The revelation of pregnancy can be an emotional time for a couple. Parents to-be are often brimming with excitement and itching to share the news. At the same time, they’re advised to hold off telling friends and family before the 12-week milestone, at which point the risk of miscarriage is lower than during the first trimester. It can be tricky to navigate clearly through the sea of online advice for expecting mums, and while there are no hard and fast rules, there are some guidelines you can follow when telling loved ones you’re expecting.
Who should know, and how should they find out?
The first person to find out after learning you’re pregnant will almost always be your partner. If that’s not the case for you, the first person to know should be someone you trust and feel comfortable talking to.
While family and close friends will likely be beyond happy for you upon learning you’re pregnant, it’s important to work out and communicate a game plan with your partner (if you have one) in order to ensure the news is shared in a way that suits you both. Are you announcing on social media, or in person? Is there a big set up, or is it a chat around the kitchen table? There’s no right or wrong way – as long as everyone involved in the pregnancy is on the same page.
Employers and colleagues will need to be told eventually, but there’s no law stipulating when the people you work with should be informed. Tell your employers or boss verbally first, when you’re comfortable doing so, so they can assist in making sure you’re safe and comfortable at work and properly covered when you need to duck out for medical check-ups. Then, when you feel comfortable, tell your staff or teammates (if they’re particularly observant, they may have cottoned on already). Some women may choose not to tell their workmates – that’s fine too.
READ MORE: Top 5 sneaky ways to hide your pregnancy
What’s with the 12-week rule?
First thing’s first: it’s not a rule. Many women decide not to disclose their news of pregnancy until the 12-week mark, as this is when the risk of miscarriage drops significantly. At 6 weeks, the risk of miscarriage is already low. By 10 weeks, it’s even lower.
Of course, everyone’s different. Some women may prefer to share the news with close friends and family some time in their first trimester as a way of creating a support network to rely on in the event of miscarriage or complications.
Every woman (and every pregnancy) is unique, so there’s no right or wrong time to reveal the news.
What if I have a miscarriage after I’ve told people?
Sharing news of a miscarriage can be incredibly difficult. However, many find that it does help to tell others. It means they can support you, and speak with them about what your baby meant to you.
If you’re telling people about your pregnancy in the first trimester, it could be a good idea to think about whether or not they’re someone you would like to know in the event of a miscarriage. You could even pre-emptively discuss how you and your loved ones would handle it.
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How do I tell someone who’s struggling to fall pregnant, or someone who’s lost a baby?
Pregnancy isn’t an easy topic for everyone. Some couples want children but struggle to conceive or bring a pregnancy to full term; some aren’t ready to have children at all, and must grapple with terminating a pregnancy.
It’s important to understand that if someone is dealing with these kinds of issues, they may not react as enthusiastically to the news as you might have expected. Even though they’ll be happy for you, they might be sad for themselves.
Generally, they’ll appreciate honesty, and hearing the news from you first hand, rather than from someone else. It might also be worth taking the time to tell them somewhere private, so they have time to digest the news before any public event or announcement.