Unless there’s a particular reason to hold off, you’re going to want to tell your partner asap. He’ll then feel part of the pregnancy plus it’s good to have someone to share your secret with. You’ll have someone to look after you (hopefully!) on mornings when you’re feeling queasy, and should you suffer a miscarriage, you’ll be able to go through it together.
After your first trimester, the risk of a miscarriage drops significantly, which is one of the reasons mums-to-be often wait until they reach 12 or 13 weeks to let people know.
(When we asked our Facebook community, 68% of the 231 mums who responded said they waited until after 12 weeks to tell people other than their partner).
But there are many other factors to weigh up and only you can decide when you're ready to tell.
Early announcing – 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.
Waiting to announce – after 12 weeks
Why wait to announce
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 nine 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.
Waiting till it feels right for you
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. Use this time to decide who to tell first and how.
Need some inspiration? We asked other parents-to-be how they did it…
"We bought blank congratulations cards for both sets of grandparents and just included a copy of the scan photos - watching their faces as they realised why they were being congratulated was fantastic, much better than the old 'we've got some news' line which somewhat spoils the actual announcement!" - Fiona
"For my second pregnancy we made our son a T-shirt that said, "Big bro to be." We dressed him up in it when we saw our parents. He loved being the bearer of good news!" - Viv
"We announced it at Christmas. We bought homemade crackers and put a copy of the scan and a little message inside each one. We had one for each member of the family." - Emma
"I put together a scrapbook of mini photos of the family over the past couple of years from Christmas gatherings, birthdays, holidays etc. Then decorated the pages with some stickers, doodles & fun dialogue next to the photos, then near the back of the book I stuck a copy of the scan and wrote "Congratulations, you're going to be grandparents!" It took a few seconds for my mum to realise what she was looking at - and her face was a picture! We actually filmed her because we knew we'd need to capture that moment!" - Lisa
“I handed my parents the scan pictures, saying I had some great photos I wanted them to see! It took a moment for them to realise what it actually meant...” Jacqueline
“We were lucky enough to be having our 12 week scan the Friday before Mothers day so we went out and bought baby themed photo frames and asked at the scan for extra pictures which we placed in the frames before wrapping them up for each of the granny's. Seeing their faces when they unwrapped their 'presents' and saw what was inside the picture frame is a moment I will never forget, truly priceless!” - Lucy