The road to parenthood is riddled with decisions, from where to give birth to what to name your precious bundle of joy. But for many expectant parents, the very first decision of all is when to spill the pregnancy beans.
If you’re grappling with this issue, read on for the pros and cons of telling at each stage.
For some, the idea of keeping the pregnancy a secret is simply unrealistic. “My husband and I told at 7 weeks,” says one BabyCenter mom. “We couldn’t keep our mouths shut!” Another says, “I couldn’t hold my secret. I told my friends and family as soon as I found out. I was just so excited.”
This is one of the advantages of telling early: Your friends and family can share in that wonderful initial exhilaration.
Another advantage? You won’t have to “fake it.” As Jenna McCarthy, author of The Parent Trip, puts it, “You won’t have to make excuses for feeling exhausted, gaining weight, or passing up a glass of wine.”
It can be particularly hard to fake it in the face of severe morning sickness, and you may prefer for your co-workers to know you’re pregnant rather than think you’re a deadbeat. “I was missing work due to morning sickness, so I had to tell them around 8 weeks,” one mom says.
Perhaps the biggest pro of early telling, however, is that you’ll get support and comfort if there are complications. As one woman explains, “We were going to wait until after the 8-week ultrasound to tell everyone, but we decided to go ahead and tell. I realized that if anything did go wrong, I’d want the support.”
Of course, you can tell them about it after the fact, but it’s not quite the same as if they’d been on the emotional ride along with you.
One caution: If you have occupational exposures that are unsafe for pregnancy, you don’t have the luxury of waiting it out, at least with your boss. You’ll need to tell your supervisor right away so that you can make arrangements to avoid the hazards.
First trimester home-stretchers
If you prefer to keep things private in the event of a loss, you’ll want to keep your news under wraps until the risk of miscarriage drops dramatically, which happens at the end of the first trimester, around 10 to 12 weeks. That’s why this is such a common time for the Big Tell.
One mom offers this cautionary tale: “I got pregnant and announced it at work right away, then miscarried over Thanksgiving. When I came back to work, people kept dropping by my office to congratulate me. It was very sad and awkward.”
Also (on a more superficial note), many women start to show around the end of the first trimester. By telling at this point, you’ll avoid any funny looks or comments about your poochy stomach.
One minor drawback of waiting to announce your news is that you have slightly less time over the course of your pregnancy to celebrate it with loved ones. But even if you wait until the end of the first trimester, you’ll still have ample time to soak up the excitement and good wishes. By the time your due date rolls around, you’ll very likely feel like pregnancy has gone on long enough.
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