Several years back, I did a segment on a local TV show with 10 things people should avoid saying or doing to a pregnant woman they come in contact with.
Pregnancy is a stressful time for many women. Expecting mamas are considered “community property” in that the general public feel a certain amount of affection towards them. At work, moms-to-be are trying to navigate work expectations, stay on track, make adjustments to accommodate fatigue, morning sickness and in the early stages keep the news under wraps.
The US outlaws pregnancy discrimination at work outright, but many pregnant women say there are subtle ways even the most well-intentioned coworkers can make them feel ostracized.
Business Insider published an article this week with a list of 7 things HR professionals and other experts recommend people. avoid saying to their pregnant co-worker:
Some comments, like asking the baby’s gender, might seem well intentioned but come across as invasive. Other questions can make pregnant women feel alienated and might even discourage them from returning to the same job.
Here are seven things you should never say to a pregnant coworker — plus tips on what you should say.
Wow! You’re Getting Big
Comments regarding a woman — or anyone’s — body are never allowed in the workplace, said Alison Green, the creator of the popular work advice site Ask a Manager.
“No one wants to feel her colleagues are scrutinizing her body,” Green told Business Insider.
Additionally, pregnant women may already be anxious about their baby’s growth, as well as getting used to normal bodily changes that happen, said Lynn Taylor, workplace expert and author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job” Taylor also designs belts that help pregnant women feel more comfortable during these physical changes.
“Being pregnant in the office is a sensitive time in terms of what you hear from your coworkers,” Taylor told Business Insider. “I think most people in this nine-month period just want to be treated like your average employee, so try not to treat them very differently.”