April Fool’s Day is almost upon us.
It’s the day the media publishes fake news.
And we spend the morning ready for the possibility of pranks and tricks being played on us.
Work colleagues, friends and family often invest a fair bit of time and energy in coming up with ‘gotcha’ moments, or practical jokes. Everyone is basically on high alert until the clock strikes 12pm and it’s all over.
Hopefully no one gets hurt and everyone has a laugh.
But one April Fool’s Day prank that is trotted out year after year has the potential to cause a lot of pain.
Every year on social media, up pop the pregnancy announcements and ultrasound scans, accompanied by ‘Surprise baby’ or ‘Newest addition to our family’.
Is It Ok To Post Fake Pregnancy Announcements On April Fool’s Day?
In a world of instant communication, sharing the news you’re expecting to the wider world is pretty exciting.
People sometimes go to quite elaborate ends to set up the ‘perfect’ pregnancy announcement.
But there’s always an awareness your news might be difficult for those who have been through miscarriage or are experiencing infertility.
If this is something that hasn’t occurred to you, consider this:
- 1 in every 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage
- 1 in every 6 couples experiences infertility
Assuming you have a wide circle of friends and family, there’s a very good chance you know someone who’s living right now with the pain of pregnancy loss or infertility.
For those people, being happy about other people’s pregnancies is hard. There’s a part of them that feels genuinely thrilled you are going to have a baby. But there’s also a feeling like a kick in the guts.
People experiencing miscarriage or infertility have very complicated and conflicting thoughts running through their heads.
I know. I’ve been through pregnancy loss and, in the months afterwards, I was hyper aware of how everyone around me seemed to be getting pregnant or about to have a baby.
I would feel so incredibly jealous and unhappy, and think I was a terrible person for having those (very normal) feelings.
Those of us who go through pregnancy loss or infertility are aware, of course, no-one is getting pregnant to hurt us. We know it’s about our feelings, and people aren’t sharing their exciting news deliberately to make us feel bad.
But each announcement is a reminder of what we’ve lost or what we can’t have.
So to find out a pregnancy announcement is a joke is a double blow.
Our lives today are quite public. We share so many things – the big and the small. When we click the ‘Post’ button, it’s easy to forget there are real live people on the other side.
We might have only a vague idea about their stories – or know absolutely nothing about them.
Most of us go about our lives with no intention of deliberately hurting other people. We might never know it, but our happy news could set off a series of tough emotions for someone else.
Think about this: would you intentionally joke about being pregnant to someone who couldn’t have children? When a couple you know has had a miscarriage, would you laugh about how lucky they are not to have to change nappies?
April Fool’s Day is supposed to be about making people laugh. Dealing with infertility or miscarriage isn’t a joke. Don’t be the reason someone spends the day feeling worse about it.