Don’t ask me if I’m pregnant. Don’t ask me if I’m thinking about it. Don’t ask. Unless we have shared sleepovers, have talked on the phone for hours at end, or you’re married to me, just don’t. The status of my uterus is none of your business.
On behalf of all women of childbearing age, know that it is never appropriate to ask a woman if she’s pregnant.
After countless tales from friends far and wide about awkward encounters of the “none of your business” kind, I’m here to tell you – just stop. You’re putting us in a really bad situation, no matter what.
- Maybe she’s desperately wanting a baby – a little perfect baby burrito to swaddle and call her own. But it isn’t coming as naturally as all of the masses procreating all over the place would make you believe. And she’s sad about that. And confused. And frustrated. So thanks – rub it in.
- Maybe she just lost a baby that she’ll never get to hold in her arms. She may still have some of the signs and symptoms of pregnancy, and you may think that means she’s pregnant, but in reality she’s going through something that is extremely difficult. And she’s not ready to talk about it. Especially you, random person in the break room. Excuse her while she hides in the supply closet and sobs into her sleeve.
- Maybe she’s terrified that she will have a miscarriage, so she is pregnant, but not telling anyone until the “safe zone” of 12 weeks has passed. You can debate whether it is good for people to know early so that in the event that the (more common than people realize) miscarriage was to happen, she’d have a support system. But that’s not your call to make. You don’t get to decide that for her. So let her keep that secret to herself. Don’t out her before she’s ready to share her news.
- Maybe she needs to shore things up with her boss and work first. Most workplaces are mom-friendly (and by law, work can’t discriminate,) but there’s a lot of fear that comes with pregnancy, maternity leave, and being a mother and working. She may not be ready to tell her employer, and she sure doesn’t you to be the one to accidentally leak that information.
- Maybe she’s just not ready yet (or won’t be ever,) and she’s having trouble coming to terms with the societal expectations that come with being a human that possesses a uterus. And your questions? They spin her into an existential crisis all over again.
- Maybe she’s just fat. Either because she never lost that last baby weight or because she loves cheese dip a little too much. There’s no baby in that belly, but because you asked, she’s going to the gym now, and your face is on the punching bag.
- Maybe it’s just none of your business. Because it’s not.
Ladies, we’re the worst culprits. Men (for the most part) seem to know this is a banned topic, but for some reason, as women, we feel that we can speculate, question, and speak on behalf of each other’s uteri. I’ve been guilty of this. I’ve been a part of conversations where people asked whether someone not even present in the conversation was pregnant, I’ve been present where a woman was asked — in front of the masses — whether she was pregnant.
Can we all just agree that we don’t want this to happen to us, so we’re not going to do it to anyone else?