How to Handle Unsolicited Pregnancy Advice and Rude Comments

It’s bound to happen. You’re pregnant, and suddenly the whole world feels the need to tell you what you should or should not be doing or make some kind of derogatory comment. I’ve been there. As this is my sixth pregnancy, I’ve dealt with more rude comments and more unsolicited advice than most people. (Of course, now I deal more with just the rude comments. Apparently people figure that if I’ve been pregnant six times, I can do without the unsolicited advice, but still feel the need to give their opinion.)

In this post, I’m going to share some of those terrible comments with you, tell you how to respond, and what to say when someone gives you advice that you just don’t want to hear.

  • Comments about your size. I have heard them all. “Wow. You look ready to pop!” “Are you sure you’re not having twins?” “Just how much weight have you gained?” “You’re not due for 3 more months? Are you sure?” “Your butt is huge. You must be having a boy.” “I think you need to stay away from the ice cream for awhile.” “I can tell you’re pregnant just by looking at your face.” I’ve even had a complete stranger grab my belly (in the middle of Walmart, mind you!) and exclaim, “My gosh! How many babies are in there?” UGH. People are mean. And just downright stupid. You’re already suffering from hormones in overdrive, and now people feel the need to tell you that you’re humongous? What’s up with that? With my last pregnancy, I was really swollen because of the pre-eclampsia, and it was then that the guy (YES, GUY!) grabbed my stomach and asked how many babies were in there. I was so enraged that I grabbed his belly and said, “And how many are in here?” He walked away, mumbling to his wife about how rude I was, but man, it felt good. If someone makes a comment about your size, weight, or appearance, you have a few options: 1. Shrug it off. Now, I know this isn’t easy. You’re pregnant. You’re hormonal. You want to be perfect. But if you can remember that people are idiots and leave it at that, you are my hero. 2. Be rude back. Much like I was with the touchy-feely guy. If you’ve got the guts, go for it. You’ll make them see that they’re being just as rude by making a comment to you. 3. Burst into tears and make them feel really bad. I’ve actually done this, too. Eventually, you reach your breaking point and you either cry or snap back in anger. Crying can make those idiots feel really, really guilty.
  • Comments about the number of children you have. SIGH. When you get married, the day after the wedding, the questions start, “So, when are you planning on having kids?” “You are planning on having kids, right?” And then you start having them. Then, the comments change. “Another baby? Are you crazy?” “Did you plan this baby?” “Did you plan to have so many babies?” “Are they all yours?” “You do know what causes that, right?” To that question, depending on who it was that made it, I’ve come to respond with, “Yep. And apparently my sex life is pretty good. How’s yours?” Now, there are people that I cannot say that to. Church is probably not the place for a comment like that. To those people, I silently nod my head and just change the subject. In today’s world of 2.3 kids, (how does one have .3 of a kid, anyway?), when they see large families (more than 3 kids), they feel the need to question your desire to have a large family. They just don’t get it. And, honestly? I don’t think they ever will. Usually, they can’t control their 1 or 2 kids, and couldn’t imagine having more, so why would someone choose to have lots of kids? Don’t feel the need to defend your decision to have more kids. It’s none of their business, and you have free range to do what you want here with there comments. You can nod and smile, or you can come back with a snappy remark. Just know that you’re not going to change their mind on the number of kids they think you should have, and it’s really not worth the breath it would take to even try.
  • Comments about your choice for the baby’s name. Comments of this type are the reason why I will no longer tell anyone the baby’s name until he or she is born. When my husband and I were pregnant with our first baby together, and we discovered that it was a boy, we fought and fought over the perfect boy’s name. After weeks of arguing, we finally found a name that we both loved: Zander. It was trendy, unique, but not off-the-wall. We were so excited that we had finally picked a name that we immediately told everyone we knew. His family didn’t say much. In fact, they really didn’t say anything at all. My family, however, felt the need to let me know exactly how they felt about the name. “Zander? What is that? Is that a name?” “Where did you come up with that?” “Why would you name him that?” “Oh. You like those kind of names.” After hearing comments like that through my entire pregnancy, I vowed that if I ever had any more kids, no one would know the name until after it was on the birth certificate. Of course, it’s not just limited to pregnancy. There are just so many kinds of idiots out there. A few days after Zander was born, hubby and I went to Walmart. He went to pull the car up while I finished checking out. The cashier told me how cute he was and asked what his name was. I proudly declared “Zander.” She looked at me like I had just said “Princess Consuela Banana-hammock.” She then went on to ask me, “What’s his middle name?” I told her it was “William” after my father who had passed away. Her response was, “Thank God you gave him a normal middle name. At least he can go by that when he gets older and not be stuck with a horrible name like Zander.” I kid you not, those were her exact words. I walked away in tears, and hubby threatened to go back in and give her a piece of his mind. Instead, we just left. Again, there’s not much that you can say to these people. They think every baby should be named Jennifer and Micheal. Which, is fine, just not my taste. Just know that if it’s your family that has an issue with the name, they’ll get over it. They’re going to love that baby no matter what you call him or her.
  • Comments on what you’re eating. Yes, people really feel the need to chime in over things like this. They’ll see you eating a brownie and condemn you to hell for it. (By the way, did you know that studies have been done, and if mom samples just a taste of chocolate every day of her pregnancy, babies are born happier? Use that comment as a comeback.) Or, they’ll give you their thoughts on eating blue cheese, salty potato chips, honey, lunch meat, hot dogs… the list goes on and on. Talk to your doctor about what’s safe to eat and what’s not, and go from there. And a little brownie now and then isn’t going to hurt a thing. Just don’t eat the entire box, or you may get more comments on your weight. It’s a vicious cycle.
  • Comments about the horrors of pregnancy and childbirth. For some reason, seeing a pregnant woman makes other women that have had children have this crazy desire to tell the newly pregnant woman how horrible their pregnancy and childbirth experience was. I have no idea why this is. If someone starts talking about how horrible things were for them, just chime in that you’re sorry they went through that, but you’re hoping for the best. Or, put your hands over your ears and run away screaming. Either option will work.
  • Comments about what’s to come. I love (note: sarcasm) the comments like, “If you breastfeed, you’ll burn 500 calories a day.” Yes, but did you also know that by burning those extra 500 calories, you will constantly feel hungry? Breastfeeding is not a magic source for weight loss. I’ve breastfed 5 of my kids, and have struggled each time with losing weight. For some it happens, for others it doesn’t. Don’t let it be the reason you choose to breastfeed or not. Or how about, “Sleep now, because you’ll never sleep again.” SIGH. I’m pregnant, can’t find a comfortable position to sleep in, and get up 10 times a night to pee. How on earth am I supposed to sleep now? Or questions like “You’re not going to co-sleep are you?” “You didn’t put a bumper in baby’s crib, did you?” “Are you only going to feed the baby organic baby food?” “Cloth diapers or disposable?” Everyone has an opinion on everything. What you need to remember is that everything will fall into place. You will find what works for you and your family. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks if it works for you. Just tell these people that you’re “still debating” and leave it at that.

