Let’s describe pregnancy as being “with child”

Unborn baby 8 weeksWords are powerful.  They play a big role in the way that people perceive the reality that is around them.  If, when trying to communicate an idea or thought to someone, the wrong or ill conceived word is used, misunderstandings occur and offense can be taken.

In the case of pregnancy, words can mean a matter of life or death for the one hidden in the secret of his mother’s womb.

Not so long ago, when a woman became pregnant a term often used to describe the wonder of the new life within her was “with child”.  What a neat little phrase!  It speaks the truth of the reality of the life that is growing day by day, hidden from the world, tucked up warm and safe inside his mother.

Today, well meaning people talk about “expecting a baby”.  The term suggests that the baby is not yet in existence, but that it will be when born.  Unfortunately it is used widely in both secular society and within the Church.  The term is a dangerous one for the pre-born child whose intrinsic value can be forgotten in people’s minds.

The words “with child” have the potential to change the perception of the general public towards pregnancy and the role of the mother (and father) from the very moment of conception.

It may only be a small step, but one that has the ability to remind people that a vulnerable child who needs to be loved, protected and nurtured exists, even if in secret.

So next time you have the opportunity to describe pregnancy, try using the words “with child” and see what happens!

1 comment

  1. Yes, very good point about the language; as the Bible says : …in the beginning , it was the word..”
    Too many times, the language does not reflect the father implication in a pregnancy; just look at this:
    – “the woman is pregnant ” the sentence does not say a word about the father, as the father has nothing to do with the pregnancy.
    Or, the recent case in China where the mother delivered ” her ” baby in the toilet- what about the father? where was the father while “his” baby was delivered?
    Or, ” the police is searching for the mother who left the baby at the mall ” – what about looking for the father who left the mother and the baby to die – no food, no shelter- the father just disappeared… before even going to the mall.
    Or, ” the baby was born with a heart defect” – no, the baby did not developed a heart defect during the few minutes of the delivery – why incriminating the mother and making her feel guilty that ” her delivery brought into the world a disabled child? ; rather, the baby was conceived by his father with a heart defect, and placed into the womb of the mother

    Just wonder why the language excludes the father from the process of having the baby…

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