Pregnancy T-Shirts

by admin on June 23, 2014

What are your thoughts on this t-shirt? I feel sad that people can’t give a minute of their time to respond to well-intentioned inquiries of such a joyful event. I loved pregnancy being a reason for strangers to engage in friendly discourse and wonder how cold our society is becoming. Personally, I don’t ask to touch people. But surely shutting down even questions is kind of rude. I would want to raise my unborn baby in a friendlier world than this. But these are my thoughts only, and as you always capture every situation so succinctly I’d love to hear what you think if you have time. 0602-14

I can understand the frustration mothers-to-be may have with a plethora of questions about their impending delivery of the baby but this shirt appears to be an oddly rude way to respond to what are perceived to be rude questions.   Standard etiquette when strangers ask inappropriate and intrusive personal questions is to ignore the inquiry and deflect to another topic or to raise an arched eyebrow and say, “Excuse me?”.   You certainly don’t give people what they want!  So there is this odd conundrum where the wearer of this shirt believes these questions to be annoying yet she gives people the very thing they seek to find out by asking.   The “Any more questions?” at the end gives off the vibe that these questions about her pregnancy are deemed to be annoying and she’s challenging everyone who sees it to not ask any further stupid questions.

 

{ 162 comments… read them below or add one }

Hanna June 23, 2014 at 10:03 pm

The questions are fine, maybe even expected. The touching? NO. I’ve had someone reach out and touch my belly WHILE asking “Can I touch it?” Yeah, little too late to be asking that now! I kind of scooted her away and walked off after that. So annoying! Next time I will be prepared with a simple “No, thanks” or even “Would you like for me to touch your belly?”

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Mary June 23, 2014 at 10:13 pm

For some reason I did get quite annoyed with the constant gender speculation. I don’t know why but with my first I “knew” I was having a girl. No proof since we didn’t want to find out but I just knew. 37 people (I kept track) told me I was having a boy. My parents were the only ones who said girl and my husband didn’t care. I did have a girl.
Next baby, I was pretty sure I was having another girl and my husband was adamant that we were having a girl, to the point of saying that picking a boys name was a waste of time. This time I was carrying low and all in front, the opposite of the first baby. My speculation was that my uterus dropped. Every single person said it was because I was having a boy.

That baby is now a nine year old girl.

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Angela June 23, 2014 at 10:47 pm

It needs one more line “No, I don’t want to hear any horror stories related to pregnancy and/or birth”. Seriously, I would NEVER tell a pregnant woman some of the things people told me.

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hakayama June 24, 2014 at 12:02 am

I wonder if anyone remembers seeing the maternity outfits “of old”, either in person or in family albums, movies, old magazines? Y’know, the high-waisted Empire lines, shirrings, pleats and tucks that allowed the expanding swelling of the tummy to be covered loosely.
That as opposed to the garments that surround the celebrated baby bumps like casings fit a sausage, and are so snug that it show the expecting female’s usually “innie” navels turned into “outies”.
It’s all especially “interesting” in clothing suitable for the People of Walmart website.
Do people know the meaning of the word “decorum”? Aaaah, the memories… ;-)

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Randalf June 24, 2014 at 12:52 am

This kind of slogans reinforce the mood of the reader: a mean slogan put people in a sour mood. A passer-by might have to endure the rudeness once or twice. The wearer reads it almost every day.

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Eva June 25, 2014 at 2:45 am

That is an interesting assumption, isn’t it? I know few if any people who wear the same shirt twice a week. And I doubt she reads it every time, before putting it on.

And it implies, that everybody feels insulted by reading this text. Honestly, I would smile, quite possibly at the wearer and pass on. And I suspect most people I know would react in a similar manner or ignore the text completely.

Of on a tangent: Am I supposed to think “gimme-pig” every time I see a shirt with the slogan “My X went to Y and I only got this crummy t-shirt”?

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tasryn June 24, 2014 at 3:05 am

I really am not understanding how my comments on people asking well intentioned questions about a pregnancy are the same as asking if someone is mensturating. That makes no sense and isn’t a fair comparison. I find talking about menstural cycles to be way more private than asking about a baby’s due date.

People ask preganant women questions like this precisely because they ARE pregnant. They are expecting a child on a due date, the child will be male or female, etc. It’s a way of showing interest in someone and I’m sorry but when you’re bringing a life into the world it’s kind of a big deal. A bit more important than where you have your hair done.

