This Pregnant Woman Was Deemed 'Unprofessional' for a Work Event

That won't stop her from attending.
ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
May 2017
Pregnant woman standing behind desk in an office, looking out the window.
Photo: iStock

Workplace water cooler chitchat can be awkward enough. And during pregnancy, you’ll likely fall victim to even more uncomfortable remarks from well-meaning colleagues. For one UK mom, an interaction at the photocopier quickly turned into an insult as a coworker called her pregnancy ‘unprofessional.’

The mom-to-be, who is 25 weeks along, anonymously shared the experience on the UK parenting website Mumsite. According to her re-telling, it all started harmlessly enough:

Colleague:“How’s everything?”

Probably to the coworker’s dismay, the woman did not answer with an update of her pregnancy or how she was feeling.

Me: “Really good! I’ve been invited to [extremely prestigious thing] next week so I’m really nervous. You?”

This clearly takes the colleague aback.

Colleague: “Erm… you’re going to go?”

Me: “Sure, why?”

Colleague: “Well…won’t it look…a bit…”

Me: …?

Colleague: “Well you’re pregnant. Won’t it look a bit unprofessional?”

Other moms on the message board were quick to jump to the mom-to-be’s defense and share their own insulting encounters in the workplace.

“Unless you’re a nun I don’t see how it would be unprofessional,” one user commented.

“I had [an incident] over a can of Coke at work; someone literally took it out of my hand and was going to pour it down the sink!” another writes. “I managed to stutter, ‘What do you think you’re doing?’ which made her pause long enough for me to take it back and give her a hard stare.”

“I was a few weeks away from giving birth and a lady I serve at work said, ‘What’s wrong with you? You look like you’re pregnant.’ I thought she was joking but she was serious.”

Many, many moms on the thread indicate they fielded questions about the fathers of their babies.

Being pregnant at work isn’t a walk in the park. You’re the unwanted center of attention, you’re tired and there’s a good chance you’re extra gassy. Looking to make life a little easier? This company will pay to plan its employees’ baby showers.

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