'Why not just have a baby?': HGTV's Erin Napier schools fans on insensitive fertility-related questions

·3 min read

HGTV star Erin Napier took to Instagram this week to raise awareness about how an innocuous seeming question — “Why not just have a baby?” — can actually be insensitive to couples, for many different reasons.

On Wednesday, the Hometown star shared a sweet picture of her 2-year-old daughter, Helen, making her point about the question in her caption.

Erin Napier took to Instagram to discourage people from cavalierly suggesting to couples that they should have kids. (Photo: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)
Erin Napier took to Instagram to discourage people from cavalierly suggesting to couples that they should have kids. (Photo: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)

“It’s such an innocuous, harmless seeming thing to offer a mama who’s missing the sweetness of babyhood as her toddler grows up,” Napier wrote, just days after fellow HGTV star, Mina Starsiak of Good Bones, announced her second pregnancy after struggling with fertility issues. “And it seems so simple to offer that same advice to the couple who’ve been married 10 years. The truth is rarely that simple.”

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She continued: “There are women I love who want babies desperately and their bodies won’t let them. Women grieving miscarriages that happen in secret. Couples trying to adopt, who keep finding disappointment through fostering when the baby is given back to drug-addicted mothers. People awaiting trips overseas to bring home a baby that feels like it will never come because of travel bans. Mothers in their 30s whose bodies have stopped making another baby an option suddenly.

“Please, I gently urge you,” Napier concluded. “Think of those people before you offer that advice. That simple question can be so very hard to answer sometimes.”

Commenters were quick to chime in with support.

“Thank you for eloquently putting into words the silent frustrations so many of us feel when questions/comments like this come up. Everyone’s journey to parenthood is different, sadly often not reaching that final destination at all, and a little kindness and empathy can go a long way,” one fan wrote.

“Thank you for these gentle but wise words. It is a silent struggle for so many and that seemingly innocent question can create so much trauma for the people trying,” another person said.

“Yes!!! Wise words. We were married ten years before I first miracle through adoption came to us. Then almost 5 more years till the next one. Be kind. Be thoughtful,” someone else added.

The HGTV host has been open about her struggles to have children prior to the birth of her daughter. In 2018, she told People that, since age 19, she had been battling an illness caused by her organs being banded together by scar tissue from her appendix that had attempted to heal itself. Napier had been told that having kids was not likely.

“I was very sad,” she told the outlet. “And not knowing is always the biggest hurdle for me to overcome. I like to have proof. And we had no proof that I would be able to have kids.”

Napier’s Wednesday post was also not the first time she addressed online critics. In February, she shared a picture of a lamp in front of a window and in the warning that her Instagram page was not a place for negativity.

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