need to offer up a reminder, even if you just mean it as a joke. Rule of thumb: If it sounds like you’re implying there’s something wrong with their pregnancy, it’s probably not OK to say.


“Are you scared?”

Listen, they’re probably scared of everything right now. It’s called being a mother. They definitely don’t need to be reminded of the fact that they’ll be giving birth soon. Instead, tell them how strong they are and how great they will be at taking care of their baby, no matter what. And then tell them, “Happy Mother’s Day.”


“This is the easy part.”

Pregnancy isn't always easy. No one can ever tell just by looking at an expectant mother what struggles they might have gone through to get pregnant in the first place, or what discomforts they might be dealing with as they progress. Instead of filling their head with horror stories about the trials and tribulations of parenthood, just invite them to relax and put their feet up. That's the gift most pregnant people want — on Mother's Day or any day.


“Can't wait until next year!”

StefaNikolic/E+/Getty Images

Don’t wait! Why wait on a celebration when you can be kind and encouraging today? You should be celebrating them now because their body is working overtime to create an awesome human being. Go ahead and make today special anyway, even if it’s just by offering a compliment.


“You look too young/old to have kids!”

Again, commenting on someone’s appearance and how they should look to fit your ideals is always a no-go. But to someone who’s working 24/7 for nine months to grow a human? Come on. And besides, why is a pregnant person’s age anyone’s business besides their own?


“Are you sure it’s OK to eat/drink that?”

They already get enough unsolicited advice and comments about their pregnancy. Everyone has an opinion and everyone seems to think the pregnant person needs to hear it. Well, guess what? They don’t. It’s exhausting to constantly feel like you’re doing something “wrong” or not doing enough, so it’s time to just cut those comments out for good.


“Don’t worry, next year you can actually have a Mother’s Day.”

Or... you could just let them celebrate now. It’s fine to talk about future Mother’s Days and what those holidays will look like, but don’t let the future deter you from celebrating now.

Pregnancy is an exciting thing, and people love to push their observations and thoughts onto the pregnant person. But what may be intended as a harmless question, well-meaning advice, or a meaningless joke can actually come off as just plain rude, hurtful, and tasteless. This Mother’s Day, keep the pregnancy comments kind, encouraging, and uplifting instead.

This article was originally published on