Mothers truly do deserve more respect. We LITERALLY would not be here without them, and yet, people STILL try to take away women's agency over their bodies. People somehow think they can say whatever they want to women with child, like commenting on their weight or already judging their parenting style. It's truly disrespectful. Read on to find out the most insulting things people have said to women during pregnancy.
Content has been edited for clarity.
"Our son was only a few months old when I started getting asked, 'So when are you having baby number two?' People would react so strangely when either my husband or I would say we weren't having anymore kids...
Either we'd get, 'But you have to give him [our son] a little brother!' or they'd be dismissive, 'Oh you'll have another one eventually, just give it time.'
The worst was when people I didn't even know that well (or at all) would demand to know why not. It's not a conversation I really wanted to have with complete strangers. I didn't want to have to tell them I almost died to have the child we do have and would be putting my life at a huge risk if we tried to have a second. Besides, that's not something you should go around asking people anyways... for all they know, I could have had multiple miscarriages and our son was a miracle IVF baby (that's not what happened, but for all they knew, it could have been). A conversation like that could have been very upsetting for a couple struggling with fertility issues, and it's definitely too personal to discuss with someone you barely know."
"My sister-in-law texted my husband out of the blue asking if I was pregnant. I was only 8 weeks and my husband and I agreed that we weren’t going to tell anybody until I was out of my first trimester, so this put him in an awkward position. He decided to go ahead and tell her the truth because he didn’t want to lie to her. Meanwhile, I was furious because now this was no longer just between my husband and I, and I was angry because she was so incredibly nosy.
This all happened while I was at work. When I get home, my husband tells me the rest of the story. Now, my sister-in-law works at a local bank, which I happened to have an account at. While she was at work, she decided to look up my account to see if I had changed my last name to my husband’s yet (we were recently married). While she was on my account, she looked at what I had recently purchased and saw a bunch of baby related purchases. THIS is why she asked him out of nowhere. I. WAS. FURIOUS.
My husband and I were both incredibly angry with her, and she didn’t understand why because she 'didn’t do it on purpose.' Are you kidding me? Needless to say, I stopped using the account and closed it immediately.
She also felt the need to ask him if we knew I was pregnant before we got married, and if that was why we got married.
Seriously. The AUDACITY of this woman to invade my privacy like that and think she did nothing wrong!"
"Pregnancy brings out the weird in people, for sure...
The security guard at my workplace asked how 'dilated' I was. Yeah, that was reported to HR. He was fired while I was out on maternity leave for making other similarly inappropriate comments to other female employees.
The other one that really makes me chuckle was when I told my boss (who was an otherwise terrific guy) that I was pregnant. It was my second pregnancy and my older son was two at the time, so it wasn't like they were back-to-back pregnancies. Before he said, 'Good news' or 'Congratulations,' he blurted out, 'Was it planned?'
I was taken aback and just said, 'Well, as much as you can plan these things.' I think the 'What the heck?' look on my face let him know he was more than a little off-base. He quickly recovered and said, 'Congratulations, I'm so happy for you, etc.' He was normally a great guy, so I think he just had a momentary lapse of judgment.
The final thing was people trying to tell me how far along my pregnancy was! Now, mind you, my kids were both IVF babies, so I knew the time of their conceptions to the minute. I'm not a petite person and my husband is built like a linebacker at 6'4" and 250, so, needless to say, our kids are not and never were small. I had a big belly pretty early on. People would ask how far along I was and I'd say '28 weeks' or '32 weeks' or whatever the case was, and they'd argue with me about it, saying there's no way I wasn't gonna have that baby any second because I was so big or asked if I was sure I wasn't having twins. I think they honestly had NO idea how rude they were being! One woman, literally a stranger that struck up a conversation with me in a store, was particularly insistent. I finally just looked her and said, 'Yes, I know when this baby was made. I was there.' That abruptly shut her up (Thank God).
I didn't have a lot of the inappropriate touching that a lot of women get, thank goodness, because I probably would have punched the perpetrator. I think my resting witch face helped with that quite a bit!"
