It's Time To Stop Asking Women If They're Pregnant, Expert Says
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Featured Image Credit: @chrissyteigen/Instagram
Chrissy Teigen this week urged her followers, in a heartfelt plea, to stop asking if she's pregnant.
The 36-year-old model has recently begun IVF after suffering a stillbirth, and explained that the resulting bloating had prompted a wave of unsolicited questions about her body.
"I humbly beg you to stop asking if I’m pregnant," said the 36-year-old. "Because while I know it’s said with excited, good intentions, it just kind of sucks to hear because I am the opposite of pregnant."
Senior practice nurse Julie Brackenbury tells Tyla it can be “damaging” to ask if a woman if she is pregnant.
“It can be damaging to ask anyone if they are pregnant despite whether they are going through fertility treatment or not," she explains.
“The repercussions of a few simple words can be huge. People should respect the woman's and the couple’s privacy as no one know how life is going to turn out - will this be a viable pregnancy throughout the nine months and follow on to be a successful live birth?”
Commenting on a woman's stomach can be especially distressing, particularly if they are actively trying to become pregnant but may be experiencing fertility issues or have a history of baby loss.
Julie, who has worked as a gynaecology nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, added: “The same principle applies if a couple is actively trying and someone, such as a friend, family member or colleague asks ‘so, any news?’
“Then we have the couples who are receiving fertility treatment and although they may have confided in friends and family, they may not want to be asked about it. They need to be free to just ‘be’ with the treatment and pregnancy.
“The pressure for the couple or woman is so immense at this sensitive time and for someone to ask could even cause mental distress to them. People really need to respect the space and feelings of others.”
Chrissy’s fans shared similar statements in the comments of her Instagram post, While other Instagram followers thanked Chrissy for using her platform to speak about IVF. One woman shared: “I cannot believe people think it’s acceptable to ask or comment about being pregnant or not.
"Thanks for using your platform to bring awareness to this, IVF, loss and so many struggles.”
And another woman replied: “I don't care if a person's stomach is out as far as their arm, you never ask a woman if she pregnant”.
Chrissy and husband John Legend, conceived their children Luna, four, and Miles, two, via IVF. Chrissy and John lost their son Jack, who was conceived naturally, on September 30th 2020, after Chrissy was admitted to the hospital with severe bleeding.
In April 2021, Chrissy spoke to People magazine about not being able to carry another child: "Coming to terms with not being able to carry again is still really difficult for me because I feel so healthy. I'm like, why?"
She added: "But then I think about it as my uterus is just not cooperating with me - and it's not a failure."
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article and need support, contact Bliss at [email protected]