5 Weird Things People Do When You’re Pregnant

Woman greeting pregnant friend in park

Every woman who has experienced pregnancy has also had to deal with people suddenly forgetting their manners around them. Notions about respecting personal space and keeping sharp opinions to yourself seem to fly out the window when some people see a pregnant woman. Not to worry – a little warning can reduce the shock of these prenatal encounters, and we even have a few tips on how to deflect unwanted attention.

Here are five common but very weird things people do when crossing paths with a soon-to-be mother:

1. Touch your belly

Most women who have been pregnant can relate: Strangers touching your belly doesn’t get normal. But something about seeing a baby bump makes some people completely forget about personal boundaries.

If you want to discourage someone from keeping their hand on your baby bump, try resting your own hand on your belly, too. This nonverbal response will cue the other person to remove their hand. Or, comment that the baby is resting or not kicking right then; they should take the hint.

2. Give you dietary advice

When you’re pregnant, it’s important to choose foods that are healthy for the baby as well as for you. There are some foods to avoid and others that you might want to include, and there are endless philosophies regarding what should or shouldn’t be on the “OK to eat” list.

Pregnant woman and girfriend expecting baby over gray
Friends and strangers alike will want to touch your baby bump.

 

People might raise an eyebrow if they see you indulging in a small cup of coffee or question whether you should be eating that filet of salmon. If you’ve discussed diet with your health care provider and are confident that what you’re eating won’t be harmful to your baby or yourself, keep on enjoying your meal.

3. Pester you about your future child’s name

Everyone wants to know the new baby’s name. This in itself might be fine, but what isn’t are the opinions that others spew in reaction to your chosen moniker. The name you picked could have a very special meaning, be a family tradition or simply have a beautiful sound. To another, that name could have all sorts of unattractive associations – and some people aren’t afraid to share them.

Last names are another source of curiosity. People will ask if you plan on giving your child the father’s last name or yours, or if you plan to hyphenate. Writing for Romper, Steph Montgomery pointed out that, when coming from your in-laws, these questions may have a distinctive connotation of guilt when you answer with anything but what they want to hear. In the end, your baby is your child; name him or her however you and your partner believe is best.

4. Ask very personal questions

To some, asking “When was the baby conceived?” or “Was your baby planned?” might seem like perfectly normal inquiries into your pregnancy, but to you, it might sound more like “Tell me about your sex life.” The personal questions don’t stop there. You may face questions like “Do you plan on having a vaginal birth?,” “Do you plan to breastfeed?” and even “How long did it take for you to conceive?”

Questions like these can feel very invasive. Much like strong sentiments about diet, another person may attempt to push their personal philosophy of the merits of certain birthing styles or other aspects of motherhood. Don’t let the opinionated get to you; if you’ve carefully decided to have a home birth, a Cesarean section or a water birth based on your own values and circumstances, trust yourself and the opinions of a health care professional you respect.

5. Compare your body to a pregnant celebrity’s body

There are few other times in your life when people will think it’s perfectly normal to compare you to the Duchess of Cambridge, Queen Bey or Kim K than when you’re pregnant.


Don’t stress about these comparisons; know that every pregnancy is different. Even Kim Kardashian responded to haters who judged whether her second pregnancy was “real” based on how much weight she had gained, E! Online reported.

“Everyone’s body is different, every pregnancy is very different!” wrote the star, captioning a revealing Instagram photo leaving no doubt in viewers’ minds whether her baby bump was real or fictitious.

Molly Ploe comes from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and enjoys hiking, baking and reading. Her favorite Saturday is rainy with bread in the oven and a new book.