Unsolicited Pregnancy Comments
Today’s topic is about something that really hits home. Those who know me well know that I and my husband Dane have a six-year-old Nate, our only son. Since he was two, we have been getting friendly comments and advice to give him a sibling saying it’s sad to be an only child. Considering our age, and their possible age-gap, many well-meaning friends have suggested it already. And I should understand because I grew with one brother and three sisters who made my childhood both noisy and happy. It means so much to have a strong support system especially as we age. Although I don’t take personal offense in getting these comments over and over again, I feel the need to address this for those who have been negatively affected by these comments.
Unsolicited Pregnancy Comments can be Insensitive
Believe me, I learned it the hard way. Having worked for a fertility company for six long years, I met a lot of women who had tried all the options available just to get pregnant. They even resorted to going natural in the hopes of boosting their chances at pregnancy. Some of them already tried in months or even years to no avail. When some of them come back to tell us they were already pregnant, we celebrate with them. But when they cry in desperation for failing again, we could only share their pain. Those frustrated women serve as my personal reminder of why I should be more careful in giving unsolicited comments or advice on pregnancy.
Let me share other specific reasons.
Some people are fighting silent battles
First is, some people choose to fight silent battles. Just because they don’t share about it personally or virtually doesn’t mean their struggle is not real. Since they refrain from openly talking about this, we wouldn’t know how the pregnancy issue has already bogged them down. You may have no idea, but pointing it out may only hurt them even more. Hence, it is best to hold back when you feel like giving comments like that.
The dreadful miscarriage
Having lost a baby even before its birth is already devastating. We don’t want to add to that burden anymore just by being a little tactless at one point. Perhaps, they are already doing everything to get pregnant but miscarriage has happened. How awkward it would feel the moment you realized you have scathed their fresh scar. So, save yourself from those situations.
A thing called “secondary infertility”
This is equally hurting because some couples who succeeded in getting pregnant for the first time may have difficulty trying the next time around. It’s something that’s hard to accept. A few factors could cause this and the most obvious is age. When the first pregnancy took place when the woman was in her twenties, it was the prime age for a pregnancy project. But due to the decreasing number of egg cells which a woman loses with each monthly period, she may experience difficulty trying to conceive the second time. Apart from this, stress and other emotional factors could also set in. Thus, commenting or suggesting it’s about time to get pregnant could place you in a very uncomfortable situation with anyone you suggest it to.
Some couples may choose to delay pregnancy just because they are not financially ready yet. Needless to say, from the moment we find out positive pregnancy test results, we know it already entails a lot of expenses. From Vitamins and supplements, and sometimes medicines when there are certain complications. We are not going to pay their bills, hence, we are neither in the position to decide when couples should get pregnant.
Unsolicited Pregnancy Comments
Finally, and it is just as valid. Some couples do not get pregnant yet just because they are not ready. It is important to be emotionally and mentally ready to be truly happy about the pregnancy. It’s not for anyone to decide or impose on others.
I understand this is just part of our supposedly friendly Filipino culture. From pregnancy comments to mentioning body figures to asking single people about their wedding plans, to suggestions for an additional child — we normally use these as conversation starters. For some reason, we were raised this way.
Unfortunately, this needs to be pointed out because this is rather toxic. People already have been suffering from a lot of losing battles and we do not want to aggravate the situation anymore. We should be more considerate especially in the way we use our tongue. No wonder the Bible addresses this many times. Just because we think our comments are by intention “harmless”, doesn’t mean they do not hurt. We have to work harder on taming our tongues.
Hope we become more careful giving out unsolicited pregnancy comments. 🙂
Sign up for my newsletter so you’re notified when a new podcast is published. 🙂