PSA: Stop Telling Pregnant People How Tired We Look—We Already Know

Listen, it usually just sounds like you are telling pregnant people they look horrible and that's not the energy they need. Check out the Reddit thread that confirms this.

Portrait of exhausted pregnant woman sitting on the floor at home
Photo: Getty

You'd think that it has become common knowledge that pregnancy is tiring. At this point, we can all agree that bodies spreading and changing at a relatively rapid pace, feeling intense kicks to your organs, and enduring constant stomach issues is most likely exhausting.

And yet, as one Redditor noted, people seem concerned that pregnant people may have forgotten this. "I'm 84 years pregnant (35 weeks)," says user u/not-a-real-shark. "Do not tell me how 'tired' I look or how I look 'so done.' That is common knowledge. Tell me I look great and move on, Grandma."

Over 100 comments flooded in, agreeing with the original poster (OP).

"I have three small children and I'm pregnant. My brother loves to tell me how miserable I look all the time. Cool dude. Cool. This is just my face now," writes redditor u/apsalarmal. You can almost hear the OP shaking their head as they respond: "Like, why say anything? It is free to just keep your mouth shut."

Still others chimed in with mentions of how comments like these are actually rather hurtful. "I've always taken 'You look tired' as code for 'You look like sh*t.' I'm 40+1. I basically haven't been sleeping for the past month+. I know I look like hot garbage. I don't need the reminder," commented u/angeluscado.

And then user Kristine6476 is all of us when they respond: "Every. Freaking. Day. 37 weeks now. 'You look like you're about to pop!' Not for another 8 weeks but thank you.

'You must only have a week or two left?' Mmmnope, 6, actually.

'You look tired!' I haven't slept in 33 weeks, I AM tired and I know I look like sh*t, just say nothing man.

'You sure there's just one in there??' Baby is 95th percentile and I've got two fibroids so I guess technically I've got three? FFS start paying pregnant women compliments. LIE TO ME. I know I LOOK tired and huge and done because I AM all of those things."

Maybe you're reading this and rolling your eyes. Maybe you're thinking that you should be allowed to say whatever you want, whenever you want. You're not wrong, but many clever respondents have decided to simply match thoughtlessness with sarcasm, so things may get a little uncomfortable.

"My only response: 'b*tch, I am'," says u/IcyYes. This is met with an enthusiastic laugh.

Redditor u/Messedupnails decides to crank the awkwardness up to 11 by suggesting: "Just tearfully respond 'what? Oh no, I thought I looked okay today for once?!? I'm trying my best...I guess it isn't good enough. Man, that just makes me feel terrible about myself. Anyway...enjoy the rest of your day (sniff) (sob)'. The more they comment, the more emotional baggage you can dump on them. That's okay, right?"

To which the OP responds: "I approve of this."

User cfishlips, however, chooses to go a much more panic-inducing route. "This is when you say 'I sure am. So glad you are offering to help out with____.'"

No one better encapsulates how very annoying this comment is, though, than a user named Grown-Ass-Weeb, who scraps everything else in favor of pure honesty. "I always respond with 'that's just a nice way to tell me I look like sh*t'," they write, "and they never mention it to me again."

Look, it's very clear that the mention of a pregnant person's tiredness is (hopefully) out of desire to be empathetic and supportive. That is a kind goal because pregnancy can be isolating and overwhelming, and it really is lovely to connect with others when you're in the throes of having your kidneys moved up under your chin by a watermelon with legs.

There are a number of things, though, that you can do to be empathetic besides commenting on appearances—especially when that subject is often a bit of a sore spot already. Mention how excited they must be, ask them what they're most looking forward to when it's all over. Or— I know this is probably a wild idea—you could also ask them about anything else, because there's a whole person wrapped around that baby who has a number of other things to talk about.

Your pregnant friends and family need you to lift them up; that's why they've made you a part of their journey. You can make them feel good about themselves and this big life step without making comments they really don't need to hear. And when in doubt, ask them questions.

Unless you ask them why they're so big. Then it was nice knowing you.

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