12 Bits Of "Advice" Every Pregnant Woman Dreads Hearing

Ad failed to load

"Rest up while you still can!" "Enjoy every minute of your pregnancy, because you're going to miss it!" "Just relax! Everything will be OK!" Stuff like this just falls out of people's mouths the moment they see a pregnant woman. It's like a reflex or something; people apparently can't help themselves, even though these are all bits of "advice" every pregnant woman dreads hearing.

Now, most of the folks saying this stuff probably mean well, particularly if they're parents themselves and it’s been a while since they had their babies. Over time, people's happiness and love for our kids tends to outshine their memories of how hard pregnancy and childbirth can be, and nostalgia for the adorable, tiny past seriously distorts folks' perceptions of pregnancy. Even now, barely two years after my most recent pregnancy, I find myself getting so excited and even mildly jealous of pregnant moms, and I hated being pregnant. I liked giving birth better than pregnancy, yet even I have to actively remind myself of all the crappy parts of pregnancy so I can think of something useful to say to my pregnant friends, and stop myself from turning into a blathering belly-rubber when faced with an expecting mom.

Then, of course, there are the people who have never birthed a baby, but have heard all manner of random pregnancy myths and weird pregnancy sayings from other people, and who feel compelled to say this kind of stuff because they've observed that these are just "things you say" to pregnant ladies. Apparently, a lot of people forget that you can talk to pregnant women about other things that have nothing to do with pregnancy or babies, because pregnant women are still people who have entire lives' worth of interests that don't revolve around gestation. (You don't have to strain to make awkward small talk about baby stuff if that's not your thing, folks! There's a whole world of other conversation topics out there that won't make you sound like a total weirdo, or irritate pregnant strangers, acquaintances, and friends.)

Ad failed to load

On the plus side, even if you don't currently have the energy to do much else, at least your facial muscles are getting a workout, mama. So many side-eyes and bemused grins and grimaces are bound to pay off, right?

Ad failed to load

“Get All The Sleep You Can Now. You Won’t Get Much Once The Baby Comes!”

GIPHY

Did my midwives just forget to give me the sleep piggy bank all the other pregnant ladies got in order to save all the sleep we're supposed to withdraw postpartum? How is this “sleep now because you can’t later” thing supposed to work, anyway?

Fun fact: it’s actually kinda hard to sleep when you have to pee every other minute, and you’re significantly bigger than you normally are, can’t necessarily sleep in your preferred position, and have a person doing kicks and barrel rolls in the middle of your body. (Not for nothing, but I actually found I slept better after giving birth, especially once I figured out how to nurse laying down and was able to keep my pre-mobile baby asleep for longer stretches of time without waking myself up.)

“Well, Get Used To [Every Annoying Thing You’re Now Experiencing]!”

GIPHY

Whether it’s not sleeping, or being worried all the time, or feeling physically uncomfortable, according to some folks you just have to "get used to it!" and consider your misery to be nothing more than a training exercise for parenthood. Something else I guess you just have to get used to: people rubbing your nose in whatever life circumstances suck for you right now.

“Enjoy Every Minute!”

GIPHY

Non-/never-pregnant people: let me assure you that the pregnant women in your lives are enjoying as many of their pregnant minutes as they can. But many of those other minutes feature heartburn, aches and pains, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting (to say nothing of more serious pregnancy complications or anxiety about potential or diagnosed birth complications). None of that is particularly enjoyable. Maybe just let her know that you’re happy for her, and that you're here to help however you can, instead.

Ad failed to load

“You Should Definitely Get The Drugs When You Give Birth”

GIPHY

Yeah, not everyone wants to do that. Some of us prefer to have unmedicated births, because we're more comfortable that way. And no, we haven't spent the last few decades of our lives under a rock, and we're totally aware that drugs during birth are a thing that are available to us, and don't need to hear whatever horror story you have saved up, that usually follows this suggestions.

“You Should Definitely Go ‘All Natural’ When You Give Birth”

GIPHY

No. Some folks need medical interventions in order to birth safely, and other folks want chemical pain relief while they push a whole human out of their body. Their birth plan is their business.

“Don’t Eat/Do Too Much [Blank]! It Causes [Some Unproven And Unlikely Disaster]”

"Wait, what? Did my doctor or midwife drink Polyjuice Potion and take on the appearance of this random person now giving me unsolicited medical advice?"

Yeah, probably not. Stop trying to scare pregnant ladies, weirdo.

Ad failed to load

“You Should Exercise/Not Eat Too Much/Eat This Particular Thing So You Get Your Body Back Faster”

GIPHY

Yeah, no. People should eat whatever they need to eat and move in whatever ways make them feel good because that's a good idea for their health. But this whole postpartum "get your body back ASAP" trope is a giant sexist mess, so let's not even go there.

“Just Relax!”

GIPHY

When has that statement ever had the intended effect on a person?

Exactly.

“Do [This Weird Thing] To Prepare For Birth/Motherhood”

GIPHY

No, random extended family member. Pregnant women don't have to eat or drink anything special to bring on or shorten labor, or "toughen up" their nipples to breastfeed, or any other strange, uncomfortable thing in order to successfully have and raise a baby. If we did, the actual professionals we pay to guide us through these experiences would probably tell us about them.

Ad failed to load

"You Should Use This To Avoid Stretch Marks!"

GIPHY

Unless "this" is a time machine that will send her back in time to be born to parents whose genes help people not get stretch marks when their skin is stretched, whatever product is being suggested is probably not going to do anything. But, you know, thanks for letting her know that you think the stretch marks she may already have (or be destined to get) are gross. That's super helpful for her self-esteem.

"You Should Get Rid Of Your Pet"

GIPHY

Unless you know for a fact that a pregnant mom's dog eats kids, or their cat has like, a history of smothering babies (as opposed to a suspicion based on an old wives' tale), don't tell a pregnant woman to get rid of a beloved pet. Chances are, she's smart enough not to leave a pet near her baby's crib at night, and wouldn't keep an animal who shows genuine aggression toward her child once they're born.

“Enjoy [Your Whole Life, Basically] While You Can!”

GIPHY

Yes, thanks for suggesting that mothers are totally unable to do anything fun (like enjoy themselves with adults or have time alone with their partners) or personally meaningful (like traveling or working on important career projects). Fortunately for moms who can't manage to finish their bucket list or cram a lifetime's worth of accomplishments into their remaining weeks of gestation, we actually still have the rest of our lives to do all that stuff. Turns out, it's entirely possible to do other stuff besides take care of children when you're a mom.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}