The Corner

When Is It Okay to Ask a Woman If She’s Pregnant?

This is actually one of my most acute social phobias — asking, or otherwise suggesting, a woman is pregnant and then being told that she isn’t. Really. I will act surprised if a hyperventilating woman well past her due date tells me she needs a ride to the hospital because she’s in labor with oversized quadruplets. “Oh you’re pregnant? I couldn’t tell.”

Well, I’m grateful to Debby for pointing me to this handy chart I can print out and keep in my wallet for just such occasions. It will lessen my anxiety considerably. 

Update: On Twitter  @FeinbergS notes a serious flaw in the chart.  ”This chart is terrible. It doesn’t include the 6 weeks AFTER pregnancy in which most women still look pregnant and are often asked.  

She’s right. The “NO” chart should extend the pictogram timeline of the mother past delivery, including images of her holding the baby and perhaps through walking it to school. 

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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