What Not to Say to Women with a High Risk Pregnancy

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Feature image from BARNESJEWISH

“Just relax OR If it’s meant to be then it’s meant to be OR The baby will decide when it’s ready to come.”

Telling someone to relax, not only does not help them relax, but it also trivialises their stress and worry. Instead of simply dismissing the stress of a high-risk pregnancy by distracting your friend or telling her to get over it. Instead, ask her if she would like to talk about it, tell her you understand how stressful it must be, and that she is justified to worry.

Tell her that you hear her concerns and think they are valid… Then try and help her relax by actually doing something relaxing with her, not just telling her to relax and then leaving.

“Oh, Yes, I know, pregnancy is such a worry.  I remember when we were having our last baby and we couldn’t get in to see the natural therapy hypnobirthing class for three months!  It was so stressful!”

Um, not the same thing…

“Braxton Hicks are nothing to worry about.”

Braxton Hicks are actually nothing to worry about, but you can’t tell that to a woman with a high-risk pregnancy. Also, you don’t have any idea if it is Braxton Hicks or not.

Don’t tell a woman with a high-risk pregnancy to chill out. It’s not that easy. It doesn’t work.

Listen to her worries, without being condescending or patronising. Accept that she has every right to worry about her baby, and help ease her stress in any way you can without being abrupt or impatient.


If it’s premature, at least you didn’t put on too much weight / get too many stretch marks / have to be pregnant for too long…

Um, no those things don’t really matter in comparison to her babies health. Anyone who says this has completely missed the point of having children and starting a family. It is an insult and makes the person saying it sound dumb.

A Caesarian is so much better for your lady parts anyway

Thanks for looking on the bright side at least.  But, piss off.

You aren’t allowed to be more worried than the mother

Don’t share your own stress with your pregnant friend. She is worried enough. She is more worried than you, trust me. It’s wonderful that you care enough to be worried about your friend / sister / family member, but telling her your own worries make them her problem.

Saying and Doing nothing

This is by far the worst crime of all.

So what can you do …

Ask her genuine questions.

And listen to her answers.


by Meg

Meghan Brewster is a writer and blogger. She is an ITP patient and launched ITP&Me in 2011. She is a coffee lover and a try hard dancer. @meghan_brewster

One thought on “What Not to Say to Women with a High Risk Pregnancy

  1. tigereyes0914@gmail.com'
    Jennifer says:

    I love this! I would also add: Don’t say, “keep that baby in there!” Uhh, that’s the idea. You saying that only puts added stress on me when I’m already doing everything I can to keep the baby in. Plus, I really don’t have THAT much control over it.

    (This has been said to me more times than I can count with my current pregnancy. I’m 27 weeks and I’ve been in the hospital 4 times for contractions. I know people mean well but it really just stresses me out.)

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