How to respond to people when they ask why you're not pregnant yet, from someone who's been there.

Thanks to our brand partner, Elevit

I’ve been married for close to four years and am in my mid to late 30s (is nearly 37 considered ‘late’? Don’t answer that).

So, you can imagine the one question I get asked fairly frequently.

“When are you going to have a baby?”

The truth is my husband and I have been trying to have a baby for years now. But before I met him I didn’t feel the desire to have children and still, in previous relationships, people had no qualms with openly inquiring as to the state of any impending parenthood.

Many people are well meaning. Others are totally obtuse or downright rude. And so, depending on who they are and how they go about it, I’ve developed a few go-to replies to answer The Baby Question.

“I’m barren”

To those who ask with no tact, or who I hardly know who have no place in my business, I put the uncomfortableness back on them. I simply say two words – “I’m barren” – followed by complete silence on my part, and let them fill the awkward space they’ve created.

I once had a flight attendant tell me that I was pretty but that my husband would stray if I didn’t give him children soon. These two words shut her down faster than a speeding ticket. She wheeled her trolley away at lighting speed and avoided me the rest of the (long international) flight.

“I hate children”

I use this one on the condescending mothers who revel in using pity disguised as concern. You know the ones, the women who make you feel as small as a grain of rice because you’re not yet a mother and you can’t possibly know what love or life is about yet.


When they ask in that tone I simply tell them I hate children. I say I think they are dirty and noisy, and wouldn’t possibly consider ruining my life with a snotty little rugrat. Usually their own offspring are running amok around us at that exact time – case in point.

“I have pets”

All my fellow fur parents will feel me – our pets are our babies!

Honestly though, I use this light-hearted response usually when someone means well – it most often happens in group situations when strangers have been talking about their children and want to make me feel included.

When they ask “do you have kids?” I say “sure do, they have long hair, clean themselves and came toilet trained”. It usually gets a few laughs.


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My cat is my baby, does that not count? 

The truth

Close friends ask because they love you, and they do it in a way that isn’t prying or rude – it comes from a genuine care for what’s going on in your life. To these people I tell the truth.

I tell them that trying for a baby is hard. That wanting to be a parent so badly after years of setbacks is heartbreaking. That IVF is one of the most emotionally, physically and financially devastating things a couple can go through. That fertility struggles are a silent hell.

These people listen. They nod and they smile and they cry with you.

They’re the ones that are allowed to ask because they’re there to lend a shoulder and really listen to the answer.

And they were the first ones I told when I found out I was expecting a baby, due in June.

How do you deal with questions about your fertility? Tell us in the comments.

This content was created with thanks to our brand partner, Elevit.

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The first 6-8 weeks after conception are critical for a baby's development, including the growth of its vital organs.  When you're pregnant, your baby depends on you for everything it needs to grow and thrive, and in the early stages of infancy, breast milk provides nutrients for baby’s healthy development.

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