Courtesy of De Elizabeth Gleason

I'm Pregnant, But Please, For The Love Of God, Stop Telling Me I'm "Glowing"

Ad failed to load

There are several things that people love saying to pregnant women. There's "whoa, are you expecting twins!" (No. I am not.) There's "Can I touch your belly?" (No, stranger, you cannot.) But there’s one “compliment” that comes up again and again. When people say it, it's with the best of intentions, yet it’s annoying AF. And that is when people tell pregnant women they're "glowing."

To be clear, “pregnancy glow” is not a myth. Thanks to increased hormones and blood flow, there are some women who might experience a dewy complexion, an effect that is basically akin to using the greatest highlighter ever. But, let’s be real, this is not what a lot of pregnant women. Personally speaking, my skin has decided to regress to its middle school state, and I’ve basically been broken out for the past seven months. Also, I’m exhausted from carrying around a legit bowling ball all day. So when you tell me that I’m "glowing," you and I both know the truth: it’s most likely sweat, and it’s really not all that sexy.

Courtesy of De Elizabeth
Ad failed to load

I’ve received this comment on several occasions: in fact, the receptionist at the nail salon said it to me this morning. Every time I hear it, I know that it’s complete BS. I have a working mirror; I know what I look like. So if there is any inkling of a “glow,” it’s because I spent 20 minutes applying a full face of contour makeup before going out. That’s it: no magic, no hormones, no pregnancy beauty voodoo.

If I have any inkling of a “glow,” it’s because I spent 20 minutes applying a full face of contour makeup before going out. That’s it: no magic, no hormones, no pregnancy beauty voodoo.

I know people mean well when they offer up this comment, as it seems like a “safe” way to comment on a pregnant woman’s appearance. That’s not to say that there aren’t people who will blurt out, “You’re huge!” or ask if someone is carrying twins when she’s just nearing the end of her third trimester. Those people are out there, and they're terrible. But to the oblivious outsider, “glowing” is a flattering word, a way to tell a pregnant woman that she looks good. But when a compliment doesn’t sit well with the recipient, is it really a compliment at all?

Ad failed to load
Courtesy of De Elizabeth

Obviously, everyone has a different experience with pregnancy. There are some women who love every second of their pregnancy and feel like a magical goddess during those nine months. But for other people, myself included, pregnancy is a weird time. Your body doesn’t feel like your body. It’s uncomfortable, painful, and altogether foreign. And you know what? That’s OK. In fact, I wish society did a better job of telling women that it’s simply OK to feel gross during pregnancy. That it’s OK to not feel like a fluttering pixie embracing her physical changes with grace and poise. Maybe if there was less pressure on that front, outsiders wouldn’t feel that obligation to comment on a “glow” that simply isn’t there.

You might have the best of intentions when you tell a pregnant woman that she’s glowing, but take a minute to think before you offer this observation. Are you just saying it for the sake of having something to say? Might it be possible that she doesn’t agree with you? Could she feel self-conscious about her appearance to begin with?
Ad failed to load

The underlying point is actually quite straightforward: it’s time to stop commenting on a woman’s appearance, period. Even if you think you’re being flattering, or just trying to be polite, it’s hard to know how a complete stranger will react to someone else offering up their opinion on how she looks. For the record, this should be the rule no matter if a woman is pregnant or not. But pregnancy is an especially personal time for people, and it can already be challenging to have something so intimate be so visible to the outside world. Add in unwanted comments from strangers, and it’s enough to make some people never want to leave their house.

You might have the best of intentions when you tell a pregnant woman that she’s glowing, but take a minute to think before you offer this observation. Are you just saying it for the sake of having something to say? Might it be possible that she doesn’t agree with you? Could she feel self-conscious about her appearance to begin with? Chances are, the answer is “yes” to at least one of those questions, which means you should probably keep that “glowing” comment to yourself. If you really need something to say, try simply asking how she’s feeling. Because ultimately, that matters a lot more than the shimmering nature of her skin.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Umm, Toys "R" Us Has A BOGO 50 Percent Off Deal So You Better Stock Up

After the holidays, you were probably hoping that your kid's massive toy collection would keep him entertained for a little while, at least. But that was wishful thinking, wasn't it? Because now that a couple of months have passed, all those must-hav…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

A Hot Mess Mom's Guide To Surviving Winter

As I sit here at my home office in Connecticut, it's cold. Damn cold. Winter is a rough season in New England and it's even worse when you're a parent and have to manage cooped up, restless children. It's even worse when you're a hot mess as it is, u…
By Jamie Kenney

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

11 Ways Your Pregnancy Will Be Different If You Have A Boy Vs A Girl

If you've been pregnant before, you might start comparing your previous pregnancies to that of your current pregnancy. A lot of things can change from pregnancy to pregnancy, based on a whole host of different factors (including how well you remember…
By Lauren Schumacker

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

8 Reasons I Let My Toddler Play Outside Unsupervised

I'm not a helicopter mom, but I'm not exactly a free-range parent either. I like to think of myself as safely ensconced somewhere in the middle. I insist on certain safety measures, like car seats and helmets. I prefer to keep my 2-year-old in my sig…
By Kimmie Fink

12 Moms Share How They Stay Healthy During Flu Season

Unfortunately, we're in the middle of the roughest flu seasons in recent memory. And we’re not totally out of the woods, either. People around the country are still getting the flu, and, sadly, some of them are having to be hospitalized due to flu-re…
By Priscilla Blossom

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack