Is there such a thing as announcing your pregnancy too early?
According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), 15 to 20 percent of women will miscarry. ACOG says the risk of miscarriage decreases after the thirteenth week of pregnancy, so many women wait until after the first trimester to announce the big news.
When I was pregnant with my first son, my doctor gave me different advice.
She explained the miscarriage risk, but also made a comment that's stuck with me all these years (my son is almost 15) — she encouraged me to tell whomever I wanted to, whenever I wanted to, but especially family or friends who could support me if I did miscarry. Everything went well, but since becoming a childbirth educator and doula, I've learned there are no guarantees. I've supported women who have suffered late-term miscarriages and stillbirth after they made the big announcement and were obviously pregnant and showing. I don't say this to worry anyone, but rather to gently remind women that there are no guarantees during pregnancy, labor or birth (or let's face it, anytime in life), so it's important to build a supportive team.
I couldn't keep my excitement inside and told my parents (and my husband's) pretty quickly, around eight weeks. I didn't wait much longer to spill the pregnancy beans to co-workers since one of them was an experienced mom of three who took one look at me and said, "You're pregnant." I didn't try to deny it! During my second pregnancy, I had such bad morning — actually all day — sickness that I had to run to the bathroom all day long. I took the elevator to a different floor than the one I worked on so co-workers wouldn't hear me, um, announce my pregnancy in the toilet. Middle Eastern food — cuisine I usually love — was catered for a lunch meeting and my boss asked why I wasn't eating. I told her — and subsequently everyone else who showed up to that meeting — I was pregnant at just 10 weeks.
allParenting authors share their stories
Two of my fellow allParenting authors announced pretty early, too, for different reasons:
- Molly and her husband waited to share the news — almost. She says, "Me and the hubs are traditional in some ways, and we felt that it was best to wait. We told our parents and a very few special friends that have tight lips."
- Rebecca says, "With my first, we wanted to wait until the second trimester. We ended up telling our parents about a month shy — on Mother's Day — but swore them to secrecy. We almost made it to the 14-week mark; however, at the time I was still working, and my job was asking me to do things I wasn't 100 percent comfortable with. Back then, in another lifetime, I was an undercover narcotics detective assigned to a tactical team. I didn't want to keep buying crack and kicking in doors with a baby on board. So we spilled the beans at about 12.5 weeks."
Say "I'm pregnant" when the timing feels right
If you want to shout "I'm pregnant" to the rooftops the moment you pee on a stick and see a positive sign go for it — or maybe have the pregnancy confirmed by a doctor or midwife first, but the choice is yours. Or you can wait until the second trimester or later.
Bottom Line^ Be sure to tell someone you can rely on for extra support if you have complications or even a loss during pregnancy.