Congratulations, you’re pregnant! There is nothing more emotional than seeing that first positive pregnancy test. You may experience a range of feelings, from excitement to fear that you’re not actually ready for this journey to begin.
For those who have struggled with fertility issues and pregnancy loss, the moment you find out feels both joyous and nerve-wracking. It can be difficult to keep the news to yourself when you feel like shouting it from the top of the roof.
While some are ready to tell everyone in their circle as soon as the test comes back positive, many parents-to-be wonder when the best time to share their news actually is.
So when is the right time to let your family and friends in on the secret?
Why Should I Wait to Tell People I’m Pregnant?
Many parents-to-be are cautious and prefer to wait for several weeks before sharing their news with others. Certain experiences such as having or knowing someone who has had a miscarriage can make people more cautious.
Hesitation in sharing your news could stem from many other things as well, like having increased risk for pregnancy complications or being nervous about the uncertainties that pregnancy and childbirth bring.
Waiting to announce a pregnancy can give you more time to learn:
- About the baby’s health
- The baby’s due date
- Preliminary genetic testing
- The sex of the baby
Risk of Miscarriage
The first trimester is a time of rapid development and change for you and your little one.
This substantial amount of growth in such a short amount of time brings a genuine risk that the pregnancy might not be successful.
According to the Mayo Clinic, between 10 and 25 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. Roughly 80 percent of miscarriages occur in the first trimester, anywhere from the 1st to 12th week of pregnancy.
If a developing fetus is still viable after seven weeks of pregnancy, the risk of complications like miscarriage drops to 10 percent. Given these statistics, it’s understandable why many parents wait to share their news until after the first trimester is over.
Doctor’s apt Milestones
It’s also common for expectant parents to wait until after their first prenatal visit to tell others of their news. Your first appointment is usually around week eight – possibly later, depending on when you find out.
During this visit, your doctor will run tests to confirm your pregnancy, estimate your due date, test for infections, scan for abnormalities, and determine the general health of you and your baby. For some, having the doctor confirm a viable pregnancy helps ease your fears. This makes sharing the news a little more exciting and less stressful.
Hearing the heartbeat, having an ultrasound, and knowing your due date makes announcing
your good news to everyone all the more real. Some people are more cautious and prefer to wait until the 20-week visit, which is typically when a 3D ultrasound is performed and also when chromosome disorders, such as Down Syndrome, are ruled out.
Can I Tell People As Soon As I Get Pregnant?
Waiting to share your pregnancy news can be challenging and may not be right for everyone. Even those who have experienced infertility or pregnancy loss in the past may prefer to tell others right away. This allows you to share your emotions with the ones you love.
You may want your family and friends to know, even if the pregnancy isn’t viable. Having your support system carry you through this time can be very much needed. For that reason, you may decide to tell others within the first few weeks of finding out.
The first trimester is notoriously hard on the mother due to symptoms like fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. Along with physical symptoms, emotional imbalances are common. Hormones in early pregnancy can make it hard to process your feelings.
There is a lot of change happening in your body in a short amount of time, so informing your family and friends can provide a support network to lean on while you and your body adjust to the pregnancy.
When Should I Tell My Employer I’m Pregnant?
If your job requires physical labor like lifting heavy objects, standing for extended periods, or bending, you may want to consider telling your employer immediately. This allows you to discuss your needs in detail and explain what activities are off-limits during your pregnancy.
Some careers may also require you to be in close contact with harmful chemicals or radiation. If your job involves exposure to harmful toxins, you should tell your employer of your pregnancy right away. This allows them to take the necessary steps toward protecting you and your baby while at work.
If you do need to tell your boss early on but aren’t ready to share the news with everyone, let them know that you’re keeping the news private until further along.
If your position does not put you at an increased risk, then it’s completely up to you to decide when, how, and with whom you share your news. You may wait only moments or several months, although you should consider the amount of notice your company needs to make arrangements for your leave after the baby arrives.
Should I Find Outside Support During My Pregnancy?
If you’re not comfortable with sharing your news just yet, your healthcare provider can refer you to a therapist or support group where you can express your feelings in a safe place. Online forums can also be a great place to connect with others outside of your personal network.
There is no right or wrong time to tell family and friends about your pregnancy. The only way to know what’s right is to listen to your heart. If you’re going through this journey with a partner, be sure to talk to them about their feelings to make sure you are both on the same page.