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I'm Pregnant, Don't Say That!

So apparently there's etiquette for dealings with pregnant women. I only started hearing about this recently, I didn't afore-know. Makes me cringe at the thought of all the times I must have gaffed and asked a pregnant woman questions she considered preposterous or simply innappropraite. 

Some months ago I ran into a former classmate at the mall. Although we were never friends, seeing her at the lush mall in Lagos, a far cry from the backward primitive life of Bagauda, Kano, I was overwhelmed with excitement and stretched out to hug her. The lady placed her hand on her swollen bump and quickly recoiled from me, like I'd waved a machete before her belly. Honestly that hurt, I quickly concluded the greetings and walked away. 

Everyone I mentioned the incident to (not her actual details but the general gist of attempting to hug a pregnant woman who shrank back), says you can't blame her... this is Nigeria, anything can happen... Maybe her pastor warned her against people touching her belly etc etc etc. 

Speaking of touching the bellies of pregnant women, is this another no no? I watched too many Nollywood movies and saw how a fetus could turn into a tuber of yam just by a simple placing of a hand on the mother's belly. So with this carved in my memory I'm always mindful of touching pregnant women's bellies, lest I freak them out. In fact as I write this I realize that I'm all my sister's pregnancies, past and present, I've never touched her belly.

Oh, I also often ask; when is your due date? Something blogger/vlogger Sisi Yemmie says you absolutely mustn't ask. Hmmm. I think this is a harmless question. I'm probably asking, not because I care to know the actual date, but because I want to know when we'll receive the pleasure of welcoming your little one.

Still, apparently some women have a problem with telling you, so you don't... I really don't know what they're worried about. 

Well, these are the things Sisi Yemmie says you shouldn't say to a pregnant woman

  1. Are you pregnant?
  2. You are so big/fat.
  3. Your nose is so huge.
  4. When is your due date?
  5. Are you having a boy/girl?
I think some of these are absolutely harmless but I could be wrong. Mothers and Mothers to be, please tell us, what's are the worst things that someone can say to, or ask a pregnant woman? What should we never say or do around a pregnant woman. Has anyone done or said something particularly inappropriate to you during your pregnancy? Please share with us. Thank you. 

Also, are all these fears/rules/"etiquettes" peculiar to Nigerian/African women, is it simply "Nigerian mentality", or is it universal?


  1. Oh well.....when I was pregnant only my close friends knew about it...I kept it hush hush...blame the Yoruba mentality on me...And to the body changes,I did not change one bit,I was finer sef....So even if I have baby no2 on the way,it gonna be a surprise to everyone cos I like it that way......

  2. Well Well!!! Apart from nos 1 and 2, I've definitely teased my bestie and sister with nos 3 - 5. Did they feel bad? I'm sure they knew I was teasing and would call me out on it otherwise...These things ehn. I would really like to hear/learn from the mothers in the house.

  3. Me i touch people's bellies and ask when they are due..friends only. They realise its the unassuming American in me. Any body else - you wont hear peep from my mouth.

  4. When I was pregnant I let anyone and everyone touch or see my tommy if they wanted to. My sis was the one who was always cautioning me on not telling people my due date and all. I don't have that mentality Abeg. Last week at a party my friend wasn't drinking and I asked her if she was pregnant and she was like nooo and in my mind I was like " you think say I go chop the pikin" but she's yoruba and I think it's mainly them who believe in things like that #runs away

  5. When I was pregnant another friend of mine was pregnant too, I didn't know there was something called "pregnancy etiquette" I was just telling her everything but I noticed whenever I asked about hers, she would give me one story or change the subject. I thought it was hilarious I mean what could I have done to her baby, I was pregnant too. Oh well blame it on our over religiousness and Nigerian paranoia.

    1. Exactly, Its Just Paranoi... There's nothing more to it.

      As for me, I'll keep touching My friends tummy whe they get preggy, they can touch mine. I'll ask ALL the above questions & more! LOL
      I've got no problem answering them either.

    2. Abi oo..Nigerians are overly paranoid about such things.. Anyway blame it on society abi the African heritage.

    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    4. Nixon, Nixon seriously get a life! She no dey do again!!!! Kai.

  6. One topic I'm totally ignorant about. I'm learning a lot, please mothers/mothers-to-be keep the comments coming. For some reason I'm nervous around pregnant women, except my sister.

