“We’re Pregnant!” (Or Are “We”?)

Photo by Rob and Julia Campbell / Stocksy United / 591022
Photo by Rob and Julia Campbell / Stocksy United

“For all you soon-to-be fathers…stop saying we’re pregnant!” lambasted Mila Kunis in a 2014 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Some 5.4 million views later, the YouTube clip of Kunis hilariously excoriating  the phrase “We’re Pregnant” clearly hit a nerve.

Love it or hate it, the “We’re pregnant” debate rages on nearly 45 years after the words first appeared in print: in cartoonist Lynn Johnston’s 1973 book David We’re Pregnant!. (The book provided material for Johnston’s long-running comic strip For Better or for Worse.)

In the pro camp? Those parents who want to feel that both contributors are an important part of the pregnancy process, and who are excited about diving into the team sport of parenting. In The Dudes’ Guide to Pregnancy, the phrase gets props because it’s “…a not-so-subtle reminder that you’re in this together.” It’s a declaration that when the mommy-to-be craves peanut butter at 2 a.m. and there’s none in the house, her partner will drive to the grocery store and buy a super-sized jar of it.

In the no camp? Those parents like Kunis who argue that one person—that would be the woman actively growing a brand-new person—is in fact pregnant. Patrick Quinn from The Good Men Project even expresses “a touch of revulsion at the statement” because “…it sort of feels like [men] are stealing some of the thunder from the woman who is actually pregnant.” While it’s sweet that the other partner wants to feel involved, argues the anti-“We’re pregnant” crowd, he or she isn’t undergoing the drastic physical changes that come with pregnancy—which may include vomiting, food cravings, stretch marks, swollen feet, the hormonal roller coaster ride…and then, of course, the actual birthing process.

So, in the interest of social harmony, what is one to do? The pregnancy gurus at What to Expect When You’re Expecting suggest the term “we’re expecting” as a perfectly neutral alternative that removes the biology and celebrates the togetherness of family.

“We’re Pregnant” Makes the Social Waves!

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