Family planning is personal

Marisca discusses why it is never a good idea to ask a woman if she is pregnant

I know I’ve written about this before but I’m going to say it again so the people in the back can hear me.

It is never okay to ask a woman if she is pregnant or when she will become pregnant.

First off, women have a lot more worth than just bearing children.

Secondly, in very, very few circumstances will a woman say yes and want to say yes and be comfortable saying yes or say no and be willing to say no happily and comfortably. The odds are the answer can only end in disaster. Let me break it down for you.

If she is pregnant, she might not be ready to tell the world yet and you’ve put her in an awkward position to either lie to you or be forced to tell you news she isn’t ready to tell yet. Typically, most women are excited to be pregnant and have planned out how to tell people their news. Don’t ruin that for them. Or she is pregnant and petrified and probably doesn’t want to talk about it with you. If she did, she’d start the conversation. If you are concerned about someone, just ask them if they are OK, not if they are with child.

If she is not pregnant, she might want to be and it pains her to talk about it. She may have just had a miscarriage or taken a negative pregnancy test. Would you like her to talk about the hardships of getting pregnant or cry in the middle of the grocery store? Or again, force her to lie to you while trying to put on brave face?

The estimated figure is that a miscarriage happens in around 1 in 4 recognized pregnancies, with 85 per cent of those happening in the first trimester. That means that miscarriages are common but that does not mean they are not extremely painful to go through and not all women want to openly discuss them. Around 1 in 100 women experience what’s called recurrent miscarriages which is two or more miscarriages back-to-back.

Infertility is also quite common. Out of 100 couples about 12 to 13 of them have trouble becoming pregnant.

The other thing to consider is that maybe a woman has just put on a couple of pounds. Or if you ask her if she’s pregnant, she will think you think she has gained weight. Not a good scene.

Maybe I sound angry about this topic. But I think a lot of women are frustrated when faced with this question. A lot of female friends have told me how uncomfortable it makes them. It is a personal matter and if we want to talk about it with you, we’ll bring it up. If you are stuck with a conversation starter, try asking someone about their career or hobbies. Or just talk about the weather and what is making headlines. Otherwise, mind your own business.


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