An Instagram post by Toront0, Canada-based Event Planner Barbara Nkansah went viral and has been re-shared because it simply states: “Stop Asking Women When are They Getting Pregnant”. In it is the Ghanaian-Canadian shares the hurt of being newly married and enduring probing questions and insensitive remarks by well-meaning family and friends.
“I remember being newly married and the first thing people started doing instead of greeting me was look right at my belly,” she shared. “Then when they noticed I was not pregnant the look of confusion following “oh you’re not pregnant yet” would be their conversation starter. I will never forget when just after 3 months of marriage church service ended and a member in the church who saw me yelled at the top of her lungs in front of everyone saying ‘BARBARA YOU’RE STILL NOT PREGNANT YET. WHEN WILL YOU GET PREGNANT? YOU’RE TAKING TOO LONG.'”
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This topic is an extremely sensitive one. I'll specifically speak from my own experiences with it. And the hardships us women and even men in my community face when it comes to pregnancy. ________________________________ For some reason pregnancy is something that is just automatically suppose to come after marriage. No idea who created such a rule or why such a rule exists. ________________________________ I remember being newly married and the first thing people started doing instead of greeting me was look right at my belly. Then when they noticed I was not pregnant the look of confusion following "oh you're not pregnant yet" would be their conversation starter. ________________________________ I will never forget when just after 3 months of marriage church service ended and a member in the church who saw me yelled at the top of her lungs in front of everyone saying "BARBARA YOU'RE STILL NOT PREGNANT YET. WHEN WILL YOU GET PREGNANT? YOU'RE TAKING TOO LONG." ________________________________ I remember standing their speechless because I could not believe someone could ask and act in such a way. My husband however, came to my rescue and respectfully told her everyone has plans and it's God who gives children. ________________________________ What made me so sad is what if I was really trying and had no success? What if I found out I could not conceive naturally? What if I just went through an unsuccessful expensive fertility procedure? What if I just recently miscarried? Do you know how all of these accounts affect women and men who are journeying this together? ________________________________ I always made sure I prayed for my future children regardless of when we decided to prepare. When God said it was my time, that was and the only timeline I followed through with and no one else's. ________________________________ Dont ever let anyone force their pregnancy timeline on you! Don't ever let anyone make you feel less of a woman or man because to them you're "taking too long." If pregnancy is something that you seek and whatever method you have to go through take it to the Lord in prayer. For it is he who provides. Photography by @mennydc5
The statistics are jarring: 1 in 8 couples have a hard time getting pregnant and at least 1 in 4 will experience a pregnancy loss. People who are trying to conceive are fed up and would like you to stop asking them when they are going to have children or even worse, “why don’t they have children.”
In the celebrity world, Gabrielle Union and Chrissy Teigen recalled being asked this question constantly because they were with their spouses for several years without producing children and people just couldn’t stop asking a very personal, imposing and insensitive question not know that they were indeed trying but failing at it.
Please stop asking women (AND MEN!) when they are having kids or, even worse, why they don’t have children.
I remember the words of Assistant Professor Rondrea Danielle from Bethune-Cookman College on Facebook last year:
“Getting pregnant is hard.
Sustaining pregnancy is hard.
Giving birth is hard.
Raising a baby is hard.
So asking folks why they don’t have kids is both inconsiderate and insensitive (it also isn’t your business), and it needs to stop now.
We have no idea how much women go through to get pregnant and then bring a baby into the world.”
Conduct a Google Search and you’ll encounter dozens of articles from women and lifestyle and advice sites about this very topic and also demanding that they not be asked the question when they gain weight. Phew!
Here is a summary of a few:
Yes, My Sister Is Pregnant, Now Stop Asking Me When Will I Get Knocked Up
Sorry, nephew, you won’t be getting any cousins from me anytime soon (or at all). -The Odyssey Online
Stop asking women when they’re having kids – Asian One
When will we stop asking ‘What are you, pregnant? – Austrian Adoption