You Should Wait Until The End Of The First Trimester To Announce Your Pregnancy
When I found out I was pregnant with our first child, the urge to tell the whole world was very strong. We were so excited and wanted to share with everyone we knew- but we did not. I told my parents right away but otherwise, we held on to the news until 12 weeks when we felt it appropriate to share with everyone. For a number of reasons, I firmly believe that you should wait until the end of the first trimester to announce your pregnancy.
I know there is a campaign of sorts to announce a pregnancy sooner- to avoid the mystery and silence of miscarriage. According to this post from iVillage, we should talk about our pregnancies early so that we have the support needed if we do happen to miscarry. I appreciate what they are saying but my reasons for thinking it proper to wait until past the first trimester to share the news have to do with many other factors in addition to the miscarriage risk.
First of all, when you tell people you are pregnant at five weeks, you have quite a long time to go and will be constantly answering the questions– “How are you feeling?” “When are you due again?” “Jesus, it feels like you’ve been pregnant FOREVER- shouldn’t you be having the baby by now?” Why yes, it does seem you have been pregnant FOREVER because the news was spread before the pee stick was dry and another 36 weeks past that is a very long time. Sharing right away might feel right in the moment, but think of the long-term. It seems to me that a lot of the late-pregnancy whining about people constantly asking when the baby is coming and saying that it seems like you’ve been pregnant longer than an elephant could be avoided if you come into the game at 12 weeks and have only 28 left to go. It seems less interminable to everyone else and is less time for you to be telling the same facts over and over.
I also have an issue in general with social media over-share. I am pretty confident that this “movement” of announcing your pregnancy ASAP stems from the urges so many have to share every sandwich they eat and every event they attend on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Naturally, if you think last night’s dinner was worthy of posting than something as big as a pregnancy will be tough to hold back from 500 of your closest pals. I honestly resent this cultural shift- in part because I am a pretty private person but also, because I may be a little old-fashioned and think that those first weeks of pregnancy are something truly precious. It may be one of the last wonderful secrets you have with your spouse and the new human growing inside of you. Why not enjoy it for a while before allowing the public at large access to your uterus and all the judgements they will pass? All the questions they will ask and the subjects they will feel the need to weigh in on- it just feels so invasive.
Lastly, I know this opinion may be unpopular, but I do think the risk of miscarriage is a very good reason to wait to share the news. Sure, you can argue that you will want the support of your friends and family but I don’t think you can know how you will feel about a miscarriage until it happens. You may want to be left alone to grieve in private but will be struggling with how to retract your Facebook pregnancy announcement and to break the sad news to everyone. You may not want everyone prying into what is really an intensely personal and difficult time in your life. And what is to stop you from telling friends and family that you were pregnant but have now miscarried? You can still get their support if you want it but if everyone does not already know you are pregnant, you can still choose to keep quiet about it too. This seems like a time where it is wise to keep your options open.
I know this is something very personal and not every mother will agree with the right way to handle something of this nature but I stand by my reasoning that overall, it is best to wait a little while before sharing your pregnancy news with the rest of the world.