10 Things You Shouldn’t Ask a Pregnant Co-Worker

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Pregnancy at workHere’s another helpful post from our friends at SavvySugar. Check it out: 

We’ve all been there: a co-worker announces her pregnancy at work, and suddenly there are so many questions we want to ask. How far along is she? How is she feeling? Was is hard keeping it a secret until now? Isn’t she just thrilled?

Many expecting women are happy to talk to friends and colleagues about the excitement of this time in her life. But some women are more guarded about the topics of pregnancy and childbirth and may be uncomfortable discussing them at the office. Here are 10 questions you should think twice about asking your pregnant co-worker.

How Long Were You Trying?

While this question is usually innocent enough in its intention, it potentially forces the expectant mother to tackle two uncomfortable topics: sex and fertility. Do you really want to broach the subject of how often your colleague does it? Or maybe it’s not as simple as a bedroom encounter, and she required insemination or fertility treatments to arrive where she is now. Either way, it’s not appropriate office chitchat.

How Much Weight Have You Gained?

Sure, weight gain is an inevitability during pregnancy. But it doesn’t mean your colleague isn’t self-conscious about it! Regardless of whether she appears to have put on a few or barely gained an ounce, it’s probably best to steer clear of this topic.

Are You Coming Back to Work?

The decision between staying at home and working after the child’s birth can be a rocky one for any mom-to-be, and there are often some complicated financial decisions underlying her ambivalence. Don’t add to the pressure by bringing up such a sensitive topic. It’s also possible that she simply hasn’t yet made up her mind and is therefore uncomfortable discussing it at work where her manager or others might overhear.

How Will You Be Delivering?

A woman’s choice of delivery practices is quite a hot button topic these days, and everyone seems to have an opinion. But whether she opts for a home birth, a scheduled C-section, a hospital birth with interventions, or any multitude of other birthing options, it’s not our place as her co-workers to make her talk about it or defend it.

How Old Are You?

Mom may be 40, fabulous, and proud to shout it from the rooftops, but if she hasn’t volunteered that information to you before, don’t wait until she’s pregnant to inquire. She may be generally sensitive about her age or afraid that people will jump to conclusions about the health of her baby.

For five more sensitive questions, head over to SavvySugar.

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  • sjdemo

    i would add breastfeeding to that list, because some people don’t know where to draw the line on offering their opinions on it.

    and as a friendly reminder, just because a coworker is expecting does not give ANYONE license to touch her stomach. i worked with people who could not get this concept and thought it was funny that i tried to move away from them when they reached for me.