When it comes to pregnancy and how a mom-to-be looks, women here everything including lies, damn lies and superstitions.
The baby bump usually makes it pretty apparent who is pregnant, and everyone feels the need to comment. Many times people are overly generous and full of compliments, even when the hormones — and stress — of pregnancy don't add up to the impression. Sometimes, they give backhanded compliments that have a ring of truth but mostly lie about the true nature of the woman growing a child inside of her. And then there are the superstitions that people repeat that have nothing to do with actual reality.
Some things get a good reputation during pregnancy — like the skin and the hair — but there are other drawbacks that mean that for most women a compliment doesn't ring as true as you think. Other aspects, like maternity clothes, have a bad rap already, so some kind souls try to lie to make the mom-to-be feel a little better. After all, the pregnancy hormones probably have her close to tears already; no one wants to push her over the edge by hurting her feelings.
Here are 13 lies everyone tells pregnant women about how they look.
14 What A Glow!
This phrase is so common that it's become trite. Pregnant women are always said to be glowing because all of the books say that they will get benefits to their skin and nails when there is a bun in the oven. Plus, there is a perception that all moms-to-be should be happy about their impending motherhood. While that is true in a lot of cases, there are also a lot of stresses that are a woman when she is pregnant, and sometimes hormones can heighten the anxiety and even cause depression.
As for the skin, sometimes that just a sheen of sweat since a woman's internal temperature goes up when she's having a baby. Add on a little bit of swelling and some softness to the cheeks while she gains some baby weight and more, and that can add up to the lies that people tell about a pregnant woman's glow.
13 You Have The Prettiest Color In Those Cheeks
For some women, the skin isn't such "glowing" in pregnancy; it also changes color. The phenomenon is known as the mask of pregnancy, or more specifically as chloasma, and it is, of course, all the hormones fault.
Chloasma happens when an increase in melanin occurs, and that gives the skin its pigment. The condition can cause patches of dark skin in several places on the body, but the most noticeable is on the cheeks. Those patches are usually brownish and they usually don't look like a bit of bronzer.
For some women, the chloasma goes away after the baby's birth, but for others it can linger, sometimes through breastfeeding and sometimes even after that. There are treatments that plastic surgeons and dermatologists administer to even out the skin, but it is usually best to wait until the hormones have levelled out after the birth.
12 I Can't Even Tell From Behind
Most women don't mind looking pregnant, especially when the bump is fully formed and it doesn't just look like a food baby is in there. But the bump isn't the only place that grows for most pregnant women. Whether they gain 10 pounds or 100, the weight can be distributed throughout the body, and most of the time it can be seen from the front and from the back.
At least part of the spread that comes in pregnancy comes for a really good reason. The ligaments will help loosen the pelvis, which can help in getting the baby out when it comes time for childbirth. The backside can show the evidence of that, which can make a mom-to-be pretty self-conscious. But even then, many people are nice enough to lie and tell her that she's carrying all in the front, and that can make her feel better about the weight that she has put on for the baby.
11 Your Hair Is Amazing
Every woman wants to hear that she has great hair. After all, we all spend hours slaving over it in the mornings in hopes of taming the tangles, adding some volume and making it frame our faces just so. Pregnancy is said to have tremendous benefits, but sometimes it's a big fat lie to say that a mom-to-be's hair is amazing.
First, the good news is that the extra estrogen that goes through a woman's body during pregnancy can slow the natural shedding of hair, which means that the hair is thicker and the volume gets a natural boost. But on the downside, that can mean more tangles.
Some women experience a change to their hair texture as well — they can get frizzy curls or oily locks, neither of which are particularly desirable. And most women have to skip the hair dye during pregnancy, which can mean her roots stick out like sore thumbs. Amazing is one word for it, but probably not the one we would choose.
10 You Must Be Having A Boy/Girl Because Carrying High/Low
Everyone seems to have an insight into your belly, as if they had their own ultrasound to tell if it is a boy or a girl. But old wive's tales aren't really helpful in determining gender, especially when many people change their meaning to suit their needs. It's all lies.
The truth is that how a woman carries the baby in her belly is based on her body and that alone. The baby's gender doesn't play any role whatsoever. If she's tall with a long body, she might carry it high. If she's shorter, it'll look lower. And if this isn't her first baby, her ligaments in her uterus may have stretched to the point where the baby sits lower in her abdomen this time around. That happens to women whether the baby is a boy or a girl, but that doesn't stop anyone from lying about it.
9 Those Legs Look Fine
Pregnancy can affect a woman's body all over, from the tips of her toes to the top of her head. And while her toe nails may look great, her legs could take a bit of a beating during the nine months of pregnancy. We're not even going to go into the hairiness that could happen thanks to the inability to reach over and shave in the third trimester. There's enough other trauma that could leave the gams looking haggard.
First, the increase in the blood flow in the body causes spider veins, also known as varicose veins. They can pop out as little lines, usually centered in one area, and sometimes it takes some treatments at the doctor's office to get them to go away (after the birth, of course). On top of that, the legs can swell, especially at the end of pregnancy, leaving some women looking like they have tree trunks for ankles. Telling the truth about the legs would be rude, so people are likely to lie.
8 You Don't Even Look Pregnant
OK, this one might be a backhanded compliment. As much as a mom-to-be would want to interpret that comment to mean that the baby bump is tiny and she still looks hot, she knows in the back of her mind that there is no denying the baby inside her. So she may start scratching her head and wondering if that means that she looks fat.
