It’s been a long time since I’ve been ‘with child,’ but the trauma of insensitive comments can stay with you longer than stretch marks. It’s a special kind of awful to be asked if you’re pregnant when you aren’t (in fact, even when you are pregnant, it’s awful to be asked because you were hoping you didn’t look so bad that it was obvious.) It’s an extraordinary kind of awful to be asked if you’re pregnant when you aren’t while you’re wearing a bathing suit. (true story)
There are two circumstances when it’s acceptable to ask a woman about her pregnancy. You may discuss said pregnancy only when the pregnant woman has just clearly stated in no uncertain terms that she is “x amount of weeks / months” pregnant. If a female says “I’m going to be a mother” you’re going to need clarification before responding with something potentially hurtful like “I thought so but I didn’t want to say anything!” This implies that you noticed weight gain but were being polite by keeping it to yourself instead of mistaking a twenty-Twinkie-a-day habit for a baby. A comment as vague as “I’m going to be a mother” may mean she’s adopting a kitten, not that she’s physically growing a human parasite within her torso. Additionally, if a woman approaches you and tells you she is “x amount of weeks / months” pregnant, the only appropriate response starts with “WOW – you look great!!!” Even if she’s three weeks overdue, you have to tell her she looks great. (Actually, especially if she’s three weeks overdue.) Chances are she’s going home to down a pint of Häagen-Dazs – the difference between you telling her she looks great (even though she knows it’s a lie, she’s huge) and you saying something crass like “Wow – you look like you ate a pillow” (another true story – what is wrong with you people??) is whether or not she’ll be openly sobbing between spoonfuls of White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle (or forkfuls if the dishwasher needs to be run and there are no clean spoons.)
The second time it’s marginally okay to ask a woman if she’s pregnant is if you’re in the maternity room, her feet are in stirrups, and the doctor is telling her to push while she’s crowning. I don’t recommend this method, however, because it will most likely end in death or, at the very least, life threatening injuries.