I don’t know where along the generations of society this became an ok thing to ask a woman. But, it is not ok. It is so not ok to ask any woman this question:
Are you pregnant?
Now some of you may be reading this thinking, “YES!! This is so not ok for anyone to ask a woman!!” While others may be reading this thinking, “Well, it depends on your relationship.”
I actually agree with both of you. I really believe that it is a completely inappropriate question to ever ask a woman. But yes, it can be a totally appropriate thing to ask depending on the relationship with the woman. For instance if your relationship is:
Best friend since kindergarten… No
Gas Attendant… No
Hair Dresser… No
Doctor, Nurse, or other health care professional directly involved in the medical care of the woman… YES!
The thing is if a woman is pregnant it really isn’t anyone else’s business. She will obviously tell in due time those that are close to her and eventually, probably, the world through social media. It should always be on her terms though and not through the awkward, fumbled answer from a bluntly rude question asked by another. I’m willing to bet that an immense majority of woman never anxiously plea in their minds that someone somewhere will ask if they are expecting so they can tell them yes. Nope, women are assertive and they will come out and say they’re pregnant, without need for anyone to ever ask first.
Here’s the problem with asking this question. By asking you are implying that you are looking at their figure and notice that their belly is large. Rude. Super, embarrassingly, rude of you. We as women have enough pressures and commentaries on how our bodies should or shouldn’t look, so why make it worse by asking such a question?
We as women have enough pressures and commentaries on how our bodies should or shouldn’t look, so why make it worse by asking such a question?
Some may ask because they thought they might have heard someone else say she was. If this sort of thing is the case, then you should always confirm with sources. Don’t ask her directly, ask whom you thought you heard it from. Or, check out her Facebook if you are close and see if she has made mention of it. After this, you can say with confidence, “Hey I heard you were pregnant, congratulations!” Which is much more kind than flat out asking.
There are many possible circumstances the woman may be in when this question is asked. She could not be pregnant, which leaves her questioning her appearance now and cutting down her self-image. She could be pregnant, but just newly pregnant and not ready for it to be told to others yet. In this instance, she will now have heightened anxiety having to come up with her impromptu lie of no and the awkward dialogue afterwards. She could have just miscarried and be struggling with infertility problems. How much more heartache did you cause her to have by asking that insensitive question?
Basically, you never know what a woman’s circumstance is. And, you don’t need to know. Women deserve respect and privacy to personal matters and expecting a baby is the most sacred and precious of personal circumstances.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.