April Fools’ Day is celebrated each year as a light-hearted day for practical jokes and pranks.
But each year, numerous miscarriage, fertility and baby loss charities, alongside people who have struggled with these issues, call for jokes surrounding preganancy to be avoided.
‘Fake pregnancy announcements are never funny and often hurt people’
Although pretending to be pregnant is a fairly common - and seemingly harmless - April Fools’ Prank, increasingly people are taking to social media to ask people to choose a different gag.
One Twitter user commented: “Just a friendly reminder that fake pregnancy announcements are stupid any day including april fools’ day so please don't do it.”
Another said: “Fake pregnancy announcements are never funny and often hurt people. There are plenty of other fun and harmless pranks you can pull today if you’re in the spirit. Please remember kindness to others.”
Another tweeted: “Don’t fake a pregnancy for April fools’ day, million jokes out there, something that’s a source of heartbreak for many isn’t one of them.”.
Love Island star Malin Anderson, who lost her one-month-old daughter in 2019, also posted on Twitter asking people not to joke about pregnancy on April Fools’ Day.
She said: “April fools is approaching so please don’t lie about being pregnant please.”
‘Consider whether any joke they plan to share or play might cause real hurt to others’
Charities supporting women with pregnancy loss and fertility have also reminded people to consider what they make jokes about on April Fools’ Day.
The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust posted on Twitter ahead of April Fools’ Day to remind people about the negative impact jokes surrounding pregnancy can have on others.
The Trust said: “With April Fools’ Day just a couple of days away, we know that pretend pregnancy announcements can sometimes be posted across social media.
“Even though the intentions behind these posts are not knowingly unkind, we understand that they can be upsetting after the trauma of a pregnancy loss.”
The Trust also said that it’s alright if people need to take some time off social media sites and said: “We would like to remind you that it is okay to press ‘mute’ on social media.”
A spokesperson for the Trust said that “pregnancy and baby loss is very common” and the chances are is that there is someone in your close circle who has or is dealing with heartbreak, which may be known and talked about, but often “many suffer in silence."
The spokesperson added: "While there is no negative intention behind pretend pregnancy posts, they can cause a lot of hurt to those who are grieving or struggling or unable to conceive. It’s a painful reminder that they are not pregnant and unable to share the news that they so desperately wish.
“Taking a moment to pause and think again before clicking the post button on a fake pregnancy post can make the world of difference to those who are dealing with heartache."
Ectopic Pregnancy is a condition which affects one in 80 pregnancies in the UK and occurs when the embryo grows outside the womb. If not treated, it can be life-threatening, said the Trust.
A spokesperson for the Miscarriage Association also said that for someone who is facing fertility problems or who has experienced miscarriage or stillbirth, “seeing, hearing or reading jokes about any of those issues can be very distressing any day of the year.”
However, on April Fools’ Day - “it’s no bad idea to remind people to pause and consider whether any joke they plan to share or play might cause real hurt to others,” the spokesperson added.