Everything You Shouldn’t Say To A Woman With A Surprise Pregnancy

There's no "right way" to feel when you take a pregnancy test and it's positive. Some women are overjoyed, some are disappointed, some are terrified, and some (read: many) are totally surprised. So, while there truly isn't a correct way to feel when you find out you're pregnant, there are definitely things you should never say to a woman with a surprise pregnancy, who is probably feeling a million emotions simultaneously.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, nearly half of all pregnancies are unintentional. I’ll be the first to admit that none of my pregnancies have been planned. The first time that pregnancy test showed up positive, I wasn’t being as careful as I could have been. The next couple of times I found out I was pregnant, I was being very careful, but things just kind of happened the way they did. I know what it’s like to get a positive result and wonder what the hell you’re going to do, and the confusing situation is almost always made worse when you have to start telling people about it. Turns out, as open minded and kind and caring as your friends and family may be (or think they may be), there’s often a hint of judgement that comes from them thinking they know what’s best for your life. Except, well, they don't. The only person who knows what's truly best for you (and your body) is you.

So instead of being a jerk and saying any of the following to a woman who just found out she's surprisingly pregnant, try to just follow their cues. Ask this newly-pregnant person how they’re feeling or what they plan on doing. Offer to be there for them no matter what, because that's the only thing you should be saying to someone with a surprise pregnancy. This list, though? It’s all the stuff you shouldn’t say (even if you’re screaming it internally).


Please, please, please try to hide your reaction to a surprise pregnancy. You don’t need to immediately announce your displeasure at the news. Instead, just see how they’re doing. Check in with them. Remember: This is not about you.

"Was It Planned?"

Not your business. Nope. If they offer to tell you they were planning on getting pregnant (or not), that’s fine. Otherwise, mind ya beeswax.

"But You’re Not Keeping It, Are You?"

Rude much? Even if your friend is the most staunch pro-choice person ever, and has always vowed never to have kids, you can’t be certain what they’re going to do. It’s their body and their choice, even if you don’t like it.

"I Can Give You A Ride To The Clinic"

OK, so this is great to say if they have already told you they don’t plan to carry their pregnancy to term. If that’s the case, most certainly be supportive as hell. However, if they haven’t told you yet, don’t put words in their mouth.

"Oh, That’s Amazing! You Didn’t Even Think You Could Have Any, Right?"

Struggling with infertility is incredibly hard. The last thing you want to do is remind this person of all their hardships. This is just uncalled for.

"I Thought You Said You Never Wanted Kids"

Again, someone else’s family planning is not your concern. I personally never wanted to have kids, until I did. Sometimes people change their minds, and sometimes they don't. Either way is cool.

"Don’t You Have Enough Kids?"

What exactly is “enough?" Who determines how many kids is too many? For some, one child is more than enough. For others, five starts to seem like a full family. It all depends, but it’s not your place to interject.

"Don’t You Guys Use Birth Control?"

Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were supplying your friend with free birth control. Actually, even if you were, this is still rude as hell. Some one else’s use of birth control is none of your concern.

"You Need To Get That Guy Snipped"

You don’t get a say in what other people do with their bodies. That includes suggesting they force their male partners into getting vasectomies. It wasn’t cool in that episode of Gilmore Girls, and it’s not cool here.

"I Guess Now Your Family Will Be ‘Complete’"

Uh, say what? Who are you to tell someone when their family is “complete.” I mean, what the hell does that even mean? Said it before and i’ll say it again: mind your business.