When you announce that you are pregnant (especially for the first time), you will get various reactions. Even from strangers! And some responses might take you aback. You might not even know how to respond. I remember being utterly shocked at some things people said to me when I was pregnant. Somehow, when you grow a baby inside you, your body, reproductive health, and family planning become socially acceptable for anyone to react to. Let’s discuss the more shocking reactions and how they might make you feel! Perhaps you will be able to relate to some of these.
6 Reactions You’ll Get When Telling People You’re Pregnant
1. “Aren’t You a Little Old/Young for That?”
Everyone seems to have an opinion regarding your child’s conception, and one thing people rush to judge is your age when you announce your pregnancy. However, healthy pregnancies can happen for women of any reproductive age!1 Besides, as someone who had her first child in her 30’s, age is just a number! It is important to remember that when you choose to start or expand your family, it is nobody’s business but your own.
2. “Did You Try for a Boy or a Girl?”
The funny thing many people do not understand is that gender is not necessarily something that you can “try for.”2 Many old wives’ tales and conception strategies claim you can select the gender of your child. Things such as timing intercourse before or after ovulation or using a particular position, but those are just that — old wives’ tales. In modern medicine, we have IVF gender selection, which makes sense for some families and their circumstances! Many couples try for a baby and are happy with whichever gender they conceive. That’s not to say gender disappointment isn’t real, but often, I’ve found that couples simply want a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
3. “I Thought So. You’re Already Showing!” or “You Don’t Even Look Pregnant.”
When you become pregnant, you’ll also be surprised how people think it’s okay to comment on your body. You’ll need to remind yourself that they likely have good intentions and aren’t trying to be hurtful, even though their words may hurt. No one wants to feel too big or small; we all want a healthy child! The best thing someone can say regarding appearance is, “You look beautiful.”
4. “How Many Children Do You Want?”
Once you announce your pregnancy, perfect strangers find it acceptable to openly discuss your family planning, which I find pretty awkward! It’s even more awkward when it is close family members. Some families are complete with one child for many reasons. Not all single-child families have only one child by choice, which is something to consider when asking a mother or a family how many children they want. Asking this question puts a family on the spot to explain or defend their reproductive choices.
5. “Do You Think It Could Be Twins?”
It is so interesting that people always want to ask if twins run in the family. Multiples are such a blessing. And so are singletons! However, honestly, I don’t know how moms of multiples do it. We shared our pregnancy with friends and family very early, by choice. When I was early in pregnancy, the prospect of having twins terrified me, so whenever someone asked me this question, my anxiety spiraled.
6. “Congratulations! I Am So Happy for You and Your Growing Family!”
If someone tells me they are expecting a baby, I first congratulate them and share in their excitement. I do my best not to pass judgment on that person and their family and instead celebrate with them in this moment of joy. There is nothing more exciting than welcoming a new baby into this world! In my opinion, this is the only appropriate reaction when you share your pregnancy news with family, friends, or even a stranger.
If you like celebrating a pregnancy announcement with a gift, I recommend a few great books for any expectant mother. “Cat and Nat’s Mom Truths” by Catherine Belknap and Natalie Telfer is laugh-out-loud funny and provides a realistic perspective on what motherhood is really like. “Expecting Better” by Emily Oster uses a scientific-based approach to address pregnancy myths and old wives’ tales about pregnancy. Let’s all join together to celebrate pregnancy announcements and remember the impact your reaction could have on an expectant mother.