There’s something about April Fool’s Day that can make people want to channel their silly side and play practical jokes on friends and fam. It might be something as innocent as swapping out salt for sugar in your partner’s morning cup of coffee or placing a whoopie cushion under someone’s seat. But one of the most common gags is to pretend that you’re pregnant and see the hilarious reaction you get. Thing is, fake pregnancy announcements on April Fool’s Day are no laughing matter — and here’s why.
Fake Pregnancy Announcements Are Insensitive To People Struggling With Infertility
It’s estimated that 1 in 5 women ages 15 to 49-years-old are unable to get pregnant after one year of trying, according to the Centers for Disease Control. So the chances are pretty high that the bun in the oven pic you prank post on Instagram for April Fool’s Day will be seen by someone in your inner circle who is unable to get pregnant.
“Fake pregnancy announcements can make someone who is infertile feel a range of emotions, from sadness and anger to jealousy and resentment,” says Amira R. Martin, LCSW-R, a psychotherapist and wellness professional. “Infertility is already a deeply personal and sensitive issue, and such pranks can exacerbate the feelings of inadequacy and failure that many individuals already experience.” And if someone has experienced pregnancy loss as part of their infertility journey, a fake pregnancy announcement can be even more triggering.
Fake Pregnancy Announcements Can Cause Distrust
You innocently announce that you’re expecting with an old ultrasound image, thinking that you’ll get a lot of laughs from the Instagram post. Instead, you get a DM from a friend who’s upset by your antics. What gives? “The struggle with infertility can be physically, emotionally, and financially draining,” Daniela Meier, a midwife, explains. “It can also lead to feelings of betrayal and mistrust toward the person who made the announcement.” This can be particularly painful for the person if you already knew that they were in the throes of their fertility journey. Before you post, you should think about how your fake pregnancy announcement might be received, and if you believe that someone could feel offended, you might want to think twice.
Fake Pregnancy Announcements Can Be Tone Deaf To Today’s Issues
Right now, there is a war in the U.S. against reproductive rights for women. The U.S. Supreme Court officially reversed Roe v. Wade, which means that abortion rights will not be an option in many states across the country. Currently 24 out of the 50 states have bans, near bans, or will ban abortion soon. To then make a fake pregnancy announcement in the midst of a heated political climate that is taking aim at women’s rights, can be somewhat jarring for those who are not only trying to get pregnant, but who are incensed at this perceived outrage as well.
“Fake pregnancy announcements on April Fool’s Day or any other occasion are insensitive and potentially damaging,” says Martin. “Infertility is a serious and difficult experience that affects millions of people worldwide, and we should be working towards greater awareness and understanding, as well as providing support and empathy to those who are struggling.” Instead of looking for laughs, act from a place of compassion and kindness and understand that even though it might seem innocent, a joke that uses someone’s pain as a punchline is never funny.
Amira R. Martin, LCSW-R, a psychotherapist and wellness professional
Daniela Meier, a midwife