"My husband and I had several miscarriages before we finally had a child. It was no secret that we were having trouble carrying to term. Kind of hard to hide that fact when you are obviously pregnant, and then...suddenly something happens, and no one is excited anymore.
We had finally hit the end of our third trimester, we were just a few short weeks away, and our doctor had assured us that this time everything definitely should go as planned. Two separate people, in two completely different conversations, took it upon themselves to tell me stories of how their friend or relative had lost their child during labor. One actually said the words, 'I know you're excited, but it's important to remember that the baby isn't here yet and anything could happen.'
As if I wanted to hear any of that. What are people thinking?! What makes them think it's okay to say something like that?"
"I’m 36-ish weeks now, but when I was only like 12 ish weeks or so, I wasn’t feeling good and I was tired. It was my day off work, so yes, I was a bit lazy that day. I was hungry and thought I would just go to Little Caesars pizza and get something fast.
So I threw some sweat pants on and put my hair up and left. While I was ordering, the dude at the register looks at me and says, 'You look like you don’t feel good.' Not going to lie, that kinda offended me because what stranger on the job says that?!
I look up at him and I said, 'Yeah, well that’s what happens when you’re pregnant,' hoping that it would give him a cue of what he just said was rude and he should shut up.
Nope. The guy goes on and on about, 'Oh yeah that will definitely do it! You have to provide all those good nutrients for your baby!' He also says to me, 'and later you will have to produce good milk for your baby.'
Did he really just say that? He’s really talking to me about my milk, in public while he’s on the job...I just stood there and stared at him not saying anything hoping that this wasn’t happening. I paid and left and haven’t been back since.
I guess he didn’t ask me about my pregnancy, but that’s the most inappropriate thing that has happened so far."
"My wife was pregnant with our son. As happens with pregnancy, her fingers swelled up and she couldn't wear her wedding ring, so she instead put it on a necklace.
She was at her work cafeteria when some guy starts chatting her up about her pregnancy, and then says, 'You know, Jesus Christ will forgive you for your sins.'
She was a little taken aback exactly what just happened and wanted to escape the situation. She said, 'Excuse me, I have to go find my husband.'
The man looked shocked 'You have a husband?'
She showed him the ring-necklace and said, 'Uh yes...'
He said, 'Oh, I didn't see your ring.'
'Well, it doesn't fit on my hand. I am pregnant, you know.'"
"I’m 5’4” and I had big babies. By the time I was 7 months along, I looked like I was ready to pop. When I was pregnant, I got the ‘Wow! You’re HUGE! You must be having twins!’ all the time. It didn’t help when random people kept trying to touch my stomach.
Another one was made by my OB/GYN doctor. He came in to break my water himself with some sort of instrument. It hurt SO BAD. I was going on 24 hours of trying other labor inducing methods and nothing was working so I was tired, sore, and hurting. After he broke my water, and I was crying from the pain and mixture of everything else, he told me that if I couldn’t handle that pain, then I most likely wouldn't survive childbirth."
"When you’re pregnant, everyone thinks you are now public property. Where you could recede into the faceless background in public before, now you are extremely visible and as such, everyone wants to talk to you about what’s in your stomach and what you’re eating and what you plan on naming the baby and whether you plan on naturally feeding and if you’re prepared for your downstairs to tear, etc. Most of the time, people are well-meaning, but that doesn’t make it any less draining to talk about your body and weight and whatever with every cashier or restaurant patron around you when you just want to go about your business.
When I was pregnant, I gained 50 lbs. I had weighed 115 lbs for 14 years before being pregnant. I had never in my life put on weight, so I wasn’t exactly feeling great about my body after another doctor’s appointment where I found I had gained more for no real reason at all. I went to pick up some groceries afterwards, and an older guy in the produce section asked when I was due. I politely answered, saying it was a month or so away. He looked at me incredulously and said, 'With twins?!'
Because I got that from people who forget what 8 months pregnant looks like all the time, I irritably said, 'Nope, just one!'
He said, 'My wife wasn’t even that big, and she was carrying twins!'
Thankfully, I actually had the wherewithal that time to respond with, 'Wow, that’s a really rude comment to a pregnant woman you don’t even know.'
