From Family And Strangers

Now that you’re pregnant and on display, the questions from family and strangers alike are coming fast and furiously. Here’s how to handle them.

Pregnant mom with her friend

Pregnant women are often seen as a public commodity -- free to be belly rubbed, bugged and questioned. Here are a few ways to handle some of the more common questions.

“Are you pregnant?”

Optimally this sort of question is reserved for the visibly and obviously pregnant, in which case the asker may simply be trying to strike up a conversation. If you’re in the mood, use it as an opportunity to make a new friend. If you’re not, look horrified and back away -- they will get the hint that it’s not a question you should be asking anyone, ever.

“Was it planned?”

This is the rudest question on the planet. Feel free to ignore, turn away or give a lighthearted slap to the back of the head. Seriously, who asks something like that of a family member, friend or stranger?

“Is it a boy or a girl?”

There are loads of clever answers for this one. “Yes” is a good one that will cause a few head scratches. Feel free to disclose your baby’s sex, but if you’re not finding out, letting them in on that info is likely to lead to more questions -- namely, “Why?” So if you’re not up to explaining why you’re on Team Green, simply say that they weren’t able to tell or you’re not far along enough yet.

“What will you name your baby?”

This is potentially dangerous territory. So many moms have reported to me that upon spilling the beans on their chosen baby name, they were met with ire, dismissiveness or outright disgust. “Ugh, I won’t call him that,” one person might say. Or, “I knew a terrible person named Faith, why are you going to name her that?” It might be better to wait until your baby is born to reveal the name. Until then, say, “We haven’t decided yet.”

“Are you planning a natural birth or epidural?”

This is another mind-your-own-business question. Unless it’s a very good friend who you’ve already discussed birthing methods with -- or your doctor -- this person needs to zip their lips. Unless you’re totally prepared for a counter-argument or are comfortable saying what your plans are, simply say that you will see what happens when your baby is born and change the subject.

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