Expecting? Congratulations! We're thrilled for you. It's likely you've been warned about what is to come: the backaches, the leg cramps, the swelling and the heartburn. What you may not be aware of is the fact that once the baby starts to grow, you are in for public scrutiny from everyone and anyone.
For some unexplained reason, when certain people see a baby bump, they suddenly feel completely justified in firing away at a poor mom-to-be with inappropriate and highly personal questions. If you haven't already experienced this fun aspect of pregnancy, prepare yourself. The bigger the bump, the more shocking the inquiries. They don't just come from friends and family, either. Still yourself for inquisitions concerning your unborn baby from perfect strangers at the grocery store, the barista at the coffee shop, co-workers and possibly even your boss.
We hate to be the ones to break this to you, but certain well-meaning individuals have somehow decided that a bun in the oven means an expectant mother's personal life is everyone's business. The questions found below are some of the most common and unbelievable ones that are actually posed to pregnant women. If you hear one of these queries, we give you permission to plead the fifth, give the asker the evil eye or get yourself the heck out of there at a dead waddle.
Don't say we didn't warn you. Things are about to get awkward. Read on for 15 questions you won't believe people ask.
15 When and Where Was Baby Conceived?
Oh, you want to know where I had an intimate sexual encounter and if it was a session of afternoon delight or a romp in the wee hours of the morning? Great! Let me tell you everything! I've been wishing and hoping someone would ask me about the most private and personal aspect of my life. Where do I start? Oh. You want to know what position was used? Why don't I just draw you a freaking diagram?
Actually, on second thought, how my baby was made is none of your damn business! Just because I'm sporting a pretty obvious baby bump does not mean I want to share with you how it got there.
Yep, it's pretty clear I did some stuff to make this baby a reality, but the fact that you feel it's okay and normal to ask me about it is making me want to squirt you in the eye with breastmilk. Now back off.
14 Was Your Pregnancy On Purpose...Or an Accident?
Uh...no comment. The facts behind how my baby came to be are none of you business, and never will be. If I want anyone to know this information, I'll be the one to decide who to share it with, and how much to divulge.
You basically just asked me if I was using birth control at the time of conception, if I used protection or if I've been trying and trying to have a baby. Whatever the truth is, I'm pregnant. That is all that matters now.
Do you hear me asking you whether or not you want me to walk away now? No? That's because it's none of your concern. If I want to walk away, I will. Maybe I planned this baby down to the very moment he came to be, or maybe he was a sweet and unexpected surprise. Once again, I'm not sharing the personal details of my private life with you unless I choose to. Don't ask this question. Ever again.
13 How Long Were You Trying?
Yet another idiotic question I'm not in the mood to answer. Maybe I've been trying for 7 years, or maybe I only had to try for 7 minutes. If I wanted you to know the answer to this question, I would volunteer the information.
Infertility is one of the most sensitive topics out there: raw and real and very private. Asking this question could open painful wounds. Maybe I've had multiple early miscarriages; maybe I've been hoping to have a baby for as long as I can remember, or maybe I was blessed with a child on my first try.
Whatever the case, it's my body. It's my baby. Don't ask me about stuff like this. I don't ask you how long you've been trying to lose the last ten pounds, or how long you've been trying to get your boyfriend to propose. This is not an appropriate question. Don't ask it.
12 Is the Father Happy About It?
Why don't you ask him? Oh, wait. Don't. Why not? Well, that question is stupid. Men react to the news that a child is on the way in a variety of different fashions. Some bond with their child-to-be right away and are over-the-moon excited. Others don't really feel connected to the baby until she's born, and he gets to see her and hold her for the first time. Some men are terrified. Others are ecstatic. Most are a little bit of both.
Asking a mom whether or not the father of her child is excited she's having a baby is never a good idea. If he is, she'll most likely feel offended that someone would ever assume otherwise. If he isn't, or doesn't seem to be, it's a great way to make a girl feel like sh** when she's already emotional and exhausted and uncomfortable.
Be nice to expecting moms. If this question is on your mind, keep it to yourself, dammit. Better yet, say something along the lines of, "I am really excited for you. And that is all that matters. Would you like this apple fritter?"
11 Are You Happy It's A Boy/Girl?
It's a baby and I love it. Are we really going back to the dark ages where one gender was valued more than another? I didn't think so. Sure, some ladies have multiple babies all of the same gender. Assuming they may want to change things up is logical. It still doesn't mean you should ask this insensitive question.