Most of the time, pregnant women just laugh it off because, despite the fact that those comments are rude, people will dismiss your irritation as 'being hormonal' if you sass back."
'I worked at a hotel and one of the breakfast ladies kept insisting that the baby was another employee's (that employee and I dated, but we had been broken up for almost a year if not longer and I was also married to another man who came to my work often and most everyone knew this info).
She kept commenting things like, 'That's not ya husband's baby, that's [employee's name] baby.' She would also feel my belly and say things like, 'Mmm its gonna take after [employee].'
I get that she was messing around, but more than once it was obvious no one really appreciated the joke. Especially since she did it in front of guests a few times, it really just irked me. There was no reason for anyone to believe it was his baby, beyond the fact that we we used to date and we were still friends, which isn't enough reason to me.
I'm also 21, so people always tell me I'm too young to be married with a baby. A lot of people have opinions on the age. They say I should've waited until to have a baby, I'm throwing away my 20s, I'll regret not being able to party, I'm too young to know what a baby needs, etc. I co-sleep and A LOT of people have opinions on that and they try to persuade me not to. A lot of people, especially my mom, try to tell me how to raise my baby or how to treat her. I feel like if I were a little older they wouldn't do that, or if my husband were here they would hold back on telling me what to do.
Everyone I talk to says I'm doing great considering the circumstances and that I'm a natural at it; people compliment me and tell me how calm she is and that it's because i'm so calm and that's so great. But then turn right around and tell me I need to not hold her so much or that I need to let her sleep alone.
Sorry for the rant, I've been holding onto this for a bit now."
"I am pregnant with my second baby and I have an almost two year old son that still nurses quite frequently. When my husband and I told his dad and his dad's wife that we were expecting again, she asked me if I was going to wean my son because 'he will steal all of the nutrients from the baby.'
I was really annoyed by that because if I was an idiot, I might have believed her and stressed myself out about it. I am planning to wean my son before the baby comes. But not because he's stealing all of the nutrients (because he's freaking not). It's because I'm tired and I really don't feel like feeding a baby and a toddler at the same time.
So far it hasn't bothered him at all. I'm slowly cutting him down and offering cows milk, water and food whenever he wants a feed. It doesn't always work, but he is having less than he used to."
"With my daughter, after she was born, she refused to eat for 48 hours. She would just scream and kick. They would syringe a little milk into her mouth and she would throw it up. I couldn't feed because of this for almost a week, and my milk never really came in. I was making, at my absolute peak, 2 oz a DAY. Pumping every 3 hours around the clock, 24 hours a day for almost 3 months. I tried every herbal remedy, every wives tale, every recipe I could get my hands on. Eventually, I gave up and I was really heartbroken. I spent weeks crying and depressed trying to cope with the fact that the one thing you're supposed to be able to provide as a parent, I couldn't. Not knowing what was wrong with me is still is a sore spot with me.
I'm currently pregnant with my son. A few weeks ago, I went to WIC in a new city and the lady, who was a counselor there, asked me if I naturally fed my daughter. I told her no and explained the story. She proceeded to argue with me saying that wasn't how it worked and people don't just 'not lactate.' She accused me of lying and went on a huge, 10 minute speech about the importance of nursing.
Then she asked me, 'Did you even bother to try?' and kept asking if I was even going to put out the effort to try with my son, unlike what I did with my daughter.
I have never in my life been so insulted by a question.
I think the worst part was she insinuated I was just being lazy after I ran myself into the ground trying to feed my daughter.
The WIC people in the town I moved out from were really nice and supportive, but this lady was just downright rude the whole time."
"I used to work at an auction market. The people there are very over-involved in other peoples lives. My boyfriend also works there. When we got pregnant the first time, we told everyone right away to keep me away from dangerous cattle, situations, etc. So when I had a miscarriage, we told them about it, I took two weeks off while my hero boyfriend fielded most of the horrible task of continuing life. I came back part time for maybe a month before quitting completely. He still works there.
I gave an old, greasy coworker a ride to the mall the other day. He asked how far along I am now: 22 weeks! Word for word, this is what he says: 'Congrats! Are you happy you made it farther this time?'
