So you’ve peed on a stick and it came back positive! CONGRATULATIONS 😀 I’m so very happy for you. If you are excited and wanting to shout the news from the roof tops I can totaly understand that. I know I’ve felt that way too, both with our first and this pregnancy. And I’ll be the first to tell you we announced our pregnancies before the whole 12 week rule thing.
There is only one real caution I would give you and NO it’s not the “wait because you might miscarry” seriously I hate that advice. I would only say talk to people about it that you would be comfortable discussing IF the worst happens first. I pray you never have to experience that loss, but I will tell you that it will be hard to talk about it after.
A couple of things that we (hubs and I) usually talk about before telling anyone are:
Who and when should we tell them?
In the early stages, you might like to tell the people that you know you could handle talking to about a miscarriage. The biggest thing most women discuss is being on the same page as their husbands regarding who they “announce the pregnancy” to. Usually, my husband is the first person who knows besides me, (he tends to be in the room when I take a test type timing) because he can typically hear me scream in joy, or cry if it’s yet another negative.
So my BIGGEST recommendation is talking to your partner FIRST, and decide together what you would like to do with telling people or announcing your pregnancy.
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Close Family & Close Friends
You might like to tell close family pretty much right away and to tell the grand-parents-to-be specifically in person. Siblings would be a good idea to connect with next though many find a quick text or facebook message works unless you expect to see them within the week.
With our first, my husband and I went for a visit and told them, with this one I got kiddo a cute shirt that said “Rawr! Means I’m the Big Brother in Dinosaur” with a picture of a t-rex on it. And we went for a visit. At the time I was only 6 weeks pregnant.
However, as my husband’s family live on another continent hubs tends to send them a text or we skype them with the joy. It’s a little harder when you have family members so far away, but there are some great options to make it work.
With your closest friends, you may like to tell them in person or by text pretty quickly, as most close friends are like a second family.
Telling Extended Family
Some families are closer than others so you may only have Close Family. And that’s great, they will be an awesome support network for you during this pregnancy and have some great experience with babies once the time arrives and you want to start asking questions.
However other family members may not be as close, and if you are only seeing them once or twice a year they may not get to celebrate your happy news unless you reach out in some way.
For your Grandparents (aka the soon-to-be-great-grandparents) you may want to reach out in person and have a quick visit. Not only does this generation love to visit face to face, but you’ll get to experience the joy they have on your behalf which can be pretty cool in my experience.
For your cousins, aunts, uncles etc if you don’t expect to see them soon a post on facebook or other social media that they have access to can not only get the message across but lets others know that they can talk about your being pregnant with other family members.
I like to tell my Grandparents in person when I can, as they live an hour and 2.5 hours away (depending on which ones we are talking about) I usually pack up the car and do a road trip to see them all in one go. It makes for a fun day and we get to visit more then if I just called or sent them a message.
For everyone else they tend to find out as I see them, or via social media when I make that announcement.
Telling Your Employer
When it comes to telling your boss (if you work for someone) you may want to take into consideration your symptoms and any risks there may be in your workplace that could affect the baby or your health during pregnancy.
For both pregnancies, I’ve had to tell my boss early because our building was under construction and I was concerned about the dust and chemicals affecting me or baby. I have also had to ask that some of the people in the office not come near me with some of the perfume/cologne that they wear because it made me nauseous.
Learn how to handle Neausea During Pregnancy
The other thing to think about is if you are going to need to negotiate your maternity leave or not. Because as much as I wish everyone had the same (or better) coverage as we do here in Canada, that’s not the case in all Countries. If you delay telling your boss it can give you the time needed to research what you need to know about your rights and your employer’s obligations.
Also, you may want to consider applying your vacation, and sick time to the time as part of your maternity leave to help with making more of it paid. Try to learn about the possibility of easing back into work part-time to make your transition easier and what their stance is on pumping if you plan to breastfeed and pump after you return.
And even if you have paid Maternity Leave like I will be getting you should still look into things like, if your company provides any extended benefits during that time and if the pay is tax-free or will you get hit with a bill from the government for income tax later. I honestly didn’t think about that and ended up paying more in income tax then I expected because of it.
Above all remember that it is impossible to know for sure how you are going to heal emotionally and physically from birth and life with a newborn so you may also have a change of heart.
Telling your co-workers
Telling your co-workers is another personal choice, some people work so closely together that if you have any symptoms that are visible (hello Morning Sickness) they may notice anyway or possibly think you are sick and start asking questions.
