Is it ever ok to comment on a pregnant woman’s size?

I’ve debated writing this post because I’m concerned that people might see it as me being over-sensitive or roll-out the ‘it’s hormones’ card again. However, when I made the choice to blog I wanted to write about my life as a parent, the ups and downs, warts and all and to be honest the past week I’ve been feeling, well a little bit shit about myself.

It’s a funny thing when you’re pregnant, although the physical (and emotional) changes are happening to me as an individual, I feel like I’ve become public property. There is always an interest in pregnant women, usually from the older generation on the street that ask how far along you are, whether you know the gender and if it’s your first etc. But aside from those questions, which I have no problem with, to me it seems that people feel it’s ok to be opinionated on your shape and size, and actually it’s a little bit rude. This week has been a bit of a tipping point for me, no word of a lie, every single day since Monday somebody has said one of the following to me:

“Is it just one in there?”

“You’ve got HOW LONG left?”

“Oh blimey look at the size of you”

“Are you sure it’s not twins?”

“You can tell it’s a boy, and probably a big one”

“I’ve not seen a bump that shape before, can I touch it?”

There’s nothing new there, I have merely been subjected to the classic lines that people wheel out time and time again to pregnant women, but that doesn’t make it ok. I am exhausted hearing it, and I’ve still got two months to go. Yes, really, the size of me eh?

It’s basically culminated in me not really wanting to go out because I am sick of tired of strangers thinking it’s ok to pass comment. When I do go out, I’ve taken to draping myself in something Warehouse tells me is called a Coatigan (I need to read more fashion mags) and avoiding eye contact.

The thing is, while there is probably no malice intended, I think people just need to be a bit more aware of how that person might be feeling. Pregnant or not, I am very self-conscious about my weight. Gaining weight and not being able to lose it is why I went to the doctor’s and ended up being diagnosed with hypothyroidism a few year’s ago. While I can lose weight it’s not very easy for me and as someone who spent most of their 20s naturally in size 8/10 and is now 12/14, it’s quite a sore point for me. Height is not on my side either, at 5ft 2” I can’t really pull off any added pounds without feeling and to be honest looking a bit rotund. Throw in pregnancy where you put on weight because of the whole growing a human thing and it’s a very anxious nine months for me. And the point is I am growing a human being, so I’m going to get bigger, because that’s how it works, so cut me a little slack.

As I do have a couple of months left of this pregnancy (which by the way I’m fairly sure is the longest in the world) I guess I need to find some sort of coping mechanism, so far I’ve got:

  • Don’t leave the house (but you know, ice cream season)
  • Continue to smile politely (and whisper bad words under my breath)
  • Ask them when their baby is due even when it’s obvious they are not pregnant (I find this funny but wouldn’t actually do it, well not yet)
  • Stick a sign to myself with all the answers to questions I’m asked daily by strangers and point, potentially get some laminated leaflets made up too
  • Tell people I’m not pregnant but just fat
  • Go out wearing a bikini top in the knowledge that people will be far too scared to approach me

While I joke (coping mechanism klaxon) I think there is something in people having a bit more thought before making passing comments, even if they think they’re harmless, to that person it might just be enough to make them go home and have a tactical cry, nobody wants to make someone else cry.

It would be silly to write a post and not share a picture, I just hope it fits on the screen:


S xxx

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11 thoughts on “Is it ever ok to comment on a pregnant woman’s size?

  1. I was talking about this on friday to my friend Amy; she’s having a similar headache with people passing comment about the size of her bump, too, and it’s been really upsetting. I’m not sure what it is about pregnancy that people feel it’s OK to say things it would only ever be rude to say otherwise?

    I’m going to email this along to her now, she’ll love to read it I’m sure x

    • Thanks Alice, I hope your friend is ok. I found it quite cathartic to write actually, it has just been relentless, I just don’t understand why people think it’s ok x

  2. I totally feel you. I’m currently 5 and a half months, not ,I have of a bump but I didn’t show first time. People constantly come up to me and ask “oh gosh is the baby even growing?” And constantly want to touch my bump. I find this all too strange with the people I barely know and such rude comments which can be upsetting, yes the baby is completely fine 🙂 I’m just not showing a mass amount. X

    • I completely meant to mention it applies to women who are carrying small too. It’s just not appropriate, especially when we’re feeling so vulnerable anyway. We’re all different shapes, and baby’s sit differently too it’s not something we have control over. I hope the comments stop for you soon, look after yourself 🙂 X

      • defiantly agree!! ps lovely bump 🙂 with this being my second i ddi expect a bigger bump! i have until start of august to go, so plenty of time to burst out of my tops haha x

  3. Jesus, people have no clue. I was small on my first and am bigger this time round but still go away with your comments. Yes, I know I’m bigger than the first time and yes I know I’m only 14 weeks and am showing “already”. I don’t need a running commentary every day on how I’m looking.

    Also people haven’t got a clue what is going on with your pregnancy. I’ve had two friends who both carried excess fluid which made the bumps quite big because their children had either Down’s or Edwards syndrome and that is part of it. Both were aware that the chance of their child making it to full term was slim and then on top of dealing with that they had to deal with people passing remarks on their size. They dealt with it with far more grace than I ever would be able.

    • Precisely, in this day and age we should all be a little bit more aware of the impact these kind of comments can have, and also the potential for underlying problems that aren’t apparent. I started showing around the same time with this one, I really enjoyed people asking if my due date was correct. Eurghhh! Best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy, I bet you look fab xx

  4. The worst I had was “oh yes I can see you’ve started to put weight on your face.”
    I mean, REALLY?!

    You look fab by the way! Xx

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