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What to say to pregnant woman 2017/1/11 10:37
One of my close coworkers is pregnant, but she didn't tell me or about it. I only realised today when I saw her belly, so obviously she has been pregnant for a while. I want to tell her congratulations, but it feels weird to do this when she hasn't told me herself that she is pregnant. In Japan, do women usually announce their pregnancy, or do they wait for others to ask them about it? I don't want to do the wrong thing, but it feels rude to ignore the fact that she is pregnant and not to say congratulations and ask her when the baby is due. What am I supposed to do in this situation?
by Jenn Jett (guest)  

Re: What to say to pregnant woman 2017/1/11 19:29
You may get a different opinion from others, but personally, I would not mention it until she does.

You work in a school, right? Chances are that it'll be announced at a staff meeting and from that point everyone will offer their congratulations. Depending on how early it is, she may be waiting for a variety of reasons. Or it might have been announced and you didn't catch it? If you suspect that (i.e. she's too big to not have already announced it) I'd casually ask a co-worker if she did, and take your cues from them.
by scarreddragon rate this post as useful

Re: What to say to pregnant woman 2017/1/12 07:55
Don't say anything till she announces it. It's rude.
by .. (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What to say to pregnant woman 2017/1/15 00:42
Well, I don't think you should wait for her to say she is pregnant. Of course, it may be more natural for her to say that, but you can say, "Omedeta desuka?" ( = blessed event, isn't it? meaning "Are you pregnant? ) after glancing at her stomach. This phrase is used to chushion the direct word 'pregnant'. Opninions may be divided, but to me there doesn't seem to be problems at all asking her pregnancy.
by magicalpw (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What to say to pregnant woman 2017/1/15 02:30
One of the things my father taught me was: Never ask a woman if she is pregnant. Because, if she is not, you have just told her she's getting fat.

You can be more tactful and say something like "There is a glow in your aura, what have you changed?"
by Mei (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What to say to pregnant woman 2017/1/16 10:32
One of the things my father taught me was: Never ask a woman if she is pregnant. Because, if she is not, you have just told her she's getting fat.

This is what I think too, but I come from a country where people announce their pregnancies before they begin to show, so there is a clear time when it's socially appropriate for everyone to say 'congratulations'. It seems that in Japan, it's more ambiguous about when/if people should say anything, especially when the woman doesn't announce it. To me it seems safer not to say anything until she does, but I don't want to come across as rude or uncaring. She's definitely pregnant (a coworker confirmed it for me). I'm not sure why she hasn't told me, but it might be because she's modest and doesn't want people to make a fuss. I asked a Japanese coworker who has two children, and she said when she was pregnant she didn't want to tell other women in case it upset them that they didn't have children and she didn't want to 'rub it in'. But she also said she wished that more women showed an interest in her pregnancy and children. But that's just her, everyone is different. Also, someone told me that Japanese women wear navy cardigans as a signal that they're pregnant, and once they begin to wear navy, it's a sign that it's okay to congratulate her. Is that true?
by Jenn Jett (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What to say to pregnant woman 2017/1/16 10:36
You work in a school, right? Chances are that it'll be announced at a staff meeting and from that point everyone will offer their congratulations. Depending on how early it is, she may be waiting for a variety of reasons. Or it might have been announced and you didn't catch it?

Yep, at a school. It hasn't been announced yet. She's a receptionist who works in another area of the building, away from the teachers. I'm not sure, but I don't think they make announcements about the reception / janitor staff, because they're not teachers so they're considered as seperate from the teaching staff.
by Jenn Jett (guest) rate this post as useful

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