The Timing of Pregnancy Announcements And Why You Should Wait






Pregnancy Announcements:  Why To Wait

I don’t know if you’ve heard or not, but William and Kate had a baby this week.  I know, I know, this is shocking news.  I’m not sure how they hid her baby bump this whole time, with all of the normal media attention and all.  But my inside sources say that a royal baby has been born.

Ha!  I don’t think there’s a person in their country or ours who didn’t know that a little bundle of royalty was on his way.  We knew as soon as Kate found herself hospitalized for dehydration associated with hyperemesis gravidarum at seven weeks into the pregnancy.  She had probably only found out that she was pregnant three weeks or so before the world did.

We see many celebrities who are “outed” as pregnant before they can announce it themselves.  Usually when someone like Jessica Simpson or Drew Barrymore declares they are expecting it is old news.

They have little control over the timing of her pregnancy announcement, but most of us do. Here are the most common times to announce that you have a bun in the oven.

 

The Most Common Times to Announce Your Pregnancy

 

Before the pee dries on the stick. 

Some people choose to announce their pregnancy the moment they see those two important pink lines.  Some choose to only tell a select few at first, but I’ve seen some pregnancy announcements on Facebook as early as 6 weeks into the journey.  I have to say that I cringe a bit when I do.  More on that later.

When saying “Ciao!” to the first trimester. 

Many couples choose to wait until the first trimester has passed before updating their status with, “We’re Prego!”  Not only are most moms-to-be done losing their lunch (and breakfast, and dinner) daily, but the risk of miscarriage lowers significantly.  Ten to twenty-five percent of all known pregnancies end in miscarriage, and 80% of those happen in the first trimester.  If the worst happens, it is hard to announce your pregnancy one week and then have to follow-up the second week with bad news.  But some people feel that they would rather have more people know so they have plenty of support should the worst happen.

Post in-utero photo shoot. 

Nearly every pregnant woman has a 20-week ultrasound to check the baby’s growth, health status, and to see if it’ll flash a little something so that you can start planning the gender reveal.  This timing makes for an easy announcement (“It’s a GIRL!!!”) and still gives enough time for people to get excited about your growing belly.  Also, by this time there is a greatly decreased chance of losing the baby.  In fact, your cutie-pie fetus is only four weeks away from being viable (having a chance of surviving should she be born).  And if there is any kind of problem diagnosed in the ultrasound, you have time to process that information before telling your friends.

After it’s all done.  

Some couples skip the pregnancy announcement entirely and let people know after the baby has made her arrival.  In fact, this happened in the celebrity world when Jimmy Fallon’s wife gave birth before the public even knew they were expecting.  I’ve also had a few friends take this approach.  The couple tells only few important folks before the due date, like the grandparents, a few close friends, and their boss.  But we less-important folk find out with a baby announcement card, phone call, or Facebook status after the fact.  It makes it easy for the couple to keep away from prying questions and unwanted advice, but it may make people feel out of the loop.

 

Why I Think It’s Best To Wait

 

I have some strong opinions on the subject of when to tell people about a pregnancy.  They have nothing to do with research and everything to do with personal experience.  To explain, let me tell you about my first pregnancy four years ago.

Moments after we discovered we were pregnant for the first time, we began telling family.  We were beyond excited.  We had been trying for a while with no luck.  But we were suddenly pregnant and over the moon about it.

After a couple of blissful weeks, I began bleeding.  Panicked and crying, I called the doctor and was sent to the ER.  An ultrasound tech took me into a darkened room and began searching for signs of life.  She paused.  Looked at me and then again at the screen.

“I have to talk with the doctor,” she said suddenly, and left.  I felt like I was going to throw up.  What was taking her so long to get back?  Why did she leave so suddenly?  What was going on?

The tech came back with the doctor.  We were not having a miscarriage, the doctor explained.  However, a previously undiagnosed large fibroid tumor was attached to the outside of my uterus.  But the embryo (it wasn’t even a fetus yet) was safe.

A few days later, my doctors, an amazing team who work with high-risk mothers, arrived at the conclusion that the tumor would most likely just be uncomfortable throughout the pregnancy.  (Their words.  I would have gone with “really freaking painful”.)  But it would not much change the course of the pregnancy, they said.  Other than having regular ultrasounds and a planned c-section, that is.  So, when 12 weeks rolled around, we began telling everyone about the pregnancy, including making a Facebook announcement.  The baby preparations were in high gear.  My hubby’s office was moved upstairs to make room for the nursery.  We chose paint colors, folded baby clothes, and read all the books about baby necessities.  My frequent doctor appointments were uneventful.  Besides the frequent discomfort, life was grand.