Once again, if I want to share personal information concerning my private feelings with you, I will. Asking me this question is more likely bring out the mama bear claws than an honest answer. All babies are beautiful, and boys and girls are equally lovely. The end.
Mom-to-be Lisa Ferraro shared, "When told I was (thrilled to be) pregnant with my 3rd boy, (said to me by at least 3 people, some strangers, some acquaintances): 'Oh, that's too bad -- are you going to try for a girl??' I was speechless after the first one; to the others, I could only reply: 'Are you joking?'"
10 Are You Getting Some?
Not going to answer this. Ever. It's a private topic that I'm not really comfortable discussing unless I'm the one to volunteer the information. Just assume I had sex within the last nine months or so, and leave it at that.
This question feels a bit pervy. It's not like people go around asking each other, "So, when's the last time you got lucky?" Why is it suddenly alright to ask this question if a woman has a baby bump? The answer is: it isn't alright. I may be feeling sensitive about this subject already. Questioning me about it is going to make me feel either embarrassed, annoyed or just plain furious.
Steer clear of this subject. Give it a wide berth. You can safely assume the bedroom is functioning in the way I'm comfortable with. Maybe I'm a sex fiend. Maybe I'm wearing a chastity belt until Baby arrives. Either way, stay out of my sex life, and I'll stay out of yours. Deal?
9 How Much Weight Have You Gained?
Oh, I'm so glad you asked. I've been wanting to share this information with someone, and you are making it so easy to open up about my changing body and ever-growing belly. You sweetheart, you. Thanks for being so super-sensitive about my size during this emotional and overwhelming time in my life.
Wait, actually, what I meant to say was: WHY IN THE WORLD ARE YOU ASKING ME THIS QUESTION? I've gained..some. There's another human inside of my body, after all. Plus a placenta and some other stuff. How much weight have YOU gained since I last saw you? Fascinating. Now pass me that bowl of candy bars and avert your eyes. Nothing to see here.
If I ever, ever want you to know how much I weigh, I'll be sure to let you know. In the mean time, kindly leave me alone. You are now walking on very thin ice with me, and my weight is increasing every damn day. Chances are you don't want to be anywhere near me if the frozen feelings you are teetering on shatter. You've been warned.
8 Should You Be Eating That?
Maybe I should, maybe I shouldn't. Whatever it is I'm currently eating that offends you is none of your concern. It's my body and my baby, which means you have absolutely no business making any comments about it.
If I'm ingesting something that may legitimately harm my child like hard core drugs, tell someone in law enforcement and allow them to take care of the matter appropriately. If I'm on my third soft pretzel of the morning, cut me some slack. My baby will be just fine. I might have a little bit of a stomachache later, but it's so totally worth it that I don't care one bit.
Next time you are eating something that isn't kale, remind me to ruin the experience of enjoying delicious fare for you by saying something judgey about it. I'm sure you'll love it about as much as I'm enjoying your unsolicited commentary right now. Pass the cheese sauce!
7 Expecting Twins?
Fitness expert, Jackie Camborde, shared her amazing solution for dealing with inappropriate questions: calling people out when their questions are stupid.
She says, "Most of my clients were very complimentary and supportive throughout my pregnancy, but I had one client who, every time she would see me, would say something like 'I can't believe you're getting so big! Is that normal or are you having twins?' Keep in mind, I was not overtly large to begin with, and carried all my weight in front."
Camborde continues, "After about three or four comments like this, I finally said, 'You might want to look at a pregnancy magazine before you comment on someone's size - I am actually carrying very small right now - wait 'til you see me at 8 months!' This shut her up,"
Yep, what Jackie said. Don't ask this question unless you are purposely trying to tick someone off. It will never go well.
6 How Are You Planning To Lose the Baby Weight?
Welp, I'm currently in the throes of gaining said baby weight, so why don't you slow that freight train of inappropriate questions down just a bit? Actually, on second thought, don't ask me a question about losing baby weight. Ever. Even when my baby is 27.
I have so much on my mind right now, I could spontaneously combust at any moment. I'm dealing with a tiny little person squirming inside of me. In fact, right this very moment, there is an elbow in my rib cage. It doesn't feel awesome. I'm stressing about whether I have enough diapers, wipes, onsies and burp cloths. I'm struggling to decide which crib to purchase, or if I should co-sleep. Speaking of sleep, I'm not doing much of that right now.
