It is completely natural for people to want to chat about pregnancy when they notice you have a cute baby bump. Not just your friends and family, but the clerk at your grocery store, the teller at your bank, the barista at Starbucks — you get the idea. And, for some reason when people find out that you are pregnant with twins, the questions become way more invasive.
When I was pregnant with my twins, I couldn’t believe some of the comments and questions from people who I didn’t know. There were times when I felt like a freak show. I know that most of these people were well intended, but what they said was intrusive none-the-less. With that in mind, here is my list of seven things not to say to a woman who is pregnant with twins.
- “Did you have fertility treatments?”
This question sounds completely innocent, but this is exactly like asking, “Did you have sex to make your babies?” When you are pregnant with one baby, people don’t think to ask, “How did you make your baby?” So, yes — it’s inappropriate. In addition, if someone did go through the process of fertility treatments, they probably don’t want to discuss the physical and emotional pain they had to endure to become pregnant. While some people openly share their fertility experiences, some even with strangers, it’s not your place to ask. This is a personal question.
- “Do twins run in your family?”
Please refer to #1- The person who asks this question knows that asking about fertility is inappropriate, so they ask the same exact question in a roundabout way. If the answer is, “Yes, twins run in the family,” the person asking walks away thinking you made your babies the old fashioned way. If the answer is, “No,” the immediate thought is that your babies were made in a lab dish. FYI, we are smarter than you may think, we know what you are getting at by asking this.
- “Two for the price of one!”
Nope. It’s two for the price of two. Having twins is not a buy one, get one free type of thing. Trust me, you don’t get a deal because there are two at the same time. In fact, I have never felt more stressed about finances. While preparing for our twins, we started crunching numbers the minute we left our first ultrasound appointment. In addition to the expense of a twin pregnancy being labeled high risk with visits to multiple specialists, there are two more humans to add to your health insurance policy, 22–24 diapers a day, between $300–$600 in formula a month (if you aren’t breastfeeding), double the cost of daycare, double the cost of dance class, karate, soccer, etc. Believe me, I wish every store, doctor or daycare would give me a two for the price of one deal — I’ve asked — they don’t!
- “Twins? How are you going to afford that?”
Really? When is it ever ok to ask someone about their finances? I am completely surprised at how many people asked about my finances when I was pregnant with twins. “Are you going to go to work?” “Can you afford to hire help?” The reality is that twins are crazy expensive, and as an expecting twin mom, you are probably having to make major life changes to accommodate these new little expensive people. Life is going to change dramatically. Yes, I have thought endlessly about how we are going to pay for the next 18 years of our lives, but my life plan is no one’s business.
Mostly I blame Charlie Sheen for this one. I don’t consider this statement rude or offensive, but by the time I finally delivered I must have heard it 300 times. I’m sure all moms who are expecting twins hear this twist on Charlie Sheen’s, “Winning!” While it sounds funny in your head, the person who is on the receiving side is completely over it. For the record, that was so 2011.
6. Are you going to have a C-section or a vaginal delivery?
Is it ever appropriate to ask someone about her vagina in any context? I am a relatively open person, and had no problem being public about my scheduled C-section when I was pregnant, but in most cases this is a personal topic. It is downright weird to ask anyone what she will be doing with her vagina, so being pregnant with twins doesn’t immediately give the vagina conversation a green light.
7.“How will you breastfeed two at the same time?”
Another body part I find inappropriate to discuss with strangers. When a woman is pregnant the pressure to breastfeed is on their mind. Breastfeeding in general can be a difficult decision because everyone likes to force this option on women. While we have all heard the benefits of breastfeeding, some women plan to, while others don’t. Some women simply can’t breastfeed. With twins breastfeeding is extra challenging, and some woman may choose not to take on that challenge. With that decision there may be feelings of guilt as well as pressure from other people. Some woman are completely fine with their decision not to breastfeed, but since you don’t know where someone is at with that personal choice – DON’T ASK!
Oftentimes, women who are pregnant with twins love the positive attention, but the questions can be rather invasive. With that said, some things are best kept quiet. I know every woman is different and would love to hear some of the comments that irked you during your twin pregnancy experience.