These are just a few of the many, many types of comments pregnant women can expect to hear. I hope you realize that the world is full of idiots, and as pregnant women, we just have to deal with them. Invest now in custom made t-shirts. I’ve found one that says “Hands off!” with an arrow pointing to my belly. I’m also looking for one that says, “Yes, they’re all mine.” And another that says, “No, I’m not having twins.” It’s a subtle way to shut them up before they even start with the comments. Hmm…. maybe I should design a shirt that has every response imaginable all over it. Then I can just point to the proper response before they even start!

Has someone made a comment to you? How did you handle it? Got any more tips or advice you’d like to share? Leave a comment here and encourage those pregnant mamas to stand up for themselves!

Angie Vinez (2893 Posts)

Angie is a wife and mother to 8. Her life revolves around cooking, cleaning, laundry, and other household duties. She is passionate about her life in Christ and wants to encourage other mothers in their own walk of faith. Angie is active on many social media networks, loves technology, photography, and graphic design, and loves creating blog designs for other mom bloggers.



Comments

  1. 1

    I have 3 children, and I always hear "Wow, you've got your hands full" everywhere I go. I don't think 3 kids is that many, but apparently some people do. I never say these things to other people. If I saw a large family, if I'd say anything I'd say "wow, what a beautiful family…you are so blessed!".

  2. 2

    I'm 23 and honestly have zero desire to have kids EVER. That's just me. I'm just not a mommy person… I take birth control pills on time every single day for the past 5 years and never had a problem. So if it's working for me, I'll keep doing it forever. lol. I have a problem with families that have like 10+ kids, I think that's waaaay overdoing it. Unless they're rich! I bet those kids are crazy expensive! I have no desire for kids. I want to live my life with my boyfriend and travel and shop and go out ect… We're not the settling down type. I feel that people think we're extremely weird or laugh at us like we're gonna change our mind tomorrow, but that's not true. I've been thinking this way since I was old enough to think about kids! Everything about pregnancy, labor, taking care of kids, does not apply to my brain. lol. -runs away- Everyone expects me and my boyfriend to get married, but we have no plans for that either anytime soon. I get tired of people asking us when we're getting married or think we already did. Most of the people I knew in highschool and graduated… A year later almost all of them got married and had at least once kid! Some even have 3! I'm just not ready for that and never will be. =p

    • 3

      I hate family & friends that make assumptions & comments about major life decisions! I had so much frustration with people asking why we didn’t have kids yet, when we planned to, if we wanted them(the list goes on!) that now that I am pregnant I don’t even want to tell our family! I feel like the repeatly crossed the line & made me feel very uncomfortable about a decision that wasn’t there’s to comment on. I just don’t even want to open up and give them the chance to push my buttons now & it stinks because I am over the moon excited for this!!