Most friends don't mean to make a statement that is so ambiguous, and possibly shady. But at the beginning of a pregnancy, especially, a mom-to-be can be self-conscious and still trying to hide the bun in her oven. It can be tempting for her friends to lie and try to brush off any concerns that the baby bump has popped, but they would be better off just helping her adjust her blouse and admitting that she may not be able to keep things a secret very long. After all, every mom wonders if the beginnings of a baby bump just look like she needs to go on a diet and it's better to just admit the pregnancy than have people think she is fat.
7 Those Maternity Clothes Are So Cute!
The fashion world has taken notice of the rise in millennial moms, and maternity clothes are getting better. But everyone has to admit they still have a long way to go. You can only do so much to look good in pants with stretchy waists and empire-waist shirts. The leggings trend has been a blessing for moms-to-be because it basically has made the most comfortable piece of clothing they can fit into socially acceptable.
But pregnant women know that if Kim Kardashian and Molly Sims were making the worst-dressed lists when they were pregnant there isn't much hope for the rest of us. What is so disheartening about the limited and less-than-lux inventory of maternity clothes at the mall is the fact that they are still so very expensive considering they will only be good for a few months. We have hopes that Lauren Conrad will introduce a new maternity line, since she's pregnant, but we won't hold our breath about seeing the latest maternity fashions on the Paris runways.
6 I Love Those Shoes!
Well, with this one, it is possible that they love your shoes. But what they are refraining from saying isn't always so nice. In the third trimester, especially, many pregnant women have to deal with swelling in their feet, which can mean that there is no looking cute in strappy sandals. They may start out the day looking awesome, but by the end her feet will look like they are about to bulge through the straps and take out a sidewalk.
The statement can be cruel for women who haven't seen their feet all day, thanks to their huge belly bump, and they are worried that they didn't put on a matching pair in the morning. Or for women who have relegated themselves to flip flops even in the winter because they can't fit into their boot. A lie of omission is still a lie, but at least sticking to the shoes doesn't mention the oversized feet within them.
5 No, He Wasn't Looking At Your...
The baby bump isn't the only thing that attracts attention during pregnancy. In fact, long before the bump pops, the boobs begin to blossom. For many women, even before the pregnancy test even shows a positive, the ladies can start to grow and spill over out of the bra. Many women can be reluctant to go bra shopping since they will continue to grow for a while — and maybe even add another cup size after the birth if she is breastfeeding.
If a mom-to-be has on a shirt that hugs the top or one of those empire-waist dresses or shirts, which are nearly all of the options at the maternity store, then it's likely that her breasts can become a beacon to stares. It may be good to feel sexy and attractive to your partner, but it can also attract leers from teenage boys and awkward looks from other people. It can be embarrassing, and some women will rearrange their wardrobe as much as they can to avoid the looks. But the truth is, yes, he probably was looking at your boobs.
4 Skin Is So Smooth
We've already mentioned a couple of skin problems in pregnancy, but one of the worst is the tendency toward acne. The body goes through a hormonal shift that a woman hasn't known since she went through puberty, and in that same vein, she goes through a period of acne as if she were a teenager. But of course the responsibilities and bills remind her that she is anything but.
The breakouts can happen all over — the breasts, the bottom, the back and the face. While they would go along with a menstrual cycle normally, there is no cycle to match this go round. That means that it could last for months while a baby is on board. The blemishes can be embarrassing for a woman who hasn't had to hide a zit in a decade, but luckily most people are kind enough to lie about them when they talk about a woman's looks during pregnancy.
3 You Don't Look Tired
Most people anticipate the sleepless nights that come with a newborn, but family and friends can be shocked to find their loved one exhausted during the pregnancy. They will find themselves telling white lies to keep from admitting how tired the woman looks when they know that she will be in for a lot of sleepless nights after the baby is born.
From the first trimester, women can feel a drain of energy that can leave them struggling to make it through the end of the day without a nap. In the second trimester, moms-to-be tend to get an energy boost, but in the third trimester the pregnancy can really take its toll. It can be hard to get comfortable at night between the baby belly, the heartburn and all the trips to the bathroom, so that's when the dark eyes return and continue until the baby starts to sleep through the night. The darks circles are usually pretty apparent, but no one wants to admit it, especially since it can take a while for them to go away.
2 You Look Like You Are Going To Pop
Sometimes the lies that people tell pregnant women come out as insults. They are exaggerations that almost immediately make a mom-to-be feel upset and shamed. There is nothing like being told you look like you are about to pop, especially when you are still a couple of months away from your due date. In those cases women know that they have a lot more growing to go, and they feel big enough already. The psychology of telling her that she looks like she has reached a peak is a special kind of torture, yet so many strangers are guilty of doing it.
For women whose skin has already stretched more than they imagined, the visual of being about to pop can add some additional anxiety onto an already scary situation. But the truth is that the abdomen will make room, and many a woman has the stretch marks to prove it. Unless a doctor is concerned about a pregnant woman's weight gain, no one else needs to talk about, much less lie about it.
1 No One Will Judge You If You Take Your Time Losing The Baby Weight
Ah, if only it were true. But of course, women shouldn't expect to skip the judgment for anything when it comes to the baby. The mommy wars are fierce these days, and unfortunately that includes plenty of body shaming from some of the other moms, especially the fit ones. The expectations are high, especially if you follow celebrities who tend to lose the baby weight in a matter of weeks and will show it off in bikini or nude shots with plenty of Photoshop techniques employed.
Some bodies snap back, but for most it's difficult to get rid of the baby weight, especially when the baby is demanding so much attention. It takes nine months to put on the pounds, and often it takes just that long to get it off. For women who breastfeed, sometimes the body issues that come with pregnancy can last until the baby switches to solids. And unfortunately some may never go away. It's a good thing that most people are kind enough to lie about it.
Sources: Parents, Baby Center, FitPregnancy, American Pregnancy