Weird things people say when you're pregnant


A pregnant tummy and a new baby are a magnet for people to pry into your personal business.  Here are some of the interesting things I’ve been asked or told, soon you’ll have your own list. 

Are you offended because you know I’ve had sex or do boeps offend you in general?

"You should buy looser maternity clothes, you can see that you’re pregnant in that". Said to me by numerous people, colleagues, strangers, friends’ parents.

I was not aware that clothing was adjusted to hide a pregnancy, I thought it was adjusted so that it would fit around a changing pregnant body (not that our chain store maternity departments realise this, they make sack shaped clothing only). It's not as if I was wearing a cat suit, I wore maternity business suits, jeans, swing tops and dresses. I’m not embarrassed to be pregnant. I’m sorry pregnancy offends you, but I’m not going to hide my bump because it offends you. You won’t die from being offended, I promise. 

If you breastfed it was easy for you and you’re making a statement by feeding your hungry baby. 

I’ve been sitting quietly breastfeeding, minding my own business and been verbally attacked by people who have gone out of their way to find me and tell me not to make them feel guilty, it isn't as easy for everyone else.

Mmmmkay. Breastfeeding is a learnt skill, like all parts of parenting, it doesn't just happen like magic. I had to battle low supply from a breast reduction, I had to battle “booby traps” from bad advice to feed on a schedule and limit time at the breast (meaning baby takes in too little milk). The first 6 weeks were quite an adjustment (regardless of how you feed your baby, those first 6 weeks are a time of huge adjustment and learning), though thankfully I was spared any pain as latching went well. You made a different choice to me or you didn't have access to good information and support, or you just hated it or didn't want to do it, not sure how that translates to me making you feel guilty by sitting in a quiet corner of a restaurant feeding my baby. Imagine the outcry if I marched up to formula feeding fathers and told them they were making me feel guilty because someone else was taking a turn to feed the baby and give mom a break? 

You’re just playing dolls! 

Well, it’s my baby.  I’ve never heard of anyone, lying on his or her death bed, who says to the family gathered round “you know, I really wish I’d held my babies less”. 

I was 27 when I had my first child, not that my age really matters when it comes to sniffing the top of my dear baby’s head.  I loved staring at his beautiful face, perfect little hands, snuggling him and enjoying getting to know him. I think the technical term is bonding. I don’t think I’ll ever understand this sentiment.  

You’d better name your child the names I, a perfect stranger like. 

When asked, sometimes I say we haven’t decided, and sometimes I make up outlandish names – Marmaduke, Gertrude, Fabio, Agnes.

A complete stranger doesn't like the name we’ve chosen? Thanks, I’ll factor that in (not). You might love the names I don’t like, but that’s okay, it’s your child (see?).

I hope you’ll have a natural birth without an epidural!

From complete strangers, and well, pretty much everyone else too. 

I think that the decisions my doctor and I make about my body and my child’s body are none of your business.  Personally I wanted natural births and had uncomplicated, natural births and it all worked out.  But, what if my baby had gone into distress or there was a cord prolapse, or baby’s shoulder or head was stuck or I was just so terrified of natural birth or of indignity that I didn't want to go through it? Is this anyone else’s business? These decisions are taken with due consideration to risk and medical history and personal preferences, unless you know mine in detail, the topic isn't up for discussion. 

What have you been asked or told that has done nothing but make you shake your head?

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

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