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You're huge! And other stupid things to say to moms-to-be

Jessica Simpson

Matt Sayles/Associated Press

Her Daisy Duke figure is long gone. But pregnant reality star Jessica Simpson isn't denying herself fried Oreos and Twinkies, reportedly her favourite treats. And with her due date right around the corner, why should she?

Even though doctors frown on excessive weight gain during pregnant, it's refreshing to see a celebrity who shows no signs of pregorexia – the eating disorder that leaves women starving for two.

Nevertheless, fame hasn't spared Ms. Simpson from being a target of the boorish comments that pregnant women are forced to endure, notes Today Moms editor (and former Globe Life reporter) Rebecca Dube.

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As Ms. Dube points out, just because pregnant women chose to skip birth control "doesn't mean you get to skip basic manners."

Ellen DeGeneres didn't pass up an opportunity to tease Ms. Simpson about her weight when the star appeared on her show last week. Pointing at Ms. Simpson's belly, Ms. DeGeneres said, "This looks like a joke."

Obviously, when a woman feels as big as a house, that's just what she wants to hear.

For pregnant women who, despite their best efforts, gain more than the recommended 25 to 35 pounds, tactless comments are not only unwelcome but also tiresomely predicable.

Even Reader's Digest has a list of what not to say to a pregnant woman. It includes "You look like you're ready to burst!" and – from restaurant servers clearing dishes after a meal – "Wow! You sure were hungry!"

Rudeness toward expectant mothers hit such a nerve that more than 250 Today Moms readers posted on Facebook about the worst offenders.

Among them were "You can't birth a toddler" and "You're huge! Have you got a litter in there?" and "You've exploded!"

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One way to deal with dumb comments is to practise a "boundary setting message," according to Momlogic.com.

Another option is to respond on a positive note ("I'm feeling great!") or laugh it off. Of course, this can be tough to do when hormones are raging and you haven't been able to lace up your shoes in weeks.

Moms, were you a target of unwelcome comments while pregnant? How did you deal with rude remarks?

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About the Author

Adriana Barton is based in The Globe and Mail’s Vancouver bureau. Her article on growing up with counterculture parents is published in a McGraw-Hill anthology, right after an essay by Margaret Atwood. She wishes her last name didn’t start with B. More

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