After months of trying, I finally saw those two pink lines on my pregnancy test. That rush of excitement, adrenaline, joy, and more than a little trepidation is unlike anything I’ve experienced. I immediately wanted to share it with someone – my husband, of course, and my mother and father and sisters, and my neighbor who is also pregnant, and Facebook, and pretty much everyone I bumped into. But most advice I’ve read says to wait until you’re past the first trimester (the “danger zone” for miscarriages) before you start sharing the news. What’s a joyful pregnant woman to do?
This is a very personal decision, but there are some general guidelines you may want to follow or at least consider. First, tell your significant other so you can celebrate together! He or she is going to be a lifeline through all the crazy to come, and it’s a great excuse to explain away for any recent moodiness. Beyond that, you aren’t obligated to tell anybody.
For me, the problem wasn’t that I felt like I should tell people. It was that I wanted to tell people! But before I said anything, I asked myself, “If I did have a miscarriage, would I want to share that information with this person?” This made it a lot easier to decide who to share the good news with. Mother, father, sister? Yes. Neighbor, Facebook, strangers? No.
It’s horribly sad to even think about the possibility of a miscarriage at any time, let alone during such a happy moment. But if it did happen, would I want to have to explain it to people? Imagine how devastating it would be to announce a pregnancy on Facebook, and then either discuss a very private tragedy in a very public forum, or respond to follow-up posts by friends and acquaintances asking about the baby or wondering how your pregnancy is going. I would rather wait a few weeks until everything looks good than have to relive that heartbreak.
So, when should you tell people you’re pregnant? I told my family as soon as I found out, and then I told my friends – in person – after I had my first ultrasound at eight weeks. During that ultrasound, we saw the heart beating and the doctor said everything looked good. Research shows that after eight weeks of pregnancy, risk of miscarriage falls to about 1.5% for women who don’t have any warning signs, so I felt good about telling people then.
Although I was reassured by the statistics, I didn’t share the news on social media until I was in my second trimester. This was partly due to fear of miscarriage, but also because it’s such a joy to tell my friends and family members in person! When you tell everyone in your social circle at once, you get a bunch of virtual thumbs up and congratulations from pretty much anyone you’ve ever met. But sharing your news with close friends in person is much more satisfying. You get to see their reactions and actually have a conversation about it. Besides, these are the people you care most about, anyway. Talking about your exciting future addition to the family is a bonding experience, and one you shouldn’t miss out on just because you’re too excited to wait a few weeks.
With that said, the right time for sharing the news is whenever it feels right for you and your significant other. Just remember that you absolutely shouldn’t say anything before talking it over with your partner. Decide together who you’re going to tell and when, so that your siblings don’t hear learn the big news when they bump into your husband’s coworker at the grocery store. There’s no wrong or right time to tell people you’re pregnant (although after a few months, anyone who sees you will be able to guess!). I’ve had friends who suddenly posted pictures of a newborn on social media without ever mentioning the pregnancy! Whether you’re ready to post pictures of every step of your pregnancy or you’re staying mum, Baby+Company congratulates you on your big news!