Any woman who has been pregnant is well aware that people lose their filter around pregnant women. Comments span the gamut from those that are intrusive, shocking, and inappropriate, to those that are downright hurtful.
It’s a bizarre phenomenon I won’t soon understand. In my opinion, anything that would be inappropriate to say to or ask of a non-pregnant person remains inappropriate if or when that person becomes pregnant.
Still, that doesn’t stop the stream of insensitive remarks from flowing whenever a pregnant woman steps outside. It’s bad when a woman is pregnant with a singleton, and, in my experience, it’s even worse when you’re pregnant with twins.
I had always heard that parents of twins are inundated with invasive and oftentimes rude comments and that pregnancy is no exception for this. As someone nearing the end of her own twin pregnancy, I can confirm that this is 100% true.
I can list the number of thoughtless remarks I received during my singleton pregnancy three years ago, but I’ve already lost count of the ones I’ve gotten this time around.
I’m not the first one who has encountered this, and I certainly won’t be the last. So, as a public service, here are five of the things you should never say to a woman who is pregnant with twins.
Oh yes, this is something someone actually said to me this pregnancy when they asked what I was having. When I responded that I was having a “boy and a girl,” the kind person responded “Oh no! Not twins.” Ouch.
It’s not exactly the chit-chat you expect when you’re in for a dental cleaning, but alas, such is life as an expectant mother of twins.
Look, I don’t expect everyone to be as excited about my growing family as my husband and I, but I also don’t expect your condolences when I respond to your inquiry about our healthy impending arrivals.
If you wouldn’t say it to someone expecting one baby, don’t say it to someone expecting two.
“That’s my worst nightmare.”
Oh, really? Because I could think of things a lot worse.
Yes, I’m aware that having two babies will be way more work than having one. Carrying two has already been a feat beyond imagination.
You don’t have to tell me. I can assure you I’ve thought about this enough for the both of us. I’m definitely daunted by the challenge before me, but guess what? I’m also overjoyed, amazed, humbled by, and hopeful for the changes ahead.
So, once again, you (hopefully) wouldn’t tell a woman expecting a singleton that she’s living your “worst nightmare”—so don’t say it to a woman expecting twins.
“No baby yet?”
Whether she is weeks before or days after her due date, no pregnant woman likes to hear this. Guess when else she doesn’t like to hear it? When she is literally months away from her due date.
This happened to me one day when I walked into physical therapy (another thing that sometimes happens when you’re expecting two). As I lumbered in, the receptionist glanced up at me forlornly and sighed, “no baby yet?”.
I was six-and-a-half months pregnant. So, yeah. No baby yet.
I explained that I was actually pregnant with two and still (hopefully) a couple months away from welcoming them, but should I really have had to explain this?
Should anyone be assuming a woman is due any minute?
No. So, please don’t, and definitely, don’t say it.
This one has flowed so freely you’d think people were offering it as a compliment.
Yes, being pregnant with twins means you’re going to be a bit larger than you’d be during a singleton pregnancy. Doctors know this. Society knows this. The lady pregnant with twins knows it. But, that doesn’t mean she has to be reminded of it every second.
“You definitely won’t be able to do XYZ.”
Granted, expectant parents of singletons get this a lot, too, but I’ve heard this much more this pregnancy than I ever did with my son.
“You definitely won’t be able to write again.”
“You definitely won’t be able to exercise anymore.”
“You definitely won’t be able to work ever again.”
Are these predictions true? I have no idea—but they’re certainly not helpful.
Moreover, I’ve heard these remarks from people who have no idea what my plans are or what my support system looks like.
Hopefully, you wouldn’t go all doomsday on an expectant mother of one, so don’t do it to an expectant mother of two.
She knows her life is about to be flipped upside down, and she’s preparing herself for the changes ahead the best she knows how.
So, what should you say when someone tells you they’re expecting twins? Simple: Congratulations.
What’s the worst thing someone said to you when you were expecting (whether singleton or multiples)?
Do you have anything you would add to this list?
This post originally appeared on The Mom at Law. It has been reprinted with permission.