The first time I realized I was pregnant it felt like a magical, secret surprise. While I’ve always been a bit fearful at the sight of a positive pregnancy test, I have to admit that seeing one is a powerful moment — one I immediately want to share with others. Telling people you're expecting isn't always easy, though. People can be judgmental, and it's not uncommon to hear a negative reaction or two. So I say there are things every woman should do before announcing her pregnancy. After all, and even though every woman and every pregnancy is different, a human growing another human inside her body deserves to look out for herself first, foremost, and always.
The first time I ever found out I was pregnant, it was, well, unexpected. I hadn’t been dating my boyfriend for all that long yet, and I was nervous as hell about having to tell him. He was the first person I told, followed by my best friend. After that, I wasn’t sure how to go about letting the rest of the people in my life in on the secret. Eventually, I decided to roll out the news slowly, one by one, telling as many folks as possible in person. It just didn’t feel like something to mass text, you know? Telling my parents was the hardest, especially since I wasn’t married and they are old school Christian folk.
Eventually, once all the closest people in our lives knew, I blasted my pregnancy news on Facebook. Everyone’s different, and we all choose the way that works best for us when it comes to making a huge life announcement. But before you scream it from the rooftops, here are a few things I think you should do first:
She Confirms She's Pregnant
Did you know there are actually people who go around saying they’re pregnant when they aren't? (Why is April Fool's Day even a thing?) Did you also know that false positives are a thing? While Parents states that most home pregnancy tests "can detect a pregnancy with 97 percent accuracy as early as the day after you miss your menstrual period," false positives do happen. The most common false positive is what's known as a "chemical pregnancy," and Parents says "as many as 25 to 40 percent of pregnancies may end as an early often-undetected miscarriage."
You don’t want to start making announcements until you’ve seen a doctor and confirmed your pregnancy.
She Thinks About How Comfortable She Is Going Public
There’s no taking back a pregnancy announcement. So once you tell people you have to be prepared for the reactions, both positive and negative. You’ll have to deal with lots of new (potentially unwanted, potentially welcomed) attention. Make sure you’re comfortable with others knowing something so significant in your life, way before spilling the beans.
She Talks To Her Partner And/Or Co-Parent
If you’ve got a partner or other future co-parent, ask them how they feel about announcing the pregnancy. Yes, technically if you’re carrying the child, the choice is yours. However, some might decide to wait (or announce sooner) depending on how their partner feels, and that's perfectly fine.
She Considers The Risks
Some folks wait until the 12-week mark to announce their pregnancy. The odds of miscarriage reduces once a woman is in her second trimester (though you’re unfortunately not out of the woods just yet). Others announce immediately because they want the support of loved ones, regardless of how the pregnancy turns out. Again, the choice is yours to make.
She Picks The First Person She Wants To Tell
The first person I told about a pregnancy is my partner. Then I told my partners, followed by my close friends. After my inner circle was aware of the news, I felt comfortable making a bigger announcement. Figure out who is most special in your life and maybe tell them first, if only to avoid any hurt feelings. We all know which people in our lives need to hear big news in person, and which people can find out via Facebook.
She Stops to Think About Others
I’m not saying censor yourself by any means. However, if your sister is currently going through infertility treatments, or if your best friend just had a stillbirth, or your partner's extremely close cousin just had her third miscarriage, they might be hurt by your joyous news. This doesn’t mean don’t announce your pregnancy, but maybe, if you so choose, you can find a way to tell these people in a quieter, more private setting.
She Thinks About Her Career
There’s a number of ways this can go. If you have a job that requires heavy lifting, you know you’ll have to announce to your employer right away. If you’re worried that your boss will fire you because they’re sexist scumbags, and you don’t want to deal with that right now, maybe hold off. Just consider the implications (including when to disclose to co-workers who might accidentally break the news to supervisors) and make sure you know your rights when it comes to being pregnant in the workplace.
She Thinks Of The Details
Personally, my pregnancy announcements were all done in person and then one big Facebook post for the rest of my social circle. A friend of mine recently made a cute Star Wars related video about their new pregnancy. Others send out cards. Find which style works best for you, the go for it! There's no "right way" to announce a pregnancy.
She Does Her Research
Finally, if you’re not sure how to announce your pregnancy, hit up Pinterest. That place has ideas for everything in the world you can possibly imagine. You’re sure to find the perfect way to announce from someone’s board.