Woman horrified when old school chum asks when her baby is due: 'Are you sure you're not pregnant?'

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a family friend, who witnessed them firsthand; used with permission.

I had a friend with a prominent belly. Many women—indeed, many people—carry extra weight around the middle. Unfortunately for my friend, she was one of those people. Strangers often asked her if she was pregnant.

Standing under five feet tall and weighing in at over 210 pounds, her figure resembled the figure of a pregnant person. So it was a simple mistake to make. My friend was the perfect example of why you should ask no one if they're pregnant or when their baby is due.

Chances are, you'll eventually get yourself in trouble.

My friend was having lunch with an old school chum when the conversation took an uncomfortable turn.

After exchanging a few pleasantries, the old friend asked when my friend's baby was due. My friend felt horrified and embarrassed. Not only was she not pregnant, but she had also never been married or even close to being in a relationship. She stammered out an awkward response and quickly ended the conversation.

Her former classmate asked if she was sure she wasn't pregnant because she looked "a lot bigger than usual, especially in the stomach." She listened to my friend's denial before shaking her head in disbelief. "Are you sure you're not pregnant?" she asked.

My friend tried to laugh it off, but the damage was done. As she walked away their lunch, she felt her stomach sink.

It was a casual question, asked without any ulterior motive. Yet it left my friend feeling sad and humiliated. Her old friend had just seen her for the first time in years, and the first thing she asked was whether she was pregnant. My friend was not pregnant, and the question stung. It made her feel like her body wasn't good enough.

Sadly, experiences like this are all too common for plus-size women.

My friend absolutely "looked pregnant," objectively speaking, but she also looked like exactly what she was: a woman suffering from morbid obesity who gains most of her weight in her abdominal region.

Even if my friend had been pregnant, though, it would have been none of her old classmate's business. Asking someone about their pregnancy is a personal question and one that should only be asked after establishing a certain level of trust and intimacy.

In fact, if you don't know someone well enough for them to initiate a discussion about their pregnancy with you, then you probably don't know them well enough to ask. So the next time you see someone with a prominent belly, resist the urge to ask about their reproductive status. You never know how sensitive they might be about their weight, and you don't want to unintentionally cause hurt or embarrassment.

There are plenty of other topics of conversation that are more appropriate.

What do you think? Is it okay to ask people about a potential pregnancy if they haven't told you they're pregnant? Has anything like this ever happened to you? Comments are welcome.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

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