But the doctors were wrong.  On the day I reached the 20 week mark, I felt a little sick at bedtime.  I hardly slept that night, feeling too uncomfortable.  When I woke up I felt really sick and in pain.  The pregnancy had been painful in general, so I sent my worried hubby off to work and cuddled up on the couch to rest.  I started feeling worse, but I told myself that I probably had a stomach bug or something.  Then I started feeling that I couldn’t keep still or I would be sick.  The moment I knew something was really wrong was when I almost passed out from the pain.  My hubby picked me up and we drove to the hospital.

Little did I know, I was in labor.  As they pumped me with medications to stop it, I kept dilating. They couldn’t figure out why I was in labor or why the drugs weren’t working.  Then my water broke.  Suddenly my white blood cell count was skyrocketing.  Not only was I in labor, but I had some sort of infection.  When there was no more use trying to stop the inevitable, I delivered our son.  He was four weeks too premature to even have a chance at survival.  They wrapped him in a blanket and I held our tiny boy tightly.  It was the worst day of my life.

What followed was difficult too. Because we had told so many people that we were pregnant, we had to now tell them that we weren’t.  When I was released from the hospital, we had to make calls, send emails, and even make a Facebook announcement about what happened.  While I wanted to crawl into a hole and scream, I instead had to rehash the story over and over.  Some people misread the posted Facebook note and sent their congratulations.  Everyone was supportive, but it was too public for such a personal moment.  It was awful, awful, awful.

For our next two pregnancies, we were tight-lipped until that 20-week ultrasound.  We knew what could happen.  And that’s why whenever I see those announcements before even the 12-week mark I shudder just a bit.

Of course, most couples remain blissfully ignorant of the dark possibilities as their pregnancies and births go by without a hitch.  But for those who know the other side, we wait.

Are you planning on getting a prenatal massage during your pregnancy?  Make sure you know these risks.

 Photo courtesy of Brooke at flickr.com





36 Comments on The Timing of Pregnancy Announcements And Why You Should Wait

  1. Becca
    July 24, 2013 at 4:38 pm (273 days ago)

    This post brings back so many memories for me. While my experiences never made it to the point of delivery, I suffered several miscarriages. Luckily, we hadn’t told anyone the news at that point. I wasn’t supposed to have kids…so when I became pregnant with Ema we knew that there was a huge possibility that I would lose her. We told family and friends…and I ended up having to tell everyone when i had to inform work that I was pregnant and an at risk one at that. I was lucky and had very little trouble. With Anna we waited until I was a few months along to tell most people. Close family knew but that was all. I spent a lot of time in the hospital and it was far from an easy pregnancy. I started going into labor when I was about 3 1/2 months and tried to several times after that. She ended up making it to pretty much full term and both of my kids were born perfectly healthy (even though Ema was 2 months premature) and no NICU was needed. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I agree that while the excitement is there and you want to share..it is best to wait in most cases.
    Becca recently posted…Rescue Me! Country Acres Pet Resort & Animal ShelterMy Profile

    Reply
    • Amber Schultz
      July 24, 2013 at 8:01 pm (273 days ago)

      It’s amazing what we have to go through for our kids, even before they are born! I’m so glad that they didn’t need any time in the NICU! Especially with Ema arriving so early. I have copious experience with the NICU, but that’s a story for another day. :)

      Reply
  2. Growing Up Madison
    July 24, 2013 at 7:31 pm (273 days ago)

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve never suffered a miscarriage but all my pregnancies were very high risk. With Madison being born 8 years after my last and with all the problems I was having I didn’t tell anyone until it was almost time to deliver. I almost delivered early and was placed on total bed rest only allowed to go to the bathroom and to the hospital once a week for fetal monitoring. She was still delivered almost a month early but luckily with no issues. I really do agree its best to wait but some are so over the moon that they can’t wait to tell the world. Can we say Baby North West! :)
    Growing Up Madison recently posted…July 2013 Bluum Toddler Box ReviewMy Profile

    Reply
    • Amber Schultz
      July 24, 2013 at 8:05 pm (273 days ago)

      I can’t imagine being on bed rest for fear of delivering early. I’m sure you were so worried! I’m so glad that everything turned out okay in the end. Maybe she was just ready to make an early appearance for her blogging debut! :)

      Reply
    • becca
      August 4, 2013 at 9:25 am (263 days ago)

