What NOT to Say to Pregnant Women

When I found out I was pregnant, my depression worsened and my insecurities seemed magnified. Since this was my first pregnancy, everyone came out the woodwork with their unsolicited and often wrong opinions, advice, and inappropriate questions that didn’t help my mental state. Regardless, they were just rude for anyone to say to someone.

While my pregnancy wasn’t easy by any means, I had a healthy pregnancy and my closest friends and family were supportive.

Here are some unsolicited opinions/advice people actually said/asked me while pregnant:

  1. While in the salon:

    1. Person: How old are you?

    2. Me: 24

    3. Person: Too young to be having kids. People your age don’t need to be having kids.

    4. Me: *confusion*

  2. Telling someone I’m pregnant:

    1. Me: I’m pregnant.

    2. Person: I thought you were more focused than that. I thought you had goals.

    3. Me: I still have goals. *more confusion*

  3. Professor knew I was pregnant:

    1. Professor: Maybe you should take a break from school and come back later. I don’t think you’re ready to continue the program.

    2. Me: I’m half-way through the program. It would make sense for me to continue. I’m from Michigan and it’ll be more difficult once I have the baby.

    3. Professor: I think it would be best if you stay here and don’t go to Washington, D.C. though. You’re not ready.

    4. Me: I’m going to D.C. (I did go to D.C. and graduated on time.)

I can’t’ are two words that have never been in my vocabulary. I believe in me more than anything in this world.
— Wilma Rudolph

The examples go on and on. I even emailed a professor after my daughter was born asking about connections and opportunities in Michigan and she suggested I focus on my child and stop worrying about jobs. They made it seem like I can’t focus on building my career and be a great mom at the same time. I can go on about the hurtful words said to me during my pregnancy, but the lesson I took out of it is that life happens and it’s how you react to adversity and unsupportive people. Most of the people who said these things had no room to judge and didn’t know my situation. They knew what they saw, a young, pregnant black woman in a masters program that is “derailing her career.” I made it through and now I’m the mother to an amazing little girl. If I took everyone’s advice or internalized their comments I would be miserable and my life wouldn’t be mine. I would be living someone else's vision for my life.

It’s always been bizarre to me that people feel comfortable telling people what they should be doing with their life.

Do you boo!

What’s the craziest thing someone said to you while pregnant?

Comment below!