What is the Difference between Expectant Mother or Pregnant Woman and Birth Mother?
Have you ever been unsure of someone’s title or what a certain word means? It happens to all of us, and it can sometimes result in embarrassment or discomfort. In reality, the best thing to do when we aren’t sure about a definition or the correct word to use is to ask. Learning about a topic shows that you care about it.
If you are considering adoption, or are supporting someone who is interested in adoption, chances are you’ve come across the terms expectant mother, pregnant woman and birth mother. It can be confusing knowing when to use each term. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we often use these words in our blog posts and information sections. There are a few key differences between each of these phrases.
Expectant mother is used to describe a woman who is currently pregnant. She has not given birth yet. When discussing adoption, the term expectant mother is used to describe someone who has not yet decided to place their baby for adoption. An expectant mother is still making decisions regarding the future of her child. She might be considering adoption as an option, but has not reached any final conclusions.
Like the term expectant mother, we use the words pregnant woman to describe any woman who is pregnant with a child. A pregnant woman is someone who has not made any final plans to begin her adoption journey. Rather, she may be considering placing her baby for adoption. She might be openly considering her other options as well.
A pregnant woman or an expectant mother becomes a birth mother once she has committed to placing her baby for adoption. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we refer to the women who are embarking on their adoption journeys with us as birth mothers.
A birth mother has made the decision to place her baby for adoption. It doesn’t matter what step of her adoption journey she is at, she is still considered a birth mother. Does the term carry over post adoption? Yes, it does. After a birth mother’s child has gone home with his or her adoptive family, she is still a birth mother.
The Importance of Using Adoption Terminology Correctly
Why do we pay so much attention to the language we use when discussing birth mothers and pregnant women? Being intentional with the words we use creates a welcoming environment. It signifies and acknowledges the differences between women who are on their adoption journey and women who are considering adoption as an option.
Using appropriate language is also a show of support and recognition. Adoption is a path that is both incredibly rewarding and intensely emotional. Employing the correct terms when discussing a birth mother or pregnant women’s journey can help avoid any words that may have negative undertones. When we speak about adoption and birth mothers, our goal is to be inclusive and supportive of all women, regardless of their decisions.
Which are You: Expectant Mother or Birth Mother?
In short, the difference between an expectant mother, pregnant woman and birth mother is the phase of her adoption journey she is in. If you are a pregnant woman or an expectant mother who is considering adoption, feel free to reach out to Adoption Choices of Missouri for more information. If you are a birth mother who is ready to begin her adoption journey with us, we are here to support and encourage you every step of the way.
Meet the Author: Molly Doyle is a native San Franciscan, Molly is an experienced educator and a dedicated writer. She holds her multiple subject teaching credential as well as her Masters of Arts in Teaching. When not teaching children or creating new written pieces, Molly can be found kicking around a soccer ball, going for urban hikes or whipping up a fruit pie.
She currently lives in Seattle, her first home outside of California.