6 Reasons You Should Never Ever Ask a Woman If She’s Pregnant

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The pretty blonde lady is Liz, whom I ALMOST asked if she was pregnant when she took her Facebook profile down (she was--with twins!).

Conventional wisdom tells us that you shouldn’t ask a gal if she’s expecting. But in certain circumstances, you may think you’re excused from following this rule. You’re not. Here’s why.

She’ll think you think she’s fat.
A very nice woman who reads this blog (hi!) asked me if I was pregnant the other night at our friend’s 30th birthday party. My immediate response: “No, I’m just chubby.” She was quick to say that she didn’t think I was overweight, but my drink of choice at the bar–water–was what made her ask. The truth: I just didn’t feel like drinking that night. It happens. We laughed it off, and I didn’t want her to feel bad, but another gal may have been annoyed because…

She’s pregnant and doesn’t want to tell you.
I just heard about a recent bride who, like me, wasn’t boozing it up at a party. So her friends grilled her about why she wasn’t drinking. They didn’t buy her story so, in tears, she confessed that yes, she is pregnant. She hadn’t hit the critical three-month mark, when your risk of miscarriage goes way down, so she wasn’t ready to share her news with anyone yet. She was bummed that she was forced into spilling the beans.

She’s trying to get pregnant and doesn’t want anyone to know.
My friend also skipped drinking when she and her hubby were trying to have a baby, which prompted nosy folks to get all up in her ovaries. Since she didn’t feel like discussing her bedroom habits with said friends (hey, not everyone’s as open about that stuff!), she was hoping a question like that wouldn’t come up.

She’s trying to get pregnant and isn’t having any success.
You know how frustrating it is when you’re looking for a job and someone asks you, “So, did you get a new job yet?” Imagine that job is instead a pregnancy. My pal assures me this is far more frustrating. Being asked if you’re pregnant in this case is a reminder of your fertility struggles, and that’s no fun.

She’s miscarried.
Speaking of things that aren’t fun, losing a pregnancy has got to be one of the most heart-wrenching experiences a woman can go through. Again, asking a woman if she’s pregnant brings this issue to the top of her mind. Why would you want to do that?

She doesn’t know whether or not she’s pregnant.
Maybe she’s trying to get pregnant and hasn’t taken the test yet. Few people would admit, “I might be pregnant!” just because you asked. So don’t.

What other reasons are there for not asking a woman if she’s expecting? Or do you think it’s within your rights as a concerned individual to ask this?

More About Having Babies
The Best Before-a-Baby Advice I Never Got
Maybe to Baby: Lauren Realized She Was Less Not Ready for a Family
Maybe to Baby: How Cynthia Decided She Was Ready for Motherhood

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  • Jennifer Chemerika

    Totally agree with all of these! Makes me glad I’m not a big drinker for anyone to notice if I’m ever not drinking *because* of pregnancy!

    • mereditor

      Thanks, Jen! That does make it easier. I’m not a big drinker either, but this was the first time I was out socially with the gal who asked me, so I guess she didn’t know that!

  • http://twitter.com/OliviaRubio Rosy Rubio

    A few years ago I was going on vacation with my grandparents, and when we were about to get on the plane, the lady that was checking the tickets instead of the typical “Hi, may I see your ticket?” or something she asked me “Are you pregnant?”, just because I was wearing an oversize t-shirt and a cardigan, I was like “No, of course not!”, it was so embarrasing mostly because my grandparents heard it. Then, the rest of the trip I was thinking “Am I fat?”, so it’s not nice asking that when you don’t even know the person.

    • http://twitter.com/mereditor Meredith Bodgas

      That is insane that she thought she could ask you that! I hope she was mortified when she got her answer. A man once told me I looked pregnant in the shirt I was wearing. I was like, thanks.

  • Preeti

    Wow this post was perfect timing. I went out with 4 girl friends from college on Saturday. We don’t get to see each other that often because of work and living in different towns so you tend to notice if someone looks way different. One of my friends got married 3 years ago and mentioned that they’d started trying for a baby about a year and a half ago. They ended up having some fertility issues & had a horrible time trying to conceive. When we met up on Saturday I noticed that she was wearing a super loose dress when she usually prefers fitted clothing. Then I noticed that she ordered only soda, which again isn’t normal for one of our girls nights. No one else seemed to notice the changes so I didn’t want to say anything. I ended up spending half the night trying to figure out if she was pregnant or not. 

    This morning I got a text from her to get on Skype. When I logged on she told me she was pregnant and that she’d hit the 3 month mark the day before. She said she could tell I was suspicious but was happy I didn’t confront her. 

    Anyways I’m so exited for her. Plus I’m going to be Auntie!

    • http://twitter.com/mereditor Meredith Bodgas

      You called it! And how kind that you suppressed the urge to ask–I bet that text was a much nicer surprise than guilting her into telling you!

  • Kirsten Hey

    Or maybe she is pregnant, and planning to have a termination and would rather not say so. 

    • http://twitter.com/mereditor Meredith Bodgas

      Also a possibility!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=81012924 Nicole Kindnerski

    Or maybe she has recently given birth- the belly doesn’t shrink to non-pregnant size right away after birth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/melynda.deckens Mélynda Deckens

    Pretty much been through all of those reasons.  First, I carry my weight in the tummy area.  Then we had a miscarriage. Then we went through months of “trying” to get pregnant without success. When we were finally able, we didn’t want to announce right away. And after giving birth, even though I lost all the weight, my tummy still sticks out. I have been asked through all these stages ..so well-meaning people, please don’t ask women.  It can really hurt.

    • mereditor

      Oh, Melynda, I’m so sorry you had to endure all that. But how wonderful that you’re a mom now. I hear you on the tummy sticking out thing. I’ve never had a baby and I look perpetually pregnant anyway!