      I know what you mean about bed rest. I was on it for 5 1/2 months with Annaliese. It was awful and I felt so helpless.
      becca recently posted…MMMMM….It feels soooo GOOD!My Profile

      Reply
  3. April @Pixie Dust Savings
    July 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm (273 days ago)

    So sorry for your loss. I completely understand. I have been trying to conceive for over 7 years. I have had only 1 miscarriage- probably even a chemical pregnancy. I didn’t even tell my husband until a year later. I think IF I ever do get pregnant, I will probably tell at the 12 week mark, just because of my particular diseases, I need the support of family and friends. My husband and I are going to try foster/adopt after he finishes school. We will probably say foster kid right up until the court papers are signed.
    April @Pixie Dust Savings recently posted…CVS Sneak Peek Week of 7/28/13My Profile

    Reply
    • Amber Schultz
      July 24, 2013 at 8:09 pm (273 days ago)

      Trying to conceive can be such a roller coaster. I always was so jealous of the women who seemed to conceive immediately when we were having such troubles. The fact that you’re considering adoption is awesome! Good luck with everything!

      Reply
  4. Carin Clark @Mrscpkc
    July 24, 2013 at 7:51 pm (273 days ago)

    I can relate in more ways that I want to remember; and I am so sorry for your loss…I lost my first-born when I was 37 weeks…he had a rare chromosomal disorder, ring 21, and I had eclampsia…I had seizures and was rushed to the ER…they took him by C-section so they could give me the medicine needed to save my life…he lived for 9 hours and 33 minutes before my mom (I was out of it) told them to end medical intervention…I still remember all the questions and everyone’s well wishes…I told that story so many times within the first week of coming home from the hospital it was like I had a script…and just kept repeating the same thing over and over…with my next 3 I waiting until I was showing…so, about 4.5/5 months…I wanted to get past the AFP test (which was the test the revealed the disorder my first had).
    Carin Clark @Mrscpkc recently posted…Why Is Kate Middleton’s Postbaby Bump Newsworthy?My Profile

    Reply
    • Amber Schultz
      July 24, 2013 at 8:19 pm (273 days ago)

      I’m so sorry for your loss. Your story just breaks my heart. I hope that you got to meet your son before they ended medical interventions. One thing that I regret is that my son had already passed by the time he was born. It’s always amazing to me how many mothers have lost children. It’s such a terrible thing, but mothers rarely speak of it.

      Reply
  5. Pam
    July 31, 2013 at 11:44 am (267 days ago)

    After two healthy children, I had an ectopic pregnancy that ended before I even knew I was pregnant.

    I grieved for the child and had to beg to get to see it for even a few minutes, but at that time (30 years ago), the prevailing wisdom was “You’re young. Forget it. You’ll have more children. Let’s pretend this never happened. Don’t talk about it.” That loss still makes me sad. And, no, we never did have another.

    Reply
  6. Anonymous
    September 7, 2013 at 11:59 am (229 days ago)

    Thanks for this. I am still kicking an announcement on Facebook around. I have had two largely uneventful pregnancies but both of those were pre-Facebook and so this whole discussion is a little weird to me. After reading what you posted here, I’m thinking I’ll probably wait.

    Reply
    • Amber Schultz
      September 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm (228 days ago)

      First of all, CONGRATS! Wishing you an easy and healthy pregnancy!

      You’re right, Facebook has really changed things. It’s a wonderful way to stay in touch, but it makes it so easy to share too much too early. Thanks for commenting!

      Reply
  7. Steven @ Howtomakemoneyasakid
    September 25, 2013 at 2:23 pm (210 days ago)

    My wife and I usually forget and are late at sending out announcements. I think for our last baby it was 3 or 4 months after. People were still excited to see the pictures and it worked out. Better late then never.
    Steven @ Howtomakemoneyasakid recently posted…Gold Rush: How to Pan for GoldMy Profile

    Reply
  8. Anonymous
    October 1, 2013 at 8:00 pm (204 days ago)

    I’m sorry for your loss. I didn’t know any better and told people immediately with my first which I then miscarried. With the next 2 we waited until 12 weeks. There’s no way I could have kept it a secret until 20 weeks…..I was very obviously pregnant to a casual observer by that time!

    Reply
  9. Anonymous
    October 29, 2013 at 12:33 pm (177 days ago)

    I say start telling people whenever you want. Please don’t cringe when people choose to announce at a time that you feel is too early.