No duh, I'm happy, jerk. I could have hit him in the grocery store. My boyfriend and I laughed it off because the guy might be a little senile. Now, we are working on disconnecting from those people as much as possible."
"I'm currently 21 weeks with a baby boy. People asking, 'Was it planned?' is one I get a LOT of now.
Yes, baby was planned, but I had a small chance of carrying long enough to make it to a dating scan because of hormonal issues and previous scarring.
Touching the belly without asking is constant and I actually slapped an old coworker who came up behind me and did that with no warning.
Someone told me, 'You have two boys already, you should have gotten an abortion. You can always have another later.' Yeah, I actually got this one. The boys aren't mine (partner's previous relationship), and freak judgmental old hag can go bug off. God, it made me so mad.
Also the whole, 'I'm going to be the godparent/present for the birth/your support person for birth/etc riiiiiight?!' Ughhhh.
I also got asked by same old coworker if I could still see down there to shave or if I needed a hand (with suggestive eyebrow wriggle). He got reported to HR, so hopefully I don't have to see him again!"
"I have some disabilities (I can't walk without a stick or crutch), but I lead as normal a life as possible. I'm currently 36 weeks pregnant, so it's pretty obvious. As soon as I started to show, I have been asked more than once whether someone 'like me' should be having a baby (none of my issues are hereditary, we made sure of that before conceiving).
I've been questioned about if I'm taking any medication. I've also been told I'm going to give birth to a crippled/deformed monster because I'm still on some (as soon as I conceived, I saw my doctor and stopped any meds that would cause issues).
I've also had people express surprise that I'm capable of doing the dirty, or that my husband wanted it with me.
Getting pregnant didn't affect me much at first. I didn't get some pelvic girdle pain around 20 weeks, but as I have lower back issues it wasn't anything unbearable. However, since 28 weeks, the pelvic pain has gradually increased and my mobility has taken a hit. The main problem being if I use two crutches to walk, it vastly relieves the pelvic pain, but it tires me out extremely quickly. If I only use one crutch I don't get the same relief, but I can move around longer. My balance hasn't been an issue.
I knew I'd have a harder time during pregnancy than most, but I was prepared for it. Hopefully, once my little one has arrived, the PGP should rectify itself fairly quickly. And I'm still on course for a natural birth, though obviously if it became necessary to have a c-section, I'm not going to turn it down. Whatever is best for both the baby and myself."
"After we lost our first baby in the first trimester, we ended up having a D&C done. The procedure failed and I was left bleeding badly for almost 3 months. My doctor either didn't believe me or thought that things would get better on their own. I don't know why I didn't just go find another doctor. I was depressed and already so defeated, but I did keep calling their office and complaining.
Finally, they sent me in for an ultrasound. The tech just says, 'Wow. There's a lot of stuff in there!' Like ya, it used to be my baby. Now it's just stuff. Okay. Doc has me back in for an quick in-office procedure to try to remove all the 'stuff.' She didn't get everything. I end up passing the rest of our baby/placenta myself about a month later. Healed up fine with time and lots of support from my amazing husband.
We now have a feisty/joyful toddler and another baby on the way. We see a different doctor and I'm a bit more savvy about sticking up for myself."
"Someone asked me if was I sad I gave my baby up for adoption.
Yes, of course I was, but I wasn't allowed to grieve as it was my choice. I was in an abusive relationship, had no where to live, and I couldn't give him the life he deserved.
27 years later, I still I think of him every day. As it was an adoptive case, I needed a caesarean and they wouldn't do it because I'd have to stay in the hospital longer. I had to have reconstructive surgery because he was too big and had meconium in his lungs.
The staff was vile to me; did they think this is what I wanted? The pain never goes away. Even now, I wonder what he is like, but it was a hard time for me. I just hope he's doing okay."
"I told my mom the other day that this was my first and last pregnancy. I'm tired, uncomfortable, and I've had shingles and gestational diabetes. It has been a rollercoaster, but not in a good way. My husband and I also agree that we cannot afford another child, so we are happy with the one.
My mom said that I was being incredibly selfish for deciding that. How dare I listen to my own body and be financially responsible?!
All because she wants more than one grandchild...
Again, who is being selfish here?!"