When and how to announce your pregnancy
That title makes it sound like there are hard-and-fast rules around when and how you should announce your pregnancy, doesn’t it?
So, let’s clear that up straight off the bat: there are no rules!
Like so many aspects of pregnancy and motherhood, the big question of when and how to tell the world you’re expecting really comes down to personal choice. From the outset, this is YOUR journey and it’s important you feel free to navigate it in whatever way is best for you. Your way might be very different to someone else’s. And that – of course – is absolutely okay.
So, this blog isn’t intended to be a guide. It’s just some food for thought in terms of the things you might want to consider when you’re thinking about sharing your happy news.
How do YOU feel?
Whether you’ve been trying to conceive, or your pregnancy is a total surprise, the moment you see that little stick confirming you’re pregnant is huge! It can be emotionally overwhelming, and you may find you need some time to get your own head around it before you let anyone else in.
Many mums-to-be like to treasure a precious period of time where the pregnancy is a secret between just them and their partner. At the other end of the scale, some women feel ready to scream it from the rooftops the second they’ve peed on the stick!
A lot comes down to your personal circumstances and the journey you’ve had to getting pregnant. But the most important thing to consider is how YOU feel – you’ll know if you’re ready to let other people in on the news straight away or not.
The benefits of telling early
If you do decide to let the cat out of the bag early, there are some definite plus points.
For starters, letting friends and family know as soon as you do means you get to enjoy sharing the experience with them for as long as possible – and to lap up any special treatment or pampering they might want to throw your way!
Telling people early also means you have an instant pool of experience and support to dip in to, which can be especially valuable if it’s your first baby. If you want outside opinions on something or have questions on the realities of motherhood, you’re not reliant solely on Google as a source of information! You’ll be able to seek advice from women you know and trust who have been there and done it (though a word of caution – you’ll probably also have to put up with unsolicited advice for longer too!).
When it comes to work, letting your employer or customers know early can help with tricky situations, like handling morning sickness or needing to nip for a wee more often than usual. And, of course, if you’re usually someone who likes a drink, announcing your pregnancy early can help you relax and enjoy social occasions without having to construct a web of lies about why you’re off the booze!
The benefits of telling later
On the flip side, announcing a pregnancy can open the floodgates to a lot of well-meaning attention from friends, family, colleagues and even complete strangers! Some people absolutely love this attention, but others will find it overwhelming and prefer to enjoy the news privately for as long as possible.
Then there’s the fact that when a woman gets pregnant there seems to be an assumption that it’s fine to uninvitedly touch her belly and/or offer advice (why IS that?!). Again, every woman will feel differently about this, but if you suspect you may find this irritating or intrusive it might be better to keep the news under wraps a bit longer.
The 12-week milestone
Many women choose to delay announcing their pregnancy until the end of their first trimester. This is because more than 80% of miscarriages happen during the first 12 weeks, and the risk reduces significantly after this point (source: NCT).
However, as explained by the pregnancy charity Tommy’s, there is a point around week six or seven of pregnancy when, providing a heartbeat can be detected, the risk reduces to 10%. And, tragically, miscarriages can and do still happen in the second trimester, though they are far less common (around 2-3%).
It’s important to be aware of the statistics to help you make your decision, but in no way should you feel obliged to wait until the 12-week mark if that’s not right for you. It’s not a rule.
What’s more important is to think about how you would feel if you were to miscarry: would you want to deal with it privately, or would you want the support of your family and friends? As painful as this scenario is to consider, your feelings about it can help you decide whether to announce your pregnancy before or after your first trimester.
Remember though, it doesn’t have to be a black-and-white choice between telling or not telling. You could decide just to let a few of your closest family members or friends know you’re expecting, so you have a support network in place.
How to tell
Once you decide you’re ready to announce your pregnancy, it’s time to think about HOW you want your big reveal to unfold.
The first thing to do is work out a list of people you want to tell face-to-face. The grandparents-to-be usually top this list, closely followed by the future aunties and uncles. Have a think too about any friends who are trying to conceive or have been through a miscarriage or baby loss. While they will of course be happy for you, your announcement may be bittersweet or triggering for them, so they’ll really appreciate you being considerate of their feelings and not letting them hear it as part of a group or from someone else.
Once you’ve told your inner circle, you might want to spread the news far and wide! Some people choose to do this via social media or WhatsApp groups, while others prefer to see and savour the look on people’s faces when they tell them. A lot depends on the number of people you want to tell – it simply may not be possible to do it all in person, especially if you have friends and family spread around the country or world!
Fancy getting creative?
There’s definitely an opportunity to get have a bit of fun with your announcement, if that’s your cup of tea. A quick scour of the internet will throw up all kinds of quirky ways to go public!
If you already have older kids, it can be sweet to take a photo of them holding a babygrow or a scan picture to send to family and friends. Or get them to wear a ‘big sister/big brother’ T-shirt and see how long it takes people to spot the clue!
Maybe you’re the ‘go big or go home’ type? You might fancy getting your Beyoncé on and striking a pose in front of a floral backdrop while cradling your growing bump – veil optional! Post the photo to your socials and job done!
Then there’s the increasingly popular ‘gender reveal’: a cute idea if you want to wait until you’re a little further into your pregnancy (assuming you can hide it that long!) and unveil your baby’s sex at the same time. There are endless products out there to give your announcement some extra drama, from smoke and confetti cannons to balloons, piñatas, cakes with coloured centres and even fireworks!
Whenever and however you decide to announce your pregnancy, remember this is YOUR moment – the most important thing is that you do it your way and enjoy it!
Sending you huge congratulations from the team here at Latched.