That second line just materialized on your home pregnancy test and yep, you’re pregnant!
When and how you announce your pregnancy is largely up to you. For instance, you may not want certain people to know—at least yet. You may face emotions due to previous pregnancy loss, or may want to confirm the viability of the pregnancy first with an ultrasound. Keeping things under wraps for a while may be best to avoid discrimination in the workplace, too. Some mothers just go with the flow and don’t want to feel forced to make some grand gesture in a certain time period. There's really no best time to announce your pregnancy.
“The decision to announce pregnancy differs from mom to mom,” explains Khristee Rich, a childbirth specialist from Connecticut.
Liesel Teen, RN, a labor and delivery nurse from North Carolina, agrees. “There is no right or wrong time—only what feels right for you,” she tells Motherly.
Should you wait for the first trimester to pass before announcing your pregnancy?
That adage of waiting to get through the first trimester isn’t a hard-and-fast rule.
A majority choose to wait until the end of the first trimester when the risk of miscarriage drops off dramatically. “This makes women more comfortable that when they share their news, they won't have to go back and share about a loss,” Teen points out.
“There is more of a movement of women sharing their news early on—even as soon as they find out—so that they don't have to suffer through a miscarriage alone,” Teen says. “Some might tell close friends and family early on and share more publicly later.”
This could be especially true if you are older and at a higher risk for complications.
“Some mothers have said to me they were glad that they told family and friends as soon as they knew, even if they miscarried, so that they were supported through the whole process,” Rich notes.
“So many mothers are told not to announce pregnancy until after the first trimester and if they miscarry, they bear this grief and trauma alone. But it can also be hard for some women to know that everyone knows if they lost a baby,” she says. “Alternatively, for some, an unplanned pregnancy can be a trauma, too.”
Not everyone struggles with the timing of a birth announcement. It may be hard to wait, especially if you’ve yearned to be pregnant for quite some time. Or if it’s not your first kid. If you are using a surrogate, you may have more options in terms of timing.
What to consider before announcing your pregnancy
Here are a few questions to consider:
- How public do you want your pregnancy to be now and in general?
- Do you want to tell some people first, or some people in person? When you share the news of your pregnancy, if you don't want it shared publicly or on social media, you need to explicitly tell people this.
- Do you want to do it now, or wait until you know the sex?
- Do you want your workplace to know yet? “Sadly, pregnancy discrimination is a real thing in the workplace,” Teen explains. “It might be to your benefit to wait and let your supervisor know first. This might be a reason to keep your announcement off of social media for a while, too.”
- If you’re partnered, how might your partner feel about the announcement and attention? “Make sure you are on the same page about the whole thing,” Teen notes.
- How are you feeling physically? “If you are experiencing severe symptoms, there may be a benefit to telling a few people that are close to you the news so that they can support you during the difficult first trimester,” Teen says.
- Could the reactions of some people, or the feeling of “having” to announce it, cause you unnecessary stress?
How to announce your pregnancy
Just like when you tell others (and who you tell), how you tell them is up to you.
I’ve seen friends make a cute post on social media to let others know. In a world that's largely digital, many families opt for this route–especially if it’s just to let people outside of their inner circle know what’s going on.
You may want to tell those closer to you in person, or in a one-on-one setting. This is totally acceptable and may give you time to process the other person’s reaction instead of announcing the big news in front of a large gathering.
Your timing is best
Still grappling with when to announce your pregnancy?
“There is no right or wrong time… It is an individual decision. Moms need to pick the time that is right for them, when they are emotionally ready to share the news,” Rich says.
After all, your wellbeing matters the most, especially with a little one in tow.