Congrats! Your pregnancy test has two clear pink lines, and your heart is racing with excitement. It’s really happening. So, when is it safe to share the news with everyone?
Many people wait until week 13 to spill the tea. But this is your pregnancy, so only you can decide what’s best for you.
Here are a few legit reasons to take a breath and wait before posting the news on Facebook.
Miscarriage is heartbreakingly common, happening in 10 to 15 percent of pregnancies. Your risk is highest in the first 12 weeks, when about 80 percent of miscarriages occur.
The stats look scary, but remember, most women don’t know they’re pregnant for the first several weeks. One 2008 study found that participants’ risk of miscarriage decreased significantly from week 6 to week 9, falling from 9.4 percent to less than 1 percent.
About half of first trimester miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities (aka genetics), which means the fetus wasn’t developing properly from the moment of conception. Trust that your body is smart and wants to grow the healthiest little human possible.
As for the other 50 percent of cases, they may be due to these factors:
- uterine adhesions (scar tissue in your uterus)
- period problems (a shortened luteal phase can cause implantation failure)
- hormone imbalances
Age also plays a role. The older you are, the higher your chances of miscarriage.
- For folks between ages 20 and 30, the risk is 9 to 17 percent.
- At age 35, the risk is 20 percent.
- At 40, it’s 40 percent.
- At 45, it’s 80 percent.
Pregnancy loss can be even more upsetting if it happens after you’ve shared your news with family and friends. Because first trimester miscarriages are so common, many people wait until the 12-week mark to make an announcement.
Many people postpone announcements until they’ve had a prenatal checkup. After that first checkup, you’ll know your estimated due date and your risk of infections or miscarriage.
Your first prenatal checkup is likely to be around week 8. Ideally, you should be far enough along for your healthcare provider to confirm your pregnancy and check for a heartbeat (false positives, anyone?).
An ultrasound can usually confirm a viable pregnancy at 6 to 8 weeks’ gestation. A handheld Doppler can usually pick up the heartbeat by 12 to 14 weeks.
You’ll probably be feeling all the feels when you hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. Some people want that reassurance before sharing the news. It can also be fun to have an ultrasound image when you tell everyone.
If you’ve had a miscarriage in the past, you might feel more comfortable waiting until you’ve talked to your healthcare provider about recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL), which is a miscarriage after previous losses.
RPL odds are scary, but the good news is your provider can help. At your first prenatal appointment, you’ll probably get an exam, blood tests, and other tests specific to your medical condition.
If you’re nervous because you’ve lost a pregnancy before, it’s OK to wait longer to announce this one. Go with your gut and do what’s right for you.
There are several benefits to waiting even longer to tell the world about your bun in the oven:
- Your risk of a post-announcement miscarriage is much lower after the 12-week mark.
- You’ll likely feel more comfortable about your pregnancy after hearing the heartbeat and/or getting an ultrasound.
- You get to savor the news privately and think about this big life change before everyone else’s opinions start flying.
Some people wait even longer than 12 weeks to tell family and friends. And that’s OK. Only *you* know what’s best for you. If you’ve lost a pregnancy before, you might feel more comfortable waiting until the second or third trimester.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, a medical issue, or even just the stress of life, sometimes it feels better to process your plans privately. Consider telling just one or two friends and asking them to keep your secret on lockdown for a few weeks.
If you wait a month or two, you could time the announcement around one of these exciting milestones:
- your first ultrasound
- finding out the baby’s sex
- reaching the halfway point (hello, week 20!)
- your bump starting to show
If you’re holding off because you’re kinda-sorta terrified or high-key overwhelmed, consider finding a support group or therapist. Pregnancy emotions can be a roller coaster, and it’s OK to ask for help.
You could also check out an online support group like Pregnancy After Loss Support or Subsequent Pregnancy After a Loss Support.
Most people wait a while to spill the tea on Facebook, but there are some major cons if you don’t tell anyone about your baby on board until the second trimester.
Let’s keep it 100: Your first trimester is no picnic. Hello, morning sickness and exhaustion! Sharing your news with your BFF or a few close people will build a support network. And if you do have an early miscarriage, you won’t need to process it alone.
If your job involves physical labor, you should probably tell your manager about your pregnancy ASAP. The jury’s still out on whether too much physical activity can lead to miscarriage, but there’s no harm in being careful.
Read up on recommendations for lifting while pregnant and consider these workplace hazards:
- being on your feet all day
- exposure to toxic chemicals
- repetitive heavy lifting (like lifting boxes every 5 minutes)
- bending at the waist 20+ times per shift
Cons of waiting:
- You might need support if you have serious nausea or fatigue during the first 12 weeks.
- You risk exposure to toxins or other workplace hazards if you don’t alert your boss.
- Close family members or friends might guess or find out from each other if you don’t tell them directly first.
Obviously, posting a preggers reveal on IG before you call Grandma is no bueno. But there’s no strict protocol for who gets to see your ultrasound pics first.
Some people find it easiest to announce by category.
You probably want to tell your best friends first, but make sure they know to keep the secret. Consider the fallout if the news slips out to one of your relatives.
Once your besties are in on the announcement, make a plan to spread the word to family and your next circle of friends.
It’s OK to let friendly acquaintances find out when you post a fun announcement on social media.
Most people choose to tell their families first. This is probably super exciting for your parents, especially if this will be their first grandkid.
If you’re postponing announcements until the second or third trimester, you might want to privately tell a few family members sooner. Announce it in a way that’s fun and comfortable for you, and enjoy their reactions.
You’ll probably appreciate having a few people who check in on baby updates and prenatal appointments.
Tell your boss right away if being pregnant affects your ability to do your job.
Hopefully, your manager is the type to be happy for you. But if not, know your rights. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (passed way back in 1978) legally protects your right to reasonable requests for workplace accommodations and safety while pregnant.
Even if you have a desk job, pinging your employer about your pregnancy can be a good thing. You’ll need to discuss maternity leave and coverage while you’re away.
Remember: You can ask your boss to keep things private. You can talk directly to HR if you don’t feel comfortable breaking the news to your manager. Being straightforward and professional from the beginning will make any upcoming job transitions much smoother.
Social media announcements
Announcing your pregnancy on social media? Be prepared: You’re about to receive the most comments and likes of your life.
There’s no right or wrong time to tell the world about your bun in the oven. Your biggest concern should be making sure the important people in your life (see above) find out from you, not from a Facebook post.
If you decide to make a virtual announcement, have fun with it. There’s no pressure to have the cutest reveal on the internet or to create separate posts for Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok. Enjoy the excitement and don’t sweat the small stuff.
In the end, you know yourself best. Tell friends and family whenever you feel comfortable.
- What’s my current risk for a miscarriage?
- Will telling people make me more or less comfortable?
- Who do I need to tell? (Partner, healthcare provider, boss?)
- If something happens, who will I want in my support network?
Many people don’t announce their pregnancies until week 12 or 13 because the risk of a miscarriage is highest in the first trimester. But there’s no right or wrong time to tell people. Do what feels comfortable.
For health reasons, tell your healthcare provider as soon as you think you’re pregnant. After that, decide when to spill the tea to friends and family. Social media announcements should come after you’ve told the most important people IRL.
No matter how long you wait to share the news, start taking care of yourself right away. Schedule a prenatal appointment, take prenatal vitamins, and eat well. Congrats!