It really is an individual choice on when and if you tell your co-workers.
For myself, I really can’t hold off on telling because I see them daily and I love knowing what is happening in my pregnancy from day to day. That excitement tends to spill over into any and all conversations I have with well everyone. So mine tend to know fairly quickly.
Other people tell me they wouldn’t want to because of the risks involved before the 12-week mark and not wanting to have to talk about it if they miscarry. I can understand that these are usually people you are not as close with anyway.
Telling your other friends
Many of us have a huge circle of friends both on and offline. How do you tell them all? You may just want to tell people as you see them, or if you are comfortable a post on social media often does the trick for announcing a pregnancy. And can be a great way to connect with some of the people you may not have reached out to recently.
I usually post to social media pretty quickly (this time I was 9 weeks pregnant) and I talk about it with anyone I see face to face incase they didn’t catch the post. I just love sharing the excitement.
When NOT to share your news
Ok there are some times when we need to hold our tongue, I will never tell you to hold off because of a potential miscarriage. However, there are some situations where it’s just not appropriate due to the situation. And telling someone at the wrong point can cause reactions you don’t want or ones that could hurt your feelings.
Here are my tips on when to avoid announcing you’re pregnant.
Before you are ready to talk about it
Once you announce it people often have questions, like when is baby due? And other sometimes probing questions that while valid are not always things we are ready to discuss right away. So if you don’t want to talk about it don’t announce it. Or at least prepare a default response that you can give to questions you don’t want to discuss or don’t have the answer for yet.
For instance people are constantly asking me when I’m due, right now I just keep saying November. Because while we have been given a date babies typically don’t arrive on that date and last time I had one annoying person who kept contacting me asking if I was in labour yet starting on the “due date” it was annoying to say the least. So I don’t give out the date just the month.
When People with Sensitive Issues are near
I hear ya, the excitement of being pregnant is fun to share with a group of friends and/or family. But what about that friend who just had a miscarriage? Or has been suffering from years of infertility? If it’s the first time hearing it in a big group its bad form, be considerate and let them know in advance and I would personally ask if they want me to wait until they have stepped away from the group or not.
If they haven’t told you it isn’t something you can connect with them in advance, so if something comes out while you are talking about it just try to be understanding and appologize for opening the wounds they are dealing with.
As someone who has suffered from infertility and miscarriage, I was always happy for my friends and family who were announcing. But I remember how much it hurt thinking about my loss and struggle while having to put on that smiling face and hand out congratulations.
Someone Else’s Big Moment/Day
No one likes to have their thunder stollen, even though it might seem like a great time to catch everyone together make sure you are not going to be taking any attention away from the person/people who are the reason everyone came together in the first place.
This means engagement parties, weddings, or someone’s baby shower. It’s just in bad taste, and can put a strain on your relationship with them.
While hearing about new life may comfort some people it can also distract others.
Some people love big displays that draw a ton of attention. Others are really shy and hate being the focus of any situation…which means when you tell people in public you are not always getting an honest response.
Sometimes it’s dampened by the discomfort of being shy and not wanting attention, other times you might get a reaction that is so exuberant that you are uncomfortable with the amount of attention.
Telling young kids before you are ready to share it with everyone
Ok, some kids are really good at keeping secrets and if they are older you are probably good with telling them. However young kids can be blabber mouths about anything and everything they think about.
For instance, I hadn’t planned on telling my Son’s daycare provider that we were pregnant yet, but kiddo kinda took that option away by announcing it loudly when I dropped him off one morning.
And this can happen pretty much anywhere, my son’s current favorite thing to do at the grocery store is to run up and down the aisles talking to people about how the baby is coming…
while it’s funny to see some reactions it’s not necessarily how I envisioned shopping for groceries every week.
When you’re angry
When you’re angry there are so many things we tend to think about throwing at people in an effort to hurt them emotionally. This is NOT one of those things you want to do with a pregnancy announcement. It takes the joy out of the moment for both YOU and the person you are arguing with. So just don’t.
During a Job Interview
It’s always better for you to tell your boss than for them to find out through the grape vine. However, if they are not your boss yet they don’t need to know. Even if you are already showing. In most countries that I’m aware of it’s illegal for them to ask and you are not required to tell. Once you’ve been hired there will be plenty of time to discuss the situation.