Also, I just ate a whole block of cheese, and your question isn't making me feel any better about it. Hate is a strong word, so I'll just say I dislike your question very much.
5 Planning To Circumcise?
My child's private parts are your business how? When? Where? Why? Oh ya, that's right...Never!! This question is not only polarizing and controversial, it's creepy. None of your concern. I get it. You feel strongly one way or the other on the subject and are hoping to educate me about your point of view.
No thanks. I'm good. If I want to make an informed decision, which I do, I will do my own research and come to my own conclusion. In the meantime, I'd rather not tell you what I plan to do. Not because I'm not confident in my decision, but because this is a private matter that is no one's business but mine and the baby's father's.
I will now bid you adieu and hope I never see you again. You make me very, very uncomfortable. A piece of unsolicited advice for your unsolicited question? Circumcision is not a word that should EVER come up in small talk. Bye, Felicia.
4 Planning To Breastfeed?
Candace Broom shared on MomMostTraveled.com, "When I was pregnant with my first child, I was in the post office waiting in line and this woman who I had never seen before in my life called out loudly, 'Are you going to breast feed or bottle feed?' That was pretty bizarre. I mostly felt bewildered."
Believe it or not, this question is a common one, and it makes my blood boil. Maybe I plan to breastfeed, maybe I plan to feed my child formula. Whatever I decide, it is my business and mine alone. Once again, research on the topic abounds. My doc has filled me in on the facts, and I'm hell-bent on doing the best I can. That's all you need to know.
If breastfeeding is the best option for me, I'll do it. If not, I won't. End of story. My baby will be adored, showered with kisses and well-fed. Of that I can assure you. Further information on this topic is simply none of your concern.
3 Are You Planning To Have Another? When?
Seriously!? Do you see my current state? Do you see my swollen ankles? Have you heard of waiting until the roast cools before asking after what dessert will be? Apparently not, you eager beaver, you. Let me break this down for you: the amount of babies I plan on having is a very private and personal matter.
I am currently a little busy growing a child. While running a marathon, one does not usually strategize about how to run the next one. The runner is just putting one foot in front of the other, hoping to make it to the finish line at some point. That's about how I'm feeling right now. I'm not in any state to think about the next baby.
Let me get this one out. Let me heal from the trauma of child birth. Allow me to get my baby on a schedule and get a grasp on the new normal. Permit me to find myself again in the midst of dirty diapers and spit-up cloths. Then, and only then, I will still refuse to answer this question.
2 May I Touch The Bump?
Well, at least you asked, which is less than I can say for the last creeper who wanted to caress my belly. Unfortunately, the answer is still a resounding, "NO!" I have never wanted to be touched less than right at this very moment.
Yep, my baby is in there. She's comfy and cozy. She's happy as can be. That still doesn't mean it's normal for you to possess the unbridled urge to feel me up. Back away with your hands up.
Go pet a kitten or something. I'm not a petting zoo. I'm a cranky-ass pregnant woman, and I don't want you, or anyone really, all up in my grill trying to feel my baby kick. Trust me, she's got a mean roundhouse and an impressive uppercut. Sadly, you're going to have to take my word for it, cause you're not getting anywhere near my bulging tummy. Thanks for asking. Now go.
1 Are You Afraid To Give Birth?
Which part? The contractions, the pain, the anguish, the possible complications or the lifetime of being responsible for another human? No, I'm not afraid. I'm absolutely terrified! And you just made it way worse. Thanks a lot.
Dagmara Scalise, author of Twin Sense: A Sanity-Saving Guide to Raising Twins--From Pregnancy Through the First Year, shares some valuable pointers on how to deal with wildly inappropriate questions a pregnant women will most likely encounter on a regular basis.
She says, "I've come to realize the best response is 1) Have a sense of humor. Remember that most people are not trying to be mean, they simply want to interact and don't realize they may be stepping over the line. 2) Develop standard responses. You know you're going to get comments, so prepare some standard answers. If you tend to be sarcastic, have your zingers ready. 3) If someone really crosses the line, don't be shy. Tell them that what they said, or did, is inappropriate."
There you have it, mamas. Laugh about it, brush it off, or tell a person how inappropriate their question is. The choice is up to you, and best of luck out there. Just remember, the baby you get at the end is completely worth all of the idiotic questions you have to deal with before he arrives.