Now if the pregnant woman in question doesn’t want to talk about her pregnancy then fair enough. I myself had NO objections to people asking about my pregnancy when I was pregnant because I was excited and willing to talk about it. I understnad not everyone is the same. However, wearing this shirt IS rude because the message doesn’t just go out to the rude boorons trying to touch a pregnant ladies belly. It’s also going out to people who just wanted to show genuine excitement and say congrats. It’s also going out to people who quite frankly don’t give a monkeys that you are pregnant and have no idea why you are putting your personal business out there on the “front lawn” so to speak with a t-shirt that contains answers to the personal questions you had such an objection to. It just seems a bit silly. The better approach would just be to bean dip or change the subject when someone gets too personal in their questioning or, if they won’t quite, be polite yet firm that that line of questioning will not be entertained.

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JS June 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm

It may be kind of a big deal, but it’s not your deal. It’s her deal. And just because you’re really, really excited about it doesn’t mean you’re entitled to make someone else’s personal matter your business.

You find menstrual cycles to be more private than a due date. I know some people who think that menstruation is to be celebrated. They think it’s kind of a big deal, and are just showing genuine excitement. Should they be allowed to grill you on your cycle, with the best of intentions?

The shirt is technically rude, but oh, do I empathize with the wearer.

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kit June 25, 2014 at 1:37 pm

What’s the difference between asking “when is your baby due” and “when did your last period start”?

280 days, that’s what the difference is. Nothing else.

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AnaLuisa June 24, 2014 at 4:06 am

Personally, I find it rather annoying and hostile.

Good grief, where’s the plain old human communication? I can understand how touching the belly can be over the line (although for me it was not) but what is wrong with asking a pregnant woman an innocent question as to her due date and/or the sex of the baby? Are there any “acceptable” questions left, or are we just supposed to pretend there is no belly/no baby at all? It’s just small talk, nothing more. I doubt people other than close relatives and co-workers are REALLY so much interested in her pregnancy.

When I saw this t-shirt, my first thought was – why are you telling me all this in quite a hostile manner before I even had time to notice you are pregnant? As far as I am concerned, then, go stuff your pregnancy, go stuff yourself.

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Meegs June 24, 2014 at 8:41 am

Exactly.

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JS June 24, 2014 at 1:28 pm

How about this, AnaLuisa – let’s treat it like registry information. If the pregnant woman pushes that information out to you (“Hey, I’m pregnant!” “Sorry I’m late, had a sonogram appointment that ran long.” “Oooh, I just felt the baby kick!” “Boy, this morning sickness is really kicking my butt today.”), then feel free to follow up with your questions. But please do not dive into a person’s personal business without invitation – don’t “pull” it out of her.

If you’re looking for small talk to make with a woman you believe may be pregnant, “how are you doing today?” will suffice.

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Brit June 25, 2014 at 3:21 am

How is this different from seeing that someone’s now wearing an engagement ring?

OK questions:

Are you getting married? Ooh, when? How did he propose? Do you know where you’re going on honeymoon?

Not OK questions:

How much did your ring cost? Aren’t you too young/old/whatever? Show me that! You need to do X!

Not OK to grab the ring etc.

It might get boring asking the same thing over and over and over, but really…get over it. It lasts for six months and the great majority of people are making small talk about a big event in your life. Small talk’s boring. Get over it. Or are we saying that good gravy, you CANNOT ask a woman about her wedding unless she volunteers it?

Also, this woman IS volunteering it, so hey, now I’m free to ask more, aren’t I? After all, it says ‘any other questions’. So she can’t mind, can she, if I do ask a lot more.

Really, anyone wearing this in the street is just going to look hostile and rough. This is not a classy T-shirt and neither’s the wearer.

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JS June 25, 2014 at 11:30 am

Well, pregnancy is different in two ways, off the top of my head:

1) If you are a private person and want to avoid personal questions, you can take off the ring. Can’t really do that with pregnancy.

2) Pregnancy involves a woman’s body, which is more intimate than her vacation plans.

You keep saying “get over it.” I’m not sure why pregnant women should. Isn’t it just as fair to say “you don’t get to ask a woman about her pregnancy unless she volunteers it… get over it”? And I’m not at all sure why you feel you are entitled to this information about someone else’s pregnancy. Could you explain?

As for whether or not the shirt constitutes “volunteering” information such that you can now proceed with follow up questions, that’s very clever, but I think you know that misreads the spirit of the shirt if not the letter. As I said above, I agree that it’s rude, but I really, really empathize with the wearer.

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kit June 25, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Woah. “Are you getting married?”, “Ooh, when?”, “How did he propose?”, “Do you know where you’re going on honeymoon?” are all considered OK questions? Seriously?? Absolutely as tacky as “Are you going to give birth?”, “Ooh, when was your last period?”, “How did you conceive your baby?”, “Do you know in which position will you give birth?”.

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Nick August 7, 2014 at 11:32 am

I’m with you on this JS. If they put it out there or it’s in context, sure it might not be a big deal then. I would never ask a random person that I didn’t know details about their pregnancy. That’s just all around bad form. Who walks up to randoms and asks personal questions? I don’t even like to ask strangers for directions!

