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The 6 stupidest things said to me while pregnant

A pregnant woman with a post-it note on her belly saying it is not twinsAll up, I have been pregnant for 113 weeks now.

I’m kind of fed up with the bump small talk. And people are stupid.

Well, perhaps that’s the hormones and aching hips talking. People are well-meaning and kind and want to show their interest in my gestational journeys … by saying the stupidest things. Baby brain is a real thing and apparently us knocked-up types are infecting the nation.

“Please, do me a favour. Don’t wash your breasts with soap.”

Seriously! My first pregnancy, before my first (atrocious) birth experience and before I was truly aware that pregnant women’s bodies are a public forum for personal and political commentary. Before I knew that motherhood was a humbling, uniting, universal experience.

Favour? Soap? Breasts? My breasts?

I wish I could tell you this was a grandmotherly type who had known me all my life or a medical professional. Alas, no.

Canteen lady. Her name started with a ‘J’ … Joyce, Jane, Joss?? And there she was, effectively a nameless stranger, asking favours of my breasts. The worst part? I didn’t disregard her. I thought about her every time I had a shower during the rest of my pregnancy and the penny didn’t drop what she was even on about until after I had tried breastfeeding.

“Is this the baby’s head?”

Context? The asker was cupping my right breast at the time… in her defence, the asker was four and made me laugh.

“Are you sure there aren’t two in there?”

Yup. Pretty flipping sure but thank you for drawing attention to my rapid expansion. And you are hilarious!

“Don’t you know what causes that yet?”

Regularly throughout my third pregnancy, I have been asked this mostly by middle-aged men who I work with.

“Starting to catch on,” I smile wryly with my most diplomatic response. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Once – just once – I’d like to say, “I think it might be the unprotected sex with my husband” and then wait for them to be scarred, or at least appropriately embarrassed, by the mental image.

“You should get another hobby.”

I don’t think so. I clearly enjoy it.

“He should get the snip.”

Yup and he will. I’m sure he’d like to discuss that with you in greater detail.

Post Script: I currently work at the same institution as my husband, in an almost identical job and he has never heard a single one of these pregnancy comments. Not one, not once. Ah, the privileges of being a pregnant woman!

Image credit: kaarsten/123RF Stock Photo

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Adrienne Buckingham

About Adrienne Buckingham

Adrienne is an optimistic traveller who, while seeking a life less ordinary, settled herself in the suburbs of New Zealand. She is a mother to three girls under 5, a stepmother ...

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4 comments so far -

  1. Great article and I experience this almost everyday. Had a guy at work state how much weight I was putting on, I bluntly turned around and said “I’m pregnant, what’s your excuse” safe to say he has never said anything about my weight since. Little does he know I’ve only put on approx 3-4 kilos, everything else is all baby.

  2. Great article! It is incredibly frustrating how you become public property when you’re pregnant, and everyone has something to say. Go well – you’re almost out of the woods!

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