9 Things The Pregnancy Police Actually Said To Me

Ad failed to load

The first time it happened I was standing in line at Starbucks. I told the barista my order and the person behind me said, "Better make that decaf." I turned around expecting to see a friend making a joke (because I never order decaf), but discovered a stranger instead. I had received my first ticket from the pregnancy police. Since then, I have received comments, unsolicited advice, and questions from friends and strangers alike. I'm honestly no longer shocked at the things the pregnancy police actually said to me when I was pregnant.

Over the years these pregnancy citations have come in all forms, from concern trolling — seemingly well-intentioned advice about my or my baby's health or wellbeing that is really subtly shaming me for what I am or am not doing — to asking "innocent" questions about my body, my pregnancy, and my parenting plans. It seems like there's something about pregnancy that makes even the most reasonable people think they have the right to deputize themselves as officers of the pregnancy police and tell pregnant people what to do.

It's so not cool, because no matter how helpful you think you are, my body belongs to me and my plans for pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting are none of your freaking business. From now on, I think it's time that pregnant people start resisting arrest and for the pregnancy police to discover their right to remain silent.

Ad failed to load

"Don't Eat That"


Many of the comments I received from the pregnancy police over the years have had to do with food. Now, I understand that there are foods that could be dangerous for me to consume during pregnancy. However, those conversations are for me and my doctor, not for me and the store clerk, server, or some random person on the street.

A piece of "friendly" advice: don't get between a pregnant woman and the food she wants to eat, because that could be harmful to your health.

"You Need To Eat More"

It's funny that people both told me to diet and to eat more during pregnancy, proving once again that pregnant women can't do anything right. I had hyperemesis gravidarum my last two pregnancies, which basically meant that I was vomiting 10 times a day and had to take medications to avoid dehydration, weight loss, and well, dying, while pregnant. So, comments about what or how much I ate got so old, so fast.

"You Should Only Eat 'Clean' Food"


During each of my pregnancies I eventually reached a point where I ate whatever I could keep down, which typically meant salt and vinegar potato chips, Handi-snacks, and Sour Patch Kids. This meant lots of judgmental looks and comments from the pregnancy police about how eating "clean" is better for baby. What does that even mean, anyway? Eating clean? It seems like just another way to shame moms, which really sucks.

Ad failed to load

"How Much Weight Have You Gained?"

When is it ever appropriate to ask someone if they've gained weight? Never. The answer is never. Pregnancy does not make it OK to fat shame or concern troll people. No matter how much you think it's about their health, it's really not.

"That's Not Safe"


Unless you're my doctor, it's not your job to talk to me about safety. I don't care if I am running a race, teaching a cycling class, lifting weights, or balancing one leg in yoga class (all of which I have done while pregnant). I don't care if it makes you uncomfortable. I am not a delicate flower, and you have zero authority as the pregnancy police.

"Don't Drink That"

It sometimes feels like society thinks they need to protect pregnant people from themselves, but if I want to have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine while pregnant I can choose to do so. It's my body, and this is not The Handmaid's Tale. Well, not yet anyway. I get to decide.

Ad failed to load

"You Should Deliver Vaginally"


Please don't question or attempt to dictate my birth choices, especially when they involve my vagina. It's none of your freaking business, my doctor and I will make that call when the time comes, and besides, that's my vagina we are talking about. Boundaries.

"You Should Try..."

It seems like everyone had advice for me about my pregnancy, birth plans, and baby. I got completely overwhelmed, because it turns out that different members of the pregnancy police force have different ideas about the "right" way to be pregnant, give birth, and parent. It's literally impossible to follow all of the unsolicited advice thrown your way when you're growing another human being inside your body.

"Don't You Love Your Baby?"


It sometimes feels like the pregnancy police will say anything to guilt or shame pregnant people about their choices. It's never OK to question someone's love for their child in order to pressure them into seeing or doing things your way. Especially when it's about something as subjective or benign as whether a pregnant person should have a latte.

Somehow, we have to reach a balance between people receiving the information they need to make healthy choices during their pregnancies, and having the ability to make those choices free from the gaze and unwanted comments of the pregnancy police. Like seriously, just stop trying to make policing other people's bodies a thing.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

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

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