  3. 4

    The comments just about did me in when I was pregnant. I was still waiting for it to get really horrible when they had me start pushing. I thought, why are they having me do this, it's not like I'm having the baby or anything (because it hadn't gotten that HORRIBLE yet). When she came out, I did feel it, but they handed her to me and I said, "What's that? Is that mine?" I was so shocked that I could actually do it lol.

    With eating, I too had

  4. 5

    I have been married for 14 years, we have two daughters. A dark-haired brunette and a blonde with blue eyes – I just LOVED being asked by a mom in the grocery store if they had the same father! I wanted to say, "No, I get around." But, I just said, "Yes, same dad."
    (not a pregnancy story, but had to share!) 🙂

  5. 6

    No the no. one stupid comment in my book is after you've had the baby, haven't lost the baby weight yet and you're in the store with baby in tow and an idiot says "How far are you along?"
    Ugh, see newborn baby in car seat in cart?
    I think it's fun to come back with, "I'm in my 39th month, how about you?"

  6. 7

    I've had people say, "Are you okay? You look small for where you're at in your pregnancy…" AND "Are you sure that isn't twins in there?" I don't know what they're thinking! lol I am huge and don't want to be but it's not really something I can help. I can't believe a strange guy touched your stomach! You should have sprayed him with hairspray or something as a defensive measure. LOL What is it about being pregnant that makes people feel they have the right to do that?

    Oh and the childbirth stories – I looooooooooove those. It was especially helpful during my first pregnancy when I was terrified already. haha

  7. 8

    P.S. Maybe we're meant to learn patience in pregnancy? I mean, we're extra sensitive and people seem to be less sensitive. It's a testing time in our lives for sure. hehe

    To any mommas suffering from the comments, just try to keep your sense of humor – laugh at them! Later you'll be able to laugh at it, most likely. 🙂

  8. 9

    Dear Angie, I must say that having many kids is as difficult as having just one or none. I have just one, my dear Pedro, and it is my choice to have just him. And it is not that it is "that" hard, nor that I have nay problem controlling him, not even that my sex life is not good. It is just what my life style (constant moving), my pocket (educating a kid in my home country is very expensive, and homeschooling is not allowed), and my time (I work 50 hours a week, and so does my husband) can afford. Is it bad? Not at all. I love my son more than anything else, and I want to do all that I can for him and his future. I do respect who decides to have a big blessed family, but I want my choice to be respected too. And believe, people with more than one child can be very annoying… They want you to have as much as they have!!! Come on! Once I said: you have your own womb, go and get another baby yourself! Not pretty, I know. But am I asking too much?

  9. 10

    I found this website by coincidence and I am happy that I found it. I have four children ages 12, 11, 8, and 3. I am 19 weeks pregnant with my fifth child and have struggled with this pregnancy. It hasnt been difficult physically and I am not in maternity clothes yet but mentally it is trying. I have not been asked too many times if I am pregnant because nobody has really noticed yet. When I announce that I am expecting, people are in utter shock and say either that I dont look old enough to have children or they tell me I look amazing in the sense that I am not obese. I know I should feel excited about being pregnant this time around but I cant even bring myself to tell my own mother for fear that she will reject me. This has not been the case for my other pregnancies but she knows times have been tough economically for me as well. I have my ultrasound tomorrow and I pray that after seeing this beautiful soul that I created, I will find peace and strength.

  10. 11

    I came across your post in an email today. I’m pregnant with my 6th and am dealing with the most horrible comments… mostly about family size. I’m always looking for some better comments to respond with. My husband and I are so happy, but almost everyone else.. horrified!
    I just don’t get it. The most common one now is, “You’re not pregnant again, are you?” sigh

    • 12

      Congratulations on your new baby to be!

      The comments are just awful, and it hurts when it’s about family size. What do people expect us to do, give up one (or more) of our children? I think not.

      I understand that having a large family isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to condemn those of us who do want a large family.

      I’m excited for you. Big families are SUCH a blessing, and you and I will know more love than most people can only imagine.

      If you EVER need to talk, I’m here!

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