Friday, January 14, 2011

Reader Request: Asking if She's Pregnant

Sharon from Wisconsin would like to know:

When is it okay to ask a woman if she's pregnant?

Sharon, thank you for writing in. This is a great question! It may be difficult if someone you know starts turning away alcohol or making more trips to the lady's room, but no matter how curious any of us are about a friend, family member, neighbor or colleague, it is always best to wait until the mom-to-be has shared her news with the world. If she is with child and wants you to know, she'll share it when she is ready.

There may be some underlying reasons why she isn't so keen to share the news just yet. On the flip side, she may in fact just be experiencing health problems or gained weight from a prescription medication or even from the very love of food instead of being say 4 months pregnant, so it's best not to put anyone on the spot by asking. If you are wrong in your assumption, it could be completely awkward for you both moving forward.

I'll never forget the day while I was working in a health food store many years ago and the franchise owner (who stopped in monthly and was generally very personable with the customers), asked one of our regular female customers how far along she was. She wasn't pregnant! You could tell she was mortified. I was so embarrassed for both of them, I couldn't believe that he had asked her that. Case in point- never ask!

I know of a couple women personally, who although married for several years, the baby came as a surprise that they were not planning on, and those ladies took a little longer to tell everyone than those who had been 'trying' for months and couldn't wait to announce it to the world and post it on facebook the second they found out or hit the 12-week mark. Everyone has their own personal reasons for keeping quiet and we must respect  them.

A very close girlfriend of mine stayed tight-lipped with the news altogether because she was in the process of applying for a higher position within her company and didn't want anything to hold her back. Because she had friends and coworkers as friends on facebook and news travels fast, none of her closest friends even found out until she was 5 months along with her second baby (including myself) which is when she finally received the decision regarding the promotion, after which time she told her colleagues who were starting to gossip amongst themselves about her recent weight gain.

What are your thoughts? For those that are mothers- how and when did you decide to share your baby news?


*image (1)


  1. I made the mistake of telling co-workers that I knew I'd quit my job when I had my first child. (I was the administrator.) For that reason, I waited a long time, about 4 months, to tell them. I really didn't want anyone behaving differently toward me because they knew I was leaving. Friends and family were told immediately, it's so much fun to share that kind of exciting news.

  2. Hi Karla-
    When I saw the picture I thought you might have news for us :)

    I never ever ask. I have seen it happen to many times and it's the most uncomfortable experience for both parties.

    The other day I ran into a really good friend but I hadn't seen her since her pregnancy. I've only known her as really skinny, she had her first child around 2 years ago and I thought she might be pregnant again. I'm so glad I didn't ask, in our conversation she told me her little boy would be their only.
    Thank God!
    Have a fabulous weekend!

  3. I am not a mother, but stick with the rule of never asking and waiting until told. One thing I still can't get my head around since living in Spain is i)women start telling everyone they are pregnant even when they are as few as 6-8 weeks along. I never understand this and ii)Spanish woman are quite intrusive; if they don't ask someone if they are pregnant when they are not, they continually ask those of us without children "why not?". It's obviously a cultural thing but something I still find unnerving.

  4. Karla, oh, I agree, it is just asking for a faux pas experience! An expecting mother will announce it when she is ready!

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    Art by Karena


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