It’s not that there are “no acceptable questions left” it’s that everything has a time and place and circumstance that works best. Random lady in line at Subway, not really the best place to start talking about her placenta.

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Shannan June 24, 2014 at 9:09 am

I always think it’s funny when people reach out to touch a pregnant woman’s belly. Do they think the baby’s moving all the time??? I’ve seen the C- section video. Believe me, the baby is MILES beneath the surface. When you reach out to touch a pregnant woman’s belly, especially without asking first, all you’re doing is rubbing someone’s belly. You may as well just ask anyone if you can touch their belly.

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Ashley June 24, 2014 at 10:11 am

If THIS shirt gets you in a tizzy, google the onesie/bodysuit that reads “My Mommy Doesn’t Want Your Advice”

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Mya June 24, 2014 at 10:25 am

Cautionary tale: My mother has aged well. As a result she looks a good 10 years younger than her actual age and it just so happened at one point that she was very very ill with an infected gall bladder. Her stomach was bloated and extremely painful to the touch. She was unaware of the infection at the time due to having been recently diagnosed with an early stage cervical cancer requiring immediate and full hysterectomy. It was a very difficult and traumatic time for her: the Cancer diagnosis, the pain, the swelling (which she attributed to the cancer situation and a side effect of the various drugs she was on). In our area there were two main hospitals – the ‘General’ and the ‘Obstetrics and Gynecology hospital’ so of course my mum was booked into the Gyne hospital. Which just so happened to be where everyone also had their babies… So we have a swollen woman facing cancer in a maternity hospital. I’m sure you can guess what happened. Suffice it to say there were many awkward silences.

Being British I can’t say I’ve encountered a huge amount of unwanted belly-touching as British people tend to be more reserved than that but it is still something that terrifies me. I struggle with panic attacks and the idea of being intimately accosted by a stranger is so terrifying and so I can see the appeal in aggressively and proactively setting boundaries. Personally, if I walked past a pregnant woman wearing this T-shirt I wouldn’t be offended or affected by it in the slightest. It honestly wouldn’t bother me. Mostly because I have little to no interest in the natal welfare of a woman I’ve never met and don’t know. Perhaps the culture in the US is different but for me, I probably wouldn’t even read it let alone be affected by it.

Perhaps the only ones that are gasping in horror are the ones that would ASK the prying questions in the first place and to them I say: why is it any of your business? The woman is pregnant. That doesn’t mean her body or privacy suddenly become public property. In the same way you wouldn’t ask an angry woman whether it was ‘that time’, or a grumpy man whether he ‘got any’, what right do you have to ask about someone else’s baby? She’s JUST pregnant. Get over it. It happens every day and the only people that have a vested interest in it are the family of the woman in question. Keep your questions to yourself.

I know I do. I never pay the slightest attention to a woman’s pregnant belly if I pass her in the street. It’s not my business. Maybe you think that’s a sad and insular way to live. Maybe you’re right, but I like to think that I’m simply respecting the boundaries of others.

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Brit June 25, 2014 at 3:23 am

Nope. I don’t ask. I’m not interested. So I don’t need some stupid T shirt in my face telling me to eff off before I’ve given her ANY idea that I was going to ask her anything.

“She’s JUST pregnant.”

Exactly. So why does she need to give the world orders about it?

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JS June 25, 2014 at 11:32 am

Because the world seems to think it’s the world’s business, although kudos to you for recognizing that it isn’t.

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Calliope June 25, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Because lots of people ask pregnant women lots of questions. You don’t, and that’s great. But lots of people DO.
It is a joke t-shirt in response to the questions pregnant women get used to answering from perfect strangers everywhere they go. If you don’t ask pregnant women questions about their pregnancies, then it’s not directed at you. She’s not “giving orders,” for heaven’s sake.

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Pat June 27, 2014 at 1:42 pm

The t shirt is “in your face” in my opinion. Frankly, it would give me a bad impression of the wearer.

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Nick August 7, 2014 at 11:36 am

But fighting ignorance (those who touch and ask questions) with rudeness (the shirt) is never going to be the solution. No matter how effective it might be on some.

Don’t we all already know this set of moral mathematics? Two wrongs don’t make a ?

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timber_wolf June 24, 2014 at 10:30 am

What rubs me the wrong way about this shirt is that it makes it seem like the wearer assumes every single person she comes in contact with is a rude boor with no understanding of personal boundaries. How would people react if she introduced to herself to everyone she met with, “I assume you’re going to be rude to me, so please be polite instead”?

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Gen Xer June 24, 2014 at 10:46 am

Maybe some people find the T shirt cute and funny and in the grand scheme of things it really isn’t a big deal. If that’s how you really feel – wear it….but don’t be surprised when you get eyerolls and avoidance. It comes across as though you’re bothered by the whole world.