    My thought, is if you miscarry, you will probably want all the support you can get. If you don’t tell anyone, it will be harder to get that support. No one is going to chastise you for telling too early. (…and if they do, they are not a real friend)

    Reply
    • Amber Schultz
      October 29, 2013 at 12:48 pm (176 days ago)

      The risk of announcing early is not that someone will chastise you. And it is nice to have support during a loss. However, if you do tell *everyone* early (Facebook), you will run the risk of having to retell your story repeatedly to acquaintances. As someone who has gone through such a loss, it is exhausting and almost sickening to have to relay details of an event that you have only begun to grieve.

      But please, do what you want to do. It is just a story from someone who has gone through it.

      Reply
    • Anonymous
      March 29, 2014 at 7:31 pm (25 days ago)

      I absolutely agree with you. I can’t beleive one would cringe at the thought of someone else’s excitement and personal choices.

      Reply
    • Anonymous
      April 8, 2014 at 3:56 pm (15 days ago)

      I don’t think she meant cringe like she thought they were bad. I think she meant cringe like nervous for them. That’s how I feel too. After having experienced a loss I hear others announcing very early and cringe thinking “Gosh, I hope they experience everything wonderful and don’t have to go through what I did.” It has nothing to do with thinking they are bad and wrong. Every time someone asked about my pregnancy I had to re-live the pain of the loss and frankly that did nothing for me. The support of a couple close friends was perfect, but explaining to my tax person and the random person who saw my registry online was heart breaking. Anyway, I just think you are taking what she said wrong.

      Reply
  10. Keri
    October 30, 2013 at 11:40 pm (175 days ago)

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I suffered a mmc at 8 weeks followed by d&c. I had announced at 5-6 weeks so everyone knew. I had the opposite experience. I was glad to have told everyone early, my family and friends were wonderful, dropping off food, sending nice notes, cards, flowers. Nobody asked me to rehash the details, how insensitive! I am now 6 weeks along and we have told family and friends, since they were such a great support last time, I will count on them again. I also have a very different attitude about life now. Since my mmc I have gone through a double mastectomy and 7 months of chemo. I’m just thankful I could even get pregnant! I can’t control what will happen tomorrow, but today, there’s a baby in there (: I will celebrate today and the people that love me share that with me, just as they will share my tears if I lose this little one. I think it’s a very personal decision and whether you choose to wait or not, I wouldn’t cringe at anyone’s else’s choice.

    Reply
  11. Melissa
    December 21, 2013 at 2:56 pm (123 days ago)

    While I can support your decision, I have been on that other side and lost a baby. I am now pregnant again and refuse to hold it back because if something were to happen I want the support from everyone instead of having to tell people at that point what I was pregnant. every pregnancy is special and deserves to be celebrated.

    Reply
  12. Katrina
    December 24, 2013 at 2:13 am (121 days ago)

    Don’t cringe every time someone announces a pregnancy, be happy for them. You are too bitter about your history and let it cloud your vision.

    Reply
    • Amber Schultz
      December 24, 2013 at 10:42 am (121 days ago)

      You are right that my experience does alter my view of the situation, but that is not unlike anyone else’s positive or negative experiences. I would say that visions are more “clouded” by the illusion of things rarely going wrong with pregnancy and childbirth than my experience-based viewpoint.

      Mothers who have lost children are often told to “just be happy” for others, basically to ignore their feelings and experiences for fear of upsetting anyone else. Interestingly, it is one of the only situations of death that we are told to “get over and be happy for others” quickly. If someone lost their sister to cancer and she warned others about the dangers of the disease, she would hardly be told that she was bitter and to just be happy for other people who have sisters. But I digress.

      Of course, I am always very happy to hear of an impending birth no matter how early it is announced, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t worry for each family with every pregnancy as well. I just would never wish my experience of having to relate to acquaintances a very personal and terrible time of my life on anyone else.

      Reply
      • Anonymous
        March 29, 2014 at 7:51 pm (25 days ago)

        Don’t spend so muxh time worrying and just be happy :)

        Reply
        • Anonymous
          March 29, 2014 at 7:51 pm (25 days ago)

          Much*

          Reply
    • Anonymous
      March 29, 2014 at 7:34 pm (25 days ago)

      Exactly!! You couldn’t have said it better. This article actually really ticked me off. Just because you have had a bad experience gives you no right to judge other people’s lives.

      Reply
  13. Lisa
    December 30, 2013 at 8:05 am (115 days ago)

    I have been pregnant a total of 4 times in the past year and a half alone. I understand that anything can happen at anytime. I struggled with my first loss, a little less with my second, and by my third I just expected it. I am currently 7 weeks today with my 4th. We announced to friends and family on Christmas day. I would rather choose to celebrate every precious day I am pregnant and share the joy with loved ones than be too scared to say anything. I am an open book and even FB friends know of our struggles and fertility issues. I choose to not let fear drive my life anymore! I will not be scared to announce early for what might or might not happen. Today I am pregnant and I am blessed. Glory to God! If it does not work out this time, we will pray, pick up and move on;never forgetting our lost little angels. Announce when you are ready.

