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    #1

    have a baby/having a baby

    Hi everbody,
    I have a question regarding the definition of "to have a baby". As far as I know it means "to give birth to a baby", but I have come across this example from Headway:

    A. Rebecca, have you got a headache?
    B. No, it's not that. I am having a baby and I feel sick.

    So, does "to have a baby" also mean to be pregnant?

    For example can I say the following:

    A. Hi Maria, you've put on weight recently!
    B. Yes, I know, but I'm having a baby and I hope to lose all these pounds after I've had my baby."

    To be honest it sounds a bit strange to me, but I am not a native speaker, so your advice is required here guys.

    Thanks a lot.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: have a baby/having a baby

    Yes, if you say "I"m having a baby" it means "I'm pregnant" not "I'm in the process of giving birth at this very minute."

    (I hope you would never say "you've put on weight recently" to anyone!)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: have a baby/having a baby

    Interesting. Not only was the response in post #2 given by a member/mod for whom I have the greatest respect, but it was 'liked' by a couple of other members/mods whose opinions I respect. Perhaps I have been away from England for too long. I disagree with them all. For me, "I'm having a baby" rarely means "I'm pregnant"".

    In the first dialogue (below) I would assume that the speaker's waters had burst:

    A. Rebecca, have you got a headache?
    B. No, it's not that. I am having a baby and I feel sick.


    I would understand the second (below), but would find it unnatural. I would expect to hear "I'm expecting a baby":

    A. Hi Maria, you've put on weight recently!
    B. Yes, I know, but I'm having a baby and I hope to lose all these pounds after I've had my baby.


    NOT A FEMALE

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: have a baby/having a baby

    In the first example, "I'm pregnant" would be better than "I'm having a baby." I completely agree.

    However the likelihood of confusing a headache with being labor, let alone the absence of "God! My water just broke! Get me to the hospital!" just makes the alternative much more likely.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: have a baby/having a baby

    "I'm having a baby" is very, very common in AusE for "I'm pregnant". Also possible is "We're having a baby" for trendy couples.
    The only problem I have with the above is that it is referring to something happening right now, and she's not having a baby right now. It's normally used in a context of expectation:

    Tom (to Peter and Mary): I see you're moving to a larger house.
    Peter: Yes, we're having a baby in December, and will need more room. (Mary smiles in agreement)

    Wanda (looks at her home pregnancy test) "Oh no! I'm having a baby!"

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    #6

    Re: have a baby/having a baby

    (You're) Having My Baby - Paul Anka and Odia Coates - YouTube

    I don't think Paul Anka was singing this in the delivery room.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: have a baby/having a baby

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Tom (to Peter and Mary): I see you're moving to a larger house.
    Peter: Yes, we're having a baby in December, and will need more room. (Mary smiles in agreement)

    [...]

    Wanda (looks at her home pregnancy test) "Oh no! I'm having a baby!"
    I'd have no problem with either of those. The first is the present-continuous-for-future form of 'have a baby' (= give birth), and the second could be interpreted that way. We could use 'going to have a baby' in both with effectively no difference in meaning.

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