Is it ever OK to ask a woman if she's pregnant

Here's our guide to when might be the right time

When is the right time to ask a woman if she's pregnant?

Good question...and here's the answer

women chatting

As a general rule of thumb don’t ever ask! Even if you think someone looks pregnant, don’t assume that they are. You just never know.

She may have recently (or not so recently) given birth and be struggling to lose the baby weight - if this is the case, her self-esteem will be low enough without tactless questions adding insult to injury.

There is also the possibility she may have had a miscarriage or gained weight through taking fertility drugs - and, in both cases, the pain of not being pregnant will be very raw so definitely don’t add to it.

Or it may be a simple case of bloating or what some of us like to call a ‘fat day’. 

So, no, don’t ask. Because if you do and she’s not, it’s red faces and awkward silences all round.

If she is but doesn’t want to announce the news until after the 12-week stage, then you’re forcing her to either tell a porkie or part with a happy little secret that she has every right to savour.

Err on the side of caution. Let a pregnant woman tell you the news herself and then you can offer your heartiest congratulations and fake surprise without fear of reprisal.

In fact, the only time it is permissible to ask is when you are 1000% sure the answer is yes, for example, when her waters break in the supermarket/on the train/in the car park/some other public place and you need to get her some help. Then you can ask. 

You can offer a seat to someone you think is expecting, just don’t shout out ‘Hey pregnant lady, you want to sit here?’ Simple eye contact and a hand gesture towards the seat should do the trick in this instance. If she wants the seat, she’ll take it and you didn’t have to even mention the P-word. That way there’s no embarrassment and yet you’ve done the ‘decent’ thing.

And if you’re on a night out with a friend  and they order a tonic water and forego the gin, simply let them enjoy their soft drink without bombarding her with a hundred questions. She may be on antibiotics, fancied driving or is simply cutting down on booze. And if she is pregnant, she’ll tell you when she’s ready.

Is it ever OK to ask a woman if she's pregnant