Asking someone if they’re pregnant is a dangerous game. After all, you could easily insult them by implying that they look like they’ve gained enough weight to look pregnant.
So, you need to be tactful and polite. Luckily, this article has provided everything you need to know before asking if someone is pregnant.
Keep reading to learn more about the best way to ask them.
Can You Ask If Someone Is Pregnant?
You can ask if someone is pregnant. There’s nothing wrong with it if you do it correctly. However, you should know a few things before you even attempt to ask someone whether they’re carrying a baby.
It’s nice to ask if someone is pregnant. After all, it shows that you’re genuinely interested in their life. It also works whether you’re close friends with someone or have only just met them. You just need to be tactful.
The key thing to remember is don’t be pushy.
You should not pry too much into someone’s private life, even if you’re good friends. You can start a simple question with:
- I’m sorry if I’m being too nosy, but
- If I’m crossing the line, let me know, but
From there, you may want to gently ask if someone is pregnant. Remember, though, it is none of your business at the end of the day. It’s up to the lucky parents whether they want to tell you.
If someone is pregnant, they will usually fall into one of two camps.
The first camp revolves around anxiety. They may be worried about the pregnancy, so they’ll be more reserved and less likely to share.
The second is more open. It revolves around the happiness surrounding pregnancy and how eager the new parent is to share the good news.
In any case, let the parent lead the discussion before you push too much.
How to Politely Ask Someone if They Are Pregnant
The best thing to do is ease your way in when asking if someone is pregnant. You should start with a soft and kind remark that helps to open you up to a more direct question.
- I’m sorry if I’m overstepping the mark, but are you pregnant? Of course, you don’t have to tell me anything if you don’t want to.
This simple introductory phrase shows that you don’t want to get too personal. It allows you to ask a more leading question without directly insulting or assuming anything about someone.
You may also refer to this example:
- Please forgive me if this is too personal, but I’ve heard you might be pregnant.
Perhaps someone else has mentioned that someone is pregnant. Or maybe you’re just saying that to be more polite. Either way, it’s good to use this phrase to avoid putting too much pressure on a new parent.
Alternatively, this example might help:
- I’ve heard some good news about a baby, and I’d love to learn if that’s true.
It’s a positive way to open a discussion about a baby. Again, you have to remember that it’s the parent’s choice as to whether they share any specific information.
Ask Someone Else
It’s almost always better to ask someone else. That way, you can avoid any awkwardness if it turns out that someone isn’t pregnant.
For example, you might have a mutual friend with the person you think is pregnant. They might also be closer to the potentially pregnant person, making them more likely to know the story.
You can always ask a friend if someone else is pregnant. It shows that you’re interested in their life without directly insulting someone.
Of course, you still need to know it isn’t your (or the friend’s) business. So, they still might not have any information to share with you.
It’s also a little sneaky to ask someone else rather than the parent directly. It’s up to you to weigh up your options and decide which is the most appropriate way to go about things.
We’ve touched on what you can do to ask if someone is pregnant. However, we’ve yet to mention what you can’t do. So, we’ll break it down into bitesize chunks.
You should avoid:
- Mentioning size
- Mentioning weight
- Touching the belly
- Being too upfront or direct
- Being insulted for not being told
The main don’ts to watch out for are mentioning weight and touching the belly. These tend to be the most problematic don’ts, which could lead to some particularly uncomfortable situations.
If you mention someone’s size before knowing whether they’re pregnant, you might insult them.
After all, you’re implying that they’ve put on weight, which is very rude to do (especially if you haven’t seen someone for a while).
Touching the Belly
Never touch the belly. Ever. You should respect someone’s personal space, even if they are pregnant and you want to get a feel for the baby.
Of course, the parent might allow you to touch their belly. However, you should wait for permission before reaching out.
Being Too Upfront or Direct
Don’t be too direct with your question. You might catch someone off-guard or insult them, even if it’s not your intention.
Remember to follow our rules and ease into the question. It’s the best way to go about it without upsetting the parent.
Being Insulted for Not Being Told
This one applies if you are close friends with the parent. Remember, pregnancy is a private and intimate thing. It is none of your business if the parents of the child aren’t ready to share the news with you.
Give them time to tell you, and don’t rush them. If you get insulted, you’ll likely course even more stress for the parents (who are already going through enough).
What to Do if They Aren’t Pregnant
Apologize immediately if it turns out that someone isn’t pregnant. After all, it’s very easy for someone to take offense at your question, as it implies that you think they’ve put on weight or look much bigger than when you last saw them.
You should keep your apology simple, such as:
- I’m so sorry; I should never have asked.
- I’m really sorry. This is so embarrassing for me.
- Please forgive me. It was so rude of me to ask.
It’s worth apologizing a few more times to really show that you did not mean to offend someone. They might even think your question was quite funny.
However, you should always try to be polite and apologetic if you accidentally ask if someone was pregnant when they aren’t.
Again, this is why you need to ease into the subject. It’s also why you might not always want to ask if someone is pregnant. You never know if you’re going to offend them.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.