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to think it's not so awful to ask a pregnant woman 'if she knows what she's having'?

(115 Posts)
tryingtoleave Thu 20-Oct-11 12:14:00

I did this today and got a facetious 'well, we presume we're having a baby' reply. She went on about it a bit too, as though I had asked the stupidest question in the world. I was starting to feel a bit tempted to suggest it might be a puppy, but managed not to. Now, I don't care if this woman is having a boy or a girl; tbh, I don't really care much about the situation at all. But I was trying to make polite conversation and I thought two fairly innocuous comments to make when discussing a pregnancy were 'how is the pregnancy going?' and 'do you know what you're having?'. Most people seem happy to talk about it and if they have chosen not to find out are happy to talk about that too but if it is the wrong to ask, tell me - I can take it, and I will hold my tongue in future.

plantsitter Thu 20-Oct-11 12:18:05

She sounds annoying. Wouldn't worry about it. Sometimes it feels like you're not allowed to say anything to pregnant women. I'm pretty sure I was fairly snippy throughout my two pregnancies though.

NoodieRoodie Thu 20-Oct-11 12:18:54

as a very pregnant woman (please god let it come soon) I'm not at all bothered with people asking. I generally answer that it's a baby smile but have been known to say that my DH is also hoping for a puppy!

ShoeJunkie Thu 20-Oct-11 12:22:41


So far (at 22 weeks) it's the question that I have been asked the most after 'when's it due?'.

DH & I have chosen not to find out the sex but that doesn't mean I mind people asking! Seems like the natural thing to do tbh.

EsmeWeatherwax Thu 20-Oct-11 12:23:19

Doesn't bother me at all, of course its only polite conversation. I get a tad ticked off with the oh you're absolutely enormous comments though...

tryingtoleave Thu 20-Oct-11 12:24:24

I wouldn't have minded it if she said it in a funny way like that, NoodieRoodie, but she just sounded so miffed, like I'd broken some social norm.

mistressploppy Thu 20-Oct-11 12:26:01

Some people do delight in being offended though. You probably made her day

Wigeon Thu 20-Oct-11 12:26:47

Agree that it's one of the standard small-talk questions to ask. YANBU. Does she maybe already have several DC of the same sex, and doesn't want the conversation to stray into "oooh, so you'll be wanting a girl/ boy then?". Or she has already had several of those conversations and is fed up with them?

tryingtoleave Thu 20-Oct-11 12:26:48

I did ask when it was due actually - that is the first question, forgetful me.

I never tell pregnant women they are big or small (I always got told I was very small). I always tell pregnant women and mothers of newborns 'you look fantastic'. See, I'm trying.

TeacupTempest Thu 20-Oct-11 12:27:00

YANBU someone asked me this about half an hour ago. Its just a nice pleasant chatty thing to ask...

StickyGhost Thu 20-Oct-11 12:27:57

What a rude woman, is she a bit precious? Maybe never ask her anything again about her pregnancy, even when she is a heaving 40 weeks and is probably desperate to talk about it and how much she is suffering.

GuillotinedMaryLacey Thu 20-Oct-11 12:28:08

Didn't you know you're not supposed to exchange pleasantries with a fellow member of the public without running it past a committee first? grin

tryingtoleave Thu 20-Oct-11 12:28:27

She has one boy so I could understand if she was annoyed with people expecting she would want a girl.

NinkyNonker Thu 20-Oct-11 12:29:27

There'll be a thread on here later from the other party full of righteous indignation, just you wait. grin

YANBU OP, it is just light hearted chat. She sounds like hard work.

Bartimaeus Thu 20-Oct-11 12:30:38

I was asked loads and I always politely replied - cos I knew it was just small talk.

Only time I got annoyed was when a workmate followed up with "oh I'm really glad its a boy" to which I snipily answered that it wouldn't make the slightest bit of difference to her life eitherway blush. I was tired, hormonal and feeling sick but still wish I hadn't said it.

tryingtoleave Thu 20-Oct-11 12:30:41

Instead of counting to ten, do a quick AIBU, GuillotinedMary?

tryingtoleave Thu 20-Oct-11 12:32:22

I did hesitate about doing the AIBU in the fear that she might read it. But I think (hope!) she is not a mnetter.

Ephiny Thu 20-Oct-11 12:37:09

It's a daft way of asking the question - if you mean 'boy or girl' then say so. I'd probably reply 'err, a baby?' if asked 'what' it's going to be, before I realised what you actually meant!

And I'm probably over-thinking it now, but to me surely gender is only one aspect of who someone is, it's not 'what' you are.

I don't think it's a rude or awful thing to ask generally though, like you say it's just polite conversation.

Icelollycraving Thu 20-Oct-11 12:37:34

Hmm you could have said 'well don't be so sure, could be a calf looking at mummy' grin

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 20-Oct-11 12:40:11

I don't even ask. Truthfully, I'm just not that concerned with other people's pregnancies and there are so many ill-mannered people about it's safer just to ignore the whole thing.

Sorry to all the chatty pregnant ladies out there; if you comment, I'll chat away to you but it won't be me making the first move!

tryingtoleave Thu 20-Oct-11 12:43:36

I was soooo close Icelollycraving. I was shuffling through possibilities in my head to find something that would shut her up but that wouldn't be completely offensive.

I see what you mean Ephiny, but there's not that many other aspects to a foetus. I can't ask if it is a good sleeper, or what it's favourite colour is.

Ephiny Thu 20-Oct-11 12:48:08

Of course, and I think it's fine to ask about the gender (not many other distinguishing features at that stage, I agree!) - was just commenting on the 'what is it' phrasing, which for me at least would be either confusing or mildly annoying, depending on how long it took my brain to catch up with what you actually meant!

Ephiny Thu 20-Oct-11 12:49:00

No problem at all with 'do you know if you're having a boy or a girl'.

Can't speak for everyone though, I think whatever you say there's a risk of someone out there being offended or annoyed!

Fixture Thu 20-Oct-11 12:50:29

Agree with Ephiny. I think people will tell you the gender if they want to, or refer to the baby as he or she, so no need to ask. If you do ask, then why not ask if they know whether the baby's a boy or a girl, rather than "what" they are having?

WitchesAreComing Thu 20-Oct-11 12:51:10

I had this once and found it unreasonably irritating. A smug, "we're having a surprise - we know but we aren't saying"

Nearly said, "well I don't give a flying fuck, I was just making conversation"

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