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Miss Manners: How to share the news when you’re expecting

Wed., Sept. 8, 2010

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My wife and I just recently moved back to my hometown, where my parents and family are well known.

At first we were hesitant to announce the news of my wife’s pregnancy due to a previous miscarriage. Now we have been telling close friends and family, since my wife is 17 weeks along.

We are not bringing it up in unprompted conversation, as we don’t want to brag, and we are not circulating the news in extremely public forums like Facebook, since it lacks the personal touch of telling someone in person. We are excited and proud but afraid that some friends and friends of my parents’ might be offended if they hear of this via the grapevine and not by us in person.

How should we circulate this news in a tactful way? Should we simply let my wife’s increasing size tell the story?

GENTLE READER: Please don’t do that. You would be doing a disfavor to every lady who has a stomach.

It is exceedingly rude for anyone to guess from a lady’s size that she is pregnant. Should your wife go into labor in front of Miss Manners, she would merely say, “My dear, whatever is the matter? Can I help you?” (Eventually, of course, she would have to say, “Oh, look who’s here.”)

The news is not delivered as a formal announcement but is told to friends by the prospective parents and grandparents, however they usually keep in touch – telephone, e-mail, visits, with a “Guess what?” tone allowed.

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