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Social Etiquette

Expecting? Expecting What?

Photo: Beyonce Baby Bump StraightfromtheA.com

With Beyonce’s baby bump and the excitement about welcoming little baby “Jeyonce” or “Bey-Z,” there’s lots of baby chatter circulating.  But before we knew whether or not Beyonce was expecting, there were lots of rumors floating around.  People were even bold enough to come right out and ask the couple if they were having a baby.  Which brings me to the big question:  Is it appropriate to ask a woman if she is expecting?

Well there really is no hard rule.  The thing is, it can be ridiculously embarrassing if you ask a woman if she’s carrying a bun in the oven and her response is a resounding “NO.”  Now she thinks you’ve just called her fat.  Implying that a woman is bigger than you recall… I am pretty sure there is a social etiquette rule against that one!  Bottom line – Unless you want a handbag upside your head, do not acknowledge the mid-section bulge.

Now the truth is, there are instances where it is just fine to speculate or assume.  It’s just not okay to vocalize it.  For example, you are sitting in a crowded area and a woman walks in sporting a mini bump.  You can’t tell whether she is pregnant or just had a big lunch, but she looks tired and you think you saw her do a bit of the pregnant lady waddle.  The polite thing would be to offer her your seat …without mentioning that she’s carrying low and her tummy bears an uncanny resemblance to a basketball.  On the other hand, let’s say it is an acquaintance that you suspect is expecting.  You might feel closer to her and more inclined to inquire, but that might make the situation even more sensitive.  From my experience, I would suggest that you still don’t come straight out and ask.  If your curiosity gets the best of you, offer her a glass of wine and see if she refuses.  You might not get a solid answer, but you’ll be one clue closer to solving the baby bump mystery.  Regardless, don’t forget your manners.  Remember to help make the possible mom-to-be (or not) feel more comfortable if she looks like she could use some pampering.

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