Reddit Thread Shows The Lengths Some Will Go to Mansplain Pregnancy

Moms on the social media platform shared the craziest things male strangers have told them about pregnancy—ranging from the hilarious to the infuriating.

Pregnant Woman and Husband Hands Holding Belly
Photo: marima/Shutterstock

Parents are so done with being "educated" about their pregnancies by those who just don't know anything about it—and really have no reason to comment on their lives at all.

Fed-up Reddit user u/MaxineGr33n started a thread in Reddit's Baby Bumps forum, asking, "Whaaaaat is with acquaintance men telling me how pregnancy is or what is happening and they're always wrong or so condescendingly obvious it's painful!! Is this just me?!"

Others sounded off in the comments with their worst pregnancy mansplaining stories. We'll warn you in advance: Some made us giggle, but some made us want to scream into the void.

Some Mansplainers Were Hilarious

Redditor u/HamCat36 shared their dad's reaction to their pregnancy announcement. He "confidently announced I shouldn't be worried because giving birth doesn't hurt at all and should only take about 15 minutes."

Just FYI, Pops, the average labor ranges from four to eight hours, and it's often longer for first-time parents.

Redditor u/MomPlooza wrote that their father-in-law told them that "cravings are just made up by Hollywood to make their movies more interesting." Tell that to all the parents-to-be out there desperately needing some snacks.

Some Mansplainers Had Safety Concerns

"My friend told me I shouldn't play catch (passing a baseball back and forth) anymore with my husband because it was too dangerous. He actually said, 'What if the ball hits the baby?'" wrote u/Garfunk_elle. "I was in my first trimester. The baby was the size of a bean, and I'm pretty sure if the ball hit my tummy at that point the worst that would have happened is an errant fart from all the first trimester bloating."

Redditor u/Momkunoichi77 wrote, "I had a man tell me I shouldn't fly anymore since the uterus is like a bag of crisps and in the sky it might pop."

Just to be clear, uteruses are not like snack food. Unless a person has a high-risk condition, most doctors say it's safe to fly up to about week 36 of pregnancy.

"A while back I was complaining to my husband that I had such a sore back and I really wanted to take a bath. He was like 'why can't you??' And I was like 'um....pregnant?'" wrote u/AddictiveInterwebs. "It took about 15 seconds for him to make the connection and then in all seriousness he went, 'Right, right, can't boil the child.'"

For any worried partners out there, no one will be boiled if you keep the temperature warm instead of hot.

Some Mansplainers Were Totally Infuriating

One Redditor, u/Biscuitsnpudding, reported that their dad called them a "wimp" for not wanting to cook dinner in the first weeks after giving birth and told them, "Women give birth in rice patty fields then go straight back to work in other countries." So, u/Biscuitsnpudding replied, "How about you run a marathon, then I kick you in the nuts for three hours, then you can make me dinner all week?"

Redditor u/alisontastick commented that they had a supervisor ask when their "scheduled delivery date" would be, insisting that parents can schedule their labor ahead of time. And u/alisontastick wasn't the only parent who had to take on this debate. Several others wrote about a male boss being irritated that a due date might overlap with their planned vacation.

Um, hello, labor laws. If you've worked full-time for a company for a year, you may qualify for 12 weeks of unpaid leave around your due date through the Family and Medical Leave Act (although different states have different laws for additional time off). And it's not quite a vacation.

Speaking of inappropriate at work, Redditor u/applestitch shared that one time a co-worker they had only met once asked, "did you know that pregnant women's brains shrink?"

Invasive workplace stories pepper the thread of more than 400 comments, like this one from u/JuniperBeans whose coworkers dared to take it upon themselves to police eating habits.

"With my second baby, I came into work to find 4 Post-it notes from a male coworker on my desk next to a can of tuna fished from my trash can," she wrote. "The Post-its were a long rambling warning about how tuna contained mercury and I shouldn't be eating it at all, and he wanted to make sure I was aware of the danger. It also let me know he had emailed my spouse (who worked in a different division) a list of things I shouldn't eat so that he could keep an eye on it."

Redditor u/brythefamousretard once drank a can of Coca-Cola at work (a one-time caffeine indulgence for a craving) and said, "my co-worker came over and poured it down the sink because it will 'turn my baby into an addict.'"

There are a lot of myths out there about what pregnant people can and can't eat. And many commonly held beliefs are changing as new research provides updated information. For example, many types of fish and even shrimp are now deemed safe—even healthy—during pregnancy. But the bottom line is that if it's not your body or your baby, it's probably not your business what a person is eating.

Some Mansplaining Was Kind of Adorable

Not all the stories shared made parents furious—although they still read as a little clueless.

Sometimes genuine concern can border on mansplaining, but it really depends on intention and delivery, like this sweet story from a parent who had a concerned boss.

"He always looks so proud of himself for knowing something about the process. He's unmarried and has no children," u/MaybeBaby2019 wrote. "I have to not roll my eyes each time, but he's not rude about it and I know he's asking from a good place."

But u/Summertimeq's comment was the cutest. "My husband would cover my belly at night if the blanket was off 'so the baby doesn't get cold,'" she wrote. "I tried explaining that it doesn't work that way, but he still insists."

OK, Dad, we'll give you that one. It's just precious.

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