I continue to hear stories about folks who presume a woman is in the family way, making unfortunate and awkward statements as a result. Something must be done. As a public service to humanity, I make available the following list of rules as to when you may comment on a woman’s pregnancy:
- If the woman has told you. This includes:
- Her saying “I’m pregnant” or similar
- Attending a baby shower clearly in her honor
- Apparel worn by the woman indicating pregnancy (“Bun in oven” or “Baby on Board” t-shirts, etc.)
- Physically seeing the baby emerge from the womb.
- There is no rule three.
Even so, rule #1 includes an implicit 1-2 week time limit. I had a friend who, having been told she was pregnant, asked his neighbor when her baby was due. She told him it was born two months ago. Ouch.
Rule #2 is fairly foolproof, though a little awkward.
Otherwise, that’s it. No comments based on appearance, moodiness, swelling, excessive shopping at Babies-R-Us, randomly painting a bedroom baby blue, etc. This is, of course, an important corollary to the questions you don’t ask a woman.