    1. I wouldn't really tag this #ignorance, I'm just surprised like Thelma we need etiquette lessons for pregnant ladies? Na wa o. Apart from bluntly pointing out someone's size during pregnancy I honestly see no harm in the other 4. Let's have some freedom na..

  7. Well, those are the EXACT questions Erniesha would ask could choose to either answer them or ignore them....#nobiggie..

    How have you been mami? It has been a while..

  8. I see, I must take note of those thoughts you mentioned. Greetings!

  9. I wouldn't blame any pregnant woman who reacts this way, mennn d world is wicked and this things we see in movies happen real life,I remember a neighbour who carried her baby for three years in d womb,whenever she goes to the hospital all they see is an empty stomach and series of test showed she was fine and nothing was wrong, her friend was the one who touched her tommy and all this wahala started, this was revealed after series of prayers and visitation to different churches. As for me,I am not an inquisitive person when it comes to people's pregnancy so I just mind my biz.

  10. Only my hubby, mum, doctor and nurses touched my stomach. I guess the Nigerian mentality held most people back.

    I learnt not to ask questions or make remarks except you're really close to me. I just touched someone else's stomach for the first time this month and that was because she complained the lower part was really soft unlike her first pregnancy which I advised her to see the doctor.

  11. The truth is some people are just innappropraite. If I don't know you then don't try to touch my belly, maybe it is the nigerian in me but it makes me very uncomfortable.

  12. Fear of man..(
    How can you say u ve faith and you are hiding pregnancy?Then you will invite people for naming.. am not saying announce to the world but when people ask, dont lie.. God put the pregnancy there except its satan*s baby.. in uk people upload their scan on facebook. It may look like its over the top.. but that is faith. Our lives and times are in God*s hands. Lets pray and not fear. Be circumspect but dont be overly righteous or careful. Only God protects. Satan can transform and still know anout the pregnancy even if u hide. Only God shields us

  13. I am heavy and Ive desired people patting my belly....but none yet!
    I was wondering why?(my first pregnancy in Nigeria) now I get it

  14. Same questions are just not funny! Someone saw me and was like "why is your nose so huge?!" And it was an elderly person.. I didn't respond so she knew I was pissed and apologised later .. Like how can u be so dumb??! Wen u see a pregnant woman just say congrats and move the f**k on!

  15. One pompous elderly lady once called me ugly when I was 8months + pregnant.

    Just because she didn't recognize me. Hmmmm this our African culture really allows some silly elders get away with things.

    The Edo woman in me gave her like 10 slaps in my mind.

    She said " wow clare, wow, I didn't recognize you, you are so ugly. Wow"

    I wish I could send a picture of my pretty face then o. Cos I vex well.

    1. What a stupid woman I would have given her a seasoned answer! Rubbish!!!

  16. If u live outside Nigeria I think ur mentality changes a bit, the moment I found out I was pregnant I told all my friends, church ppl, work people and I was everywhere for every one to see. My pregnancy was smooth and fine. I loved ppl rubbing my belly cus I enjoyed being the center of attention. Infact I miss all the extra love I need to go get baby number 2 lool. Also everyone knew my due date, ppl asks and I tell. If anything was going to go wrong with the pregnancy it would have if I told anyone or not it was all in God's hands.

  17. Thanks for the advice, points were quite noted but it really depends on the person's personality. I recall I saw a friend of mine when pregnant and later saw her when she was very heavy and unconsciously touched her belly, she blushed!

    To describe Bagauda as "primitive" made me cringe! Haba it's obvious you never went out. Sahad stores is about the most popular mall apart from others at Sabo Gari, where law school students frequently visited. Did you take time out to visit Zaria, Kaduna and Abuja. Some did and came back with goods sold to colleagues.

    Sure Baguda is a conservative place but certainly not primitive.

    Proud Ex Law Student,, 2010/2011set

    1. Lawyer, do you realize that all those places you mentioned are NOT Bagauda? Kano town and Sabon Gari are not Bagauda. Sahad stores (which I visited every other weekend for my provisions and supplies) is not in Bagauda. Neither is Zaria etc. Bagauda is a primitive village that hadn't seen electricity in 2 years, as of 2010. The campus itself isn't fenced and I had to share my living space with the most disgusting reptiles and crawly creatures. Bagauda is primitive.

  18. This comes just when I got in to work this morning and a colleague from another department said "Madam download this belle nah" My wat!!! got so pissed but quietly walked passed. Not to mention those who ask "when is your EDD"? what you need that for, c'mon that's my business!


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