Sunday 25 February 2018

If you really have to ask, then follow these rules for the tactful way to tackling the baby question...

1Think before opening your mouth, there could be many issues like miscarriages, fertility struggles, relationship issues or personal choices you know nothing about.

2 Use words that are unambiguous and clear like 'I know you're having trouble getting pregnant. If this is something you ever need to talk about please let me know."

3 Avoid dramatic things like 'you must be going mad with grief' or 'this must be killing you'. "This might not be true," says counsellor Sally O'Reilly. "Try to be aware of assumptions and make as few as possible."

4 "If you're invested in having grandchildren, don't ask, your disappointment might feel like disapproval if seen," says Sally. "If you must ask, then something like "A lot of couples these days are choosing not to have kids - we're wondering - what are your thoughts? And please feel free to tell us if this feels too private!"

5 Try to avoid negative language like 'only the one child' or 'still no babies'. "Try asking their opinion instead: Would you like to have another child?" says fertility counsellor Clare Healy.

6 Don't dismiss a miscarriage with phrases like 'at least you can try again'. "This might sound like the right thing to say, but it might feel like a dismissal of one of the worst experiences a woman has had," says Sally.

Irish Independent

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