What Not to Say to Someone When They Announce Their Pregnancy
Pregnancy seems to be an invitation to say a lot of things to a couple, especially to women. It is as if common decency goes out the window, though this is a time that emotions run high and sensitivity is altered. People comment on things regarding pregnancy at different times, such as the announcement, the size of a woman’s belly, and her ability to do things. If you feel like you are unsure how to respond to someone after a pregnancy announcement, here are a few things not to say.
1. "Finally!" – As if you waiting for their pregnancy is more important than their timing or their waiting. Many times couples go through struggles that are unknown to most, so your contentment of their pregnancy will not be worth more than their relief. Your desire for their pregnancy is not valid in their struggles.
2. "I knew it!" – Even if you did have an inkling that she might be pregnanct, you don’t need to announce it. A. It is not about you. 2. It was kept quiet for a reason. Please don’t make that effort seems worthless to the pregnant woman.
3. "Again?" – Yes again. And guess what. It is not only the first and second child who should be celebrated. All children are a blessing. If a couple decides to bring more blessings into the world than you are comfortable with, don’t worry, you won’t be the one up in the middle of the night taking care of it.
4. "You must not have a T.V." – Meaning that the couple has nothing better to do than to make babies (as if watching T.V. was actually better than making love). FYI, it only takes one time in the sack to make a baby. What a couple does in their private time should not be of your concern.
5. "So soon?" – This can come after getting married, having a previous baby, starting a job, or some other big life event. We might have our ideas on timings of babies, but if it is not your family it is not your job to decide when it is best on someone else’s timeline to have a baby. That is for the couple to decide. Trying to advise a couple on the best time to have a baby would probably be best saved to before pregnancy. Once the woman is already pregnant, its best to keep your mouth shut about it until later on.
6. "Can you afford it?" – Do remember how you were taught that asking a person about their income was impolite. Pregnancy doesn’t make it a time that for that rule to change.
What you can say:
1. “Congratulations! This baby is lucky to have you as parents.” – Something along these lines is a good start.
2. If you know that this announcement is not a happy one for the woman, be her support. Provide active listening skills, and let her talk. Judgement or criticizing is not needed unless specifically asked for.
3. If you are unsure of how they are feeling, just ask. Here’s an example: “How do you feel about it?” Pretty simple. Once you know, you can then respond accordingly. If the woman is unsure about her feelings, this will be another time to provide those active listening skills.
Remember, expressing discontentment to parents in any way for a pregnancy that is already in progress will not be beneficial for anyone. Please keep your personal preferences to yourself.