have a baby/ give birth

Vina2010

Senior Member
Spanish-Argentina
Hi!

Can anybody tell me which of these phrases is more commonly heard?

After we got married, I had the two girls.
After we got married, I gave birth to the two girls.

They are not twins. One girl is older than the other one.

Many thanks!!

Hugs!
 
  • quillerbee

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Hi Vina, "had" is more commonly heard in the sense of children appearing in the world.
    "Gave birth" is used more for the physical process involved.
     

    Rival

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    The father can say "We got married and we had two children."
    but he can hardly say "... and we gave birth to two children." :eek:
    .
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    'Ashley, who lives two flats away from us, is having a baby.' - she is pregnant or is now in the process of giving birth (labour)?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Almost certainly she's expecting a baby, not giving birth as we speak.

    If the speaker is talking to a small child, she might say "having a baby", and mean that Ashley has actually gone into labour.
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    so 'have a/the baby' has two meanings?

    -She is having a baby. = She is pregnant = She is expecting a child.
    -She would like to have the baby at home. = She would like to give birth to the child at home.

    right?
     

    Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    The father can say "We got married and we had two children."
    but he can hardly say "... and we gave birth to two children." :eek:
    .
    Actually, he might.

    It makes me crazy, but it has become common for a father to say "we're pregnant." I once saw a father, on television, say "...after we gave birth...."

    I think this is wrong and I hate it, but students of language should be aware of this usage.

    so 'have a/the baby' has two meanings?

    -She is having a baby. = She is pregnant = She is expecting a child.
    -She would like to have the baby at home. = She would like to give birth to the child at home.

    right?
    Right.

    But if she’s pregnant, "she’s expecting a baby" or "she’s going to have a baby," or even "she’s having a baby in the spring"are clearer.
     

    Rival

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    The father can say "We got married and we had two children."
    but he can hardly say "... and we gave birth to two children." :eek:
    Actually, he might.

    It makes me crazy, but it has become common for a father to say "we're pregnant." I once saw a father, on television, say "...after we gave birth...."
    Note that my comment was made almost 8 years ago. Things have changed a little since then. :D

    I read recently about a person who "self-identifies" as a man and who gave birth to a child -- so the individual concerned is obviously a "man" who has functioning ovaries, uterus, etc.

    That wasn't the strangest part. What made the event newsworthy was that the "man" in question is/was married to a person who "self-identifies" as a woman, but was nevertheless able to produce the necessary sperm.
    .
     
    Last edited:

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Say someone has come to visit me.

    A: What is that noise?
    B: Yeah, the people upstairs had a baby.

    Now, does "had a baby" sound natural here? I want to say that the pregnancy is over and they have a new member of the family. And how about the tense? The simple past or the present perfect, i.e., "They have had a baby" ?
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Your example is mysterious - is the 'noise' supposed to be the baby crying?
    If so, 'had a baby' is correct but 'have had' is more likely, especially in the UK.
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Yeah, I meant the baby crying. I watched a video in which a Canadian got home from holiday and complained about a baby screaming and I think he said "I have bad news for me. The people upstairs had a baby". I'm not sure but he probably used the simple past. So in such context, I can say:

    "The people upstairs had a baby"
    "The people upstairs have had a baby"
    "The people upstairs have (got) a new baby"

    Right?
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Franco's is the most idiomatic, with ''ve got'. 'New baby' is very natural too, although it makes me smile, as if they swopped the old one. o_O I suppose 'just got/just had' would mean the same.

    Using the simple past is typically American in my opinion.
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    And say two women share their experience with their labour, one of them says the midwife was unhelpful, etc. Then the other one wants to know in which hospital it took place and asks:

    -Which hospital did you have the baby in?
    -Which hospital did you give birth to the son in?
    -Which hospital did the labour take place in?

    Are those natural/correct?
     
    Last edited:

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    -Which hospital did you have the baby in?
    -Which hospital did you give birth to the son in?
    -Which hospital did the labour take place in?

    The 2nd and 3rd of those questions are extremely unlikely to be used in casual conversation.

    The first is normal. But in a real-life conversation of that kind, I would expect “Where was this? Where did you have your baby?”
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Those both sound far too formal for this kind of conversation. “Where did you have the/your baby?” or (as Franco-filly says) “Which hospital were you at?” is the most likely wording, in my experience.
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I see, so 'have the baby' is not a set phrase and we can also say, e.g., 'have a son', or 'have a child' right?

    A: How is Ashley?
    B: She just had a son. / She just had a child.
    A: Wow, I didn't know she was expecting a child.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    This is how the conversation would actually go, in my neck of the woods:

    B: She’s just had a baby. A little boy.
    A: Wow, I didn't even know she was expecting!
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    B: She’s just had a baby. A little boy.
    A: Wow, I didn't even know she was expecting!
    :thumbsup:

    I see, so 'have the baby' is not a set phrase and we can also say, e.g., 'have a son', or 'have a child' right?
    'Have a baby' is as good as a set phrase. We don't usually talk about 'having a son/daughter' - we'd say 'a little girl' or 'little boy' and we don't usually say 'have a child'. We say 'have a baby'.
     
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