Motherhood is a beautiful new thing. You join a new community of “mothers” that offers so much advice and help. Although most people celebrate in your joy, unfortunately, whether intentionally or unintentionally, many people offer very awkward comments to new mothers. It becomes a rite of passage for new mothers that you aren’t officially a “new mom” until you received an awkward comment. Most of the comments are well-meaning, but that does not make them any less awkward!
This comment from a man is hopelessly awkward. Sir, you are not pregnant. Your significant other may be pregnant but you are not. We cannot relate on that level. We do not share symptoms. However, awkward, admittedly, the thought of a man pregnant is funny…
This is a fun one considering pregnancy can impact your sleep as early as the first trimester. Most likely the new mom is sleep deprived. People do not have children to sleep well; it is part of the territory with parenthood. But, there is something so awkward about hearing other people complain about their sleep. There just is no room for empathy in a new mother’s arsenal. Most likely this one is met with a cold, unsympathetic stare. However, this comment is better than “You look tired.”
A new mom has the privilege of being wholly responsible for feeding a new little person. Whether formula, bottle fed, or exclusively breastfed, a new mom’s mind is preoccupied with when to feed baby next, to the extent that they may forget to eat themselves. That’s why it is awkward for others to tell the new mother about their hunger. Do they want some breast milk or formula? That’s all the new mom likely has to offer… Otherwise it is very awkward, why else does the new mother need to know that you are hungry?
“Have you lost all the weight?”
This one is always uncomfortable – mostly because everyone involved in the conversation is thinking about your body and fitness level. It’s too much. A fun response is to suggest that your 6-pack abs have not returned. This is a good response regardless if you had abs before pregnancy. The fact the person is now picturing you with abs – during any point in your life – should give you smile. Best practice: avoid any mention of weight to a new mom.
“What do you all day?”
Is eat-play-sleep-repeat an appropriate response? This question can elevate your blood pressure fairly quick. Particularly as you recount whether you took the time to shower that day.
“You’re still pregnant?”
There is nothing like waiting for your little one’s arrival during that last trimester. On one hand, you can’t wait to meet your new bundle of joy. On the other hand, you can’t wait to not be pregnant anymore. But, there is something so awkward about someone commenting on the fact that you’re still pregnant – as if you haven’t been counting the minutes, hours, days, until your baby is full term and can safely be delivered. Have they been counting the minutes as well? Is that person anxious to meet your bundle of joy? It is hard to know exactly why people ask or what people are suggesting by this comment.
“Are you sure you are not having twins?”
Okay, maybe this one is borderline rude depending on how thick-skinned the mom-to-be is. Some people do not seem to understand that moms come in all shapes and sizes! People seem to forget that commenting on weight is considered rude even if the recipient is pregnant.
Whether you are comfortable with responding and sharing this information depends most likely on who the person is. But, sometimes it feels downright awkward when someone asks you about your cervix in a public setting. This information is necessary on a need-to-know basis only, as in doctors and close friends.
“Can I touch your belly?”
Ugh, no. Pregnancy is not a free pass for belly rubs. At least the person asked before touching your belly. To respond in turn, try rubbing their belly back.
“Are you going to breastfeed?”
Everyone has an opinion on breastfeeding. Aside from this being a personal decision, this one feels saturated with judgment regardless of the answer. Fed is best!
Want to read more about pregnancy? Check out 5 Unspoken Truths About Pregnancy