What is the big deal with answering some basic pregnancy related questions? I’ve been pregnant too and yes it can get a little repetitive but it really is rude to treat interested people as though they are a huge pain in the butt.

If you encounter rude people then deal with them on an individual basis.

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Stacey Frith-Smith June 24, 2014 at 10:51 am

I think it would be fine to let the questions hang. You aren’t obligated to reply to every query thrown your way. I must admit that “evil Stacey” thought the story about the sister rubbing those foolish enough to touch her FUNNY!

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Mya June 25, 2014 at 3:18 am

LOL I can’t say I’ve read all the replies to this thread but it has occurred to me more than once that if someone laid their hands on my pregnant belly (assuming I ever manage to conceive ofc) I’d go right ahead and put my hands on their stomachs too. When they react I could say ‘Oh, sorry, I thought that was how we greeted people now.’ That should get the point across clearly.

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Kate June 24, 2014 at 12:21 pm

I’m not sure what I think of the shirt, but frankly I am shocked by the number of people who think it is okay to ask strangers or even aquaintances about their “pregnancy”!

It is my belief that unless *they* bring it up, you never mention it!

First, they might not actually *be* pregnant, even if they look nine months pregnant and are buying baby things. It might turn out to be for a friend or someone else.

Second, and most important I think, why are we assuming all pregnancies are happy ones? What about the person who was raped, the person who has had multiple miscarriages and is terrified they will lose another baby, the person who is a surrogate, the person who was abandoned by the baby’s father, etc??

To me, walking up to someone who appears to be pregnant is like walking up to someone with a visible disability, an injured limb (“Are you going to be able to walk again?”), a black eye (“How did you get that?” What if their boyfriend or parent hit them?), or any other person and asking them personal questions which are none of your business!

“Why are you wearing all black, are you depressed?” “That shirt is really baggy on you, why don’t you dress better, let me give you the name of my favorite store.”

All of these questions purport to have “friendly human interest” as their basis, which as some other posters have said pregnancy questions do, but all are actually quite rude and intrusive.

It is similar to how total strangers will tell you to smile. I think we had a post on here about that actually. It is none of their business whether you are smiling or not, for all they know one of your loved ones just died.

And in the end, I think that is what it is all about. Respect for other people’s privacy and understanding that you don’t know what is going on in other people’s lives, whether happy or sad.

These are some of the basic concepts that guide the formation of the rules of etiquette and which can help us in deciding how to react in specific situations.

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Moralia June 24, 2014 at 12:48 pm

I’d replace the last line with, “Thank you for your interest.”

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Nicole June 24, 2014 at 2:37 pm

If I came across a woman wearing such a hostile shirt, I’d just avoid that minefield altogether and not talk to her at all about anything. Of course, then she’d probably think I was being rude by ignoring her. This shirt is definitely what a special snowflake would want to wear: if you were paying attention to her pregnancy, she gets to feel superior to you; if you weren’t paying attention to her pregnancy, well, thanks to her shirt, you are now. She gets attention either way by pretending not to want it.

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Barbarian June 24, 2014 at 9:09 pm

The T-shirt is obnoxious. I could guess that the wearer would also get bent out of shape if strangers didn’t offer to carry her packages, offer her their seat on public transportation, or assist her in some other way she’d probably snap at them too.

I did make my dumbest comment ever about a pregnancy when a friend told me her unmarried daughter was expecting. Surprised, I asked her, “How did that happen?” Since we are good friends, we both had a good laugh. She replied, “At our age, if we don’t know by now, we’ve got problems”.

By the same token, pregnant women should be aware that those outside their intimate circle do not want to hear every boring detail about the pregnancy to the point where it becomes excruciating. I have worked with coworkers who made morning sickness,frequent potty breaks, ultrasounds, etc the stuff of daily office conversation. I would moan inwardly, OMG, I’m going to have to hear all this for at least the next seven or eight months until they go on maternity leave. The moral of the story-If we don’t ask you, please don’t tell us or we may have to design our own T-shirt!

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JWH June 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm

I think the shirt is just fine. It signals that the wearer is quite tired of all of people’s intrusive questions. If I saw it on a person, I’d likely raise an eyebrow and move on. As for etiquette … I NEVER ask a woman about her pregnancy unless she is a) a close family member or friend and/or b) has specifically said that she is pregnant. Other than that, I think it’s rude to speculate on a woman’s pregnancy or ask her about it unless it’s necessary for professional reasons.

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Sorka Hanrahan June 29, 2014 at 1:57 pm

I enjoyed those questions, personally. Thought it was a nice way to interact with people. What I did get annoyed with was the Judgy McJugersons about my exercise routine. So I will admit that I did wear a t-shirt for workouts that said, “Yes, I’m pregnant. Yes, I’m still working out. Yes, my OB knows. Deal with it.”

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