For some unknown reason, pregnancy seems to be some unspoken excuse for strangers, acquaintances, and even frenemies to comment on and give their unsolicited opinion about your pregnancy. From random people who feel the urge to put their hand on a woman's growing stomach to the kooky aunt who means really well but scares everyone with her childbirth horror stories, there are all sorts of odd social interactions that happen when a woman is with child. But no matter how good your intentions are, there are just some "compliments" you might say to a pregnant woman that are actually insults.
It may seem like a stereotype or a cliché, but I'll be the first to admit that I was way more sensitive than usual when I was pregnant. So even the tiniest remark that seemed to be a thinly veiled passive aggressive dig could send me into a spiral of insecurity. Although every women is different and has her own level of tolerance for weird, rude, or just plain awkward pregnancy-centered remarks, there are still some things that are universally agreed upon as being in poor taste. So before you accidentally stick your foot in your mouth with a well-intentioned comment that backfires, check out these top compliments you might say to a pregnant woman that are actually insults.
1. "You can hardly tell you're pregnant!"
Since women and weight have a tense relationship, especially in media and pop culture, it might seem like a compliment to tell a pregnant woman that she doesn't look large, but it's really not. Not only does it imply that being big is a bad thing, but you have no idea if this woman's small size is actually a sore subject. I had severe morning sickness and actually lost weight for the first seven months. So there was nothing more that I wanted than to finally "look" like I was pregnant.
2. "You Must Love Getting To Eat For Two."
Though this may sound like you're envious and even complimenting a pregnant woman for "getting" to eat more, there are two things wrong with that statement. One, it implies that a woman must eat two adult-sized portions to healthily feed her growing fetus; and two, you're suggesting that she is visibly and noticeably larger because of her increased caloric intake due to pregnancy. Rule of thumb? Stick to not addressing size and weight topics.
3. "I'm Sure Your Baby Will Be Healthy."
If a pregnant woman ever expresses concerns about the health of her unborn child, it's natural to want to calm her down or cheer her up with a lovely sentiment. But to try and assure her that her baby will indeed be healthy is far from a compliment. Not only do you have know way of predicting the future, but if things don't end up going as planned, you've just made any outcome besides "perfect health" sound like a negative one.
4. "Everything Happens For A Reason."
Along the same lines of not wanting bring the future baby's health into question, it's really not a good idea to tell a pregnant woman that "everything happens for a reason." While it may sound like a sweet compliment to reassure a worried pregnant woman, it's not.
If something has gone wrong, whether with the mother of the unborn baby, there's an odd implication that it was supposed to happen because there is some unseen purpose behind it. Sometimes the best thing you can do isn't to say something, it's to offer a silent shoulder to cry on.
5. "You're So Cute When You Waddle/Sit/Get Up, etc."
There are a lot of strange things that happen to a woman's body when she's pregnant. And the vast majority of these things are uncontrollable, too. So, yes, she may be walking or moving differently than she once did, and while you may think it's endearing, it's not a compliment to draw attention to her new way of getting around. Trust me, most pregnant women are painfully aware of just how silly they look when they're trying to bend over or gracefully get off a low couch. They don't need your reminder that they resemble a penguin or a turtle on its back.
6. "I Hope The Baby Gets Your ____!"
This one may seem like a compliment because you're saying that the pregnant woman has beautiful features, but what happens when the baby gets the father's nose or eyes instead? Or what if the child has some physical attributes that are unique to them? You might think you're flattering the mother-to-be by telling her that her eyes, mouth, hair, or whatever would be a coveted trait for her baby to inherit, but in reality she could think you're implying that her baby won't be as cute if they don't get those qualities.
7. "You Must Be Surprised/Relieved You're Pregnant!"
When news breaks that a woman is pregnant, it's only natural that you might immediately wonder if her pregnancy was planned or not. But most people understand it's best to keep those speculations to yourself.So if you imply she's surprised — even in a happy way — about the pregnancy, it could come off like you think she wasn't careful enough to prevent it from happening.
Conversely, if the woman in question is on the older side or has been married for several years, to say that she must feel relieved she finally got pregnant is dangerous. You don't know if she had a long battle with fertility and it's also not a good idea to insinuate that a woman won't feel complete until she has a child.