    Reply
    • Stephanie B
      January 13, 2014 at 7:51 pm (100 days ago)

      This is beautiful Lisa. I do have two beautiful children, but have suffered three very rough miscarriages. I could never NOT tell people because I want support and prayer during that time. Like you said, announce when you are ready! Blessings!

      Reply
    • Trenee
      April 5, 2014 at 11:50 am (19 days ago)

      I’m with you on that, I lost my baby just like in the article and then I had a miscarriage months later. Both times I announced it when I found out because I was excited. If I would find out I’m pregnant today and I’m just a few weeks along I will let everyone know. I don’t think you can hide a pregnancy even if you tried unless you lock yourself inside 24 7, so why not announce it. Congrats on the baby!!!

      Reply
  14. Nicole schumaker
    February 3, 2014 at 7:14 pm (79 days ago)

    Unfortunately we don’t all get that option. I suffer from Hyperemesis gravidarum. When I got pregnant things went downhill fast. My first ER Trip was at 5 weeks. I barely knew I was pregnant. Soon I was unable to go to work I had to drop out of college and I couldn’t even get out of bed without help. My pregnancy quickly became a fight for my life and announced itself to the world. If we decide to have another baby i plan on announcing VERY early. Because it’s my only opportunity to do it without IVs in my arm and meds in me! because I’m going to need more help than I, even now! am willing to admit! and because HG is so debilitating and misunderstood that I plan on using it for a platform for education.

    Reply
  15. clairebear
    February 7, 2014 at 8:55 pm (75 days ago)

    I tested this morning and found out I am pregnant. I have been having symptoms for a week, but this is the first day that I’ve tested positive (I took several tests today just to be sure – all positive). By my calculations, I’m only 4 weeks. Everyone says to wait to tell, but my husband and I live with his parents currently and there’s no way I can hide my symptoms long. I feel awful knowing I could be getting so many people’s hopes up when I’m so newly pregnant. However, I also feel like announcing early is a sign of hope on our part. We hope for the best, and other than take care of myself, that’s all we can do. I trust everything will work out for the best one way or another, and I hope I’ll have the courage and strength to handle whatever life has to offer. Everyone has a different story and a different situation in life. Pregnancy announcement cannot be based on a formula – a miscarriage can happen any time, so why not enjoy the time you have and share your joy with others?

    Reply
    • Amber Schultz
      February 9, 2014 at 11:30 am (74 days ago)

      Congratulations! Definitely announce whenever you feel comfortable, especially if that brings you and your family joy. Wishing you a happy and healthy pregnancy!

      Reply
  16. Mannie
    March 11, 2014 at 9:00 pm (43 days ago)

    This is stupid. You told everyone !!! Good for you, you have the right to live your big day, the big news and be happy and proud about it.

    Anyways, you have to say to everyone if there was a miscarriage because you are so sad, cant hide that.

    Its better to live to moment and share you happiness than only share the bad news. We all deserve to live this moments NO MATTER WHAT. Anything could happen to anyone so i think that we shouldnt live with fear.

    Reply
  17. Tara
    March 27, 2014 at 9:52 am (28 days ago)

    I have a son who is about to turn 9 in May and my pregnancy with him was beyond great! I had not got pregnant in the last 5-6 years even though my boyfriend and I did not use protection. A few years ago I was told I had endometriosos so I figured the chances were probably pretty slim. BUT a visit to the doctor this past Tuesday confirmed that I am 7 weeks 3 days. Only a few close people I know at this point. Being that we thought we wouldn’t get here I am cautious for too many people to know even as happy as we are. We did tell our son and he is so ecstatic. I guess it’s all just a personal preference.

    Reply
  18. Name*
    April 4, 2014 at 1:32 am (20 days ago)

    I cringe at women who cringe at the announcement of anything that makes another woman happy.

    Reply
  19. Trenee
    April 5, 2014 at 11:44 am (19 days ago)

    This same thing happened to me September 25, 2012, I had just made 5 months that morning I woke up sick with a high fever and I couldn’t get out of bed. I went.through the whole process of delivering my baby and she was stillborn. They say it was due to an infection, but I had a doctors appointment a week before and everything was fine.

    Reply

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