Stop Asking Women If They're Pregnant When They're Not Drinking

Pregnant people don't want to be asked that. Neither do those who aren't.

Not everyone drinks. And yet in a rampant drinking culture, abstaining from alcohol can feel like a huge social no-no.

And to get around it, tee-total Brits are using white lies.

Researchers found almost half of occasional abstainers have come up with quick-fire comebacks due to friends, family or colleagues assuming there must be more to their decision to stay ‘dry’.

But when it comes to female non-drinkers, the number one question they’re asked is: “are you pregnant?”

With Sober October looming, non-alcoholic spirits brand CleanCo looked into non-drinking habits. They found a prevalence in the act of ‘alch-assuming’ – that’s incorrectly presuming someone who isn’t drinking must either be either pregnant, “under the thumb” or just “plain boring”.

The most common excuses to try and deflect inevitable public ridicule are “I’m driving”, “I’ve got an exercise class first thing in the morning” or “I’ve got an early start tomorrow” – rather than simply being honest and declaring “I just don’t want to drink tonight”.

Meanwhile one in four have gone as far as to falsely declare “I’m on antibiotics”, to avoid jibes from friends, according to the study of 2,004 adults.

AleksandarGeorgiev via Getty Images

Close to half of those surveyed (47%) have been trying to detox and get fit and healthy again, by either giving up alcohol during the week or for a specified period of time.

However, 44% have felt uncomfortable or nervous breaking the news to friends, family or once newly-reunited with colleagues they haven’t seen for months.

According to the stats, 26% said they knew they would be subjected to mickey-taking amid their declaration of temporary sobriety. Another 10% feared they would be accused of “spoiling the night out”, while 16% of women, around one in six, said they’d been asked “You’re not pregnant, are you?” by inquiring pals.

Assuming someone’s pregnant when they just want to refuse a drink is a double-edged sword.

If they are pregnant or trying to become so (many women also give up alcohol while attempting to conceive), they may not be comfortable sharing that with you. And if they are neither, the assumption can be downright infuriating.

So just don’t do it. (Oh, and even if they do turn out to be pregnant in the end, definitely don’t ask them whether it was planned or not). You’ve been told.