When to Announce Your Pregnancy
Congrats! You’re pregnant! Whether you’ve tried once, or have been trying for a while, that’s exciting news. You might feel like screaming it to the world, telling a random stranger on the bus, or — these days, writing a status update on Facebook. But should you announce your pregnancy?
Whether you’ve been through pregnancy before or are receiving the plus sign for the first time, you’re probably debating when to tell people.
First things first: Tell your partner! Unless there’s a good reason why he shouldn’t know, he’s in this too, so share the good news ASAP.
After that, you have some decisions to make as a couple. Different women have different beliefs about the right time to announce a pregnancy. We’re not saying any of these beliefs are right or wrong because that’s a personal decision to make. However, there are a few points you should consider to help you determine the right time to announce you’re expecting.
Why Some Women Announce Pregnancy Later
Some expecting mothers are hesitant to announce their pregnancy and may wait until later on to share the good news. Here are some possible reasons:
Fear of Miscarriage
Miscarriage occurs most commonly in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. According to the March of Dimes, miscarriages end 15 to 25% of known pregnancies.
Breaking bad news only weeks after breaking wonderful news can be difficult. Some women think that if they wait until after this period, if a miscarriage does occur, they won’t have to share the sadness with the entire world.
After Beyoncé’s previous miscarriage, she waited until about halfway through her pregnancy to announce she was expecting Blue Ivy.
“It was one of the hardest things I’ve been through. It was one of the reasons I did not reveal that I was pregnant the second time. You don’t know what’s going to happen. It was hard,” Beyoncé said in her HBO documentary Life Is But A Dream.
Some superstitious women also believe that celebrating a pregnancy in the first trimester can jinx the success or create bad luck.
Fear of Work Injustices
Some women fear that the earlier they announced their pregnancy, the earlier they will start facing injustices at work. If a woman is on the verge of getting a promotion or a raise, they may be worried their employer will rob them of it knowing they will soon take maternity leave.
For workplace announcements, waiting until after the 12-week mark may be best. This way, the plans you discuss with your boss about maternity leave and hiring a temporary replacement will be more solidified.
However, if you experience sickness and exhaustion, hiding your pregnancy from your boss in the beginning may not be an option. It also may not be safe to keep it a secret if the environment you work in could be potentially unsafe for a baby (ex. working around toxic chemicals).
In any case, let your boss know about your pregnancy before your coworkers. You don’t want rumors flying around the office and your boss wondering why he or she was left out of the loop.
When you announce your pregnancy, you will get many people asking you questions and wanting details. Some expectant mothers are eager to talk, while others prefer to take it easy during the first trimester. Just remember that if you tell people the first month, you will have to answer the “How are you feeling?” question for another eight months.
The attention could also attract some unwelcome advice. People will share their opinions on what they think is best for you and your baby — everything from your exercise regime to the foods they recommend. They may also share horror stories about their own pregnancies. When you’re just digesting the fact that you’re pregnant, you probably don’t want to be thinking about difficult delivery scenarios.
They Just Aren’t Ready to Announce Pregnancy
Getting that positive pregnancy test can be the best feeling in the world — but also the scariest. Some women may initially feel anxiety: How will my life change? I won’t be able to work. How will we have enough money? What vitamins should I start taking? How should I prepare? What can I do to prevent miscarriage?
If this is the way you’re feeling, it’s okay to take some time for yourself to process the fact that a tiny human being is growing inside of you. Additionally, you may wish to make this a sacred time between you and your partner before announcing the news to everyone else.
For whatever reason, sometimes some family members are not supportive of your pregnancy. If you fear this to be the case, you should wait until you’re ready to tell these individuals. Start off by telling people you know will be excited for you. Once you gain that initial support, you will feel more prepared to tell the difficult people.
Reasons Why Women Announce Pregnancy Early
Breaking the Silence on Miscarriage
Many women believe that pregnancy should be announced regardless of the possibility of miscarriage during the first trimester. They believe women shouldn’t have to be silent about their miscarriages.
Sophie Cachia, a mom blogger, recently announced her pregnancy after only nine weeks.
“I think it’s a huge problem that society makes some women feel like they have to keep their pregnancies and their miscarriages hidden away,” she wrote on the site Mamamia.
The reality is that even if a miscarriage does occur, support from your loved ones can be helpful and healing. A good option is to tell only the people very close to you first. Start off with your parents and maybe your best friend, but be sure to tell them that you don’t want anyone else knowing yet. As time progresses and you feel comfortable, you can start telling others. This way, if an unfortunate circumstance does occur, you will have a small support network, but the whole world won’t know.
Help from Family and Friends
If your friends and family know that you’re pregnant, they can help you with kind gestures. The hormonal changes happening in your body will most likely cause fatigue, making you have less energy than usual. If your friends have been through pregnancy, they will know the feeling. They may offer to take your kids off your hands, bring you over a meal or help with household chores, leaving you to relax.
Sometimes You Just Can’t Hide It
You may aim to wait until after your first trimester, but sometimes it’s impossible to hide. For example, if you enjoy a nice glass of Pinot Grigio every Friday and you suddenly decline, it’s likely your friends will notice over time. Your sudden urge to stop smoking or wish to avoid parties may be indicators.
Social Media & Pregnancy Announcement
It’s your decision how public or private you want your pregnancy to be. Some women are so excited that they just can’t hold it in and tell the social media world almost immediately. A concern with this is that if you lose the baby, you will likely have to share that too — and reading all of the “I’m so sorry” comments can be tough.
Other women wait several weeks or months after they’ve told their close friends and family. Some choose not to share the news online at all or share it only after the baby has been born (surprise!).
If you do choose to announce the good news to the world of Facebook, you should let your close relatives and friends know first out of courtesy. Also, keep in mind who your audience is. If you haven’t told your boss that you’re pregnant yet and you have coworkers on Facebook, it’s best to keep it off of Facebook until your boss knows.
How To Announce a Pregnancy
Whenever you choose to reveal the wonderful news, remember that there are more ways to announce it than just verbally. Here are some creative ideas for announcing your pregnancy:
- Pregnancy photo shoot. There are so many creative things you can do in a photo shoot; the possibilities are literally endless. After the photos are made available to you, you can post it on social media to announce it to everyone. Alternatively, you can mail your relatives the photos.
- Congratulations cards. Send your family cards to congratulate them on becoming grandparents, aunts or brothers.
- Holiday Cards. If there’s a holiday coming up, instead of getting your family regular cards, get them cards that hint at the announcement (ex. “Merry Christmas, Grandpa!”)
- T-shirts. If you already have a child, buy them a “Best Brother/Sister” or a “Big Brother/Sister” t-shirt. Once your family sees this, the shirt will speak for itself!
- You can purchase your parents “Grandparents To Be” mugs, ornaments or t-shirts. They’ll have a huge smile when they unwrap the gift.
Bottom Line: It’s Up To You
We’ve outlined when other women feel that announcing a pregnancy is appropriate, but this is a personal decision. There’s really no strict right and wrong.
Remember to talk to your partner and decide as a team when you both feel comfortable announcing.