How Long Should You Wait to Announce Your Pregnancy?
For a couple or an individual trying to have a child, a positive pregnancy test can be a reason to rejoice, the culmination of a potentially long but (we hope) pleasurable process. The inclination may be to immediately share the news with everyone, but is that the right thing to do? That's a loaded question, we realize. What feels right for one person or couple might not feel right for the next.
No matter what's right, there are some common factors to consider before you decide to make others aware that you have a developing bundle of joy.
Benefits of sharing pregnancy news early
Miscarriages are significantly more common in the first trimester. As a result, many people delay sharing their pregnancy news until the probability of a miscarriage has statistically declined. While only 10 percent of total pregnancies end in miscarriage, the loss happens within the first trimester in 80 percent of cases. For this reason, many future moms breathe a sigh of relief when they get beyond the initial 12 or 13 weeks.
Just because the likelihood of miscarriage is much higher early in pregnancy is not necessarily a reason to wait to share your news. Letting trusted family members or friends know about your positive pregnancy test will ensure you have a supportive base to turn to in the case of an early pregnancy loss.
If all goes well, divulging your pregnancy early enlists sympathetic and helpful confidants during the beginning stages. The first 12 weeks of pregnancy are often riddled with morning sickness and emotional ups and downs. Friends and family can offer reassurance and assist you with day-to-day responsibilities as first-trimester fatigue sets in.
Reasons to wait before announcing pregnancy
There's a widespread superstition that it's bad luck to discuss pregnancy until after the risk of miscarriage drops, but superstition is all it is. You may want to take your time before a big revelation on social media or with gossipy groups of friends, so you get a chance to share the news early with specific people. If you're waiting to tell your partner or close loved ones, you wouldn't want to spill the beans and let the word get out before they hear it directly from you.
Keep in mind that once you announce the news, it's out there. The toothpaste will not go back into the tube. People are going to ask how you're feeling and want to discuss your plans for the baby. They may start suggesting names and daycare facilities and bombard you with unsolicited advice. If you'd rather hold off on the constant baby talk, waiting to make the announcement isn't necessarily a bad idea. Conversations around pregnancy, childbirth and parenting are almost unavoidable once people know you're expecting.
When to tell your boss about your pregnancy
The right time to let your employer know you're pregnant should be based on the type of relationship you have with your boss. Legally, pregnancy discrimination is prohibited, and your employer should never ask if you're pregnant or are planning to become pregnant.
Sharing your pregnancy news at work before you enter your third trimester will give you a chance to review maternity-leave benefits and plan for your time away from the job. It will also prevent you from having awkward in-office interactions as your pregnancy becomes visible to others.
If you just started a job or are interviewing for a new one while you're pregnant, there's no need to disclose your pregnancy, especially if you're not showing yet. A woman's pregnancy should never impact an interview outcome, but you may face unconscious bias from an employer who could question your commitment to the new role. If you don't have a feel for the office culture, it's not a bad idea to hold off on pregnancy news until you have an official offer on the table.
Make the best decision for your mental health
Deciding when to tell others about your pregnancy is a highly individual choice with real implications for your future interactions. You should never feel pressured to tell others about your pregnancy before the timing feels right; chances are it's going to impact how they view and relate to you, even subconsciously. Make sure you feel comfortable about your decision and let others know about your exciting life change on your own terms.