When's the best time to announce your pregnancy?
It's tempting to tell the ENTIRE world you’re pregnant the moment you see the positive result on the stick but should you wait till you have your 1st scan – or maybe even longer? Here's what you need to think about
Telling people about your pregnancy is a special and exciting thing but when's the ideal time to do it? Should you tell different people at different times? Is it too early to do it at 6 weeks? At 8 weeks? At 10 weeks? Generally speaking, most people wait till 12 weeks – or the end of the 1st trimester – before making a pregnancy announcement but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to wait till them, too. It's really up to you to make the decision that's right for you.
Why do people wait till 12 weeks?
"It's traditional to wait until after 12 weeks to announce your pregnancy," says expert midwife Alissa Pemberton. "There's long been a stigma around not announcing before this point 'in case something goes wrong' and you lose your baby."
It certainly true that, after your 1st trimester, the risk of a miscarriage drops significantly, so you might feel more confident about announcing your pregnancy then. And, by this stage, you'll probably have had your 1st pregnancy dating scan, so you'll have both a due date and an ultrasound pic of your baby to show the people you're telling.
"But you can tell people as early as you want," says Alissa. "I often find mums-to-be benefit from telling close family or friends earlier. And, you know, if something did 'go wrong' you'd benefit so much from having those around you knowing what's happening and supporting you, rather than having to go into a long explanation or feel like you have to struggle alone."
But there are many other factors to weigh up and only you can decide when you're ready to tell.
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What to consider if you're thinking of announcing your pregnancy before 12 weeks
Why announce now
If you just can’t wait, there are some benefits to letting people know your condition early. A few extra weeks of being treated like a princess can’t hurt and it’s fun to share the early milestones with those closest to you. You’ll get lots of support and advice and can ask for recommendations about everything from morning sickness to midwives. If you do miscarry, people will be more aware of what you have gone through.
Why keep it to yourself
If you do miscarry, having already told people your news, dealing with people’s questions and explaining what happened can make your emotional recovery more difficult.
You may also find that although it’s great to have recommendations, everyone wants you to follow their advice, and differing opinions can be overwhelming. Plus, don’t forget even if you’re selective, word gets round, so make sure you tell the people who really matter to you first to avoid them hearing the news second hand.
So, if you do want to tell people, why not join one of our birth clubs. You don’t need to give your real name, so no one need know who you really are. You’ll meet lots of other women who’ve just found out they’re pregnant and can share all the symptoms and questions and form great friendships, without involving anyone from your daily world.
People you may want to tell before 12 weeks
- Your partner– they'll probably be the one you tell within seconds of your test!
- Your parents
- Your best friend
What to consider if you're thinking of announcing your pregnancy after 12 weeks
If you are at a higher risk of miscarrying, or are worried it could happen again, you may feel telling people early is bad luck. It can help to have your 12-week scan in the bag (and ideally in its frame!) to make you feel ready to let the world know. This will also give you a bit more time to get used to the idea of being a mum (though you’ll probably need the whole 9 months for that!). Any decisions that need to be made won’t have to involve a network of family and friends all giving their opinions.
You may also prefer to spend this special time with your partner, keeping your secret from the rest of the world while you prepare for parenthood. Taking it easy in the first trimester is important and that can be tricky to do with excited friends and relatives eager for details.
People you may want to tell after 12 weeks
- Your wider family
- Your closest friends
And what about waiting longer?
Even after your 12 week scan, you and your partner may not feel ready to share your news with anyone and there’s no harm in keeping your secret for a little longer. Besides, if you wait for your 20-week scan or book at private gender-reveal scan (usually from 16 weeks), you could find out if you're having a boy or a girl – and that's something extra to share!
People you may want to tell after 20 weeks
- Your social media friends
- Any other relatives and friends you haven't told yet
- Your colleagues at work (if they haven't already guessed)
When should I tell my boss about my pregnancy?
By law, you don't have to notify your employer about your pregnancy until 15 weeks but again it's your personal choice. Informing your boss will enable you to receive all the necessary benefits and protection you're entitled to i.e. time off to attend antenatal appointments.
As well as this, your employer will perform a risk assessment to assess whether your working environment is safe for you and your growing baby. For instance, heavy lifting or standing for extended periods will be examples of things they must revise and eliminate from your work practices once they're aware of your news.
About our expert
Alissa Pemberton is a midwife and infant feeding & sleep coach at Mother and Milk. She has been working with mums and babies for almost 10 years.
Whether it be with breastfeeding, weaning, sleep or beyond. Alissa, who is a mum herself, works closely with pregnant women and families providing expert help and support.
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