Why I announced our pregnancy early
At the time I’m writing this post I’m only 10 weeks along, and most of the people around me have not only heard but likely seen my post on facebook sharing our joy. But many women are advised to wait until they are out of the first trimester or past the 12-week mark before they say anything… so you might be thinking WTF? Why would you share this now?
I belive life begins with conception
This is a personal belief and I don’t expect I’m in the majority on it. But for me it’s a baby as soon as egg meets sperm.
At this point, my midwife isn’t even addressing the baby as a baby, and when I talked to my doctor about it he referred to the baby as a fetus. While I understand that they are medical professionals and have to use the correct “medical terms” I’m also asking them to respect my faith and call it a baby when I’m around.
To me calling it a baby from the get-go helps me bond with kiddo, and I missed that a bit with my older son because I was scarred to get too attached to him in case I lost him.
Miscarriage Sucks and I don’t want to face it alone
Waiting for the 12 weeks does NOT prevent miscarriage, in fact, it can add stress to your life which … can impact the pregnancy. Not saying that if you are stressed you will miscarry but it does increase your risk factors.
Not announcing a pregnancy means that IF (and I hope it never happens to you) a miscarriage happens you will have to tell someone that you miscarried at the same time you tell them you were pregnant. Which means they will only share your loss, not your joy.
OR if you don’t tell anyone about the miscarriage, life will move on without any external support. No understanding faces, or safe places to bawl your eyes out as you process your loss. And even with the most amazing supportive spouse by your side they will be grieving too and will not be able to provide all the comfort and support you need because they will need taking care of as well.
Not announcing early can make it harder to deal with a misscarriage, like Jenny from UnremarkableFiles states.
Miscarriage has so many aspects of life it impacts, it’s not just a physical wound, but an emotional and spiritual one. I’ve felt that loss and because I hadn’t told anyone that I was pregnant I didn’t feel comfortable telling them I had lost it. For me this lead to a very self-destructive decade in my life. I don’t want to do that again! I want to know I have people I can turn to for support.
And while we are on the topic of miscarriage, I really do hate the stigma around it. Yes these things happen but stop talking to women like they need to hush up about it because it makes you uncomfortable.
It protects my marriage
Yeah, see above about not wanting to go through things alone and add the strain of relying on one person for all your support to a stressful situation. Plus on the happy side, it gives me something to brag about with my husband which is a bonding experience for us. We get to spread the joy together and that is one really cool celebration of our love.
I belive in the power of prayer and positivity
By announcing it now I know that those who pray for our family will include this pregnancy and our baby in that prayer, and I’m making a statement of my own faith. I am choosing to say that I belive this is a baby and I love this child already. Every time I share the joy of our new little bundle it’s a statement of life and love being prayed over them.
I believe that there is power in words, and when we share the joy there are usually many words of positivity.
And I agree with MommyKnowsTech that not allowing ourselves to be excited about a potentially positive outcome robs us of joy.
It’s fun and exciting to bring a little joy into my day
I don’t know about you but when I tell someone about our little bundle I keep getting the sense of joyous overwhelm. It’s like a little celebration every time. Who wouldn’t want to have that as part of their daily life? And for most people, they will get that when you tell them as well, so share the love, and share it as often as you want.
How should you share your news?
So some of this is going to depend on who you are telling, as I mentioned above for some reason I feel the need to tell my parents face-to-face. For others, a simple post on Facebook will work. But here are a few quick ideas that you can use to tell people.
You really don’t have to do anything too creative even though yes some people can really go all out there with their announcements.
Face to Face
The simplest ways are sometimes the best, a straight up “We’re pregnant” gets the message across and doesn’t require a tone of planning or work before hand.
Get a cute shirt for your kid(s) like the ones below and have them wear them to visit or do a cute mug up or some other such thing to be given to them in person.
You can also wrap up a positive pregnancy test or other baby item and write something cute on the box like “Roses are red, violets are blue, I have a secret and here’s your clue!”
Or try framing a picture of baby’s ultrasound and giving them as a gift.
Give Grandma and Grandpa gifts with the word Grandma or Grandpa on them like a mug or t-shirt of their own.
There are tones of ways people announce on Social Media, from pictures of couples taking a bun out of the oven to lined up sets of shoes for each family member and the new baby they are just the cutest don’t you think?
Here are some of my favourites that I’ve seen.
For more ideas check out this pinterest board