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How to Respond to “When Are You Having a Baby?”

You know the scene; you’re at a gathering of family and friends when someone asks aloud “So when are you going to have a baby” and you feel the sucker punch in the gut. Of course, the inquisitor intends no ill will and likely has no idea of your struggles to conceive. They’re simply asking an albeit very personal question.

And it can come up in many different settings. It seems when you reach a certain point in your relationship or age people wonder about your intentions for children. Work events, family celebrations, a gathering of friends who’ve already started their own families, it seems as though everyone at one point or another poses the question you dread.

For couples enduring the heartache of infertility, this question is beyond rude, it’s hurtful. So how do you handle “When are you having a baby?” and other such queries while maintaining your composure? It’s not always easy, but here we offer a few tips.


Why People Ask

First let’s recognize most people don’t ask for any other reason than simply making conversation. They see it as a form of small talk or an interest in, perhaps, your life milestones. For instance, if you’re recently married or a close friend or relative of a similar age recently started their family the person inquiring may simply be asking for sake.

Some people, however, do ask this deeply personal question out of a place of selfishness or self-interest. The grandmother who wants a great-grandchild or the mother-in-law complaining about not having grandchildren. Those inquiries are a bit more difficult to handle. Especially when they are so hurtful. Your first inclination may be avoiding these encounters altogether.

Coping with infertility and going through treatment causes you feelings of vulnerability. If you and your partner feel hurt by these questions, please understand you are not alone and it is completely normal to feel that way. Before you put yourself and your partner in social isolation let’s take a look at the ways you may deal with such intrusive concerns about your personal life.


How to Respond

While you may want to go off on the inquisitor and offer them a piece of your mind that isn’t always the best route. Especially if the one asking is an elderly aunt or your partner’s grandma. There are diplomatic ways to handle the situation and retain your emotional energy, or at the very least prevent yourself from running out in tears. Assume the person means no ill will and it’s easier to keep your emotions intact.


Rehearse a Response for Every Situation

There are certain events in which this question is sure to arise. Don’t let them catch you off guard. Have a few canned responses in mind that keep your answer simple and change the subject. Here are a few examples:


  • “I don’t know. How are you doing these days?”
  • “Oh, we don’t want to discuss that now do we?”
  • “Wow. That is a really complicated discussion. Tell me about your new job.”
  • “Ya know, I just don’t want to talk about it please.”


Unless the individual is out and out rude they usually let it drop. If not, you may need a firmer hand.


  • “You’re getting kind of personal, don’t you think? Why not tell me about what’s new with you.”


Some couples share their struggles with a select group, usually immediate family or close friends. In that case your people probably know where you are in your fertility journey. If that’s the situation, you may opt to offer a bit more information. But never, ever feel as though you owe it to anyone. If you do care to let them in and they are supportive here are a couple of answers that fit the scenario.


  • “We’ve been trying for a while now and would love to share any good news so stay tuned!”
  • “We’re not really at a place where we feel comfortable sharing just yet, but you’ll be among the first to know if and when it happens.”
  • “Hey, I’d love to talk to someone about our struggles. Are you free for lunch soon?”


Some People Are Well-Meaning, But Relentless

There’s always that one person who asks every time they see you. Depending on who that individual may be and how much tact you owe them you may offer the same response each time, such as:


  • “I’d rather, not discuss it.”
  • “Please understand, I don’t want to talk about this subject with you.”
  • “I don’t think you’re hearing me, so I’ll say one more time, I don’t want to discuss it.”


And one option that works well with most busy bodies? Just ignore them. Pretend you didn’t hear them or simply respond with a sweet smile. Walk away, if they become too pushy. Don’t engage if you don’t trust your emotions right now.

We’ll Help You

If you struggle with how to respond to the question “When are you having a baby”or any other deeply inappropriate fertility questions from well-meaning, but rude people or if you’re struggling with your fertility and the emotional upheaval, please contact LA IVF today. Our caring and compassionate treatment team is here for you with ways to cope.

TEL: 310-286-2800 | FAX: 310-691-1116