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What to Say to a Pregnant Woman

The baby bump. It inspires friends and strangers alike to ask all kinds of questions and offer up endless opinions about your pregnancy, birth plan and future parenting style. There's plenty of talk and articles out there pointing out the dumb, offensive, foot-in-mouth questions and statements that should be avoided in conversation with someone who's expecting. So what should you say to a pregnant woman? How about trying out one of these.

RELATED: 10 Things I Said Today That Reminded Me I Was a Parent

1. Don't worry, I'm not going to ask to touch your belly.

Most women don't like to have their belly palmed, no matter how warm, soft or friendly the hand, and no matter how sweet you sound when you ask it. So how about instead of asking to touch her belly with the accompanying hand out ready to violate, tell her that you aren't even going to ask or go there because you respect her personal space and the common sense notion that NO ONE, especially a tired, hormonal, pregnant woman, wants someone rubbing her belly.

2. You look amazing.

From the swollen ankles to the puffy face to the weight gain and the general feeling of exhaustion, pregnancy is challenging and not always easy to wear. Every pregnant woman would love to hear this. In fact, this kind of statement can totally make her day.

3. Do you want my seat?

Every pregnant woman not only wants to hear this, but should. I was always so appreciative and touched when someone kindly gave up their seat for me on the subway or at the park. How kind, I'd think to myself. Manners are not dead after all. But then one time, while riding a crowded city bus at 8 months pregnant, carrying a laptop on one shoulder and heavy books on the other, it took three stops and me shouting obscenities at the other passengers for someone to finally offer up their seat (out of fear). "What's wrong with people?" I said with a very aggressive look of disgust on my face. Moral of this story: Be the "people" in the first example and offer up your seat, dammit!

4. Do you want me to go get you some donuts?

Oh yeah. You should definitely say this. And always follow it up with, "It is exactly what you need." And "you should have more than one."

5. Want me to watch your 3-year-old while you get some rest?

The "died and gone to heaven" face will be all the thanks you need.

This would be music to the ears of any pregnant woman with other children at home. It's difficult enough to chase, feed, bathe and otherwise care for young children, let alone do it while you are lugging a baby around in your belly, tired as hell. Ask a pregnant friend this question, and just seeing the look on her face, the "died and gone to heaven" face, will be all the thanks you need.

6. Your birth plan is none of my business.

Curious about whether that baby is going to be pushed out the lady parts or delivered C-section? Hold your tongue and don't speak, unless it is to tell her that these details are none of yours or anyone else's business.

7. Have you been working out?

Pregnant women usually don't want to hear about how they look as big as a house ("WOW — you look like you're about to pop!) or how unusually small they look ("Are you sure you're gaining enough weight?). I'm not real sure what the point of those two comments are anyway, apart from making the pregnant woman feel weird. So how about something like "You look like you've been working out!" This indicates that the pregnant woman looks vibrant and healthy, no matter what her actual size. Throw a little love her way and you may see her pregnant waddle turn into a strut.

8. It's no one's damn business if you breastfeed or bottle feed. You'll make the right decision for you.

It is not your baby, and those are not your boobs, so it is none of your business. A pregnant woman always appreciates hearing that other people realize this and are willing to support her in whatever decision she makes and for whatever reasons. Get ready for a high five with this one.

9. Do you want a massage?

Are you an angel? Did you just fall out of the sky and land on my forever good side holding a bottle of scented massage oil? Cue the Enya, please.

10. I can totally see how that was my fault.

This is something that the spouse should say. And often. Remember, hormones are poppin' off in all directions now. Be smart, dude.

11. You are going to be a great mom.

This kind of reassurance and vote of confidence is something any expectant mother would want to hear.

Though it can be amazing and immensely rewarding, being a mom is anything but a breeze. Pregnant women often have anxiety about the busy life that comes with the soon arriving baby. Whether they are becoming a first-time mom or adding to the existing brood, the new baby will bring lots of added responsibility to an already busy life. This kind of reassurance and vote of confidence is something any expectant mother would want to hear.

12. Can we discuss what Vicki did on RHOC last night?

Whether it's "Real Housewives," "Game of Thrones" or "Jeopardy" — ask about something totally unrelated to her pregnancy. This will make her feel special, because you are showing interest in her as an individual, and not just the woman with the growing baby attached to her.

13. Don't get up, I'll get it.

Say this, please. Because 1. It's so much easier for you, the non-pregnant one, to jump up and get/do whatever needs to be done. It's something that may not mean much to you but would really mean a lot to an uncomfortable, aching pregnant woman. And 2. It may take her so long to simply stand up in preparation for the task that it will just save everybody time and frustration if you just go get it, bro.

RELATED: What Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

14. Congratulations!

Yes! Congratulate the woman! Wish her well! Pregnancy and a baby on the way is a glorious thing to celebrate! She is going to have a baby soon! HOORAY! Which also means she is going to be not-pregnant soon. YAHOO!

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